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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

There's more to wedding day travel plans than having a corky send off of aluminum cans. We've got the 411 on getting you and your bridal party around that a transportation may not tell you:

  • Make early decisions: choosing your transportation begins with an assessment of who you have to take with you and the size of your bridal party.  If it's just you and two bridesmaids, a luxury sedan will get you there in style. If you've got a crowd, however, consider a stretch SUV or Hummer that up to 22 people can usually pile into. Try to save a seat for the photographer too.
  • Limo 101: limos are the most common choice for wedding day transportation.  Be sure toask for recommendations from recently married friends, the caterer, hotel concierge, or reception hall manager.
  • Play the Blushing Bride: ask about wedding packages. Some places will offer you complimentary champagne or upgrades just for asking; others will include a discount if you book for the bachelorette and bachelor parties too. 
  • Time It Right: most limos have to be hired for a three to four hour minimum. If your travel plans consist of one 15-minute trip to the church, you might want to go for a less expensive option, like a Lincoln Town Car, which is still technically a limo. If there are several legs to the trip, renting the car for the night may make more sense. 
  • Book Early: reserve your car at least six months in advance or more like nine if your wedding is in April, May, or June, which is prom season as well. Comparison shop to get a decent deal as prices (and quality) can vary wildly. (Hint: Limos that aren't white often cost less.) 
  • Check the Fine Print: read the contract word-for-word and ask for a statement detailing the costs of the deposit and balance due. Make sure the following is in writing: the date, hours, and pickup locations; amenities; the driver's name and attire; the make, model, and color of the car; plus cancellation and refund policies. 
  • Save Up Front: place the smallest possible deposit on the bill (20 to 25 percent) to minimize your loss if the service winds up being less than great. Plan on tipping 15 to 20 percent, but check the contract to find out if gratuity is already included. 
  • Drop in on the Car: make the final reservation in person, not over the phone. That way you can inspect the cars and ask which one you'll be getting. Most places won't guarantee a specific car, but you can get an idea of the fleet. 
  • Meet Your Chauffeur: have a conversation with your driver ahead of time. Make sure he knows not just where you're going but how to get there. Let him know if you have a special request or heads-up (you'll be bringing sparklers back into the car after the ceremony, for instance). 
  • Prepare to Pester: Be sure to get an after-hours phone number of someone at the limo company in case any emergencies come up.

For more information on selecting wedding transportation or assistance in planning your perfect day, contact You're The Bride at 248-408-4602 or via email.

Happy Planning!

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