When it comes to wedding transportation, the focus usually is on the bride and groom. Whether it’s a sleek limo or a whimsical horse and carriage, wedding transportation is not only a necessity, but often a part of the celebration itself.
Who often gets forgotten about?
Wedding guest transportation often gets pushed to the back burner–unless you have a destination wedding. In fact, there’s a good deal of confusion concerning exactly how much the bride and groom are responsible for when it comes to guest transportation to the wedding, if at all.
Here’s your stress free guide to understanding your responsibilities, different modes of guest transportation, and how to keep everyone informed along the way.
To what degree is the wedding couple responsible for guest transportation?
For most ceremonies, transportation is up to the guest themselves. It is a nice touch, however, that if you have many out of town guests, or guests coming from particularly far (more than a day’s drive) to offer a little help. Suggesting routes and hotels is great; if you can afford it, booking hotels is also a nice gesture.
Peggy Post of the New York Times, however, suggests that you may need to consider if you’re having the venue and the reception at separate places, which many couples do. Offering directions is essential, and communicating near or before the wedding about any potential road delays or weather conditions is also advised. While you can rent for all your guests to ensure they arrive on time, it isn’t consider essential in this case.
The exception is when you’re hosting a destination wedding. The time, cost, and logistics can be a headache and major deterrent to guests. To avoid this, you’ll want to arrange for airport pick up and drop off; transportation to the reception and ceremony, and to any other festivities. While you want be expected to pay for all guests’ flights, do be realistic that it may limit who can come.
But what about the bridal party?
Wedding guest transportation is one thing; the bridal party is another. As you might expect, this is pretty much an obligation, even for simple logistic reasons. If you’re holding a reception as the same place as your ceremony, or it’s a local event with a pretty local party, you may be in luck and allow members, if they wish, to provide their own transportation. But generally speaking, you should at least offer. It also helps in correctly coordinating for arrivals, departures, and pictures.
What are my options?
When it comes to wedding transportation for guests, the options are as limitless as you make them, from classic limousines to Ubers, streetcars, taxis (though not as advised), horse and carriage rides, golf carts, and, if you’re near water, even sailboats, gondolas, and rowboats!
Of course some of these are more practical than others. While horse and carriage rides would work for a venue and reception in close proximity, they obviously wouldn’t be suited for more typical circumstances. When it comes to making a decision, consider the style and theme of your wedding, but also your budget and the distance and time between the ceremony and reception spaces.
Also consider less glamorous options, like shuttles or even buses, which are great for larger weddings. While prices vary by location, grouptravel.org estimates that Coach buses are among the more economical of wedding guest transportation options, costing $700-$1200 for six to eight hours, and boasting a large capacity.
What’s the most important thing to consider for guest transportation?
If you decide to pay for transportation, or feel obligated to (in the case of destination weddings, or large weddings with high number of out-of-towners), you’ll want to make sure both your are your guests are informed.
If you select an option with a lower capacity, or have a large guest list that requires multiple trips to and from a site, give yourself enough time in between the ceremony and reception. You may even want to assign guests a certain bus or time to catch the bus, all of which can be updated through a private forum through Guestboard, so no one gets left behind.
You’ll also need to keep your guests informed of any schedule changes, and what to expect. Making them part of the conversation, or even allowing them to air out any questions or concerns with your, or even coordinate with other guests, is also an excellent way to make sure things run smoothly.