The One with the Transportation Dilemma

The title says it all. I have a transportation dilemma.

I’ll try to set the scene a little bit—our wedding is at The Island House which is about 10 minutes outside of downtown Charleston, SC. If you’ve ever been to Charleston, or even if you haven’t, it’s compromised of a series of small tidal islands separated by rivers and creeks. Very low-country, but very indirect to try and get around from place to place.


Image via Green Low Country

When we booked the venue, my mother took it upon herself to reserve hotel rooms for our out of town guests—aka the entire wedding. To be quite honest, she went to Google Maps, located the Island House and searched for nearby hotels. A string of hotels on a highway showed up as the closest, about 10 minutes away from the site. She ended up booking rooms at four hotels there. They’re nice hotels, nothing fancy, but they’re not downtown.

Here lies the rub—a lot of friends have told me they are going to rent vacation houses, or stay downtown, or at the beach. I have no problem with this.

I have a problem with whether or not to arrange a shuttle or some other form of guest transportation. I’ve gotten mixed reviews from friends and there seems to be two schools of thought:

1. You made us come all the way down here for your wedding, we’re not super familiar with the area and don’t want to drive back to the hotel. You should arrange our transportation.

2. We don’t expect you to find us a ride home, and can take a cab if we want.

Ugh, I don’t know what to do. It’s very, very expensive to rent a bus/trolly etc., especially then because it’s peak season. We would have to rent it for eight hours instead of just pick up and drop off.

The biggest issue is that even if I wanted to pay for it, it sounds like a decent percentage of guests are planning to stay elsewhere, so there wouldn’t be a central location for pickup/dropoff.

Hive, I need a sound off here: If you were invited to an out-of-town wedding, and were staying at a hotel about 10 minutes away from the venue, definitely not walking distance, would you feel like you needed to be transported to the wedding, or do you think you would be okay getting yourself there?

Did/do you have group transportation for your wedding? Any other suggestions?


Mrs. Camera

Charlotte, NC/Charleston, SC
Wedding Date:
September 2013

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  1. Member
    VioletSky 944 posts, Busy bee @ 10:49 am

    Nope! They’re adults, they can find a way to get to/from. Everyone was pushing me to do this too during my wedding planning cause we had the ceremony separate from the reception, but I really put my foot down on the issue because of $/stress. In the end everyone got to where they needed to be and (miracle!) no one got lost. Don’t add another task to your list! Just put directions up on your wedding website : )

  2. Member
    ladolcedc 43 posts, Newbee @ 11:13 am

    Especially because guests are electing to stay somewhere other than the designated hotels, I think you’re off the hook in this case.

    If you find room in the budget, or it’s really going to nag at you, I think a decent compromise is to arrange transportation to/from one of the hotels your mom blocked rooms at. That way, those guests are covered, and the other guests can get to that hotel for the shuttle if they want.

    I’ve been to weddings where transportation’s provided, and where it’s not, and as the guests we always figured it out. It may not always be the most “convenient” but your guests will want to be there on your day regardless, and will make it happen!

  3. Member
    tpag8rgirl 74 posts, Worker bee @ 11:18 am

    My wedding is in Tybee Island and the dinner is in historic Savannah. I am not setting up transportation for anyone. What I did for my guest is got nifty little maps while visiting Tybee last month that include a map of Tybee and Savannah and I will be including driving directions to Savannah and from their hotel for both the beach area and the dinner location and also the few dollars it costs to park at the beach. I was invited to a wedding in Puerto Rico last fall that I attended and wasn’t given any transportation options. I wouldn’t worry about it! However, if you are worried about it for family, etc. I found reasonable rates through the trolley companies in Savannah and I am sure Charleston may have the same option?

  4. Member
    bellaingenue 194 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:24 am

    I used to work for a bus/shuttle company, and we did a lot of weddings. Not to discourage anyone from having shuttles, because they CAN be a good option when properly managed, but they definitely have their cons too.

    Here are some of the things I’ve had to deal with when we did such shuttle runs:

    1. If you don’t have a designated bus captain/people herder (either from the bus company or your own DOC) it will be quite difficult for everyone to get onboard and away on time. And half the time someone will go “oh no I forgot my handbag/keys/wallet, can we please turn the shuttle around!” We can’t exactly say no, but at the same time we know we could run behind schedule.

    2. It is always a challenge when there are multiple pickup locations because traffic/other factors in getting from Point A to B to C could cause a delay. Honestly, I can’t tell you how many guests have called us screaming “I’m at Hotel B entrance, where the bleep is the bleeping shuttle?!” and we have to tell them we’re running late because we’re in traffic or because Aunt Sue was taking forever to come down from her room.

    3. No matter how clearly you state the pickup/dropoff times there WILL be some people who want to commandeer the shuttle for themselves (a.ka. yes I KNOW the shuttle doesn’t leave for another hour but I’m tired and I want to go home NOW, can we please just have it brought around?”)

    At the end of the day, shuttles take a lot more work than just telling your guests they’ll be picked up at Point A and dropped off at Point B.

    I agree with other PP’s. It is not your obligation to provide transportation. My dear FI pointed out to me that when we attended weddings NONE of them provided shuttle services (or even cab numbers). It was no big deal.

    I would talk among your friends and family and just try to heavily hint that friends could grab rides together etc. A shuttle is a nice perk, but it is a lot of work and a lot of expense.

  5. Member
    Mrs. Camera 282 posts, Helper bee @ 12:12 pm

    Ohhh you guys. This made me feel SO much better! I have been stressing out about this something fierce since last November! I mean I would loooove to get a trolley for 150 people, but it probably isn’t feasible. And it’s just kinda dumb for a 10 minute drive to spend upwards of $800 (which is what my quote was!)

    Love you love you love you all!

  6. Member
    misscoco 389 posts, Helper bee @ 12:37 pm

    @tpag8rgirl: This is great, our ceremony and reception is in Savannah but we are looking to have an after party on Tybee Island. Would you let me know where you found your maps? Which ones did you use? Thank you!

  7. Member
    this-time-round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 4:07 pm

    I understand the dilemma…

    Mr TTR and I are quite familiar with Charleston and South Carolina’s Low Country… and we L♥VE it… just sooo gorgeous (we vacation often in nearby Myrtle Beach).

    So I can see why you chose this locale for your Wedding.

    Also understand the challenges of getting around in the Low Country, and how the roads meander here and there, with one always having to find a nearby bridge to get from point A to point B.

    Haven’t been to The Island House, but GOOGLE MAPS gave me an idea of where it is located… truly away from things…. *sigh*

    I am guessing that your Mom chose Hotels along 17 (maybe over near the I-525), trying to be considerate of the distance.

    If I was a guest at your Wedding, I’d most definitely be looking elsewhere… wanting to stay in the Charleston’s Historic District… which means I’d be one of the guests who would end up closer to 30 minutes away from your venue. Uuugh !!

    But the trade off would be worth it for me, so I’d be willing to do the drives.

    But then again, this would be my choice as I said I KNOW Charleston… and would want to soak in every second possible if I was gonna be in the area for a few days (The Battery, Fort Sumter, Market Street, Charleston Museum).

    Maybe folks who don’t know the city and it’s charms will be okay being out in the burbs… just travelling into town with their “free time” from Wedding Events.

    The other thing that must be taken into consideration… is that Accommodations up on Hwy 17 would put them closer to Plantations all along the Ashley River… Middleton Place & Magnolia (for the Garden Lover) and Drayton Hall & Boone Hall (for the serious history buffs).

    If time is limited for sightseeing… a Plantation visit is a great way for a newcomer to become more acquainted with Charleston (on our first visit to Charleston… that is what we did… fell in L♥VE and now have returned to the area many times… to see more).

    So ya, I think you’ve probably done the best you can… (Mom is off the hook). And folks will figure it out for themselves when it comes to transportation.

    Hope this helps,
    PS… L♥VE the photo you chose for this post… (Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge)… an iconic shot for Charleston & the Low Country. We have many pics taken from the Bridges in the area and how the scenery always looks different depending on the season, time of day, and how the sun plays upon the water & salt marshes. So photographic !!

  8. Member
    mkelove 666 posts, Busy bee @ 4:27 pm

    As pretty much everyone had said- no need to provide the transportation. Our hotel offers a shuttle with so many rooms reserved but seeming how it is only 10 minutes to the hotel (everything is in the same place too) and almost a straight shot we chose not to offer the shuttle.

  9. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:20 pm

    I think it is very sweet that you worry about your guests’ transportation, but in the end, they are adults and can figure it out. You have enough to worry about :)

  10. Member
    jordyanna 476 posts, Helper bee @ 7:24 pm

    Although having transportation is a nice touch, I’m an adult and I would be a-okay with finding my own way!

  11. Guest
    Toothfairy910, Guest @ 10:36 am

    This is exactly why we didn’t choose the Island House–it was too much of a headache to get all of our guests there. However, there are a couple of options I’ve discovered since then.

    Some trolley companies require two hour minimums. I think it would be possible to hire one for pick up and one for drop off-probably less expensive than for eight hours! The pain in this is that you would have to deal with two companies, but its not the worst thing in the world.

    Also, Charleston Cab company rents cabs out for about 80 dollars an hour. They fit 5-6 people and you could maybe hire a 2-3 for an hour to just have them run a loop.

    Just some thoughts!!

  12. Guest
    plr ebooks, Guest @ 6:57 am

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