Since Mr. Jet and I wil be doing a first look, we needed a single mode of transportation that will round up our crew, including fur baby Bruce!
Ideally, we wanted a four-to-five-hour rental that would pick up all of the bridal party and our photographer (Uncle J), bring us to a few local places we wanted to take pictures at before the ceremony, and have a final drop-off at our ceremony/reception location before our 5:00 PM ceremony start. I immediately crossed out the limo idea, as I am about as graceful as a St. Bernard on a slip and slide—never mind when tied up into a wedding gown. Something I can step up into was preferable, if not mandatory.
I looked into trolley rentals in our area. I figured they weren’t quite as popular as the limo and maybe not as expensive. WOW, was I ever wrong! The trolley rentals I found were almost 50% MORE expensive than the limos and most required a six-to-eight-hour rental minimum. It was way outside the (completely arbitrary) $500 budget I seem to have set for everything, but I was determined to find something more affordable.
In our small-ish city, we have a few city trolleys which operate in the summer months doing tours of museums and “famous” locations around town. I inquired with the city to see if they rented it for private events. They don’t.
Never fear, a similar small-ish city is only 20 minutes away. I shot off an email to their parks and rec department…
TOTALLY hoped that she’d respond!! / Image via NBC
GOOD NEWS! This small-ish city rented out their trolley for a song! Only $100 an hour with a four-hour minimum rental. My penny-pinching inner self was shouting from the rooftops! I booked a meeting with Tammy and the trolley at the city bus depot to check out the trolley to make sure it wasn’t a hot city mess.
(All photos are personal)
One of the major things we have left to book is our day-of transportation. When we first got engaged, one of the last things on my mind was “how are we going to get to and from the ceremony?” Now with the wedding fast approaching, it’s time to make some decisions.
A main factor for transportation consideration is the location of the venue, and even that wouldn’t be that big of a headache if it wasn’t for one thing: our local sports teams.
Soccer and baseball / Logos via Sports Logos
You see, I am very worried about transportation both for ourselves and our guests because both of those above teams (whose stadiums are 1.1 miles from our venue) have games the day of our wedding. To make matters worse, it’s the only time during the ENTIRE season that the games are roughly at the same time (normally they do one afternoon/one evening), which of course is at the same time as our ceremony. Ugh.
Finally, a battle I won! And it cost less than I expected! With a bridal party of 16, the logistics of getting around had the potential to give me a major headache. Right off the bat I wanted a trolley—it is a common thing in Savannah, it would most likely fit our entire bridal party, and we could get some awesome pictures.
Well, Mr. B wasn’t on board. In fact, he was very much against it, saying he wanted a limo. OK, fine—I can’t force him to do anything he doesn’t want to do (yet!), so I started looking for limos. I really did give it a good try, but it did. not. work. First of all, we would need at least two limos to fit the whole bridal party. Also, a lot of limos these days are tacky. Seriously. So, so cheesy. My research showed these were my options…
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:
Alternative title: “Do I just have to, like, wish myself there or something?”
It was about four months into planning when I realized that I wasn’t thinking about a pretty key fact: transportation.
Image via Molly’s Trolleys Pittsburgh
Through my research, I haven’t discovered much related to transportation on the big day. I mean, I think of movies and it’s always the couple driving away with “Just Married” on the back.
Once we finished taking formal photos on the altar, it was time for even more photos. We had three hours between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of cocktail hour to take photos around Chicago. If you’ll recall, we hired a trolley for the occasion.
We made our way out of the chapel and paused for a few photos in front of the building.
We don’t have a car.
Well, I have a car—but it’s parked in my parents’ garage 300 miles away. In this city, there is no need for a car. And if you bring a car, you will have to park it outside the city and either walk or get a bus in, because you’ll be lucky if you find a parking space anywhere near where you want to park.
Image via Newham Council
Bad news for our guests who are traveling 200-plus miles to see us! We are suggesting traveling by train as there are two stations nearby, and recommending long-stay carparks just outside of the city for those who really need to drive.
But that’s only for parking for the weekend! There is nowhere around to park near our church and reception venue, so we are going to provide some transport between the two.
Back before I got engaged I went to a wedding fair with a friend of mine. She got engaged in December 2011 and she’d arranged to come and visit me so we could go to a fair that was happening in my city in May 2012.
I’d never been to anything like this before and had great fun looking around all the stalls. I was possibly more enthusiastic than her that day, which is probably why when I saw cars I grabbed her and pulled her toward them.
Image via Finest Wedding Cars
There was a beautiful vintage Beauford that we sat in and pretended to be important. Then we had a look at the Rolls Royce and the eight-seater Daimler. They were all equally as stunning, and I remembered feeling really giddy when I sat in them.
While I was in San Francisco recently for training, some of the locals showed us around the city to see some of the sights, and we rode on a super cute retro street car to the Embarcadero for dinner and drinks. I remembered reading about some weddings in San Francisco where the bride and groom commission a street car or cable car to transport their guests from the ceremony to the reception. How fun does that sound?!
We don’t really have that kind of public transportation option in Houston. Also, our ceremony will be held at the same place as our reception, so we don’t need transportation for all of our guests. That did get me thinking about the Wallaby getaway vehicle, though.
The thing is, we don’t really have a getaway vehicle. Not a fancy rental car or borrowed vintage car or anything like that. We didn’t have room in the budget to rent any kind of vehicle, so we nixed that idea. We also thought about riding away on a tandem bike—Mr. Wallaby and I have ridden in several long-distance bike competitions together!—but our venue is about ten miles from our hotel, and I don’t think we can make it that far after all of the excitement of the wedding (and after a few glasses of champagne). So, we’ve decided to drive off in Mr. W’s car! I don’t have any pictures of it—he just bought it a month ago—but it’s a sporty new Kia Optima with some of the coolest features I’ve ever heard of (including air conditioned seats!). I know that car has lots of long road-trips, errands around town, date nights out, and all kinds of other trips in store for it, and since Mr. W bought it so close to the wedding, it’s really the new vehicle for our new little family.
The only thing left to do is leave the groomsmen with some instructions to decorate the car however they like. Of course, being a romantic old soul, I love simple old-fashioned getaway cars decorated like this:
OK, hive—let’s chat about transportation. This is a subject that, during my short time interning at a wedding venue, I saw overlooked COUNTLESS times! People would be at the rehearsal the night before trying to figure out who would take the fall and be the DD for those who drank throughout the night.
Now, while we won’t have that issue (still planning on no alcohol at the wedding, as of now), we definitely will need some from of transportation for the big day. Actually…we may need MULTIPLE forms of transportation.
Here’s why: the girls and I will be staying at a hotel the night before the wedding, and we’ll be getting ready there for the day. The guys are going to be staying (as far as I know) at our apartment and then getting ready when they’re actually at the venue. Let’s face it, I can totally see these boys getting dirty in the ten minute car ride from our apartment over to the venue. So we’ll definitely need either a giant bus for the girls and two cars for the guys, or three cars for the girls and two for the guys. That’s a lot of carpooling!
But throughout this thinking process, one thing came to mind—no limo. Now, if this is your favorite thing—go for it! By all means! But when we take photos with our car, I wanted it to be something different and unique.
Image via Mrs. Fox / Photo by Exclamation Imagery
Our wedding is downtown, and with the chapel and reception venue only a few blocks apart, walking will be the primary mode of transportation for our guests. But because we’ll be running all over town taking pictures, the wedding party will be riding in style.
We could’ve rented a party bus or Hummer limousine, but nothing’s quite as quintessentially Chicago as a trolley.
Image via Coach USA
Plus, we can bring drinks and toast our brand new marriage while cruising through town! Ain’t no party like a trolley party…
Mr. SD and I want to exit with a bang. Since we’re on a super-crazy-mega-budget (I believe I’ve mentioned it before, in pretty much every post!), we have one of two options. First, let me set the scene. Indian-Summer night, twinkle lights, tin cans and mason jar candles, barbecue, and pie. Lots of drunk country folk. Which is the better choice?
I was on the fence about getting a limo for a long time. You see, our church and hotel/reception site are only about 2 miles apart, or a 5 minute drive – not exactly a compelling reason for needing group transportation.
However, the alternative to not having a limo was asking our (rather large) bridal party to haul themselves back and forth. There are 8 groomsmen, 9 bridesmaids, 2 flower girls and 4 parents (and us, too!) who would have to drive – meaning we would need roughly 6-7 cars! That would have been quite the caravan, right? That fact, along with picturing our bridal party huddled in their cars in between our photos (because it’s probably going to be freezing or raining!), led me to do some research.
There weren’t a lot of options – two local companies and one in Johnstown (the next closest company). One of the local companies didn’t have a limo that could fit all of us. The company in Johnstown had a limo bus and some other stretches that may have been able to fit us if we squeezed. There was one big problem, though – Johnstown is about one and a half hours away from State College, and we would have to pay for the transport to and from their garage (or THREE HOURS of time we weren’t actually getting the vehicle!). No thanks.
In Los Angeles, driving is a hazardous sport. For those who aren’t well trained at it (and often for those who are), disaster is lurking around every corner. Take it from us, who managed to total both of our cars within 2 days of each other, within 2 blocks of each other, last Christmas. Yep, it happened.
Roughly half of our wedding guests are out-of-towners, and we really didn’t want to subject them to unnecessary driving, especially given the mojito madness that we expect to ensue at our reception. We opted not to have our ceremony and reception in the same spot to allow us to realize our dream of marrying in nature, so that added yet another transportation hurdle to the game.
Even though our budget is super slim, we decided that shuttle service was a must-do for our guests’ safety and sanity. I can only imagine how late our wedding would start if we unleashed 50 midwesterners, New Yorkers and Europeans onto the mad streets of Hollywood to fend for themselves!
We checked into several options, but the one that won, hands down, was a no-brainer. Meet our double-deckered beauty, in all her glory!
There is one issue that I’ve noticed while wedding planning that has become one of my greatest aggravations: parking.
Image found here
When we went to visit venues, they paid for our parking. When Mom H and I went to wedding events, we usually received a sticker to cover our parking. So why, I ask, do venues charge you for parking? I wouldn’t ever ask our guests to pay for their own parking at the event to which I invited them, even though our venue gives us a discounted rate on parking.