Jim Long, Guest Writer

In the midst of the wedding planning hustle and bustle, it’s the job of seasoned wedding professionals to ensure that your seemingly daunting tasks are as painless as possible. With the right guidance, one task in particular can be made as simple as saying “I Do.” 

Coordinating wedding day transportation can be more than meets the eye. With many details such as transporting the happy couple, moving the entire bridal party or taking guests to and fro, professional transportation companies are here to alleviate the stress of providing safe and reliable transport. 

When the time comes to book a service, here are some common things to consider when finding your perfect fit. 

1. Who needs the transportation? 

If you’re just starting the planning process, here are a few common scenarios that a professional service will happily cover. 

  • The bride and her party could need to get from their hotel, to the salon and back to the venue all in a timely manner. 
  • Perhaps the groom and his party need to get to the venue before the bride arrives. 
  • Guests often need to be shuttled from their hotels to the venue, then back again at the end of the night. 
  • Many times, bridal parties leave on a trolley, limousine or party bus to their favorite picture spots a few hours before the reception. 
  • It could be as simple as providing a get-a-way at the end of the night for the newlyweds to get back to their hotel.  

2. What kind of vehicle do you need?

The best transportation companies will offer a widespread selection of vehicles to choose from. Not every vehicle fits every situation, so you may find that you might need different types of vehicles throughout the day. 

Perhaps a stretch limo for the bridesmaids is the best choice. How about a party bus or trolley for the bridal party after the ceremony? Maybe you’ll need a large coach bus or smaller shuttle to move your guests around. Be sure to ask your transportation professional about every option available to you. 

3. What do I need to know when starting the booking process?

For every vehicle you rent, you will need to know a few basic details to get the most accurate pricing for your event. Things such as:

  • Pickup and drop off locations
  • The time frame the vehicle is needed
  • Where the vehicle needs to go and
  • How many passengers will be in each unit4. How do I decide which company to use?

4. How do I decide which company to use?

Not all transportation services are the same. It’s important to look at online reviews for every company in your consideration. The more reviews they have, the more likely you are to find accurate and helpful information. 

It’s also important to ensure that the limousine company you want to use is fully licensed/authorized to conduct business. Many states will require their vehicles to pass an inspection, in which the results are public and easily accessible online. Feel free to ask for their licenses, vehicle inspections and proof of liability insurance. If they fail to provide these items, you may want to consider finding a more open and trustworthy company. 

Also, ask about their chauffeur safety and training programs:  

  • Do they have one? 
  • How do they train their chauffeurs? 
  • What attire will the driver arrive in?

It’s always a good idea to verify these in person!

Be sure the pictures they have on their website match the actual vehicles in their fleet.  You can also arrange a visit to the vehicle ahead of time to see what it looks for yourself. Unfortunately, many companies use stock photos and don’t actually own their own fleet.  

Some are merely “brokers” who take reservations and could be located anywhere. In these cases, they use local limousine companies to service those reservations, sometimes without even taking into account the reputation of the local company they’ve decided to use. 

In these instances, cut out the middle-man for the best deal. Go directly with an actual local company that you can visit and see the professional quality of their company firsthand.

With the help of these guidelines, you’ll be sure to find securing transportation for your wedding day easier than you thought. Wedding professionals are here to help, leaving you stress-free and with as much time as possible to enjoy every second of your magical night. 

About the author:

Jim Long has been in the luxury ground transportation industry for over 20 years. Beginning his career in Michigan, he has worked with ground transportation companies in Florida, New York/New Jersey and Illinois. He has been a professional chauffeur, dispatch and operations manager, as well as the owner of a specialized transportation industry call-center. On top of that, he is a recognized leader in organizational management, sales, and customer service. Most recently, Jim is at Affordable Limousine in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, he can be found helping brides, grooms and their wedding planners put together packages for weddings both large and small. 

If you would like more information on his services, he can be reached at 616-299-1812 or via email jim@affordablelimogr.com