Reading this will help you to determine your wedding day transportation about the amount of time you may really need on your most special of days. Always reach out to a real and true professional for free advice and transportation planning!
For 25 years Bayside Limousines has answered this question on nearly 30 Thousand weddings in the Washington DC, Baltimore and surrounding areas. Transportation is designed to add that special flair, that extra touch and make everything that much more memorable. Transportation can add a wonderful solution and help take away the stress of group and guest transportation if it is handled correctly.
The question really is how stressed do I want to be?
Do I want to plan everything down to the Nano-second? Do I want to build in some me time or do I want to relax, enjoy soak in the experience that I have looked forward to and planned for for so long? Do I want to save a few dollars and cut it so close that all everything must go perfect for my timeline to work? What about traffic? What about being ready? What about.... everything?
Where to Start?
Get the Vision
Of course, every Wedding is different in style and sophistication, every wedding has different needs and expectations and it all starts with understanding YOUR vision. Some Brides want the latest and greatest Stretch Limousine complete with unbelievable amenities and appointments. Some prefer Stretch SUVs that are sure to wow and astound every onlooker while providing luxury transportation to a large bridal party. Some prefer the elegant style and sophistication of a timeless classic or vintage rolling work of art that will provide unforgettable moments that will be captured on film or video for generations to see. Still others are concerned only with the basic to and from transportation and no frills low expense solutions. The very first step is to determine what vision you have for your transportation. My advice is to set up a wish list as if money was no object then set them up in order of priority and importance and go shopping. Then revisit your list after receiving pricing and re-evaluate the priorities making sure they are still the same
Hitting the Mark
Often, where most companies miss the mark is in really understanding what the couple envisions for their Wedding Day and by offering a cookie cutter one size fits all solution or package. You should be asked lots of questions by an experienced company to help guide you along the transportation planning way. A great company should be able to help assist you in planning a service that first and foremost works for your event! The company should effortlessly consider all the locations, factors and nuances that make your event special and be able to offer experienced suggestions and advice to help educate you on factors you may have not considered. After the basics are nailed down then you can work together on ways to trim down the cost without impacting the clients or guests experience. . We have found in the past 25 years that most Brides and Grooms miss the mark by trying to do too much with too little time or not enough equipment. Everything the day of your event takes more time than you plan for. Guests take longer, traffic takes longer, someone forgot something and you have to turn around and retrieve it. I can’t encourage you enough to build some extra time into your reservation to reduce your stress level and enjoy the ride! You may even have enough time left over during the day to stop and smell the roses!
What about my Budget
Every Wedding plan starts with a Budget and like all Budgets you have probably already exceeded that established number and left it far behind! By the time you get to the transportation planning part of your event everyone is already stressed out about the cost of well...everything. We understand the seemingly insurmountable number of things you are paying for and the give and take that is associated with every decision along the way. We also understand that everyone that is planning a wedding is looking to save money wherever they can by cutting out unnecessary items. Our best advice is always to prioritize all the things that you are paying for and what is most important to you and your fiancé. Transportation sadly may not be a necessity or rank highly on your list. (although we hope it is) .....
However, if it is in the Budget and it is important to your event our advice is to not skimp on it! Don’t judge companies by price points alone! Beware of brokers who neither have the skill or knowledge of providing a service for the most important day of your life! Not all companies are created equal. There are some wonderful companies in the DC, Maryland and Baltimore areas and there are plenty of not so wonderful ones as well. We encourage you to be realistic and choose a provider that fits your style and needs. Keep in mind most reputable companies will be in the same cost ballpark. If you receive a quotation that sounds too good to be true it probably is. Budgets are certainly important but what is more important is to have a stress free wonderful experience. It is a challenge for a company to be the best and the cheapest at the same time and remain in business. Look and judge a company for value and not on price alone.
What impacts the amount of time that you require?
This is the Nuts and Bolts of your Limousine and Ground Transportation Reservations
How far away from my ceremony is my pickup?
Sounds simple, right? Well maybe. We hear every day pick me up at 11:30am for my 12:00pm wedding because my wedding location is only 15 min away or something similar from a prospective client. Often, we try to remind our Brides and Grooms who is used to driving to the location in the best of conditions. Most likely in a regular sized car and timing from the moment they leave the location for this 15-min estimate. This is one of the first places that the transportation plan goes off track. We absolutely encourage the Bride and Groom to build in a little more time to help reduce their stress levels. Let’s plan for traffic or bad weather or someone forgot something and we need to turn around and retrieve it. Do plan enough time to enjoy being around the car or truck or bus and taking photos while interacting with your most special guests. We encourage you to reduce the stress by having the car or Limousine or whatever you choose there in enough time to be completely relaxed and enjoy the ride! Stop smell the roses! Don’t cut it too close for comfort!
How Long is my ceremony?
This is the easiest part. What is the length of your ceremony? Add this to the transportation reservation and travel plan. Typically, anywhere from 30 min to 1.5 hours is the norm.
Do you have a receiving line at the ceremony location?
We don’t see as many receiving lines at the ceremony locations as we used to. Most of the time the Bride and Grooms are walking around to tables during the reception instead of doing a formal receiving line at the ceremony site. If you do have a receiving line do add anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the number of invited guests to your transportation or shuttle travel plan.
Are you doing Pictures on site, off site or only at the reception?
This is a big factor in your transportation plan! One of the biggest!! Too often little time is left over or set aside for this critical part of your wedding. Your pictures are what you, your kids, grandkids and generations of friends and family are going to look at forever. These images are timeless and everlasting. DON’T SHORT CHANGE THEM! This by far is one of the most overlooked and rushed part of your event. Plan for it, spend time on it- relax and enjoy the ride! Smell the flowers- TAKE YOUR PICTURES THEY LAST FOR ETERNITY!
How Far is the reception site from the ceremony site?
Over the river and through the woods.....as the saying goes. This part of the transportation equation again is fairly straight forward. Calculate the time from the ceremony site to the reception site- do take into account that most Limousines and Shuttles Buses will travel on main road and stay away from back road because of their sizes and maneuverability. Of course, let the company know if you have any preferred route that you and your wedding party would like to take if there is one.
So, I Have read all this and still am a little unclear how much time I need to rent a Limousine or Shuttle Bus
Most of the time traditional weddings can be completed in 3, 4 or 5 hours. It really all depends on the factors we have talked about in the preceding pages as well as your expectations, your threshold level and tolerance of stress. Our hope and goal is to have you understand that your event and the circumstances surrounding it are as unique as you and your fiancé. Hopefully we have shared enough of our 25 years of knowledge and educated you to the fact that Wedding Day Transportation is not a simple commodity so that the lowest cost provider wins. Neither are we advocating spending more than what you need or require on transportation. The goal should be get a transportation plan that works within a reasonable budget and price point from a reputable, real and reliable company.
I would encourage you and everyone who is considering Wedding Day Transportation to reach out to a Wedding Transportation Professional to help you along the planning process. Transportation can be a wonderful addition to your experience or it can be a jumbled nightmare depending on how it is structured and who is performing the work. Narrow your search by looking at reviews and pay close attention to how you are treated when emailing, calling or texting.
Our sweet spot is 4 hours most companies sell a 3-hour package and we do as well. 4 hours most of the time gives you the wiggle room to get everything accomplished in a timely manner, builds some buffer time and really allow you to relax, enjoy the ride and really appreciate all the time effort and energy that you have placed into your event. If transportation is in your budget DON’T SHORT CHANGE IT!
Good luck and always remember you can call upon our experience anytime.
We are here to help!
Jonce Gibson, Renee Brooks &
The Team of Bayside Limousines