Limousines and Luxury Cars
Limousines are the most common mode of wedding transportation. Though it may not be as original or exciting as arriving in a helicopter, showing up in a limousine has its real perks. You can seat anywhere from seven to twenty people in limousines depending on the type of limousine you reserve. Not only can you transport you and your wedding party, but they can watch television, take turns pouring champagne at the bar, and have a chauffer that can open and close doors and help stow away and transport large items in the spacious trunk. A big shiny limousine is also impressive enough to inspire awe in the occupants of those boring regular cars that are sitting next to you in traffic.
Reserving Your Limousine(s)
One thing to realize is that you should not wait until the last minute to reserve limousines. If you are getting married during prom season or you have a particular limousine model in mind, get your reservation done sooner rather than later! As soon as you start thinking about your wedding day transportation, get moving on booking those various vehicles.
Even with advance reservations, it is easy for everything to go south if your driver does not have the right directions or a GPS to find his way to your venues. To ensure the least amount of problems the day of the wedding, call your limousine company the day before to get the driver's name and cell phone number. A friendly reminder call two hours prior to pickup will ensure a smooth ride!
Finding a reputable limousine company can be tricky at times. The best place to look for recommendations is on the Internet. Many websites, such as
How old is their fleet?
Do their drivers smoke?
How many events do they take per day for one vehicle?
Most limousine services charge by the transfer, hour, or in three-to-four hour timeframes. Unfortunately for you, the clock starts running the second the driver arrives at the location for pickup. If you specify a 3:00 P.M. pickup and your bridesmaids are not ready until 3:30 P.M., you have lost those thirty minutes. Some companies have package deals with a specific number of hours included. Make sure you plan accordingly. For example, if your ceremony is at 4:00 P.M. and your limo is picking you up at 3:00 P.M. and the ceremony ends at 5:00 P.M., with a three-hour contract you will have the limo until 6:00 P.M. If photos are going to be taking place for forty-five minutes and the reception site is thirty minutes away, be prepared to pay for those extra fifteen minutes. Typically, most transportation companies automatically include gratuity in their contracts. In most cities it can be anywhere from 15–20 percent. However, if you see that it is not included, you should always tip your driver anywhere between 10–20 percent for a job well done.
Your driver is very important to you and your wedding party arriving on time. It is paramount that you treat your driver with respect. He is a professional driver, hired to provide a service. Don't become the diva or let a drunk groomsman treat the driver disrespectfully. It is your wedding day; it is not a throw back to your prom night when you did not know any better!
Also, depending on the laws in your state, some limo companies are not allowed to provide a fully stocked bar. You may have to supply the alcohol yourself. Some limo companies, even if they cannot supply alcohol, might provide water and ice for you and your entourage. The most important thing is to carefully look over your contracts and see what they are providing in their packages and how much, if anything, the extras will cost.
Some limo companies will provide a red carpet service for their brides. Don't be fooled. Sometimes you will get charged for the extra red carpeting that is folded up nicely in the trunk for all of their passengers. If the red carpet is included, great! If you are being charged for it, just make sure you know.
Always ask about their contingency plan. If something should happen to your specific limo on the way to the hotel or, even worse, while you are in the limo, what happens then? Will you get refunded? How do you get a backup vehicle? Make sure that this is not just based on a phone conversation but included in your written contract.