Wedding limousine service tips

wedding limousine service

While researching “wedding limousine service” I came across the article “Transportation Costs, Tips & Trends” published by theknot.com, to read the original post please follow this link.

Although the article brings up few good points, the overall information and advice are incorrect. Allow me to elaborate:

1. What It Costs

You’re likely to be charged by the hour (ranging from $40-$75 per hour, depending on the type of vehicle and number of passengers), and you may be required to contract the cars for a minimum amount of time. A 15 to 20 percent gratuity may also be added to your bill. The parking service bill should also reflect a 15 to 20 percent gratuity charge. In this case, make sure guests know not to tip.

In NC, Limousine rentals range between $85-150 per hour depending on the size, make and model of the vehicle. You might be able to find a company to rent limo for $50 per hour but the limousine will be 20 years old and company will not have a proper commercial insurance. 

2. Ways to Save

Stick with your standard six-person town car instead of a stretch limo — the former is actually a limo, just not as long. Leave out the TV, full bar, and sunroof. Or, let bride and groom get a ride and have the wedding party carpool it.

Limousines are not like a gift basket where you can pick and choose your options.  All limousine are made the same, in the sense that there is leather sitting, a built in bar, etc. Presence of  a TV in a limo will not increase the limo rental fee.  Only old limousines feature sunroofs, and even then, the sunroofs are sealed for the safety measures.  The savings would come from hiring the limo for the size of your group and exact hours needed. If you have 10 people in your group and you need it for 2.5 hr, don’t rent a 20 passenger limo for 5 hrs.

3. Parking Protocol

Having your reception at a hotel, restaurant, banquet hall, or special events facility? The site manager may be taking care of parking arrangements and staff. If not (or if you prefer to hire an independent service), here are some guidelines: Valets are attendants that physically park cars for guests upon arrival, retrieve them when guests leave, and staff the parking area for the duration of the event. Non-valet attendants direct traffic, hold signs, point you towards available spaces, and staff the area. The going rate? Around $20-$25 per attendant. Figure five valets (or three or four non-valets) per 100 guests. Knot Note: The parking service manager should check out the location to determine the number of attendants needed before quoting a price. And keep in mind that meager to non-existent parking facilities, massive guest lists, and complicated locations will require more manpower and add to the cost.

This does not apply to the limousine industry

4. Guest Issues

Think transporting guests from ceremony to reception isn’t your bag? Better hope all your guests are driving. Picture 150 people fighting for cabs during a conveniently timed, post-ceremony thunderstorm. Look into hiring a bus or a couple of minivans if you think this could happen. You also need to consider the distance between ceremony and reception. If the ceremony ends at 4:30 and the reception space (20 minutes away) won’t be ready until 5:45, you risk having guests arrive while the space is still being prepared. Those early birds will have to make their own fun, which, trust us, doesn’t look good on you. Try to time everything just right. Call the reception site to change the start time, if necessary.

This is a very important point. Professional transportation company will help you figure out and plan the schedule for transporting all your wedding guests.  Its important to consider the location of the wedding venue: is it located in the countryside (it will be difficult to drive at night)  or is it located in the city (traffic and parking issues).  

5. Paparazzi Shots

Have your photographer ride along with you. Those glamorous in-car shots (pre- and post-ceremony) are fast becoming a new classic.

Absolutely! Use the limousine as your prop.  

6. Sitting Around

Arrange for pick-up and drop-off service only, so that drivers aren’t waiting around (and getting paid) for the duration of the ceremony and reception. If there will be no cars waiting, the couple should be assured a ride home (hotel, airport, etc.) when the festivities are over. This is something an honor attendant should provide or oversee.

The scheduled depends on your needs and your schedule.  In some cases it is more cost efficient to rent a continual service as 1 hr limousine service can be costly. 

7. Prom Bookings

If your wedding falls during prom time or graduation season (late March to late June) you may want to book five or six months before your wedding date just to be on the safe side.

This is correct, as long you book all the services ahead of time, you should have no problems.  

8. Be Prepared

We can’t say it enough: prepare a call sheet with names and all pickup/drop off addresses and times, so that you can call to confirm these arrangements with the car company the day before the wedding (or on that morning). The drivers should have this information well in advance, as well as detailed directions to the ceremony and reception sites. Also, make sure that everyone getting a ride has a copy of the directions stashed in their pocket or purse, with an emergency contact number in case the driver gets lost.

Once we make a reservation, AFA sends out a confirmation email to the customer with all the details and times.  A new confirmation is sent out after every single update, this way we ensure that there are no misunderstandings.

9. Drink It Up

Stash some champagne in the car so that you can toast each other on the way to the reception. (The limo company may be able provide the booze and save you the trouble. Ask about this.)

It is a nice touch! Choose smaller bottles of champagne.  You don’t want to drink too much if you have reception ahead, and you already toasted many times if you are heading to the hotel.  

10. Alternate Routes

Of course you’re not limited to limos and cars — we know couples who have gone by way of horse and buggy, sleigh, motorcycle and side-car, roller skates, skateboards, scooters, canoe, even tractors.

These are fun ideas and depend on your personality.  Just keep in mind that weather can be unpredictable, limousines drive in all weather.

11. Let’s Go

Want a carefree ride? So do your families and friends! Make sure you’ve arranged transportation for the bridal party and VIPs, like both sets of parents and grandparents.

It is a nice touch to offer limousine service to your parents and grandparent (some have never ridden in a limo). Afterall, it is a big day for them as well.

12. “Just Married”

If you’ve always dreamed of departing in a car decked out with dangling aluminum cans, streamers, flowers, and a big “Just Married” sign, leave it to your male attendants.

That’s only in the movies, unless you are driving your own car.  No limousine company will allow to decorate the vehicle with any kind of decorations as it might damage the vehicle.

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