As a veteran in the Limousine and Transportation industry for over 25 years we have seen some trends come and go. The 90s brought us gaudy opulent stretch limousines built on the Lincoln Town Car Chassis and all of us operators attempted to outdo one another by adding considerable length to these cars. The bigger the longer the better! Windows and nonfunctional hot tubs were the rage.
The 2000s brought us a new world of exotic chassis such as Chryslers, Dodges, Muscle car stretches and anything you could place your hands on got turned into a limousine. Mid 2000s Stretch SUV’s hit the market and quickly took over. Stretch Hummers, Excursions, Escalades and everything in between. The grander the better. Single axles, double axles, triple axles and incredible interiors. Sound systems and larger than life stances and footprints.
Then late in that decade came the Limousine Buses, these units offered all the wonderful interior amenities of the Limousines and Stretch SUVs and plenty of legroom and head space. Instead of crawling into a “luxury” limousine or SUV one could simply climb a few steps and enjoy a club like atmosphere complete with awesome sound systems and light shows.
Fast forward to 2012 – 2018 The vehicle of choice for most of today’s weddings is the Shuttle Bus. A far cry from the past 25 years of style, sophistication and outrageousness. Today’s clients are typically looking for a no-nonsense solution for moving their guests around safely and effectively while enjoying the couples wedding event. It is an interesting migration from the years of pomp and circumstance to the land of mundane workable solutions. What todays clients are searching for is not wow look at me! its wow this is stress free! What these buses are really providing are solutions that are helping to grant “peace of mind” and real value to the wedding guests experience. Guests can enjoy themselves to the fullest without worry of how am I going to make it back to the hotel. What if I hurt myself or God Forbid someone else because of my celebration festivities? For the Bride and Groom who have spent months and sometimes years of planning it means that all my family and friends will be able to see my event and we won’t have to worry about folks getting lost or being late and missing my once in a lifetime day! Shuttle buses just make sense. Well that is if the job is done correctly!
So, what’s so hard about shuttling my guests to and from a few hotels to the ceremony and on to the reception and then back at the end of the night? No big deal every vendor can provide this simple service without a challenge, right? In a perfect world sure, but just like everything else there are businesses that excel at certain things and ones that claim that they do. Your challenge is to figure out who’s who. So, with a little reading and some brief investigation this guide will help you choose a great vendor for this wonderful yet most important service!
Planning your shuttle Bus Service- Where do I start?
My suggestion is that you start with the approximate number of guests that are attending your wedding and determine how many folks would really take advantage of the service. More and more guests are becoming comfortable with following the Happy Couple’s wishes for the wedding party and wedding guests to be chauffeured from place to place en mass. However, I know that every family has those folks that no matter what service or convenience is provided that are going to drive themselves. I know this because I am that guy. So, you will have some non-takers but don’t feel offended by them. I recommend always using slightly more equipment than you have riders. Shuttle Bus Capacities cannot be changed to meet immediate demand and overfilling on the day of. A 24 passenger shuttle bus seats 24, a 32 passenger Shuttle seats 32 etc. etc.
Rule #1 – Have enough capacity to get the job done!
So many times, in our business as we are helping plan events we see folks attempting to do too much with too little! We certainly understand that you want to save money on your wedding event wherever and whenever you can. We wholeheartedly agree with saving money! However, for such an important event in your life, our advice is to not leave things to chance! Work with your ground transportation advisor and they will let you know what works and more importantly what does not work for the number of guests, the venue and the various locations to have your event run smoothly. ITS ALWAYS BETTER TO HAVE MORE AND NOT NEED IT THAN NEED IT AND NOT HAVE IT!
Rule #2- Make sure you have enough time to do the job!
Just like in Rule #1 we want to work with you to ensure that there is enough time to get the job done correctly! Too many times both clients and inexperienced transportation companies underestimate the amount of time it takes to load, drive, unload and return.
Rule #3-Work with the transportation company and understand the plan!
Share your thoughts, Share your expectations. Listen and work with a company that understands the top 2 rules and still makes suggestions to you on how to better handle your requirements. Make sure you have a clear understanding about the recommended plan. Don’t leave it to chance work with a pro and understand the unique dynamics of your event! Don’t settle by buying a cookie cutter package or plan!
Rule #4-Hire a real professional company!
Every advertisement that is aimed at you tells how great a company is. Every company is great on paper, on video, on digital. So how do you tell who is who? Our advice is to talk with many vendors, get a feel if they really care about your experience. Do they respond with thought or just pre-made canned responses? Who is who? You can sniff out the imposters by paying attention to how you are treated when you contact the company. BEWARE OF BROKERS! BROKERS DON’T HAVE ANY EQUIPMENT!
Rule #5- Appoint a family member or friend to coordinate the shuttles for the day of!
The day of your event is here and you have so much going on! My advice is to sit back and relax and enjoy your wedding day! Forget about micro-managing the shuttle buses! Let someone else who is attending be in charge of them! By this I mean a friend or family member. You have enough to worry about and manage, delegate this responsibility to someone who is outgoing and someone who can keep the people on point and moving. Yes, you know who that person or persons are, every family has them! Allow them to be a part of your most special of days and place them in charge of the shuttles and people. This keeps the responsibility off of you, allows them to feel a part of the event and keeps the ball moving forward down the field and gets everyone to the church on time!
Rule #6 K.I.S.S.
KEEP………. IT…………… SIMPLE……………….. SERIOUSLY………………!
Or something like that…lol Keep your plan clean and simple, don’t over complicate it and you will get a great result. Listen to the experts and choose a great vendor who cares about you, your family and your goals. Choose a vendor who is invested with real equipment and real people who genuinely cares about your experience!
BTW- Call us at Bayside Limosuines and we will glady show you the way!