Wedding Planning 101: Transportation + Valet

Transportation may not be the most glamorous part of wedding planning but we are here to help make it as easy as possible! Transportation is one of those should I {or shouldn’t I} line items on the wedding budget. Guest transportation and/or valet services are greatly appreciated by guests, but are certainly not expected. Also, couples love the idea of unwinding with their wedding party off-site between the wedding and reception, and transportation is extremely helpful if you are planning to take off-site photos. Your timeline can quickly derail if everyone drives separately and having a vehicle that can accommodate your photographer and videographer alleviates the need and delay of finding parking. So where to start?  No worries!  We have mapped out the ultimate guide to ensure you and your guests arrive to your wedding and reception fashionably on-time {and have a safe ride home}!

Before you get a single quote, you need to clearly outline your needs for the day.

  1. Consider the day and who needs transportation

  2. Outline the timing, routing and passenger counts for each vehicle {be sure to allow plenty of time for loading and unloading, traffic, and slower moving vehicles when deciding if and how often vehicles can circle back for multiple trips!}

  3. Contact multiple booking companies to obtain quotes

 

When considering group transportation options, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  1. Flexibility in bookings – some companies don’t allow you to cancel or downsize the vehicle after the deposit is made.  Often times, you don’t know how many guests you will have at a hotel until a month out from the wedding, so you don’t want to get caught with a larger vehicle than you need.

  2. Vehicle minimums – the larger and more popular vehicles have a minimum number of contiguous hours you can book, so think about how to manage this and get the most from your rental.

  3. Conversely, some vehicles are less expensive if you book them for the entire day than if you book two separate time slots.  Thoroughly explore your options.

  4. Ask about the age and condition of the vehicles.  Smaller companies get their fleet as discards from the larger companies, so if you are interested in a lesser known company, go and physically look at the vehicles.

  5. Think outside of the box! There’s many different transportations options out there, so don’t limit yourself to just a limo or a bus.  Pedicabs, for example, are a great way to transport the wedding party to photo stops.

  6. Hourly rates are just the start.  Gratuity is always added on and there may be other fees as well. Be sure you get all-inclusive bids.

Of course, not every guest stays at a hotel, so you may want to consider valet services for venues with limited or strictly street parking.  When calling for estimates, pull together the following information in advance:

  1. Timing of event and flow of guests (will all be arriving at once?)

  2. Total attendance

  3. Expected number of cars

  4. Ending time of event

Be sure you get estimates that contain all possible expenses:  staffing fees, hooded meter fees, service fees/bonding fees, parking fees, gratuity and tax.

Lastly, be sure to provide the hotel with letters to guests which outline transportation details and also clue in the hotel bell stand and venues so they are not surprised when a large coach or valet stand pulls up!  Some hotels redirect larger vehicles to less congested areas around the hotel, so make sure you ask so you may direct guests appropriately.

If you prefer to have someone else take the reins on this {not so fun} process, the Style-Architects Weddings + Events Team is happy to provide these services for you!