I was driving a wedding party to the big event earlier today. In my bus were the bride, bridesmaids, and the photographer. The bride was beautiful in her white dress, the bridesmaids were all dressed and ready. Two flower girls claimed to have practiced four times! They were sure they had their job down pat. It was a happy atmosphere. This was obviously the result of good planning. The photographer and the bride were chatting on the way. The photographer was sharing some stories of weddings that were not as organized and seamless as today’s event.
At one point, I overheard this nugget of wisdom from the photographer:
“what people sometimes don’t stop to think about is that most people only plan one wedding in their lives. It’s no surprise that they are winging it without some seasoned help.”
That resonated with me as an excellent point. A wedding is a special event. One of the most important in American family culture. Everybody wants it to go well. So why not utilize seasoned advice whenever possible? Makes sense to me. Now, I don’t claim to be a wedding planner. Heck, I’m not even sure which fork I am supposed to pick up for which course at a formal dinner. But transportation? Now that I know. I’ll share a couple of thoughts here.
First off, I can tell you that transportation is of great importance in an important event such as a wedding. There are tight schedules to be followed, especially up to the start of the ceremony. Groomsmen and bridesmaids, bride and groom, family of the bride…all need to arrive promptly with no mistakes or snafus. Shuttle service bringing guests to the venue need to be coordinated in such a way that no one arrives too early and no one arrives late. It takes a professional transport service to pull this off seamlessly.
Here’s a take from Brides magazine: “Give serious consideration to providing transportation to guests if you’re planning a destination wedding. They’re already going to a great expense to attend your wedding, so don’t give them the added burden of paying for a $20 cab ride to the wedding site. Also, definitely think about offering transportation if you have a high percentage of out-of-towners or if the wedding is taking place in a city where parking is difficult to find or expensive, especially if the ceremony and reception are taking place in two different locations. Guests shouldn’t have to worry about parking or hailing a cab twice.”
Now you could use Joe’s Car Service. He might give you a quote that is a fair amount less expensive than a professional service. But there are lots of potential problems. How many weddings has “Joe” done? My guess is not many. How does his equipment look? Is he properly licensed and insured? Are his drivers background checked? These questions need to be asked. If he is not commercially licensed and insured (in North Carolina a properly licensed and insured car will have a tag that starts with a “Z” and will say “For Hire” at the top) You may be held liable for any accidents if Joe can’t settle up on his own (hotel operators take special note of this. If you are recommending an improperly insured service to your guests, you are opening yourself up for liability issues!). In these days of Uber and other on-demand car services, the enforcement of these kinds of issues is, unfortunately, getting extremely lax.
There needs to be some planning involved in providing shuttle service for your guests. Let’s say you have 100 planned guests. The venue is 10 minutes away. It would be reasonable to have 50 seats of shuttle transportation and start 45 minutes prior since there is time for the shuttle buses to make two trips. Right? Well, yes, of course, that is a reasonable thought, but to pull it off you need to ensure that some of your guests go on the early shuttle. One thing I have noticed, most riding the shuttles will wait until the last one unless there has been some effort made to ensure a balance in the shuttle trips. And that could be a problem.
After the event, there is usually a reception. Keep in mind there are usually three (or more) generations at the wedding. And not every generation is out to party all night. The older folks and some of the young families with children may desire to make a polite exit after dinner and some good socializing with friends and family. It’s a good idea to have a shuttle ready for these folks so they can leave when they are comfortable. Then, of course, the shuttle can return and take care of the late night partiers!
A wedding is a special occasion. It’s always a nice touch to have a special exit for the newlyweds. A grand finale for the evening if you will. A getaway car is a perfect finish to a perfect wedding. Have the guests line up with sparklers, bubbles or whatever special send-off you have dreamed up. The couple walks through to their transportation. Transportation in style to their final destination for the evening is a nice finishing touch on a well-organized event.
Bottom line is, a well-done wedding will have an experienced transportation company taking care of guests and if desired, adding a special touch to the festivities.
Masters Transportation has been providing safe, affordable and experienced transportation for weddings of all sizes for more than a decade. Whether your wedding is taking place in the Charlotte City Center or the Lake Norman shoreline, we can do a great job taking care of your guests. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you check “transportation” off your wedding to-do list with confidence.