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Stretch limousines, ornate carriages, vintage cars, or on horseback—there are many modes of transportation to deliver you and your bridal party to the church in comfort, elegance, and style. Your choice of wedding transportation can ease some of the stress and apprehension over getting everyone to the church on time while reinforcing the theme of your wedding, should you choose to have one.
Make arrangements for wedding transportation at least three to four months prior to the event, as demand for transportation is high and supplies are sometimes limited, particularly during peak wedding or prom seasons. Elicit recommendations from friends, or peruse the internet under “Limousine Service.”
Contact only established, licensed and reputable companies, inquiring as to the make and model of the vehicle to be used. Unless specifically requested, the vehicle pictured in advertisements or promotions is not always the same vehicle that you will get. A great “deal” in wedding transportation could be your worst nightmare—perhaps a car that doesn’t arrive on time or breaks down during your special day. If you have doubts, ask to examine the vehicle. Verify the insurance protection and qualifications of the drivers. Once you select a transportation company, get the details in writing and carefully review the fine print.
What to book and whom to convey
The vehicle booked should have ample room to accommodate you and your wedding party. Opt for a more spacious car that allows room for your bridal attire and for you to comfortably and gracefully slip in and out with poise. For example, if six comprise your bridal party, rent a car for eight. Consider renting two vehicles for larger wedding parties.
Most limousine companies require a four-hour minimum for weddings, which is a fair assessment of the time needed from pick-up to delivery to your reception. The chauffeur will commence the day’s service by transporting the groom and groomsmen to the church, thereafter transporting the bride and her attendants to the same destination.
Upon conclusion of the ceremony, the chauffeur will deliver the newlyweds to the reception. I highly recommend that bridal couples do not share the drive to the reception with others. This is truly your once-in-a-lifetime moment—your first few minutes as husband and wife. It is also likely to be the only opportunity during the day to savor intimate and private time until arrival at your wedding night destination. If only one car has been rented, inform your bridal party that you and your spouse will be taking the vehicle from the church to the reception and ask them to secure other transportation.
Safety at all costs
Providing guest transportation is becoming a popular trend. Due to strict drinking and driving laws in most states, guest transportation is a generous gesture to offer your wedding guests. If they are unfamiliar with the roads or if you are simply concerned about drinking at the wedding, arrange to have transportation pick your guests up from local hotels, deliver them to the church, transfer them to the reception and return them safely to the hotel. Although costly, it is wise to provide this service, putting to rest any anxieties you or your guests may have.
Finally, transportation should be arranged for you and your spouse from the reception to the wedding room destination. Typically, this is the responsibility of the best man to drive the two of you; however, if he will also be celebrating (and drinking), select an alternative mode of transportation.
Whether choosing a vintage Rolls, a flower-bedecked carriage or a pumpkin coach, planning ahead will get you to the church on time—and in style.
“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding. Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and ImportantOccasions.com. Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” www.a-dreamwedding.com
Robbin Montero is a wedding coordinator and special events planner in Northern California.©2006 Robbin Montero
This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.