Vol.1, No.11

Transportation from the wedding ceremony to the reception

Cost, size, distance, attire, and other factors must be considered when choosing transportation between the wedding ceremony and reception sites.

Wedding car after ceremony
Photo Credit: Tony Tremblay
Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars are used to plan a wedding ceremony and coordinating reception, often in two different locations to take advantage of different services, scenery, and facilities. Adequate transportation between the two sites is necessary for a couple to make a dramatic entrance befitting their new status as husband and wife.

Wedding Transportation: Preliminary Considerations

Before selecting a mode of transportation, basic necessities must be considered. If either the ceremony or reception site has limited parking, it may be necessary to arrange transportation not only for the couple, but also for attendants, parents, and possibly guests. Different sites or gated areas may restrict or prohibit specific vehicles, such as motorcycles or horse-drawn carriages.

The bride's attire must be considered when choosing transportation. A motorcycle is not appropriate for a gown with a lengthy train and flowing veil, while the limited space of a vintage vehicle may crush or wrinkle delicate garments. If the path between the two sites involves a stretch of interstate or other high-speed driving, a convertible may destroy an elaborate hairstyle. If the road is unpaved, a horse-drawn carriage could create copious dust or mud that will dull the most beautiful gown.

When approaching vehicle vendors, it is important to check references and ascertain transaction details long before the wedding. For example, how is the final cost determined: by time, party size, or mileage? Are tips included? What insurance is available to cover breakdowns or delays? Many limousine companies offer discounts for renting multiple vehicles or for using the same service for a bachelor or bachelorette party as well as the wedding. Finally, be sure to inspect the actual vehicle before the wedding to verify its condition and suitability.

Wedding Transportation Options

The most classic wedding transportation is the standard black or white limousine. Limos come in a variety of sizes, seating from six to over twenty people, making them a practical choice for most wedding parties. Larger sport utility or truck models seat more people and offer a unique alternative to the classic limousine. Many limos are also available in gray or navy, adding individuality to the vehicle.

Rental vehicles are not restricted to limousines. Many limo agents offer vintage vehicles such as Rolls Royce Bentleys or Ford Mustangs that add flair to any wedding. While these antique cars are attractive, they seat fewer passengers and are typically suitable only for the bride and groom. The same considerations apply to luxury sports cars such as Corvettes, Lamborghinis, Porches, and Jaguars, all of which may be available to hire for different wedding events.

If parking is limited, a chartered bus or van may be necessary to transport the entire wedding party, parents, and grandparents between the ceremony and reception sites. While not the most romantic option, these high-capacity vehicles offer practical convenience and allow everyone to revel in the festivities alongside the happy couple. For a small wedding, it may be possible to transport all guests via rented vehicles, sparing everyone the chore of navigating unfamiliar streets.

Many couples use their personal car for transportation to cut costs. Clean the car thoroughly first, including the interior and exterior of each window and the door jambs. This eliminates any hidden dust, dirt, or grease that could sully the bride's gown or groom's tuxedo. Vinyl clings, streamers, balloons, and other decorations create an exuberant display, but be certain no obstructions to the front or rear views pose a driving hazard.

If the wedding and reception sites are close together, it may be possible for the wedding party to walk between them, perhaps stopping along the route for different photographs. Be sure to have an alternate plan in case of inclement weather, however, and do not overestimate how far the bride and her attendants are willing to walk in long gowns and fancy shoes.

A horse-drawn carriage is a romantic option for wedding transportation, adding a Cinderella-style tableau to any ceremony. Before hiring a carriage, inspect the vehicle to ensure that it has sufficient room to accommodate the bride's attire, and arrange alternate transport in case of poor weather. If the drive between sites is quite lengthy, a carriage may take too long, and the horses' scent may infuse the couple's clothing. Also investigate if either the ceremony or reception site has animal restrictions that prohibit horses in the vicinity. These concerns must also be noted if the couple decides to ride horseback.

There are many other unique options for wedding transportation. A tandem bicycle, motorcycle, snowmobile, hot air balloon, dog sled, boat, or even a helicopter can be used to transport the happy couple from the ceremony to the reception. As with more common choices, however, each type of transportation has pros and cons depending on the season, style of dress, length of trip, and site restrictions. With more unusual options, it is wise to arrange a practice run to become familiar with the trip and work out necessary changes before the big day to prevent delays, clothing mishaps, or accidents.

From the traditional white limousine to a vintage Rolls Royce to a hot air balloon, there is a variety of transportation options to suit any wedding style and budget. With adequate preparation and common sense precautions, the newlyweds can create a stunning entrance into their reception, setting the tone to celebrate the beginning of their fairy tale.