Ready to book your wedding-day transport for you and your guests… or putting off because there are more important to-do tasks at the top of the list? Mircea Stanescu from Echo Limousine in Chicago guest blogs this week with advice on where to start, factors to consider, and tips on saving a little money in your big-day budget.
While planning a wedding, it is usually transportation that tends to get overlooked and left forgotten. The bride and groom spend most of their time and energy focusing on booking the venue and hiring a caterer, and often leave the wedding transportation arrangements until the last minute – and it is usually the last =-minute decisions that bring on the stress. But with careful planning, arranging transportation for your wedding day can be easy and fruitful.
Here are some wedding transportation tips that will help the transportation element of your special day run smoothly:
Book early: You book your venue, caterers and so on long before your special day, so why not book your transportation early, too? You should hire your transportation company about six months before your special day. You especially need to do this if your wedding date falls around a major holiday or during prom season, when vintage car and limousine rental companies experience high demand, and you want to be certain that you have secured the car service of your choice. Leaving booking to the last moment will result in fewer choices and higher prices.
Non-limo options: A limousine is a great traditional wedding transport option, but if you want to get fun and creative, step outside of the box and rent a hummer limo or maybe even a limo bus! Renting a limo-like or non-limo vehicle, such as a vintage car, will help you in planning a unique getaway to express your style on your special day.
Transportation for the guests: Weddings usually witness a lot of out-of-towner relatives come in so it helps to provide them with a ride from the hotel to the wedding and back. It’s best to arrange transport service for that at the same time you book your main vehicle for the big day. This helps in providing your relatives peace of mind so they don’t have to worry about navigating an unfamiliar city, possibly without their own transportation. For this purpose, you can hire a charter bus or shuttle, which generally hold up to 60 passengers. If your wedding is on a smaller scale and you don’t have that many passengers to worry about, then you can go for a limo bus.
Make your reservation in person: Research the vehicle rental companies online, phone them and then go and meet them in person to make the final booking. This way you will be able to get a look at the car you have in mind, and this will avoid any unwelcome surprises by making sure the fleet looks like it’s in good shape before putting down a deposit.
Stock the car and make a playlist: You don’t have to ride to the wedding in silence or rely on the driver’s choice of music! Make a few mixes of your favorite songs for your trip. If you’re hiring shuttles/buses for your guests, create playlists for their rides, too, to get them in a party state of mind. Also, don’t forget to stock your car. Make sure you’ve got supplies to enjoy such as extra food and drinks.
Hire the wedding vehicle only for making your grand entrance: This is actually a pretty sneaky way to save money! Your wedding transportation is actually one element of your wedding where you can save a lot. If you’re making a grand entrance, but no one will see your exit due to photo shoots or similar, rent a vehicle for the arrival only. Or, if home is far away from your wedding venue, drive in your own car from home to a meet-up point a few minutes’ drive from your wedding venue – and switch to the fancier car there. If you opt for an hourly rate, these tricks will help you in saving a lot, as you will only be paying for the shorter ride up to the venue.
Get a contract and detailed itinerary: This doesn’t just go for transportation. Don’t hire any wedding vendor without getting everything in writing. Get the details of everything such as your pick-up time, arrival time, reception departure time, all addresses to and from where you’re going, the size, color, and model of the car, the name of the driver you want, whether the driver will honk or knock when they arrive, and whatever other details are involved if you have any special requests. Consider all of the wedding-day activities, and factor them in to your transportation to get a detailed itinerary. These details should include pick-up and drop-off times for all of the members of the wedding party, scheduled stops for hair and make-up, and stops for wedding portraits and whatever else you have planned.
Booking hourly vs packages and alternate routes: Depending on the distance to be travelled and the time frame the wedding vehicle is required for, you should ask for both hourly rates and overall packages. If the distance to be travelled isn’t that much, an hourly rate may be a good option… but if the vehicle is required for a longer period of time, a package deal may be more cost effective. So be sure to ask about both options, as one or the other will for sure work out to be a cheaper option for you. If you decide to go by the hourly rate, you can go for an alternative route that is faster to save on time. Be sure to tell your vendor about the route beforehand.
Hire an older vehicle model: If you don’t mind an older vehicle to help save money, then go for it. Wedding car rental companies spend thousands each year to maintain their vehicles, so an older model does not mean that it won’t be in good condition.
We hope these wedding transportation tips help you in ensuring a hassle free vehicle rental and save on your service as well.
(All images supplied by author.)