You just said, “I do.” You laughed, you cried, you kissed your bachelor life goodbye. Now that the ceremony portion of your wedding is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for your guests to head over to the reception. That means that you’ve already planned how they’re all going to get there. If you’re not careful, it can be a seriously bumpy road.
Who’s In The Driver’s Seat?
Not your guests: It’s your responsibility to provide guests with transportation to and from the reception. Unless you want the reception to be in the church’s front yard, it’s going to mean reserving some vehicles.
For destination weddings, that means hotel-to-ceremony, ceremony-to-reception, reception-to-hotel. This is definitely something you should consider before you set your heart on that remote lodge atop the most scenic (and treacherous) cliffs in North America. As much as it may seem like today is all about you and the Mrs., your wedding is also about your guests, so make sure to pick a reception spot that’s a comfortable travel distance for everyone involved.
If you like your guests at all, you will not make them pay for their round-trip ticket to reception heaven. Traditionally, the bride’s family handles this expense but, for a majority of grooms, that practice has faded in time like a DeLorean hitting 88 mph. Most likely, you will need to pony up so transportation will be a shared cost between your and your bride’s families.
Deals On Wheels
When it comes to arranging transportation, you shouldn’t take any shortcuts. Don’t rely on friends with SUVs or Craigslist “entrepreneurs.” Call in the experts.
You can start by pricing out local car services or charter bus companies. If you go down this route, it’s a good idea to book as soon as you have a headcount. Both Uber and Lyft offer event services that will help you execute a convenient transportation plan. There are also plenty of other smaller companies that specialize in event transportation, such as Buster. With Buster, you can work with a transportation specialist who can hook you up with everything from stretch limos to sprinter vans to luxury buses.
Go The Extra Mile
Reception transportation is also part of your guests’ experience, so try to make it a special ride, particularly if the trip is on the longer side. Some larger vehicles offer seats that swivel or face each other. Ask potential companies about this option—your guests will get more face time with each other and start socializing miles before they reach the reception.
Also, if your service allows you to add subtle decorations to their vehicles, go for it. This requires advanced planning and permission. For the truly hardcore, you can get the party started early and transport your guests in a raucous party bus complete with finger food, booze, and music.
Ask a groomsman (or multiple groomsmen) to act as a host on each bus or van. He can thank the guests for attending, ask trivia questions about the bride and groom, call out any points of interest on the drive. Basically, break the ice, warm up the crowd and keep the good vibes cruising along.