IT is a bride’s prerogative to arrive late for her wedding.
But Hampshire mum Dawn Knights faces a challenge to get there at all after her wedding car was cancelled just days before the ceremony.
Dawn, 49, booked a Morris Minor convertible nine months ago at a cost of £235 for two hours.
She was looking forward to pulling up to the Bugle Street register office in Southampton on Saturday in style before marrying partner of 20 years Andy Clarke.
Now Dawn faces a last-minute scramble to find alternative transport after the company – Ringwood-based Avon Cottage Classic Wedding Cars – told her the vehicle had an engine fault and needed repairs.
She is furious that the company has not offered her the use of a different vehicle.
She said: “I’ve got just four days to find something, which is going to be impossible.
“It all came out of the blue.
“They emailed me on Saturday to ask if I could recommend a different route to the venue because they were worried about traffic and I got home from work to find another email telling me the car had an engine fault and had to go to the garage.
“It’s not the money, it’s the principle. They have other cars so surely I could use one of them?”
The news came at the end of the mental health worker’s first day at a new job.
Dawn added: “This is the last thing I needed, especially as I thought I had sorted this all out months ago. It’s not like this was a spur-of-the-moment thing, we have been planning it for months.”
But Andrew Beadle, director of Avon Cottage, said the car was 50 years old and the terms of the agreement made it clear that breakdowns were a possibility.
Mr Beadle said he took the car on a trial run last Saturday only for it to overheat after being stuck in traffic, damaging the radiator.
He said: “Unfortunately I don’t have any other cars I could use and if I did I would have. But we are coming up to the second week of October and the wedding season runs late so there are other companies out there and if she calls me up I will find one for her.
“I feel for her, I really do, but it clearly states in our terms and conditions that this is an old car and that these things do occasionally happen.”
Mr Beadle confirmed he had given a full refund to Dawn and apologised for the cancellation.
Andy, 51, and Dawn, of Lauren Way, Totton, got engaged last year while on a cruise on Adventure of the Seas, having first met in 1995.