Adding a Shuttle Service to get your friends and family to and from your Ceremony and Wedding Reception is an awesome way to complete a wonderful Wedding Day event and keep your guests on track and safe. The past 10 years we have seen this become an important part of couples Wedding Day Plans and it has become even more popular than the traditional limousines!
Work with a Company that knows the venue
This sounds so simple but often if a company has never worked at a venue before they may not be aware of subtle nuances or challenges that a venue may have. Simple things like where to drop off where to park and sometime even if a size unit can fit on the grounds of the Ceremony or Reception locations are major factors in what type and size unit you may employ. Working with an experienced transportation provider is a key factor in the overall success of the transportation.
Work with a Professional that helps you understand the nuances of ground transportation
This is a critical factor in transportation for special events. We encourage you to work with a company that helps you through the process of understanding and helping you develop a successful plan. The company should be asking all the right questions but more importantly explaining the day of dynamics of the service. They should draw from their experience and share insight with you to help your event run smoothly. If all they care about is the booking and the price, keep searching for a real Professional Wedding Shuttle provider.
Spend some time in phone conversation with the Shuttle Bus Company
While we know that many folks are busy with so many demands on their time and planning a wedding is a huge undertaking. We do understand that most clients nowadays prefer email for communication instead of phone conversations. We do encourage some on the phone communication to share some of the information and allow yourself to get a better feel of the service level of the Shuttle Company. Most times how you are treated on the phone is similar to the level of service in the field. Most transportation companies don’t have bad phone manners and good Wedding Day Manners!
Set a realistic Itinerary with back up plans
The difference between a successful shuttle service and an unsuccessful one most often can be traced to a few root causes. One of the main causes for failure is setting up an unrealistic itinerary and not considering traffic and other delays that you may encounter on your Wedding Day. Shuttle buses move like a turtle and not a hare. Loading and unloading take far more time than clients sometimes plan for and no matter what your guests are always running behind. For these reasons always allow much greater time in the itinerary than Google maps calls for! We recommend having the last guests arrive at least 20 min before the ceremony time instead of running the shuttle up against the ceremony time causing a much greater level of stress on everyone.
Have an Onsite “Bus Captain” or “Shuttle Bus Coordinator”
This by far is the most significant suggestion or advice we can share with you! Despite all your best communication efforts with your friends and Family about shuttle instructions the day of the event everyone seems to forget and wander around the Hotel Lobby or venue grounds aimlessly. Especially if you are doing multiple rounds or multiple pick up locations to the ceremony and or reception sites we often see a lot of wasted time by your guests not loading and departing promptly. Getting them loaded and the buses moving is a critical part of Wedding Day Success! For this reason, we encourage you to select a “Bus Captain” or 2 from your friends and family to help communicate instructions on site on the day of!
The Bus Captain should be in the loop on the expectations and details of the transportation plans as well as having our chauffeur’s names and contact numbers. This is such an important and critical piece to the transportation puzzle! It makes everything run so much smoother on your wedding day and allows you to remain stress and worry free that the plan is in place and being managed by an invested responsible member. We can’t stress this enough! Having a representative on site on your behalf makes it so much easier for everyone involved. The reason that we don’t recommend having your bridal coordinator do this job is that they are usually preoccupied with all the final workings of your event and need as much concentration to make everything perfect! Additionally, they won’t really know who your guests may be like a friend or family member would. This one step can really make the travel and transportation run so much smoother.
Review you plans a few weeks prior
Most often we are making plans and arrangements many months in advance. Its always a great idea to reach back out to your transportation provider to make sure that all the details are still in place. We always recommend another “week of” consultation to go back over all the details one more time to make sure everyone is still in agreement and on the same page. A review can really refocus and clarify the transportation plan and everyone’s understanding.
Guests Departing the Reception
Often our couples inquire about performing one-way trips better known as transfers or some folks call it pick-ups and drop offs to and or from their venues. This method can work depending on your circumstances, but we do find it may cause some gaps in effective service to your guests. While one-way transportation is available, and we do offer this service, often it falls short especially on the back end in making your guests experience the best it can be. What we encourage you consider is that you typically have 3 different guest groups attending your wedding. You have the older folks that depart shortly after the 1st dance or early. You have the folks with young children that depart mid-way thru the reception. You have the party crowd that you must literally drag off the floor and out of the reception! So, by providing a single one-way departure 2 of these 3 groups may not be exactly excited about their departure time. Just a suggestion and not a sermon. This is also a time to employ the Bus Captain as many of the venues we provide transportation for do not have on site parking for shuttle buses and having your “Bus Captain” oversee departures is a perfect way to get help managing the end of the
night. We also encourage you to have your DJ assist in the communication during the reception and make announcements of departure times as well as who to contact should someone need to leave.
A Final Word about Ceremony Times
If there is one thing that I can’t emphasize enough it’s to plan on your final arriving guests to arrive at the ceremony location at least 20 min early. This allows every single person to be relaxed and ready to enjoy sharing this special moment with you. I can’t share with you how many times we have clients that run an itinerary straight up to the ceremony time and leave zero room for any day of challenges only to place everyone under so much unnecessary stress. You have spent and incredible amount of time, money and energy to have everyone together to celebrate your happiest of days! Plan on them being there early and not arriving at the final second to witness your moment. We hope more than anything you consider a timeline that helps achieve this!
Good service isn’t cheap and cheap service isn’t good
We understand every budget is already stretched or exceeded and pricing is always a major factor in the decision-making process. We do hope that you keep in mind that Shuttle Service for your Wedding Day like most things in our lives you really get what you pay for. These are expensive vehicles to purchase, expensive to maintain, insure and operate. Professional CDL Chauffeurs are hard to come by and do require top pay. Most real and reputable companies are going to be very similar in price points. So, if you get a super low-price quote there is usually a tradeoff for a company to achieve that lower price point. There are plenty of great companies providing excellent service. That can do a great job for you and your guests. I hope reading this helps you understand ground transportation a little better and helps you determine a professional that is right for you and your most special of days! We are always here at assist you in any way even if you did not hire us.
‘The bitterness or poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” Benjamin Franklin
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it helps!
Jonce Gibson and Everyone at Bayside Limousines