Wedding Transportation: How to Avoid Planning Speed Bumps

By Erin Ollila

You've got your engagement ring, your date, your venue, and your dress. But don't forget to pick transportation for your big day!

Wedding transportation may not be one of the very first items on your to-do list, but it's something you want to pay close attention to. Hiring a driver (or multiple drivers) may not be as simple as you think, and reputable companies in your area will get booked up quickly. If you want to hire someone you can trust to show up on the big day, prioritize this task in the early stages of your wedding planning process.

Identify Your Needs

Before you call any companies, you're going to need to know your personal wedding needs. Here are some questions you need to answer before you look for or hire a vendor:

  • What is the date of your wedding?
  • How many hours would you like the rental to be for?
  • Where are the pickup locations?
  • Where are the drop-off locations?
  • Are there any locations you'll need to visit for pictures?
  • How many people will you be transporting in the largest trip?
  • What type of vehicle (or vehicles) would you like to rent? Options could include a limo, party bus, trolley, or antique car.
  • Will you need transportation for guests in addition to the wedding party and family?

Finding a Wedding Transportation Company to Hire

If you live in a small town, your choices may be very limited. Call them as soon as you pick a date to ensure no one else books them on your big day. However, if you live somewhere with more options, you'll have to narrow it down to just one—and as you've probably already learned, one of the toughest parts of wedding planning is dealing with too many choices. How will you choose? The best way to find your wedding transportation is to ask for recommendations.

First, check in with any vendors you've booked. They'll have worked with many transportation companies in the past. Since most hotels offer wedding blocks, they may prefer to work with a specific vendor. This is especially important if you decide to offer rides for wedding guests to and from the ceremony and reception.

If you haven't hired any vendors yet, then word-of-mouth is your best choice. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, and don't be shy about asking your friends on social media, either. Recent brides will be able to tell you their honest opinions on the companies they worked with so you know who is a top performer—and whom to avoid.

Once you've narrowed your list down, here are some important questions you should ask before you sign any contracts:

  • Is there a minimum number of hours that must be booked with the rental?
  • Are you allowed to bring food and alcohol onto the transportation?
  • Can you decorate the transportation before the day of?
  • Do they have insurance? If so, what does it cover?
  • Are they licensed in the towns, cities, or counties where all the wedding festivities will happen?
  • Can you get a discount for booking them for other events, such as bachelor and bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners?

When it's time to sign those contracts, make sure to read them carefully first!

Plan on Decorations

It's done! You've booked your wedding transportation. Cue the relief. However, that doesn't mean you can cross it off your list completely. How will you decorate your day-of transportation?

First, check with the company to find out if this is something they'll do for you. Some will jazz up their vehicles for free if requested. Others may have decoration packages you can purchase, or they may allow you to access the vehicle and style it on your own. If you take the lead, make sure to find out what time you can set up. You may even want to consider giving this task to a family member or your day-of coordinator. You already have enough to do on your big day, and this is the perfect task to outsource so you can simply enjoy the decorations during your travels.

While it may seem like a small detail, picking the right transportation vendor is important to help your big day go as smoothly as possible. Good luck!