Booking transportation might seem like a minor detail in the grand scheme of wedding planning, but it’s an important detail. Weddings run on a schedule, and booking the right limo with a reputable company helps to make sure that everything runs on that schedule seamlessly, instead of going off the rails and causing you a lot of stress that you don’t need. At Roman Worldwide Transportation, we have a lot of experience making sure that wedding transportation goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some things to consider when booking the limo for your wedding.
The first thing you’re going to want to think about is how many people will be in the limo. Is it just for the bride and her parents, or the bride and her bridesmaids, or the entire wedding party? Some people prefer two separate limos; one for the bride and her maids, and another for the groom and his men. Another increasingly popular option is to have the limo pick up one group first and take them to the ceremony venue before going to pick up and transport the second group, and hiring another, larger vehicle to transport the entire wedding party to the reception. Or, throw tradition to the wind and just throw the whole wedding party in one vehicle for both trips.
Another thing to consider while you’re thinking about how many people will be in the limo is that when limo companies describe a limousine as being able to seat a certain amount of passengers, they are not taking poufy dresses into account, or variables in the sizes of people. When you see a limo described as “10 passenger” and you have ten people in your wedding party, do not consider it to be a perfect fit. We usually don’t recommend sitting ten normally clothed people in a 10 passenger limo unless they are comfortable with sitting very close to each other, and that’s not even taking mass amounts of tulle or organza into account. This is why we recommend, particularly for large wedding parties, a non-conventional vehicle like our Mercedes-Benz Sprinter limo van, which has a sleek looking exterior, but has an extra roomy interior. It also has room enough to stand up in, which makes getting in and out of it in your fabulous gown a lot easier.
It is also important to keep in mind that if the wedding party is riding with you from the ceremony to the reception, they are probably going to need a ride home. One option is to make sure they arrange to have their car dropped off at the reception venue. Another option is to rent a separate vehicle to take them home at the end of the evening, which is especially advisable if they’ll be drinking. Plus, after all the work they’ve put into making your wedding special, making sure that they have a safe ride home is a nice way to thank them.
And while we’re on that subject matter, you might want to consider a general option for people who have indulged a little too much. Weddings are a great occasion to let loose and celebrate with your family and friends, but nobody wants to have to worry that their special day might be marred with the tragedy of a drunk-driving accident. You may want to consider booking a town car or limousine to be on call in case somebody needs a ride home. Another great option, particularly if you have a number of guests staying in a block of hotel rooms, is to hire a larger vehicle, such as our Sprinter or Limo Bus, for shuttle service to and from the reception.
Another important thing you’re going to want to think about is time. Most limo companies book on an hourly rate and have a minimum on weekends, so if your wedding falls on a Saturday and you only want transportation from the wedding to the reception venue five minutes away, you’ll probably have a very hard time finding someone who won’t charge you for their minimum amount of time, so you might as well use it. You’re also probably going to need more time than you’d initially think.
In a perfect world, you’d glide seamlessly to your wedding location with no traffic or snafus, but alas, stuff happens. I’d recommend booking a pick up time with at least 15 to 30 minutes of extra wiggle room (depending on how far away the venue is) to allow for any unexpected traffic, or anything else that might make you late. Also tack on at least 30 extra minutes for wedding photos, as well as the time that it takes to get there if you’re going to a separate location to take them. At Roman Worldwide, we just charge you our regular rate by the half hour if you go over your allotted amount of time. However, some companies will charge you extra fees if you use the limo for more time than you book, so make sure you ask if they do that and, if so, what they charge.
It’s also important to remember that wedding season overlaps with prom season (April through June). For this reason, it’s important to book well in advance of your wedding; we’d recommend four to six months prior. If you wait until the last minute during this season, you’re likely to find that every good limo has already been booked. A lot of limo companies also jack up their prices during that time, so make sure to shop around or even ask for a quote for a different date first to make sure that you’re not getting swindled.
Speaking of getting swindled, here’s the most important tip of all when booking your wedding limousine: beware of the lowest price. If it seems too good to be true, in the world of limo companies, it probably is. The lowest price is pretty much never the best value. Trust me when I say that you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to your limo. Sure, you might save fifty bucks, but you could also end up with an old, beat up limo, an unprofessional driver, or late for your ceremony. When choosing which company to book with, really do your research. Check websites like Yelp to see how past customers’ experiences have gone with that company. Better yet, call and make an appointment with the company to check out their vehicles before booking. This way, you can make sure that everything is to your liking, talk about what decorations you might like, and ask any questions you might have. Plus, they might even have a vehicle at their headquarters that you like even more than the one you initially had in mind. I’ve had more than one person who came in to look at our standard Lincoln Town Car limo, see our MKT limo and change their mind on the spot. You never know.
Finally, here are some more little tips to make sure that you get the most out of your wedding limo:
- Bring your own camera. Your photographer probably isn’t going to be riding in the limo with you. Be sure that you or someone in your wedding party brings a digital camera so that you don’t miss any fun moments!
- Make use of that entertainment system! Many limos come equipped with iPod hook-ups and flat screen TVs, and nearly all of them have CD players. Make a playlist for the ride from the ceremony to the reception, or bring your favorite movie to be cued up for the ride from the reception to the hotel.
- Jazz things up with some decorations. Most limo companies will work with you to make sure that you’re limo looks just how you want it. Ask the company what they’re willing to do, from the classic “Just Married” sign, to red carpet roll-outs, to streamers and flowers. We’re willing to help with any ideas you might have.
- Get a written confirmation. When you book, make sure that you get a written confirmation, be it a print-out or email, with the details of your reservation. That way if something goes amiss, you’ll know whose fault it is.
Happy Wedding Planning!