What do you think is one of the most important aspects of a wedding? The dress, the venue, or maybe the cake? Well, according to our readership survey, wedding transportation was ranked as number three.
Whether it’s for getting from the church to your reception or just getting around town on your honeymoon, we’re here to help with some tips and tricks for saving money on wedding transportation!
Between the ceremony to reception transport, late-night shuttles, and that impossibly cool getaway car, transportation costs can add up in a hurry.
But, if your transportation wishlist doesn’t seem to fit within your budget, we’ve got you covered. Looking for the ultimate Wedding Reception Venue in Melbourne? Look no further, Boutique events group is here.
We’re walking through how to save money on your wedding transportation, all while working with experienced pros who can help your dollar stretch further.
How Should Everybody Get to and Fro?
There are three routes to consider besides your walk down the aisle: the trip to the ceremony, the ride between the ceremony and the reception (if they’re not in the same place) and the getaway.
You’ll need to figure out who needs transport where before you book anything.
Ways to Save Money on Wedding Transportation
Think About Proximity.
There are so many factors to consider when choosing your venue, and proximity should most definitely be one of them.
To strategically save on transportation, try to select a ceremony site that’s both close and convenient to your reception venue and guest accommodations. Or better yet, find a venue that offers space for the ceremony, reception, and housing all under one roof.
If you’re lucky enough to find an all-in-one space, you’ll be able to eliminate a significant amount of transportation costs.
Pick Your Priorities.
When it comes to saving money on wedding transportation, don’t be afraid to take a “less is more” approach.
Rather than arranging transportation for your entire guest list, try booking a fun mode of transport for the wedding party.
Large-scale options like a limo, party bus, or trolley are all just suitable for the job.
Or, if you’re working with an extra tight transportation budget, organise a particular car for the two wedding day VIPs – you and your love, of course!
Book as Far in Advance as Possible
It is a universal fact that renting or booking anything further in advance will cost you cheaper than booking right on time. Save on your wedding budget by booking your transport in advance.
Like any other type of rental, wedding transport gets cheaper the further in advance you book. This is especially the case if your chosen mode of conveyance is in low supply (e.g. specialty vehicles and vintage cars).
Start visiting the websites of rental companies months in advance to compare their best prices.
Any wedding transportation will become affordable if you hire it 4-5 months before the wedding day.
Due to high demand, wedding limousine service usually increases their prices.
It is best to start visiting various wedding limousine rental websites to compare their prices differences.
Never Limit Yourself to the Only Known Company
Recommendations from friends and family are the most trusted form of marketing out there but don’t just resign yourself to working with a specific company.
You certainly get what you pay for when it comes to wedding transport, but just because one company isn’t as expensive as another doesn’t mean it’s inferior. Look at several companies’ pricing and online reviews to save a ton.
Usually, couples prefer to take recommendations from close friends or family members who they trust the most.
This form of marketing should never limit you to working with a specific limousine company. You will indeed get what you pay for in situations like wedding transport.
However, not every inexpensive company is inferior to those that offer overpriced deals. Explore new options that are willing to give reasonable discounts.
Don’t forget to check other customer’s reviews mentioned online for your convenience.
Keep a Strict Schedule
No one wants to rush their wedding day, but you can save money on your transport if you have specific times set up for the ceremony, reception, and any other wedding day event.
This is because you’re not only charged for the ride––you’re also set for waiting time. You could end up paying an extra $150 for every hour your drivers are sitting around.
Consider a Wedding Bus or Van
Understandably, you want your wedding transport to stand out, but you should look beyond cars if you’re going to save.
From a vintage VW van to luxury bus rentals, you can still have everyone travel in style while putting entire groups in a single-vehicle.
Specialty buses that carry a dozen people are typically less expensive than luxury cars that only take two.
Rent by the Hour
Some people try to avoid paying for “wait time” by renting vehicles for the entire day. While this means no clock watching, it’s also going to be much more expensive.
If you rent by the hour, you’re only going to pay for the time you use.
After all, why should you be paying a driver to play Angry Birds in the parking lot when they can show up after the reception?
Check Policies in Advance
When doing business with any company, you want to understand all of their policies. This is especially the case for wedding transport companies.
There are a variety of fees you may come across. These include cleaning, unscheduled stops, road tolls, driver gratuity and many others.
If two companies offer similar services and prices, but one has several potential fees, using this information in your decision can save hundreds.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate.
We’re used to walking into a store, seeing a specific price, and paying precisely what is printed on the sticker.
Of course, we don’t hesitate to haggle with car dealers, so why wouldn’t you try this with wedding transport companies?
They’re often willing to lower their prices if you book a certain number of hours or receive a better price from their competition. Learn how to negotiate effectively and reap the rewards!
Make a Grand Entry or Getaway
Most people want to either make a grand entry or a spectacular farewell on their wedding day.
If this is the case, there’s no harm in renting wedding transport for only your arrival or departure.
If you want to ride off into the sunset in a Rolls-Royce just for the photo opportunity, for instance, what’s the point in renting the car for five hours?
Consider Other Events in Planning
If you’re looking for wedding transport and your special day’s rental prices are twice their standard rate, your wedding may coincide with other local events.
Anything from proms to music festivals can inundate rental companies and cause their prices to rise.
Heavy traffic can also cause higher rental fees. Take this into account when planning for specific days, and consider schedule alterations to reduce rental hours.
Don’t Get More Than You Need
If your heart is set on a particular company, but their prices are a bit too expensive, look into the extras you may unknowingly be paying for.
Limousines and certain buses come with foodservice and fully-stocked bars.
These little extras can quickly add up, even if you don’t take advantage of their presence. Take the time to learn what you’re paying for, and pass on anything unnecessary.
Use the Same Location for Ceremony and Reception
One huge area you can save money on wedding transport is the commute from the ceremony to the reception.
If you book these events simultaneously, there will be no need for your driver to wait on-site. Additionally, you’ll save hundreds by not booking multiple venues!
Ask for Older Models
Wedding transport vehicles depreciate over time.
This often results in lower rental prices for older model transport.
Don’t be afraid to inquire about lower-cost models. If the company is reputable, they’ve taken great care of their fleet, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Whether you’re heading to the ceremony, reception, or even the airport afterwards, wedding transport involves some of the most important logistical issues you’ll come across.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of companies to choose from, so with the tips mentioned above and a little homework, you can ensure that your pockets aren’t empty after your special day.
Skip Pre-Ceremony Transport.
If you plan to arrange transportation for everyone on the wedding day, don’t feel added pressure to shuttle guests from hotels to the ceremony site.
More than likely, many guests will be arriving from out of town or might be rushed and inclined to grab a cab or Uber for pure convenience.
Just make sure to include clear directions and parking instructions at the ceremony location, so each one of your guests can arrive on-site without a hitch.
Bigger Is (usually) Better.
When booking wedding day transportation, keep in mind that, in general, the bigger the vehicle, the better the value.
Larger vehicles that can hold a whole group of people will often save a pretty penny over ordering many small cars that can only seat a few.
While they may look impossibly cool, skip the two-seater sports cars and opt for more spacious options like a bus, van, or shuttle.
Follow Your Schedule Strictly
Another clever way to save money on wedding transport is to keep specific times set up for wedding ceremonies.
This doesn’t mean to rush your wedding day, but you should know many companies charge you for waiting time as well.
Besides your wedding limo service charges, you may have to pay an extra $150 for additional hours during which your chauffeur will wait for you.
Consider a Wedding Bus or Van
Every couple’s dream is to travel in a luxury car to stand out among the local crowd.
However, one can stay within budget by considering feasible and convenient cars.
From Party bus to luxury Van, you can accommodate a maximum number of guests in a single go without compromising on the style and luxury.
They are comparatively less expensive than luxury cars like Hummer limo or Rolls Royce, which carry fewer passengers. Looking for the Top Wedding Planner in Melbourne? Look no further and check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners here.
Hire by the Hour
Since wedding day can be unpredictable and no one wants to pay for waiting time, people usually rent the vehicles for the entire day.
This can cost a lot more than expected.
If you hire a perfect wedding limousine by the hour, this way you will only pay for the time you will use the car.
We understand weddings can cost a lot.
Think Outside the Box.
Every couple wants an epic getaway car, but if you’re looking to trim costs, a Rolls Royce might not exactly be the most realistic choice for your budget.
Instead, get creative with your grand exit strategy and consider other options that fit within your style, location, and venue.
We love unique options like a vintage cab for city weddings, a golf cart for country club events, a boat for seaside celebrations, or a moped for destination affairs.
Consult With the Pros.
While you may feel tempted to DIY the wedding transportation situation, you’ll ultimately save money by working with professionals who know their stuff.
Not only will they eliminate all the headache of organisation and logistics, but they can help identify travel solutions that offer the most value for your dollar.
The pros can guide you to those cost-effective vehicles over the top-of-the-line models and provide valuable insight with every step of the way.
Transportation for the Wedding Party and Other VIPs
The Ride to the Ceremony
Brides and grooms often travel separately to the ceremony with their respective attendants in tow, though you may opt for a ride with your parents or to rent a trolley or shuttle for the wedding party to ride in together.
The middle stretch limo seats around ten people, limos seat about 6, and most town cars hold 4, including the driver. (A full-sized coach bus, on the other hand, has room for around 50 passengers!)
Try to save a seat for the photographer, too: candid, wide-angle or paparazzi-style shots are a surprising favourite.
The Ride to the Reception
After the vows, it’s traditional to duck into a dream ride for the tour to the reception, either à deux or with the honour attendants.
Meanwhile, your parents, wedding party and anyone else who hitched a ride with you earlier in the day will also need a lift.
If your budget allows, parents and attendants can ride to the identical vehicles that brought them to the ceremony while the couple takes a private car.
The whole group (or select members) can also pile into a guest shuttle if there is one. Otherwise, parents and attendants can ride to the reception with relatives or friends. Just make carpooling plans well in advance, and communicate with everyone involved.
The Post Wedding Getaway:
Like every other aspect of your wedding, your getaway mobile should complement and match your sense of style as a couple (not to mention that this is how your guests will remember you and your honey—pardon the cliché—riding off into the sunset).
Do you see yourself waving goodbye in a horse-drawn carriage or a convertible red Mustang? Departing in a classy Rolls-Royce or a rock-star stretch limo?
Though the options are many, choose something that fits your budget as well as your personality. (Now’s the time to test drive that dream car or even rent the boat you’ve always wanted for a night!) We’ve got plenty of other awesome wedding transportation ideas to consider too.
Transportation for Wedding Guests:
Do you have to provide transportation for wedding guests?
No. Is it an incredible perk? Yes. If you decide to provide transportation for wedding guests, see if your venue or hotel offers shuttle services.
Alternatively, you can rent vans (usually held anywhere from 8 to 20 people) or go with something more festive, like a streetcar.
It’s thoughtful to accommodate guests on their way to and from the ceremony and reception.
While you’re not responsible for every individual guest making it home safely at the end of the night, if your guests are imbibing, it’s courteous to furnish them with options.
That doesn’t necessarily mean booking them something; again, you can always provide a cab number or encourage everybody to download a ridesharing app.
When Should Everybody Arrive?
Next, determine your travel times before you start making calls.
Figure out your itinerary by taking a test spin of the three routes to approximate driving times.
To estimate an ideal pickup time for the ride to the ceremony, for example, plan to arrive 15 minutes early, then work backward: ceremony time, minus 15 minutes (or even more if you’re planning to get ready at the site), minus drive time, minus 10 to 20 minutes of “padding” for traffic, unexpected delays, and getting excited people into multiple cars.
If your ceremony and reception are at separate locations, don’t forget about timing transportation between them either.
If your exchange of vows ends at 4:30 p.m. and the reception location is only 15 minutes away, but cocktail hour doesn’t begin until 6 p.m., you run the risk of having guests arrive while space is still being prepared.
Timing, of course, is everything, so try to schedule everything sensibly.
If that’s not possible, you may need to devise a plan for occupying guests in the interim or, if need be, discuss with your reception site manager the possibility of starting the cocktail hour earlier.
Who Pays for Wedding Transportation, Anyway?
If guests are left to their own devices, they’re responsible for their transportation costs, whether that involves filling their gas tank, renting a car or taking a Lift.
Traditionally, it’s the bride’s family that bears the financial burden of any organised transportation and parking, minus the expense of getting the groom and best man to the ceremony (the groom’s folks traditionally pick up the tab on this one).
The bride also foots the bill for getting the wedding party and family members around.
Today, however, it’s entirely up to you and your specific wedding budget situation.
And How Much Does Wedding Transportation Cost?
According to company data, the average cost of wedding transportation is $800.
That said, pricing varies a ton based on when, where and what you book.
Once you’ve established your needs, start inquiring about rates and availability in your area. Most rental companies charge by the hour and require a minimum period: typically three hours.
Calculate the duration from the pickup time to the end of the reception to determine if it’s worth it for your wheels to wait. A 15% to 20% tip is usually included in the contract (sales tax may also be charged).
If it’s not included, a $20 tip for each driver is usually appropriate.
Wondering how to save money on wedding transportation? There are certainly ways to shave costs off your transportation tab:
Call multiple car companies to compare quotes and packages.
Ask for freebies:
Rental companies often throw in extras as part of a wedding package—score!
Ask for pickup and drop-off service.
Your rental service may let you choose how to use your minimum number of hours. It’s wise to have cars wait during the ceremony, then drop people off at the reception.
The cars can return later in the evening for a pickup.
More Affordable Wedding Transportation Ideas:
The most cost-effective transport, of course, is to recruit kith and kin to carpool with the out-of-towners, but sorting out how to get everyone from point A to point B may become an unruly task if there are a lot of people to pair up from multiple origin points.
If it’s too unwieldy to pull together a volunteer fleet and you opt to rent, do the math to see which option makes the most sense.
Skip the stretch limos and go with the regular size, or even downsize to a town car if you can. Also, leave out amenities like an on-board bar, TV and sunroof.
Surprisingly, even the colour of the car you choose can cut your bill. You’ll pay less in general for black or silver limos than for white ones, particularly during the high-wedding season.
And for the Guests:
Think about your attendees’ wallets too!
Remember, it’s a super-sweet gesture to try to negotiate discounted travel rates for them if you aren’t footing their transportation bill.
What About Parking?
Granted, some guests will be shuttling themselves around, so keep parking in mind.
Talk to the reception site manager and find out what your options are, plus who handles the arrangements and staff.
If you may have to hire an independent service, tailor it to your needs.
You can choose a full-service valet team, which will park your guests’ cars, retrieve them at the end of the night, or opt for parking attendants that merely direct traffic, hold signs, and guide drivers to empty spaces.
Either way, expect to pay an hourly rate per person, plus a 15 to 20% tip (usually tacked on to your total bill). Figure five valets (or 3-4 parking attendants) for every 100 guests.
Helpful hint: A massive guest list, limited parking facilities and a complicated location will require more help and add to the cost.
Before getting a price quote, make sure the parking service manager scouts out the location to see how many attendants you’ll need.
How Else Can You Prepare for the Big Day?
Create a call sheet with the names of guests and all pickup and drop-off addresses and times, and call to confirm these arrangements with the car company the day before or on the morning of the wedding.
Drivers should have all this information in advance, including detailed directions to the ceremony and reception sites.
It’s also a good idea to give passengers a copy of the directions with an emergency contact number if the driver gets lost.
And we recommend choosing a transportation point person (be it your wedding planner or a close friend or family member) to oversee logistics on the day of and handle any issues. We have compiled the ultimate list of Wedding Car Hire companies to help you ride in style on your special day.
Billowing skirts and nervous excitement call for more space. Don’t try to fill every car—allow an extra person’s worth of breathing room.
Drivers Without Maps
On the day of the wedding, a wedding party member should hand each driver a sheet with detailed directions, maps and contact numbers.
Vague or Verbal Contracts
Be sure to get all of the details in writing with your rental company. These points should be included:
- date, time, and locations of pickup and drop-off points
- type and number of vehicles rented
- exact hours each car is hired for
- amenities supplied in each vehicle
- total cost including gas and mileage
- overtime fees and gratuities
- deposit amount
- cancellation and refund policies