For comfort and visual impact, nothing beats a limousinewhether standard, stretch, 4x4, Rolls Royce or antique. Shop early. White models often reserve months in advance. Weddings in May and June compete with prom season.
Most firms charge from the time that the car leaves the garage until it returns. A three-hour minimum, plus driver gratuity (15-20 percent) is standard. Additional charges may apply for excess mileage and overtime (calculated on 15- or 30-minute intervals). Check on cancellation policies. Some firms will refund your deposit if you cancel a week or more in advance; others will retain a portion or all of your deposit.
When asking about seating capacity, know that some companies count the seat next to the chauffeur. As for dress code, many firms issue standard uniforms. If not, make sure that the drivers attire is acceptable. Ask about insurance and licensing. License requirements change with larger vehicles, and the Pennsylvania P.U.C. requires a separate license for each county of operation.
Does the company provide extras (champagne, glasses and ice)? If not, can you bring your own? Will the company decorate the car or will they permit you to do so?
One way to keep costs down is to ask members of the wedding party, friends and relatives about borrowing a vintage or luxury car. Offer to pay for gas and a car wash (inside and out), and thank them with a small gift. Arrange for drivers as well, also thanking them with a token.
Antique automobiles are also available for hire. Contact a local car collector club.
Luxury cars such as Lincolns and Cadillacs, along with speciality vehicles (Hummers) and high-end SUVs are available from rental agencies. Arrange to pick up the car at least one day before the ceremony to make sure its clean, inside and out.
Other Transportation Options
Trolleys, luxury motorcoach buses, and SUV ty
pe vehicles have become very popular for weddings. The larger capacity allows the entire wedding party to travel together. Some accommodate wheelchairs.
A horse-drawn carriage makes for a memorable getaway, if your church and reception sites are not too far apart. Check local ordinancessome prohibit horses or require special permits. Consider weather, and always have a back up in case of emergency.
Hot air balloons and helicopters are also available for truly thrilling getaways. Ask about licenses, and accident and liability insurance. Also, arrange a back-up plan in case of bad weather.
Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, arrange to have all of the cars arrive at your house 30 minutes before you need to leave for the church. If you will be dressing at the church, be sure to allow extra time.
The brides mother and honor attendant should be in the first car, followed by enough cars to comfortably seat the bridesmaids. The last car in the procession should contain the bride and her father. The cars should pull up to the entrance door, arriving 15 minutes before the ceremony. Once everyone has disembarked, the drivers will arrange the cars in the proper order for departure.
The groom and his attendants need to make their own transportation arrangements. The ushers will need to be at the church at least one hour before the ceremony, while the groom and best man should arrive one half hour before.
When leaving the ceremony, the bride and groom ride in the lead car, and based on space, the best man and maid of honor can accompany them. Following should be the brides parents, then the grooms parents, both in their own cars, followed by the ushers and attendants.
Be sure to arrange transportation for after the reception if you do not have your own cars there.
Be sure to check out the Transportation Worksheet under: For Brides: My Bridal Suite