The moments between the ceremony and the reception are giddy, exciting ones, and it’s only fitting to be whisked off in a carriage or ride off into the sunset. But those happy endings aren’t even practical. So even if the transportation between the ceremony and reception isn’t fit for a Hollywood screenplay, here are some tips to make it as fun, affordable and memorable as the rest of your day.
First: How Many?
Your search for transportation needs to start once you decide how many people you’ll be moving. Do you want just the bride and the groom in a vehicle, or is the entire wedding party heading to the reception together? If the whole party is going, do you want to include their spouses or dates? What about the couples parents and new in-laws? Once you make those decisions, you can start searching around for transport based on size. Then, you can pick out a limousine, a coach party bus, a trolley, or something more unique and personal for the couple. Whatever you decide on, keep safety in mind for when revelers are bouncing from place to place.
If there is a day to splurge on this iconic luxury vehicle, your wedding is certainly the day. Unlike some other forms of transport, a limo can be booked for an entire day, so you could get a high-class ride to pick you up at the house, delivering you to the ceremony, reception or even to the airport to jet away on a honeymoon. Most companies have a one or two hour minimum for their services, so think about what the most cost-effective way would be to keep the limo around. If you want a car for both going to and leaving the ceremony, it might be more affordable to hire two separate cars rather than pay for the vehicle to sit there during a long reception.
There are quite a few options for limos. A formal limousine seats four people, and sometimes a bride and groom will travel to the ceremony alone. Or, if you’d like to include the wedding party, stretch limos can allow for six to 10. For larger parties and a flashier mode of transport, sport utility models like the Hummer and Explorer are popular and unique both inside and out. The larger models are often posh, with flashy lights and decorative interiors.
Catch the Coach
For larger wedding parties or ones that want a little elbow room, a party bus or luxury coach is a great way to travel from the ceremony to the reception. It’s got all the amenities and style of a luxury limousine, but with more room to spare –these will seat up to 10 people very comfortably. Or, for even bigger parties, a passenger coach or party bus can seat anywhere from 21 to 49 people, so it can be a great way to get a few special guests and family members on the special ride between locations. Or, if you have a very small wedding and the ceremony and reception are separated by a long distance, this is a fun way to get all the guests in on the party right away.
Like limousine services, passenger and luxury coach companies require a minimum number of hours. The size and type of coach will determine the hourly rate. Depending on the size of your party it may make sense to hire two coaches, maybe a luxury coach for the bride, groom and attendants and a passenger coach for the guests. This allows guests with a little more flexibility, as well.
Taking the Trolley
An attractive, fun and picturesque alternative to a limo or passenger coach is a trolley, if it’s available in your area. Trolleys generally can accommodate between 20 and 35 people, so they’re great for larger parties or adding on some family members or friends. With their antique look and old world charm, they’ll send a lovely, elegant touch to this wedding day detail. Since most have outdoor decks, these are especially fun in small towns so you can take a peek outside and watch onlookers wave at the newlyweds. And there’s no transportation alternative that looks as great in photos!
Limos, party buses and trolleys are great, traditional options, but some new couples might opt for something more personal or creative. A horse-drawn carriage is a romantic, vintage option, especially if you can decorate it with your wedding colors or pull up to your waving guests.
Vintage cars are also great photo ops and add a touch of class. An antique Rolls Royce or a ’69 Mustang are fun and something you don’t get to ride in every day. Ride in style like the royal couple did in their April wedding in a decorated navy soft-top Aston Martin Volante.
Or, as with everything else in the wedding, make sure the transportation connects to YOU. Maybe you met at a Harley rally – ride off on your twin Hogs! Or maybe you share a love of mountain biking – don’t be afraid to wheel over on a tandem together. Personality is what makes weddings memorable, so however you move, make sure it’s full of your style.
Down to Details
Make sure to confirm transportation booking and verify pick-up and departure times well in advance of your wedding dates. And don’t be afraid to ask for a test drive! For a written contract, look for these things:
- Name and contact information for you and the company (including cell phone!)
- Date, time and address of all pick-up and drop-off locations
- Type and number of vehicles rented, and amenities supplied with each
- Exact hours of vehicle rental
- Total cost, including gas, mileage, tip and overtime fees
- Deposit amount, balance and due date and cancellation policy
- Signatures, including yours, and the company’s representative
Weddings are busy, chaotic days, so it’s wise to have someone closely associated with the wedding party, such as the best man or a family member, designated to coordinate with the chauffeur to make sure everything is on schedule.