Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride

How to get the best possible transportation service

Can you think of a time you’ll be more ready to be chauffeured around than on your wedding day? Follow our tips to determine exactly what you need and find out how to get the best possible service. Then get ready to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Do a Head Count
Decide how many people you’ll need to transport. Typically the bride travels with her bridesmaids, the groom with his groomsmen, and their families separately. If you have many out-of-towners attending, you may want to reserve a van for them as well. Figure out where each car is going (dropping you off at the ceremony and leaving, or waiting to take you to the reception afterward?). If you’re not going far, you can splurge on the car; otherwise you may need to be more conservative.

Shop Around
Your planner or reception site should be able to recommend companies that specialize in fancy cars for wedding transport. If you prefer a classic Town Car, try to rent it from a company that is on retainer to your employer or a friend’s; services with strong corporate relationships are often more reliable than "airport specialists," who deal mainly with individual customers. Any reliable company will be listed with the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org), local chamber of commerce and National Limousine Association.

Get the Royal Treatment
When you have a list of three contenders, you may want to arrange a visit to check out each fleet. How are you treated? The customer service in the office is often a good indication of how your chauffeur will behave. Ask about special services: A tuxedo-clad driver might roll out a red carpet, or your vehicle might include champagne. Some companies offer signs for the car, like Going to the Chapel or Just Got Hitched; most will add floral decoration. And some cars have musical horns to herald your arrival.

Watch the Clock
It’s nice to have one driver all day, but letting yours go when you arrive at the reception and scheduling another one to pick you up can save a lot of money. Otherwise, the driver who transported you to the ceremony in the morning will be parked outside your party all night, racking up charges.

Know the Details
Transportation costs are rarely fixed—your final bill will depend on overtime, changes in itinerary or other delaying factors. So read the terms carefully: Does the company charge by the hour or by the mile? How much does overtime cost? Does the meter start when the vehicle leaves the garage or when it picks you up? Be sure the contract lists all the stops and allows for at least one extra, just in case; also note whether the contract includes the standard 20 percent gratuity.

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