Once your venue and theme have been decided on, it’s time to consider transport options. Here’s a guide to help you arrange a stylish and stress-free arrival and departure.
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Transportation needs vary according to the number of people in the wedding party. Draw a visual diagram of your transportation plan to ensure everyone is accounted for. Generally, the groom and groomsmen will travel to the ceremony together. It’s also traditional for the bridesmaids, mother of the bride, flowergirls and pageboys to travel in one vehicle, followed by the bride and her father in a separate vehicle. However, if you’re hiring a limousine, there’s no reason why the bride and her father can’t travel to the ceremony with her attendants.
After the ceremony, the bride and groom travel to the reception together, with the attendants following in another vehicle, or if you have a small wedding party, you could all travel together. Arrangements also need to be made for the parents of the bride to get to the reception. Don’t forget about transportation for the end of the evening either!
Choose a vehicle that complements your personalities and the theme of your wedding. A Rolls Royce, Jaguar or limousine is a classic choice, or if vintage is your theme, you may want to hire Model T Fords or horse-drawn carriages. If unconventional is more your style, don’t be afraid to use your imagination! For a twist on the traditional, consider travelling in a Hummerzine, a retro scooter or sports car, or why not make an unforgettable entrance in a helicopter or boat if you really want to splash out. On the other hand, you may prefer to choose a mode of transportation that is personally meaningful, such as a tractor if you live on a farm or a London taxi if you have British connections.
If transportation is an area where you would like to keep costs down, you could use your own car, travel in taxis, or borrow vehicles from friends or family. If you decide to borrow cars, ensure they are spotlessly clean, have a current WOF and registration, and that the oil, water, tyres and petrol have all been checked!
If you want to offer transportation to your guests, consider hiring a double-decker bus and having glasses of champagne served on board – it’s sure to get everyone in a celebratory mood! And if the venue has extensive grounds requiring guests to walk for a significant distance, consider arranging for golf carts to transport elderly guests to and from the carpark.
Whatever mode of transportation you choose, remember to consider practicalities. Arriving in a horse and carriage may be your fairytale dream, but this option isn’t suitable if you need to cover a considerable distance. The bride’s hair and makeup may also not survive a trip in an open-topped vehicle, especially in wet or windy weather. Have a contingency plan for open-topped vehicles because even in summer the weather can be unpredictable. For enclosed vehicles, remember to ask about air conditioning and heating – you don’t want to be hot and bothered or shivering cold when you arrive at the venue. It also pays to think about the bride’s attire – is there room inside the vehicle for the bride to travel comfortably without wrinkling or damaging her gown?
If the car is being used as a backdrop for photos, ensure both the vehicle and its decorations match or complement the colours used for the wedding party’s attire.
If you’re planning to hire transportation, it pays to book early so that you have a wide range of options available to you. At least six months ahead of time is advisable, especially if you are marrying in summer. Re-confirm bookings nearer the date of the wedding – the last thing you want to discover on the big day is that you have no transport due to a double booking.
Most companies charge an hourly rate per vehicle, and will require an initial deposit. Arrange for the bestman to pay the balance owing on the day. Some have special wedding packages that include extras such as champagne and decorations. Don’t take it for granted that the chauffeur will dress smartly – it’s best to specify this if it is important to you.
Always get written quotes and contracts for the vehicles you are hiring, and check the fine print for cancellation and insurance policies. Ensure you personally view the vehicles you are hiring so that you know exactly what you are getting. Ask the driver in advance if they have any other bookings on the same day – you don’t want to be left stranded or rushed because they have another job to go to. Finally, give the company a detailed list of addresses, and pick-up and drop-off times, to ensure you arrive and depart without a hitch!
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