Travel in style on your wedding day
IT’S ONE OF THE BEST DAYS of your life, but also one of the busiest. The logistics of transporting the wedding party among the photography locations, ceremony site, and reception venue without anyone getting lost or throwing off the schedule can be complicated. Many couples decide to provide transportation on their wedding day, either for themselves or for the entire wedding party. Depending on your budget and preferences, there are many options for getting from location to location with ease. Do you want to make a grand getaway from the reception or do you want a simple way to travel with your friends?
If you want to get the party started with the members of your wedding party, a mini-coach or party bus might be the best option. Party buses enhance the social aspect of your wedding day by allowing the group to spend time together as they travel safely and efficiently between sites.
Best Transportation offers a fleet of vehicles to accommodate wedding parties both small and large and come with variety of interior options to meet your budget needs. The 14-passenger Mercedes sprinter van features black leather seats and a spacious interior. Mini coaches vary from 13 to 41 passengers and motor coaches accommodate up to 57 passengers.
“We find that couples want to transport people from the ceremony venue to photo sites and finally drop them off at the reception site. Especially if members of the wedding party aren’t local, this is a great way to socialize, keep the schedule moving, and transport everyone safely,” says Nikita Sanders, special events manager for Best Transportation.
LIMOUSINES AND CLASSIC CARS
A traditional limousine offers a more intimate way to travel. If you have a smaller wedding party or if you and your fiancé prefer some alone time between events, a limousine may be the best choice. A limousine, Lincoln Town Car, or Cadillac also may be used as a getaway car for the bride and groom following the ceremony or reception. If your fiancé is a car aficionado, consider surprising him with a vintage ride.
Best Transportation offers a a 1960 Silver Cloud II Bentley Rolls-Royce available as an add-on to any shuttle rental of 13 passengers or more. You and your husband may travel in luxury leading or following your wedding party on the shuttle and get some amazing pictures, too.
Being whisked away from your wedding ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage may conjure up visions of Cinderella, but you don’t need a fairy godmother to make it happen.
St. Louis Carriage Company offers elegant carriages pulled by black, white, or dapple gray Percherons. The company also has one Belgian draft horse and recently added a Clydesdale to its stable. Carriages are available in a variety of colors and sizes. The carriage drivers dress in formal wear and the horses’ manes may be braided with ribbons to match your wedding colors.
According to Gina LaFrieda, manager of St. Louis Carriage Company, couples choose to use horse and carriage rides in a variety of ways depending on their venues. “Often we have the bride and her father arrive at the ceremony in the carriage. After the ceremony the newly married couple departs in the carriage for a romantic ride through a park,” she says. LaFrieda says couples also use the carriage ride to travel from the ceremony to the reception if they are close in proximity.
Others use the carriage as their “getaway ride” following the reception. Horse-drawn carriages come in three sizes, offering flexibility for newlyweds. The traditional visà-vis carriage holds 4 to 6 people comfortably so you may choose a romantic ride just you and your hubby or have the maid of honor and best man join you. Limo carriages are a traditional style but have an extra seat so they may accommodate 9 to 12 people.
Carriage rides are available year-round although during the hot summer months the horses have time restrictions to make sure they get adequate rest, shade, and water. While it’s always wise to book early, LaFrieda says the company typically can accommodate reservations less than a month in advance except during the busy Christmas season.
Another unique way to transport your entire wedding party is by trolley. Sharon Burnett, manager of St. Louis Trolley Company, says the vehicles they use are actual trolley bodies put on a bus chassis, not a bus made to look like a trolley. They are heated and air conditioned, seat 28 to 32 people, and are designed with either forward-facing seats or perimeter seating. Couples often choose to have the trolley pick up the wedding party at the ceremony site and drive them to various places to take photos before dropping them off at the reception site.
“We encourage them to bring refreshments onboard to enjoy while they ride. Brides are busy all day and sometimes neglect to eat. They may use their time on the trolley to have some snacks, drink a toast, and socialize with the wedding party. We’ve even had Jimmy John’s deliver to the trolley,” says Burnett. Burnett says couples also use trolleys to transport the wedding party and guests from the hotel to the wedding venues and back again. St. Louis Trolley Company offers a late-night pick up service to take the wedding party or guests from the reception back to the hotel or the church parking lot to retrieve their vehicles. Burnett does her best to accommodate all requests, but booking early is recommended, particularly during the peak months of April, May, and June in the spring and September, October, and November in the fall.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Transportation vendors advise couples not to delay making reservations. Limousines and party buses are more in demand at certain times of the year, such as during prom in the spring and homecoming in the fall. Booking nine to 12 months in advance isn’t too early. Vendors also caution against choosing your transportation based solely on the price.
Safety and service level should be at the top of the list of considerations. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. “We value our 24-7 dispatch, our qualified and experienced drivers, and the level of detail we put into making the itinerary. We are fully certified by the Department of Transportation, our chauffeurs have all the required licensing, and our vehicles are serviced regularly. Safety is key,” says Lauren Hussey, sales manager for Best Transportation.
With so many choices, the right transportation is available for you, whether you’re looking for a romantic way to spend some time alone with your hubby or a chance to get the celebration started with your wedding party. Selecting a unique way to travel will provide special memories – not to mention great photos—of your big day.
Written by Amy Zimmerman