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Wedding Transportation: Get there, In Style
by James Coats

With so many things to plan for your wedding day—the cake, flowers, and dress, for instance—Transportation often gets relegated to an afterthought. Many a bride has contacted us only a week before her wedding, having forgotten all about the limousine until some friend or family member offered a reminder! We do what we can to help those brides, but as dates in this business book early, sometimes we have to refer them elsewhere. Of course, we understand with all the effort in planning a wedding, certain things slip through the cracks – but save yourself the last-minute headache and make the car as important as the reception hall or wedding dress.

When selecting the transportation – don’t just make it one more thing to have to get off of your “to-do” list – spend some time considering the possibilities, and talking to your future spouse about what kind of get-away you’d like to have. For centuries, the departure from a wedding ceremony or reception has been an important part of the entire affair, with such traditions as rice, bird seed, and flower petals to wish good-will to the newlyweds. All of the options have their merit – horse and buggy, trolley, stretch limousine, and our personal favorite – the vintage car. Here are some important things to consider when selecting a company to provide your wedding transportation, be it vintage or modern:

First: What is the nature of this company’s business? Are they an all-events transportation provider, or do they primarily serve wedding couples? While companies often serve more than one market, ask about their primary business. Is it weddings? If so, that company and their chauffeurs will no-doubt be more experienced in handling your ceremony than a run-of-the-mill airport-shuttle-and-prom-night operation. Things like timing for dramatic entrances, positioning the car properly for wedding photographs, and proper car decorations and chauffeur attire are learned only from experience in doing weddings. A wedding-oriented company will know to arrive early for pictures, and will be happy to take the “scenic route” to the reception so that you can make your entrance. A wedding chauffeur will know how to properly help you into the car with that big dress, and will know where to place the food basket to prevent it from toppling. One word of caution, however: After hundreds of weddings over many years, providers often are fooled into thinking that they know better than you what you want on your wedding day. Look for a provider who offers friendly suggestions, but does what you ask!

Secondly, how do they charge? It is not unusual for a limousine company to charge in excess of $150 per hour for their services. Nor is it unusual for a wedding ceremony, reception, and the time in-between to run about six hours. That’s $900 worth of limousine service, plus tip—and when you consider how long the actual rides are, you could end up paying a lot of money for a chauffeur to stand around and eat your food! Companies who make weddings their primary business will often charge by the trip, or if they do charge by the hour, will offer special rates for a wedding package.

Third, do you know exactly which car you’ll be getting on your wedding day beforehand, and better yet, can you see it, sit in it, and touch it before making a decision? With stretch-limo companies with large fleets, this is less important, but you should at least have the make, model, color, and decorations agreed upon first. With antique cars, it is always nice to see the car in person and know first-hand what you’re getting before you buy. Furthermore, what will the chauffeur be wearing? We have seen more than one arrive distastefully.

Fourth, even modern cars are not immune to mechanical problems, flat tires, and other maladies. What is the company’s refund policy? What if the wedding date must be moved after you’ve already booked the car? If you’re using a horse and buggy, what about inclement weather? These are simple questions with simple answers, and you should avoid any company that can’t answer them to your satisfaction.

Fifth, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’ve got a special circumstance, want a special service, or are just simply curious about something, pick up the phone or sit down at the computer. A good provider, limousine or otherwise, will promptly be there to help.

Keeping these things in mind, you should have no problems with transportation on your special day. It’s your wedding, choose what you want, and congratulations!

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