How Do You Navigate Wedding Transportation?


How to get wedding guests from Point A to Point B

by Hayley Cotter, Contributor

Transportation was, by far, the biggest headache of our entire wedding planning process, and it was the one area where we went over budget. With a bigger-than-average wedding party, a three-hour gap between the ceremony and reception, and a large number of out-of-town guests attending our fairly rural wedding, the transportation situation was a puzzle we were scrambling to put together right up until the week of the wedding. Perhaps some variety of this problem has happened, or is happening, to you?

Today we’re tackling wedding transportation conundrums, sharing our best transportation hacks, and crowdsourcing possible solutions. In short, how do you get everyone from Point A to Point B without losing your mind (and blowing your budget)?

Nothing (Well, Most Things) Are Not MandatorY

With some notable exceptions (venues that require that you provide transportation, desert islands, that sort of thing) providing wedding transportation is optional. In plenty of social circles, providing wedding transportation is not only unnecessary, but unheard of. This might vary by region, or just by family. (Our Midwestern contingent was pleasantly surprised, if somewhat bewildered, to hear we were offering transportation, while our New Englanders all seemed much more familiar with the concept.) Either way, the good news for you is that if you’re looking for a way to let yourself off the transportation hook, this is it!

APW promotes the belief that your guests are grown-ass adults, and that certainly applies here. Your guests have spent a lifetime getting from place to place (Even while traveling! Even while drunk!) and will figure out how to do so for your wedding, as needed. As a wedding guest, I always appreciate the gesture when a couple provides transportation of some kind. As a fully grown adult, I am a hundred percent capable of managing on my own when transportation is not provided. If offering transportation doesn’t make sense for your wedding, provide good directions, visibly display some taxi numbers, and call it a day!

However, that doesn’t preclude that you might want to provide transportation, just like we did. If that’s the case, read on (and meet us in the comments).

who needs a ride?

Getting a headcount is the obvious starting point. Transporting your bridal brigade (if you’re having one!) is fairly standard in some circles, both as a matter of courtesy and for the logistical convenience of keeping everyone together, but depending on your circumstances, it might not be strictly necessary. Who you want to transport will depend on your wedding, and your crowd. Do you have a ceremony reader who is prone to being late? Might not be a bad idea to ask him to travel with the wedding party, so everyone is accounted for. We asked my mom’s crafty best friend to tag along with us, to help fluff up the bouquets when we got to the church and to deal with any veil snafus. If you want “wedding party in transit” photos, don’t forget to include your photographer in your headcount.

Since we didn’t want the out-of-towners navigating unfamiliar, winding country roads after partaking in the open bar, we felt strongly about offering guest transportation, as well. If you are thinking about offering transportation to your guests, consider who is likely to hop on board. Is everyone local? Are you getting married in an urban area where trains and taxis are readily available? Are the ceremony and reception in the same spot? Shuttle service to an early morning wedding might get lighter usage than, say, to a late-night boozy dance party.

getting from point a to point b

If you’re planning to transport a large number of people, think function over form. My friend recently rented a school bus to transport guests for her wedding, which was both cost-effective and amazing. (The goody-two-shoes in me got a huge kick out of taking a swig from a flask while riding the school bus home from the reception.) The cost of renting a trolley initially gave us sticker shock, but it was actually a surprisingly good deal in comparison with renting two or three separate limos to seat the same number of people.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask your venue for recommendations. Or, if you’re doing a hotel block, ask the hotel if they have any deals with nearby transportation companies—one nearby shuttle company offered us a discount based on how many rooms were booked in our block.

transportation timing

Oh, the dreaded “Catholic gap.” We tried mightily to avoid the extended gap between ceremony and reception that commonly crops up when having a wedding at a house of worship, but our church only allowed ceremonies at certain (early) hours, leaving a substantial gap between the ceremony and our evening reception. Much as I would have loved to ferry our guests to and from both the ceremony and the reception, twelve full hours of transportation was simply not in the budget. Since our main motivation for offering guest transportation was to allow people to enjoy the open bar, we ended up offering it for the reception only. We were really worried this would cause confusion, but people were surprisingly capable of carpooling or taking a cab to the ceremony, and reconvening at the hotel a few hours later to hop on the trolley to the reception. (See: adults.)

Unless your chosen form of transportation can comfortably accommodate everyone in a single trip, you’re going to wind up with either 1) a big group of guests arriving prior to the start of cocktail hour, or 2) a big group of guests arriving halfway through cocktail hour. We got around this by asking a close group of family members to take the early shuttle to the venue so we could wrap up all the family photos before cocktail hour began, but we probably didn’t even need to worry about this because, again, your guests are grown-ups! They’re capable of mingling or otherwise entertaining themselves if they show up a little bit early. (Definitely don’t stress over spacing out any shuttle trips at the end of the night. Hanging around our venue after the reception ended, munching leftover cupcakes and listening to our closest friends having a rousing singalong while we waited for the last shuttle to return is one of the happiest memories from our wedding night.)

getting the word out

How do you communicate transportation information to your guests—whether it’s offering details of a provided shuttle or giving everyone a heads up on taxi numbers? Spreading the word is especially important if you know your crew isn’t necessarily accustomed to transportation being offered. We used a combination of word of mouth, a separate page on our wedding website, and an insert in our invitations. At the very last second, we added a line to our R.S.V.P. cards to ask people to confirm whether or not they planned to take the trolley. THANK GOD we did this, because I never would have expected so many guests to take advantage of the transportation. But hey, that’s why we provided it, right?

WHICH TRANSPORTATION woes ARE KEEPING YOU UP AT NIGHT? married folks: what are your tips and tricks for navigating the wedding transportation situation?

Hayley Cotter

Hayley is a Boston native who lives in the Caribbean with her husband, Nick. Their engagement spanned the better part of three years, six address changes, and countless flat tires, and they recently tied the knot at a “reverse-destination wedding” in Ohio. When she’s not busy at her grown-up job, you can usually find her in a hammock, napping, reading, or pondering married life.

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  • Juliet

    Our wedding venue is in a rural-ish area so cabs and public transport aren’t particularly do-able, BUT it is near an airport, so Super Shuttle became our most affordable and logical provider for transport. Those blue vans are the opposite of glamorous, but they are a good deal, don’t charge you for the in-between waiting time like EVERY SINGLE other shuttle company I contacted, and with 10 seats per van we can save money by paying for close to exactly the number of people who want to be transported. Our wedding is in 3 weeks, so we’ll see how it goes, but my fiance who plans events for a graduate school has used them in the past for non-airport transit like this with great success.

    • Laura C

      That’s genius! I never would have thought of that.

    • Amanda

      Please come back and comment about how well this went! I’m trying to figure out transportation to get people to our rehearsal dinner site (our home) which is about 30 minutes from the hotel and wedding location. So, I’m really curious about how well this works for you! Congratulations and good luck!

  • Laura C

    One of the things that tipped us away from having our wedding in my hometown was the transportation issue — we would have felt like we needed to hire transportation and it was just one more thing to think about and plan for, you know? So we did it in Boston in a venue near a T stop and figured, people can get cabs or Ubers if they want, but there’s an affordable option right there.

    I will say, I have been to a wedding where transportation problems negatively affected the whole experience. The hotel, ceremony venue, and reception venue were basically the corners of a triangle with 10-mile sides. The couple suggested it would be cheaper to rent cars than to take cabs, which was clearly not true given the cost of parking at the hotel. What they didn’t say was that cab service in New Orleans is terrible, and inconvenience rather than cost is the reason not to try to cab it. At least twice, groups of people in the wedding party were left hanging around for 45 minutes at a time waiting for cabs — you couldn’t call ahead and arrange for one to come at a specific time and they wouldn’t give you an estimate of how long it would take to come when you called. But car service was incredibly expensive. I definitely feel like having venues that far apart is something to do only if there’s a really compelling reason, and then, if you have any significant number of out-of-town guests you have to communicate super clearly about the options. Because so much of what I remember about that wedding is waiting around for cabs, or trying to find people to get rides from.

    And yeah, I’m a grown-up, but as a grown-up, I looked at the information I had and thought “renting a car will be easily $100 more than taking cabs, and will require a designated driver dealing with an unfamiliar city filled with drunk people. Meanwhile, a tourist city where drinking is a big tourist activity will surely have plentiful cabs, right?” (Wrong.)

    • Bella247

      Totally, I’ve had a few bad experiences with wedding transpo:

      1. Wedding “hotel” was downtown, 45 minutes from both church and reception venue (opposite directions) which involved tons of navigation, and spending all day driving around. Plus keeping my date sober for the drive home.

      2. Waiting over an hour for the shuttle at the end of the night, after a long, very fun night of celebrating.

      3. A younger cousins wedding where a lot of guests were a little immature resulting in people throwing up on the shuttles at the end of the night. A 30 minute shuttle ride with that smell. Ugh.

    • Ahhh, yes. I second this. There are two weddings that I’ve attended that stand out in my mind as being particularly terrible from a transportation/communication about transportation standpoint, which in turn had an effect on my (and others) enjoyment of the evening. One was in downtown Pittsburgh, and the couple made it clear that there would be no valet parking, but that there would be ample metered street parking surrounding the building, as well as affordable parking garages nearby. I was in from out of town and unfamiliar with the area, but looked at a map ahead of time so that I wouldn’t waste time driving around. It turns out that there was a movie being filmed nearby, as well as 3 colleges having their move-in weekends, so almost all the nearby street parking was blocked off, a number of streets were closed, and parking garages were $20+ (I didn’t have that much cash) or unavailable. Between getting lost with the road closures and spending 30 minutes driving around trying to find parking, we ended up missing the entire cocktail hour. We walked in at the same time that the bridal party was making their entrance, which was pretty embarrassing. As residents of that city, I would think the couple might have known about some of the interfering downtown activities and communicated that to guests, but perhaps not.

      The other wedding that comes to mind was one of an extended family member. The ceremony was taking place in downtown Cleveland, with the reception at a rural lodge about 40 min away. The majority of guests were staying at a hotel about 15 min away from the lodge, and the couple had informed everyone that they were providing a shuttle between the hotel and lodge. Upon checking into the hotel after the ceremony, we realized there was no information in our welcome info about what time the shuttle would be departing for the reception. We called some other family members to find out, only to discover that there was no shuttle going TO the reception, they were only providing one back to the hotel AFTER the reception. We proceeded to spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to coordinate carpooling to the reception so that the minimum # of people needed to drive, and to figure out how to get people back to their cars at the reception site on the morning after the wedding. On top of that, the highway exit to get to the reception was closed with no detour info, so guests had to figure out an alternate route in an area that most people were unfamiliar with.

      Moral of the story: If you aren’t going to provide transportation, be clear and ACCURATE about the available parking and alternate transit nearby, as well as construction that might affect your guests accessibility to the venue, especially for out-of-town guests. If you are going to provide a shuttle/bus as a convenience, it can’t be a one-way deal. You need to make sure it takes guests to AND from the desired location, otherwise you’re actually creating an inconvenience (or people just won’t use the shuttle at all).

  • Amy March

    Also- Uber. Love when a couple sets up an Uber discount code, and in a NYC it seems to be pretty easy to do.

  • anonpsu

    We chose a hotel that has a free shuttle for all guests! So they’re running shuttles throughout the reception. I know that adults are seemingly capable of getting themselves from point A to point B, but accounting for the number of DUIs that occur, clearly that isn’t true 100 percent of the time. We didn’t want to risk any DUIs or anyone getting hurt during our wedding, so having transportation was really important for us. It helps that our ceremony/reception is at one spot so they just need transportation back to the hotel.

    I agree though, I have really appreciated transportation in rural areas where the roads are windy/confusing. I’ve been to 2 weddings where I would’ve had difficulty finding the place if we hadn’t taken transportation.

    • anonpsu

      Oh also, we are relying on word of mouth, hotel info in our invites, and little inserts in the hotel welcome bags to let people know.

    • Laura C

      Agree about the DUI issue. I wanted to be sure that I had done what I could organizationally to make that less likely. As in, I wasn’t going to be conducting field sobriety tests as people left, but I wanted there to be options that gave people every opportunity to not drive drunk.

  • The last wedding I went to very helpfully provided shuttles. They had one trip for the bridal party, one trip for guests planned. The only problem was that when it came time for the guest trip, everyone who knew what was supposed to happen (couple, BP, planner) had already left the hotel on the first shuttle! So we all boarded the shuttle at the appointed time, and then sat there for 30 minutes because the driver had been told to wait for instructions. We got to the venue exactly when the ceremony was supposed to start. So make sure someone is sort of in charge of the guest trip, if you do it this way!

    • FM

      YES! This is actually the main reason I hired a day-of wedding coordinator – I have been to many weddings where the bus drivers and guests collectively didn’t actually know what to do and it took a while for a take-charge type of guest to figure that out and…take charge, without actually knowing what they were supposed to do either. I’ve seen buses park behind the hotel so no one can find them, not have correct directions, acting in a way that made guests not sure whether to get on the bus, or leave too early or too late My husband was very against asking one of our guests to be in charge of the buses, so I hired someone primarily to make sure the buses were in the right place, guests knew where the buses were and got on them, the bus driver had correct directions, and left on time. I don’t know if it was that I just happened to have a great bus company and savvy guests or I had someone in charge, but it worked perfectly.

  • Ellen

    If offering guests an option to not drive is important to you (and maybe it’s not–people really can get themselves from Point A to Point B on their own!), it’s worth thinking about when you’re choosing venues. We ultimately chose both a church and reception location that were within walking distance of the hotel where we blocked rooms, and were really happy we did so. While there were other reception venues about which I was more excited up-front, not having to worry about the finances or logistics of a shuttle was great, and the circumstances really highlighted the walkability of the small town where we got married (one of my favorite things about the town!).

    We had a “Travel” page on our wedding website that covered both local and long-distance transportation (I’m happy to provide a link via e-mail if anyone would like to see what we did), and also put references/links to that page elsewhere on the website where it seemed useful. The travel page was very explicit about our encouragement of walking, but also offered information for those who would rather drive and the phone number of the local taxi company. We also emphasized in other places on the website (a “things to do” page and the lodging information page in particular) that many things were within walking distance of the hotel and each other.

    As far as I know, there were no complaints from guests, and we heard lots of positive comments about what a nice town it was and how much people enjoyed walking from place to place.

    One final comment: this is a an area where the Catholic gap (roughly 2 hours in our case) may have worked in our favor. The hotel was in downtown, the church was about two blocks east of the hotel, and the reception was about 5 blocks west of the hotel (so 7-8 blocks from the church). Because we had that gap, guests were able to walk to the ceremony, walk back to the hotel (or to a bar/restaurant downtown–apparently lots of folks took this option!) and rest for a bit, and then walk to the ceremony. This meant that rather than walking the 7-8 blocks from the church to the reception, which wasn’t far but might not be ideal in fancy shoes and clothes, in one go, people were able to break things up a bit.

    • Ellen

      I was also just reminded that we did do welcome bags at the hotel, and we included a map of the area and another encouragement to guests to walk from place to place in those bags. That’s something that, as a guest, I always appreciate, but certainly isn’t necessary (really, we only did them because my husband wanted to very much and took charge of them. had it been up to me, I likely wouldn’t have bothered). That said, we got some very nice comments on them too.

    • Bella247

      Exactly what we did too!

  • Our wedding venue is connected to a hotel via tunnel (yay for Minneapolis & their tunnels/skyways) so the guests in that block have a very short walk. The other room block is at a hotel that does a free shuttle for our guests to the venue (like 10 mins away). Both of those options were a big reason why we booked our venue, along with its cool factor & amazing caterer.

  • Heather

    We got married in NJ, and had a ton of family charter a coach bus to bring them in from MA; the driver stayed in the same hotel we were in, and we were able to use that same coach bus to do two rounds of transport for the wedding (ceremony/reception in the same place) from the hotel and back. It didn’t even add in extra cost, since the driver and bus were already there! The bus also brought people from the hotel to a breakfast the next day, and back again. We totally lucked out, because our hotel would have charged several hundred dollars to run a 22 person shuttle twice, and more trips or shuttles were several hundred more. And overall, the cost of the bus for the out-of-state folks worked out to be cheaper than all traveling separately. Plus, it sounded like it was great fun for the passengers. :)

    • Amy March

      This is awesome. Like people who used to run wedding trains.

  • macrain

    I feel like we have discussed transportation more than any other single wedding thing! I’m so ready to be done with it.
    Question about transporting guests to and from our wedding- we estimate that 45 guests COULD end up taking our wedding shuttle, but we only have space for 38. Should we bank on some people driving? Or do that extra shuttle trip that means some guests will get to our ceremony insanely early? It’s about 20 minutes in between the venue and the hotel where guests are staying.
    Hayley, I freaking WISH I had asked who would be taking the shuttle! How the hell did you think of doing that when you sent out your invitations? Are you some kind if wizard?

    • Hayley

      I literally made that edit the night before we printed our invites, in a total panic of uncertainty. Since it’s only a difference of 38-45 people, could a mass email maybe work? Or if you’re going to have to do two trips, can you “assign” people to shuttles? We scheduled the groomsmen, groom’s family, and people handing out programs to take the first trip (they got to the ceremony very early but they all knew each other or had a task to do, so everyone kept themselves occupied) and bridesmaids/men and bride’s family to another trolley. It all worked out! :)

  • Lauren from NH

    If I could have my perfect unicorn wedding, after the ceremony and reception at our college, all the not laid back people would totter off to bed and the rest of us would head down the road to the college dive bar, to drink and snack on pizza. Then a couple hours later return to the college to have a bonfire by the riverside, at which point only the closest of our friends and family would remain, and drink any of the left over booze until morning. So in this theory either there would be a handful of super wonderful non drinking guests who would ferry us here and there or a magically inexpensive transportation solution (perhaps some college students who already drive the student Safe Ride?!). In reality, I am probably going to have to ditch the bar trip leg of the night to simplify all the drinking and driving issues but a girl can dream…

    • Leah

      Bikes??
      (ps – that sounds like tons of fun).

      • Lauren from NH

        Oh that’s a definite possibility! Our hippie school was all about bikes. Also people having a one night college relapse are probably down for drunken bike rides lol.

        • Marcela

          Be careful, you can get a DUI on a bike!

          • Lauren from NH

            Haha I know! Where that law came from beats me.

          • Amy March

            From the fact that drunken biking can be a danger to yourself and other people on the road!

            Says someone who’s nearly been rundown by drunken Citibikers many an early Sunday morning.

          • Lauren from NH

            Well I guess I wasn’t thinking anyone would be silly enough to drunkenly bike on a busy road. The area I am thinking of is very rural and quiet with a significant shoulder.

          • Amy March

            Which is all fine and dandy until someone drives around the corner and swerves to miss a bike that has drunkenly meandered into traffic lanes and hits a tree.

            No drunk driving. Not cars. Not bikes. Not ATVs. Not boats. Not broomsticks.

  • Well, this is good timing – I just booked our shuttles yesterday! I am planning in city setting (Pittsburgh), where all of the wedding transportation advertised seem to be limos and hummerzines (which make my bike-riding fiance and I feel icky) that cost $1400 and up for 4-hour blocks. We needed a shuttle for 50ish people, so that our largely out-of-town guests could get to/from the venue comfortably. One of the limo company reps pointed me in the direction of the local coach bus line — it turned out to be a much better deal! We’re getting two shuttles (a 50ish person one for the guests, and a smaller 25-person shuttle for the wedding party and family to take pictures around town) for an 8-hour block each, for approximately the same cost as four hours for the 12-person Hummerzines. Not sure if a coach bus line is a good deal in every city, but I thought I’d put it out there in case it’s helpful to others planning a wedding or similar event!

    • Ali

      Fellow Pittsburgh planner here! Would you mind sharing the name of your shuttle company? We’re strongly leaning towards Big Yellow School Buses but it’s great to know that there are some non-Hummer limo options (why is it so hard to find regular vendors in Pittsburgh for wedding stuff??).

      • Sarah

        I second this request! Also Pittsburgh planner. Actually, let me run this by you both…we’re doing the Mattress Factory and our hotel block is just across the river in the downtown area, but about a mile away…I don’t know whether a shuttle for guests is worth it, even though they will all be from out of town?

        I also need to transport me, fiance, and the bridal party/parents around, and I cannot see us taking limos. What to do? I’m tempted to just be like Uber, and call it a day, but I also don’t want to handling that logistically on the day of. We also basically can’t spend more than a couple hundred in this area. This is the one thing I really hate thinking about re the wedding.

        • Ellen

          Our logistics sound less complicated than yours (we worried only about the wedding party/ourselves and all locations were less than 10 minutes apart driving), but we got to the church in a minivan: our coordinator’s husband drove the groomsmen/groom and then came back for the bridesmaids/me. After the ceremony, we rented a “party bus” (14 passenger coach bus, really) to get ourselves and the wedding party out of town for photos and then back to the reception; the photographers drove themselves. Family photos were brief and happened at the church before we left. The party bus was rented from a local limo rental company without any problems–we were in Central PA, not PGH, so it may not be typical, but I found that companies in the area, while called “limo”, really rented all kinds of transportation options at various price points.

        • I love the Mattress Factory! That will be a lovely venue with great photography. I also was super-averse to planning the transportation. Eventually I contacted about 5 of the typical wedding transport companies, which were all super expensive and offered weird “luxury” items that I imagine to be cheap champagne and disco lights. Each of these companies was $1400ish for 4 hours and a vehicle that holds a max of 15-20 people. I don’t suggest wasting time contacting any company with “limo” or some variant in its name.

          The prices I got from Lenzer were specific to my passenger/time requests, but the quotes (each for an 8 hour time block) were around $630 for a 25-person shuttle and $917 for a 50ish person shuttle. I think there were many other size options available, so you may be able to find something that meets your needs. I believe you can also cancel and get a full refund on your reservation fee, as long as it is within a certain timeline (maybe a month before the date). So it could be possible to reserve something to have it off the plate for awhile, and then revisit if it fits in the budget once other vendors are booked. I’m skipping on welcome bags and DIYing the stationery, after thinking about what I would appreciate more as a guest.

          Does your hotel have a shuttle service? Maybe see if you could work something out with them for the guests. Someone else in the comments suggested Super Shuttle, which sounds like a great idea. The status of Uber in PGH seems shaky at best, so it might be a good backup option but I would be reluctant to have it as the primary. Hopefully my filtered-down info from a frenzy of emails to transportation companies is helpful!

          • Sarah

            This is super helpful! Thank you!! Hotel doesn’t have shuttle service unfortunately. I like the idea of reserving now and reevaluating before the cancellation time. That’s really the big issue…I kind of forgot that we probably need to do transport of some kind, and it’s not really in the budget, haaaa…

      • Hooray, Pittsburgh! Agreed that, despite my love of the city, sometimes PGH’s wedding vendors give more of a 1990s prom vibe than, like, “organic vintage Gatsby chic” or whatever the buzzwords are on Pinterest and wedding blogs. For transit, we went with Lenzner Coach Lines (http://www.coachusa.com/lenzner/) — ask for Sarah, she was great to work with! I can’t speak to the total experience yet, but booking was straightforward and the price was right.

      • J Wiley

        Depending on whether you’re actually in the city or outside of it, some of the tourism bureaus of the counties actually have free (?!) shuttles for stuff like this – we got married in Butler County and the shuttle service was already booked by the time we realized this (bummer), but otherwise would have been an awesome option. We used W.L. Roenigk Bus Co and were pleased with them.

  • Erin

    Transportation has been the bane of my wedding planning existence–to the point that my neck started to seize when I started reading this post. That being said, we finally have the wedding party transportation under control. I have a lead on a big schoolbus for our guests. And I just realized (thanks Hayley!!) I can “invite” our guest list to the shuttle on our weddingwire site so they can RSVP that way/I can gauge our actual needs. Whew. Now excuse me while I go breathe into a paper bag.

  • barbs

    I once went to a wedding that was rural-ish. It was held in a national park that was on a mountain. No public transportation available and not many parking spots. It was on a single lane windy road. They hired a transportation van to get people up the mountain and to the reception from the church 30 minutes away. What they forgot was to hire the van to bring them back. It was a nightmare while two people in the wedding party shuttled people in their car down.

  • Elizabeth

    The best way to get from our church to the reception is to take a 15 minute walk, which for me naturally means PARADE! My Dad called this idea “crazy”, and I’m slightly worried my very traditional family won’t understand what is happening. But if I have a bunch of streamers on sticks and signs that say “Just married” they’ll get it, right?

    Did anybody else do this? Also, was it weird having your guests wait 30 minutes for pictures before taking the walk?

    • Jennifer

      I had a really close friend do a bike parade from their church to the reception venue. It. Was. Awesome. So much fun!

    • Cleo

      I wish I was your friend so I could join. That sounds awesome!! Especially with the streamers and signs!!

      I would consider warning people via your wedding website that this will be happening so that the ladies who are wearing heels can pack comfortable shoes in their purses if they don’t want to walk 15 minutes in them (I would be one of those people). And I would check with your/your fiance’s parents whether there are any guests who wouldn’t be able to comfortably make that walk so they can arrange their own alternate transports.

      Have fun! Even if your family doesn’t get it when you explain it to them, I’m sure they’ll understand it when you’re parading down the street, celebrating, and getting cheered on by onlookers.

      • Amy March

        This exactly. I’m not walking 15 mins in wedding shoes. Nor am I milling around in them for 30 minutes for pictures (is this really necessary? I went to a 5 minute walking wedding a few weeks ago and we just went immediately to the cocktail hour while the special people did photos). As long as you let me know what your plans are so I can opt in our out, I’m good.

    • scrutables

      This is great. I think the easy way to make sure it’s 100% not weird to have people wait is to provide lemonade/sparkle water/champagne if yo fancy- out on the steps or something maybe. Everyone is probably happy to mill about and catch up regardless, but providing refreshment will help you feel like a good hostess and prevent you from stressing if pictures drag on a little.

      • Elizabeth

        Brilliant!

    • CJ

      So I think that a wedding parade is a thing in New Orleans?

      “Another uniquely New Orleans wedding tradition is that of the second line. A second line parade at a wedding signifies the beginning of the life between the bride and groom. The second line band leads the wedding party and guest from the church to their reception venue or it may take place at the reception venue itself. The second line stems from the African American jazz funerals and has evolved to become part of all New Orleans celebrations.”
      (Source: http://www.frenchquarterweddings.com/new-orleans-wedding-traditions/)

      So if you use that as inspiration for how to pull it off, I feel like you could also include that you’re doing this in the programs/on your wedding website with a bit of the history behind it? I know that’s not why you originally chose to do it, but it seems like a clear connection to me!

      • Elizabeth

        Oh man, this makes me wish I had the budget for a band. I figured I can’t have been the first person to have this idea.

    • Leah

      My good friend also did a bike parade between ceremony & reception
      venues. She rounded up a bunch of extra bikes for out-of-towners, and
      asked a couple of her local friends to bring their cars & shuttle
      the folks who weren’t into biking. It worked out great (and the couple
      got pulled behind a bike in a little cart & everyone cheered as we
      went by!)

    • scw

      we’re having a totally walkable wedding! my parents’ house is a few blocks from our ceremony/reception venue, our after party (and place where we/the bridal party are staying) is across the street from the venue, and one of the hotel options is within walking distance. I’m so looking forward to parading around my hometown with my bridal party and guests (and photographer!).

      I love your idea and agree with the other commenters that your guests will be fine if you’re up front about what is happening (and thrilled if you provide refreshments!). is it an option to take some of your photos at the reception site to cut down on the wait time for the guests?

    • Alison M

      When we were considering doing the ceremony and reception in different locations, I wanted this SO BADLY. You totally have to make this happen.

      My sister did band at the local HS forever so I was hoping to hire a few band members for cheap. We’re now having it in a different town and all in one location, though, so no parade.

    • Rose

      Some of my good friends did that. It was really fun, even though it was hot and there was surprise road construction in the way. My advice is to make sure there’s someone who knows the way well to lead it. I’d been running back and forth between the sites for a couple of days , but I hadn’t known it so well, being asked to lead at the last minute would have bee intimidating. And just from watching, it seems like it would have been hard for them to lead it–doesn’t really make sense, but somehow the crowd dynamics weren’t working right for that.

    • anon

      We unintentionally had lots of people stick around outside the church while we did a quick round of family photos. While it was wonderful that people were so excited to celebrate and talk to each other, it made things really take much longer: people we needed for photos were involved in conversations; it was hard to make ourselves heard over everyone chatting and catching up; and things generally felt chaotic. It also meant that there were a million people trying to use phones and personal cameras to duplicate the photographers’ shots, which probably doubled the time that that set of photos took. This is also a place where, when things started to bog down a little, parents seemed to see an opening and suggest more photo configurations than we’d originally planned on. None of this was a disaster, but given that we wanted very few posed formal photos and weren’t very particular about them being just-so, it was frustrating to feel as though they we were spending a whole bunch of time on something that just wasn’t that important to us.

      If I could do it again, I’d actively try to figure out a way to have people disperse before photos started: I attended a wedding last summer where the bride and groom did a full-on exit from the church with bubbles, got in their car, were driven away and came back a few minutes later. They’d stayed away long enough for most guests to disperse, but family had been told to stick around for group photos. At the time, I thought it was a little much, but in retrospect, I think it was a brilliant plan.

    • Bethany

      Love this idea! My partner really wants to do something like this for the 1mile walk from our church to our preferred venue.

  • Ally

    We had a city sightseeing double decker for our guests and bridal party and a limo for parents/siblings/photog.

    I was uneasy about what the bus would look like because they’re sometimes wrapped in ads, but ours ended up being a black and white levi’s ad and was SO appropriate for our friends. The weather was amazing and everyone liked the little tour through SF on a Sunday morning. It was also much cheaper than the two trolleys which were the original idea.

  • SuperDaintyKate

    Just a big shout out for the super awesome transportation at the destination wedding I attended last weekend in Las Vegas. The couple hired a double decker bus to meet everyone at the chapel post-ceremony, and filled it with coolers of beer and boxes of wine. It drove us up and down the strip to take pictures before dropping us at the reception suite.

    Was it necessary? Nope. Could we have all found our way to the hotel on our own? Absolutely. But then we wouldn’t have had that sweet touristy guest-bonding time– which turned out to be one of the highlights of the entire day.

    (And despite all that, I am still adamant that I will let people wear their big-kid undies and find their own way to and from our wedding. To each their own.)

  • Laurie Callsen

    Our ceremony/reception hall and the hotel are across the street from each other, meaning absolutely no effort on our part for guest transportation. BUT we are using our city’s LRT system to get photog, wedding party and the bride & groom to and from our photo spots, as all of them are reasonably close to the train stations. Plus, $25 for train tickets > $500 for renting a Hummer limo, and we can get awesome train shots.

    • Lisa

      I’m so glad to see someone else is taking the train! My mother thinks I’m crazy to want to take the El around Chicago for our wedding pictures, but I LOVE the idea of taking pictures in our formal wear on the train cars and platforms, which are so iconic in the city.

      • Hayley

        I think train photos would be so awesome!!

  • Mandertron

    Obligatory Southern California Comment!

    I think a big part of this is to consider the overall demographics of your guests to make one or two reasonable options. 90% of our friends are local to Los Angeles. Our family is mainly split between flying all the way from upstate NY and driving up from Orange County. Some family members are going to really appreciate us having thought of everything for them, while others will just find any savings on getting around a bonus.

    One of the main reasons we looked for an LA-area venue (ceremony and reception) was because it’s where we live and love. The reason we chose a place just outside the city (La Canada Flintridge) was because it’s a gorgeous hidden gem in the area without having to go to somewhere like wine country, where the transportation issue begins to take a Flubber-esque life of its own. This meant nearby Pasadena would be where everything would be: hotels, rehearsals, group meals, etc. Which, dude: old people LOVE Pasadena.

    We chose a very normal hotel, the Hilton Pasadena, as the home base. Welcome bags will have three things: water, snacks, and a reiteration of shuttle information. We’re offering shuttles from the Hilton that mostly family and out of towers will use (at extra cost to us, but within budget).

    We also have an Uber code, which we know only our 20- and 30- something friends will use. We even included some links to rental and transit options. (I’m always looking to champion the Gold Line and Flyaway Bus no matter how unlikely it is my mothers-in-law will use them.)

    Oh, and here’s our page if anyone wants to see: http://www.appycouple.com/wedding/amandageoffrey

    • Nope.

      How did you get an Uber code?

      • Mandertron

        I stumbled across StyleMePretty’s partnership with Uber back in June. This link should still work: https://get.uber.com/c/pretty

        Worst case: I’ve had friends who’ve contacted Uber or Lyft directly asking for a code. Some times it works!

    • Karin

      Do you mind if I ask you where you found the shuttle service you are using? We have just started to look at options in LA and it is kind of overwhelming! (Also, yay LA weddings!)

      • Mandertron

        Yay LA weddings! What’s your venue?

        Our shuttle service is by the Hilton Pasadena. If it’s not too late, consider picking a hotel based on whether they have a shuttle? The Hilton is pretty “basic” but it makes transport easier. We still suggested cooler hotels for those wanted the choice, but made it clear: “If you want free transport you have to stay at the Hilton Pasadena. If not, here’s an Uber code.” It was better on our budget to separate the out-of-town family and friends who need a shuttle from the “grown ass adults” who live nearby and can get to La Canada Thursday Club (which has a huge free parking lot) on their own. We’ll see how it all works out on November 15th!

        I did look up other services as a back-up and this was the best 3rd party quote I had found, from ITS Limo:

        Mini Coach (seats up to 24)
        $148.50/Hour x five hour minimum service = $742.50
        $148.50/Hour x 5 Hours Minimum + 1 Hour Travel time = $1,150.88 each transfer/each way or
        $148.50/Hour x 8 ¾ hour (Estimated + Travel) total service = $1,299.38 round trip, all inclusive
        Website: http://www.itslimo.com/

        • Karin

          Thank you for the info! We’re getting married at SmogShoppe in February (on a Sunday so it was cheaper :) )! I am super excited. The hotel idea is a good one! We already have a couple of room blocks, but may need to get another one, so I will definitely check that out. Most of our guests are from out of town (like, 90-100 out of 125), and I expect that some/most of them will rent cars, but I am more worried about wanting everyone to be able to drink to their heart’s content. I think we may just run a shuttle there, and then do the uber code/list of cab company thing for everyone’s way home. We still have a little while to figure it out I guess. This thread has been super helpful, though. Congrats on yours in November!!

          • Mandertron

            SmogShoppe on a Sunday in February — SO SMART! Reason #9733836 getting married in SoCal is great. Sounds like you got this. Culver City is surprisingly manageable to get around with the right combo of free and discounted rides. Congrats to you, too!

  • K.

    Oh, man, the guilt about this! We are using a trolley to get the wedding party to the ceremony site (we’re paying for this) and a trolley between our ceremony and reception site (offered as part of our venue’s package). But I feel such immense GUILT that I’m not: 1) getting a trolley to pick everyone up from their hotels and bring them to the ceremony, even though it’s a small, walkable bayside town and, the worst, 2) not having the trolley drop people off after the wedding AND paying extra to have it come back when the after-party is done to drop people off. I’m so paranoid that someone is going to drive drunk or be pissed or both. And the problem too is that it’s not that we can’t unequivocally *not* afford the extras – we just don’t really *want* to pay for that on top of our already extremely expensive (by all standards, not just APW) wedding. So I just keep coming back around to it and trying to make it work, but ugh. :(

  • Amy March

    I think the best point is to do what you’re doing well, or not at all. No transportation isn’t an issue for me- I’ll just factor it into whether I want to go, same as hotel cost, flights, number of hot men attending etc. but if you tell me there will be a shuttle, and it’s full, or late, or only avaliable unexpectedly 1.5 hours before the ceremony so I have to sit in a pew for an extra hour waiting around, then I’m not thrilled. If the only thing that really makes sense for your venue/budget/area is people having or renting cars, so be it.

    • Ann

      Agreed – do it well or not at all. I’d like to add that knowing your crowd will help you “do it well”.

      I got married 1.5 weeks ago and the shuttle bus was the single most stressful part of my life leading up to the wedding reception. Here’s why I thought everything was going to be fine:
      —from literally day 1 of our wedding website being posted, the shuttle bus information was listed
      —everyone was supposed to RSVP through the website, theoretically meaning everyone would read through the site and see that the shuttle details were very carefully laid out on the Transportation page
      —a PDF was sent to every person I had an email for with a very detailed schedule, including shuttle bus information, a few days prior to the wedding

      I thought I was covered. At every opportunity I told people about the shuttle – they are adults right? But there was still a lot of freaking out about the shuttle buses and I think this is because of the *type* of adult I had coming to the wedding, the kind that is nervous and and tends to add stress and crazy, spreading like wildfire through a family group of 75 people (this is my new “side” of the family, so I’m still learning these dynamics).

      For the record, not a soul was left behind and it all worked out fine – everyone go to and from the reception. But at the reception itself people didn’t understand the return bus schedule and all 75 family members from my husband’s side took the first two of four buses, leaving a very small crowd at 10:05pm left to party for another hour and a half. Which was disappointing to me.

      So my recommendation, above and beyond the website and verbal communication, is ALWAYS killing trees and printing out copies of your schedule and getting them passed out to everyone. And then at the reception having a large sign with the bus times on it so everyone knows what’s going on. Don’t be left with a tiny dance party like me!

      • FM

        And not having a shuttle bus option that is earlier than you would like people to leave your wedding, because there are going to be lots of people who take it (either because they’re old, nervous about missing later ones, or don’t realize how long the party will go).

  • Emily

    One of the biggest tips we received and then used was to contact local schools and ask about school buses! They are often willing to lend them out for waaay cheaper than a formal bus rental, plus they know the area! We got several for much less than we would have spent on a formal shuttle bus, which also meant less waiting for guests.

    • dearabbyp

      I didn’t think of actually asking the schools! D’oh!

    • FM

      Yes – We used a school bus company too, and it was WAY cheaper than the other bus/shuttle companies we looked at. We got two buses for about half the price that one regular shuttle company bus would have cost. We didn’t call schools, just looked up the bus company itself. We had an option to get air conditioned, too, for a little more money.

    • Leela

      We used a yellow school bus too! I wasn’t quite on board with the idea because I have a mortal terror of people thinking that I am poor (long baggage-laden story for another day). But our guests loved it! They thought it was funky and cute, and considering that the adorable trolley I wanted cost more than our entire wedding budget, it was the right decision for us.

  • SarahG

    We just got married on Sunday (woot!) and this is my piece of advice for anyone who hasn’t already picked a venue: picking one close to multiple forms of transit was the best choice ever. We picked a venue in the middle of Oakland CA, near BART, and sent out-of-towners a list of Air BNB places that were in nice neighborhoods nearby within walking distance. Many of our guests walked or took public transit. It was fantastically easy and nobody had any problems (that I’ve heard about, anyway). It was really really really nice to not have to worry about this. Just my two cents! I think some folks thing that being in the middle of a city (esp. one like Oakland) will be short on the romance and long on the gritty. That wasn’t the case for us — so many people wished us well while we were taking photos, and went out of their way to stay out of the photo, etc. So, don’t let the alleged grittiness of a city wedding sway you if you’re thinking about it :)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I agree that city weddings can be great. I try to be happy and helpful to all the couples we meet, but comfortableness with public transit is a “know your crowd” thing.

    • Nicole

      We did this too – and posted links for free rides with Uber and Lyft for those who may be less comfortable with public transit. It seemed to work out great (plus we ended up with a bunch of free Lyft rides from all our friends taking Lyft with our referral links). I was so happy to we chose a place that people could get to easily.

      There was also information about parking for those who prefer to drive, along with a lot of information about how long it can take to get from A to B since we were having a weeknight evening wedding and were worried about rush hour traffic.

  • Oh, this was a stressful one for me! The short (ish) version is that we ended up renting two SUVs…one for Eric and me to kind of “own,” that would allow us to transfer everything from Houston to Austin for the wedding and that would be used to drive the bridal party around on the day of. The second SUV, my good friend/bridesmaid Julia and her husband Nathaniel rented in their names (they would have rented a car anyway so we just gave them the cash that the upgrade cost). Nathaniel kind of owned that second one the day of, and drove the groomsmen to the girls’ B&B the morning of (we also paid for him to stay with the guys that night since he was doing us a favor). In reality, a bunch of the bridal party just rode with their significant others from the courthouse to the reception and then home afterward, so we actually didn’t need the extra SUV but oh well…wasn’t a HUGE extra cost and it gave me a lot of peace of mind.

    Oh and to the wedding itself, Eric and I rode in the incredible mint green vintage car that I (NOT KIDDING) willed into being one day about a year prior. It remains one of the highlights of my wedding/life.

    • Oh and we initially planned to provide transportation via school bus (seriously) for our guests to the ceremony and then between the ceremony and reception because it was kind of a long drive and we had a tight timeline. SO glad we scrapped that idea for budget; they did just fine on their own.

    • Nicole

      We did this too! My in-laws really wanted us to ride in style so they rented a British Motor Car to pick us up from pictures and take us to the ceremony and then get us from the reception to the hotel. I was worried it would feel extravagant but they wanted it so we let them get it. It was SO fun!

  • bea

    If you’re trying to give your entire wedding party bus fare for traveling from the rehearsal to dinner or whatnot, we discovered that dollar coins are awesome! It was so much less sketchy to get a few rolls of dollar coins from the bank than getting them to count out 40+ one dollar bills….

    Plus they’re novel and kind of fun to use :-)

  • Rose

    I’ve been going back and forth on the transportation issue. Most of our guests will be out-of-town. The ceremony and reception sites are only a couple of miles from each other, but there isn’t any convenient public transportation to the reception, and the hotel will have to be some distance away too. I haven’t even really looked into options in town yet. But one thing I keep getting hung up on is the timing at the end of the reception. It’s going to be at my parent’s house, and I’ve kind of been envisioning that the “after party” might just pretty much stay there, rather than try to move somewhere. But the friends I’d expect to stay for that are also the ones who are going to be trying the hardest to save money, and probably won’t rent a car. So how do you plan for that? A shuttle at the official ending time, and one planned a while later? I haven’t been able to figure it out.

    • Amy March

      Can the after party be at the hotel bar? If that’s where all your friends are staying it might make sense to give your reception an end. And then people can change out of their pretties.

  • EF

    Well, across the atlantic in the UK here. Half of those attending the wedding are american (approx. 75% from boston or nyc and do not drive). We were estimating that of the 70ish people we expect at the wedding, 8 might drive. Of those, we’re going to have to ask 4 to help us run stuff to and from the venue (guess who else doesn’t drive? the brit I’m marrying and this bostonian).

    So, we’re not in London, but we are relying on the public transport in our town, to the next town over, where the wedding will be. Considering having members of the wedding party escort those americans less comfortable with public transport to the bus stop. But y’know what? The taxi ride from hotel to venue is only like £15. Posting a cab company’s number isn’t a bad idea! Though obviously, we are also psyched there’s a bus stop right outside the venue that goes to right outside the hotel (and the bus runs every 5-10 minutes). Easy!

    But uh, we’ll see how people do, day-of, I guess. And here’s hoping for no road work…

  • Nicole

    For our main transportation, we just gave people lots of information about getting around our city. My in-laws rented us a vintage car for parts of our transportation, but I’m really proud of how our wedding party transportation worked out. I had a crazy spreadsheet with the three cars that we had at our disposal and made a detailed spreadsheet including where that car should be at what time and who should be riding in it. We had a relatively small wedding party so it was just getting our families and a couple of extra people around. We also had to get our car dropped off at our hotel ahead of time and still get the whole wedding party to the venue in time. It could have been a nightmare but the spreadsheet helped make it a breeze! And it meant I could pour energy into thinking about it ahead of time but then not worry at all during the day of.

  • Kathryn McKinney

    Does anyone have any suggestions of ‘cute’ ie photogenic options for transportation for the bride and groom from the ceremony to the reception in San Francisco. I wanted to book the Marin checker cab (an old NY yellow taxi), but just called him and he doesn’t “do” weddings anymore.

    We’re fully on board to let adults be and get themselves there, but I did get good advice (from the APW booth at the love/make event, of course!) to print public transit info and taxi #’s on your program for guests.

  • A tip for defaulting to public transportation: ask guests who are locals to look out for people who might not know the system that well. My husband and I went to a friend’s wedding last year and were able to get everyone rounded up on the bus system and off at the right stop because we were already familiar with the route. It’s a totally feasible, not-stress-inducing option if you have a few people who are willing to be temporary city guides.

  • Bella247

    One of the best things we decided for our wedding was having it downtown in a near by city. That way, our hotel, church, and reception venue were all VERY walkable, in fact the hotel and the reception venue were across the street from one another.

    When we started planning our wedding, we knew that we did not want our guests to have to drive very far, if at all. Many were coming from out of town/state/country and we wanted to host them in the best way possible. I really do not like to drive, and we have been to enough weddings in cities we don’t know very well to know driving between ceremony and reception is a pain for guests. We also wanted to make sure everyone got home safely after our open bar.

    Hosting the event downtown allowed our guests to have access to lots of things to do during our “Catholic Gap” as well. The green space by our hotel had a festival going on, which was perfect for the families attending. Some of our younger guests found fun nearby bars to hang out in, and had great stories from the day-of.

    We also saved on transportation since we did not need shuttles. We rented a trolley to take us around to pictures and have a little pre-reception party with our best friends. Since they trolley had a set number of hours, we contracted them to give guests tours of the city before our afternoon wedding, and they LOVED it!

    At the end of our night, we were the last to leave our reception, to sort of take it all in. While we were walking back to the hotel, we heard our guests walking back, and yelling “best wedding ever!”, which was a complete cherry on top of our wonderful wedding day.

  • Meg (Not That One)

    Where I live (St. Louis) transportation is usually not provided; however, cabs are not common and can take a long time to come after being called. For the rehearsal night, our dinner venue was within walking distance of the hotels so that worked out great. As is noted above, we decided our guests were grown-up people and could figure out how to get to the actual wedding, but I’m a lawyer by training, and honestly, didn’t want to have to worry about liability issues. Plus, almost half my guests were coming in from out of town, so we decided that we wanted a shuttle for the guests from the hotel to the reception and back. My dad thought we were crazy and that no one would take the shuttle. Although my parents paid for most of the wedding (at their own insistence), my dad put his foot down about the shuttle telling both my brother and I that no one would take it. It was important to us so we paid for it ourselves. Best decision ever. The last shuttle from the reception was standing room only. As we drove back to the hotel, my brother sarcastically told me, “guess this shuttle was a huge waste of money.” I have no regrets about paying for it myself.

    My only regret with the shuttle was that the driver did not take the most efficient route between my hotels and the reception venue as he relied on some sort of mapping program. If I had it to do over again, I would have given him directions to follow instead of believing them when they said they knew how to get between the two locations. My directions would have saved at least 15 minutes on each trip.

  • emily_p_s

    We got married Saturday(!) and our venue was a farm 25 minutes away from the hotel. I was really stuck on how to provide shuttle for our guests till I remembered there is whitewater rafting in the same town as the hotel. We ended up working with one of the rafting companies to use their old school bus for shuttling guests and it was so much cheaper than I expected!

    The only draw back was we had exactly the right head count for just 1 shuttle from the hotel, so I cancelled the second shuttle to save more money. Day of, people who did not RSVP for the shuttle hopped on and those who did RSVP didn’t have a seat. Thankfully they were able to grab rides with other people who were driving from the hotel. Everyone managed to get there and we did have the 1 bus take 2 trips back so there were plenty of seats to get home, but I wish I’d kept the second shuttle from the hotel to venue.

    • Kate

      definitely thought after your second sentence about whitewater rafting that you were going to say you had all the guests whitewater raft to your ceremony from the hotel. hahah :)

  • Ava

    I’m not sure what we should do for our wedding, so I’d appreciate any advice.

    Our ceremony and reception will be at the same place which is about a 20mins drive out from the big city. But there is absolutely no public transport to get out there and a cab fare would be rather expensive. Our guests are about evenly split into people who either are settled enough to have a car/are local or are new grads who don’t have much money/a car/live nearby. So I’m thinking that providing transportation would be a nice gesture but I don’t know if we really have the budget for it or how many people would take us up on it.

    • Ellen

      You know your crowd best and the post is right: you are absolutely not obligated to provide transportation. That said, I’m thrilled when it’s offered and always take it (even if I have a car at my disposal for the weekend). I’d suggest figuring out what it would cost, which will at least let you know if it’s a possibility, and then deciding if it’s really worth the money. Maybe shoot an e-mail to a group of friends/family to say “We’re thinking about a shuttle but want to know if it’ll be used. Would you be likely to use one if it was offered? What would you need from a shuttle to make it worth using?” (that last question is meant to capture the fact that some weddings have one shuttle run to the hotel at the end of the night and that’s it, while others have an early run and a late run, or several throughout the evening. My suspicion is that there are folks who would drive if there were only one run, but might take a shuttle if there were multiple returns so they’d be assured of getting to leave early if they felt ill, were tired, whatever)

    • Greta

      Yes, I agree with Ellen, you should definitely look into it and see what you are looking at in terms of price. Even though my husband and I both have cars, we would always take a shuttle if that were an option because then it’s less to think about as a guest, and I don’t have to worry about how much I am drinking. I was pleasantly surprised at how little the shuttle cost for us, and our guests really appreciated it and used it. I was so glad we did it, because everyone would have had to rent cars otherwise, which would have been astronomical, and just plain silly.

  • Meredith Walsh

    Our church, venue and hotel were all within a 4 block radius and my parents still insisted on providing transportation. Elderly guests, potential inclement weather, people in heels, ect. I thought it was silly, but in hindsight, probably shouldn’t have voiced that opinion. I brought flats to the church and ended up taking a nice little walk with my husband. It was the best part of our day. At that moment, I was really, really glad everyone else was in the trolleys. The transportation issue caused so much angst which wasn’t worth it. It was nice to have, especially for all the elderly guests.

  • dearabbyp

    Transportation is what gave me the most nightmares — how was I getting to the venue, how were guests getting to the venue, no one rsvp’ed for the shuttle and once it was full everyone tried to rsvp the week of and then the shuttle was half empty. I got married at a vineyard 30 minutes outside Paso Robles so cabs were not an option. I think the 5 (!) pregnant women at my wedding did quite a bit of shuttling.

    No good advice except that transportation made my head hurt.

    Oh, I can add this: I thought we could get a school bus cheaper but the bus company said that basically all the fixed costs are the same (insurance and driver) so the pricing was no different. :( Serious bummer.

    Also, we got the shuttle driver to drop us off downtown after the wedding, but couldn’t negotiate more stops (we booked the shuttle through the hotel — it was $200 cheaper that way) so people had to drive to the hotel if they were airbnb-ing or something.

  • Bethany

    Just a note, if you’re planning to offer transportation and then decide two weeks before not to — let your guests know in a way that’s more than just “removing it from the website.”

    That happened with a friend’s wedding. It was about 2 hours from where we live so we didn’t *need* to rent a hotel room. We decided to rent a hotel room when we saw that there was transportation between the hotel and reception. Whenever we need to drive, we have a strict 1 drink limit so this swayed us toward staying in the hotel since it was a drinking crowd for the wedding. The day of the wedding we checked in, then checked the wedding website to confirm that the transport times we had written down were still correct. They weren’t anywhere on the site anymore. We texted another friend who was involved, but not in the wedding party. Apparently they decided two weeks before that it was too expensive to provide transportation, but didn’t tell anyone. We definitely would have saved the $100+ of the hotel room if we’d known that’d we’d still have to drive. We weren’t mad about it, but it was a bit aggravating since $100 was (and still is) a big deal to us.

  • Mel H

    We decided to provide transportation for those that required it. We had a lot of guests from out of town (2/3rds actually!) The venue for both the wedding and reception was about a 40 minute drive from our hotel and cabs were not an option as it would have been astronomical for anyone to take one. We wanted everyone to have fun so we decided to rent a school bus to run from the hotel to our venue in two trips before the ceremony and have two trips back at the end of the night, those that lived in town were given this choice too so that if they wanted to they could cab to the hotel and back again at the end of the night to cut down on costs for them. People loved this and it made everyone feel like they were on a school trip! It was pricey for the amount of trips we got, but to us it was worth it to know that no one would get behind the wheel having had too much to drink.

  • AlisonHendryx

    We got married at a super rural isolated camp that we rented for the weekend, but there was space to accommodate only a portion of our guests overnight. We were SUPER clear about what was available, but I remember it being a bit of a headache because we had guests at two different hotels in the nearest town. It worked out perfectly actually, but the bus company (we used First Student who are a national company, I think it was a small school bus? can’t remember.) was fantastic as I changed the route three times to accommodate different requests. Basically, it was all about communication. People felt pretty free to email and call me up to the week before the wedding about this. It worked out. Most of my family didn’t want to stay overnight anywhere, and his family booked up all the rooms in one of the hotels. They sang songs with the bus driver, and had an awesome after party and we didn’t have to worry about anyone driving country roads after the party. But yeah, it took lots of work ahead of time to make that smooth situation happen the day of.

  • kelleyprout

    Basically the point is our Wedding must not went to over budget. You should take care of all the things because wedding transportation is the first and foremost things that should be in priority. Wedding transportation will let your party people from one place to another place.

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  • kelleyprout

    Indeed it is the biggest thing to conquest on our wedding planning. There’s always a uncertainty of a getting behind the schedule due to overload of Wedding guest. I mean there’s can be situation where you need to get all your guest on time and keep the track on the traffic so that you don’t lose your mind.

  • elymo

    Thank you for sharing this informative wedding executive transportation post with us.