Being whimsical by nature and Indian by birth and far too old to be quite as excited as I am at the moment, I decided a few years back to offer something to couples who wanted to get married but were happy to “Dare to be Different”. I decided on a wedding car business but didn’t want to offer boring old bangers (whatever the shape of the logo fixed to the bonnet). I thought long and hard about how I could make the whole wedding more fun than the bride just arriving in a swanky car and leaving in the same car with some old cans hanging off it’s arse …
So I decided to ‘Dare to be different‘ and in 2017 bought a sparkling new three-wheeler Tuk Tuk on one of my trips to India. Negotiating with the salesmen and the factory to get it delivered to Bombay and put on a slow boat to the UK was one of the funniest experiences of my life but it eventually arrived and was modified and licensed for use on UK roads. Rather unbelievably, given the fact that it has a authentic Indian 197 cc Bajaj engine with a top speed of 44 mph, it was licensed by the DVLC to drive on public roads including motorways. Let me tell you now, even if hell freezes over, that I’m never gonna do that!
When she arrived (I already decided that her name would be Tara) I started thinking about how to make weddings even more fun and romantic than they already are. It occurred to me that weddings in the UK a normally followed a pretty standard recipe,, albeit with different herbs and spices thrown on with some exotic pulses and seeds to make them as unique as possible. So, what could I offer that would allow the happy couple to make their wedding even more whimsical, fun and memorable? How could I help increase the smile quotient at their wedding?
Firstly, how about the bride and/or groom arriving at the wedding in something a little more unique and that helps them relax and widen their smiles? Well, obviously, I’d need to ‘get the bride (or groom) to the church on time’ so I needed a reliable mode of transport like Tara. I needed to make sure that they arrive looking as beautiful as when their exquisite hairdressers and makeup artists had finally finished working their magic on them – so I went out and had a modified hood made for Tara that enclosed the rear passengers in a lovely colourful airy bubble that keeps the wind off them and keeps them dry. I scattered the rear seat with glittery cushions to match the wedding colours and incense burned to relax whoever is sitting there. But, I felt that wasn’t enough so I got myself a selection of classic Indian wedding bling – ranging from flower garlands to good luck charms to decorations with bells on to… well just about anything that you could think off that Indian and blingy! So, that’s my first offering to couples who ‘Dare to be Different’ and wanted to have a fun and memorable yet romantic whimsical wedding.
Secondly, I remembered the problems many friends of ours had in occupying guests of all ages (from 2 to 102) when the happy couple were out posing for those romantic special pictures taken by their wonderful photographer. Good photographers aren’t rushed and nor are the happy couple who want to remember the day for ever and ever. While that was happening, guests normally mingle and sip bubbly of some sort. Or infused tea. However keeping the children occupied and out of trouble is sometimes a teeny-weeny problem. So could I help there? How about if some of the more delicate bling was removed from Tara and she was parked somewhere close to the guests and was made available for short rides? Having tried this out a couple of times, I realised that this could be a real high point for the kids who kept talking about it for the rest of the day and beyond. What I hadn’t realised was that the adults (and not only the bridesmaids!) were equally enthralled and Tara would be busy all of that time. That’s my second offering. One up for Tara and not for a snooty roller.
Thirdly, many receptions nowadays use fancy magic mirror photo booths and the like to capture pictures and messages from their guests. Could Tara help? With a bit of ingenuity from the local fabricator, a load of fancy technology and a good helping of magic unicorn dust, Tara can be converted into the most amazing photo booth. Still, video and 360° cameras capture never to be forgotten moments that can be shared instantly via social media. I bedeck the area around Tara with flags and banners of every colour and guests are provided with authentic Indian fancy dress. The area around Tara is always ablaze with smiles and laughter. That’s my third offering.
Finally, wouldn’t it be nice if the events of the happy day just went on and on? My fourth offering’s simple. Couples who used Tara to make their weddings even more special, will receive a very special gift on their first anniversary. Tara will arrive at the front door – decorated in the same way that it was at their wedding a year previously – and take them to a local location of their choice to celebrate their anniversary.
When I launched Wedding Tuk Tuk, I was worried that something was missing. Not only do I wear my heart on my sleeve but that heart has always been a very altruistic heart. I spent many days with Tara helping local charities and schools raise money for good causes. So I decided to launch a ‘Pay it Forward’ Scheme where I add an optional surcharge to my fee so that Tara and I could continue this good work. Something my heart is very happy about!
The story continues ….