How to Book Buses or Shuttles for Your Wedding Guests
Wedding planners answer common transportation questions.
Whether you're booking a handful of town cars or enough buses to transport your entire guest list to and from your ceremony and reception, there are a lot of things to consider when booking transportation for your wedding. Will your guests have multiple pick-up locations? Will the ride be comfortable for your guests? How will guests know which bus to board? Wedding planner Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions says, "Transportation can be a challenging piece of the puzzle for someone who's not used to managing shuttles." These commonly asked questions, answered by the pros, can help you get started with the process.
What do we need to know in order to book shuttles for a wedding?
Wedding planner Susan Dunne says, "To get an accurate quote, you'll need to provide the transportation company with the number of guests being shuttled, number of hours needed, pick-up and drop-off destination, and any additional stops in between the pick-up and final destination."
How long should we book wedding shuttles for?
Dunne says, "My suggestion would be to start by drafting a shuttle timeline. Determine what time you need guests to arrive, then work your way backwards. This should take into consideration the number of round-trips based on guest count, distance, amount of time for each trip, and account for potential traffic." Keep in mind that your transportation company may also have a minimum window for a round-trip transfer, usually four hours.
How many shuttles will we need for our wedding?
It's not quite as simple as getting three 50-passenger shuttles for 150 guests. Instead, your transportation company needs to take into account the venue's shuttle size restrictions and the flow of your event. Edelson says, "Our rule of thumb is to always have enough seats for all of your guests, plus ten percent for outgoing shuttles. We keep all of the shuttles for return transportation. We also like to have one shuttle on standby for emergencies or early departures."
How should we schedule return trips?
Edelson says, "We're not big fans of keeping guests at an event until the bitter end. Allowing guests to depart as desired leaves a better impression of the occasion." Some couples may opt to schedule departures in 30-minute intervals or hourly, depending how long the round-trip will take the shuttle. This is something to coordinate with the transportation company and subsequently communicate with your guests.
Should we hire a transportation coordinator for our wedding day?
Wedding planners often take on the task of coordinating the shuttles on the wedding day, but this takes them away from other things they could be working on instead. Thus, a transportation coordinator may be necessary. Edelson says, "If budget permits, we 100% recommend having a coordinator from the transportation company on-site to help manage guest departures, answer questions about shuttles, and ensure a seamless experience on the front and back end of such an important day."