While you’re busy going to the chapel to get married, don’t forget to take your guests into account. Of course, in many cases, couples do leave wedding guests to find their own way of getting to and from the venues. However, sometimes, it may be better to arrange it yourself.
If your ceremony or reception is located remotely, especially if there are two separate venues or if there are limited public and/or private transportation options in the area, you absolutely should account for guest transportation into your budget. Other reasons you may want to consider it would include a lack of parking at the destinations or a destination wedding where guests may be unfamiliar with the area. Even if your venue can be easily reached by private vehicle, taxi, or public transport, keep in mind that all of these could be unreliable due to scheduling or availability. In such cases, it would be a polite gesture to organize an optional form of transportation for your guests. Here are some ways to go about that.
1. Public Transport
First things first: if there is a direct link with minimal walking from the guests’ hotel to the venue(s), or even between the ceremony and reception, public transport may be OK. However, it is worth checking if the schedules line up with your timeline and if said public transport may be affected by a commuter rush hour. In that case, provide clear directions for your guests on how to get there. If you have guests coming from out of town, you might want to also buy them a ticket ahead of time to save them the hassle.
Another budget-friendly option is having all guests meet at a location rich in parking spots, and then organizing carpools to the final destination. And if you don’t want to limit a quarter of your guests to “designated driver” status, you can do the same with an Uber or taxi. Similarly, if don’t have enough high-capacity vehicles or want to limit your “shuttle” numbers, you can rent large vans to take guests around.
3. Boat or Ferry
If you’re lucky enough to have a venue near a river or the waterfront, and a boat cruise isn’t out of the question, highly consider it. It would make a fantastic addition to your wedding day experience for everyone. In some cities, you might even be able to cut costs by hitching a ride on the local water taxi. That may not be as festive, but guests are guaranteed to enjoy the experience either way (provided they don’t get seasick!)
If you’re celebrating in a city like San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans, Portland, Toronto, Helsinki, or anywhere there’s a streetcar, it’s definitely an idea worth thinking about. It’s a very chic and unique way to add a dash of local personality to your big day. This doesn’t mean relying on just public transportation. Some cities have trolleys for private hire. So, if your venue is easily accessible via one, do check out your options!
Be it a party bus or coach charter, a bus is arguably the easiest way to shuttle your guests around. Thanks to their high capacity of passengers, they’re also not too demanding on your wallet. For a remotely located venue, especially with a destination wedding and/or a large group, a bus is a must-have to make sure your guests arrive safe and sound.
An ever-classy choice, a limo doesn’t have to be reserved just for the happy couple. Should you decide to spoil your guests, this is the best way to do so. Believe it or not, a stretch limo does not have to be expensive—at least not when you split the cost per head. (Recall that you likely rented one for your prom so think that if you could afford it then, you could afford it now.) Most limos can accommodate anywhere from eight to 18 people, so if you do the math, it will likely be cheaper to hire a limo for your guests than have each one of them take a private taxi. So, if you’re looking to score bonus points for the event of the season, it’s something worth considering!
7. Some Suggestions to Make Things Simpler
Since deciding whether to arrange transportation for your guest is largely based on the venue(s), you might also want to think about a “meeting point.” You want your shuttle to get from point A to point B. So, if you’re having a bunch of guests come from out of town, suggest that they stay in one hotel (or in an area where there are many hotels close by), so they can access your “shuttle service” easily.
And lastly, know that your shuttle service may not be an option for some. In which case, do provide your guests directions in case they want to arrive privately. On a related note, always keep a backup option, such as the local taxi service number, in case your plans fall through.