On the laundry list of details to plan ahead of your wedding, organizing transportation for your wedding party and guests, which experts find to be one of the most confusing and stressful details to organize, should be given high priority. While it's not as fun to think about as centerpieces or cake flavors, it's definitely just as important. "The sheer concept of figuring out how to move all their guests from point A to point B on time, comfortably, and without 'busting the budget' can be overwhelming to the family," explains Suzanne Reinhard, wedding planner and owner of Suzanne Reinhard Events.
Her number one key to a successful transportation program is working with a reliable transportation partner. "I am often asked about using hotel transportation, public transportation options, and ride sharing—and to all of these suggestions, I would 'just say no!'" she explains. Public transportation plays a big role in the day-to-day lives of those living in large cities, but even the most seasoned bus, train, and subway riders can't anticipate what a commute will be like on any given day, Reinhard says. That's not a gamble you want to take on your wedding day. "The more 'unknown' factors, like those associated with the use of public transportation, you can alleviate from your wedding weekend, the more relaxed and stress-free you will be!"
For similar reasons, Leah Weinberg, wedding planner, owner, and executive planner at Color Pop Events, never recommends that her bride- and groom-to-be couples take public transportation to get to their wedding. "Things generally run behind schedule on wedding days to begin with, so you don't want to introduce the unknown of public transportation being late or getting shut down into the mix," she says. "This is often the case with couples in New York City who might be considering taking the subway to their wedding—you certainly do not want to risk getting stuck underground with no way to contact anyone to tell them what's going on." All in all, the concept of taking public transportation on your wedding day for any reason just seems like an unnecessary risk to Weinberg.
The same goes for other types of transportation, such as complimentary hotel shuttles. "It always sounds great when you book your wedding at a hotel and are told they provide transportation within two miles of the hotel. You think, 'The church is only one mile away, we can save money on transportation by having the hotel van bring my bridal party and VIPS to and from the church,'" Reinhard says. "Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that, and, in most cases, hotel transportation is considered 'non-dedicated,' meaning it's on a 'first come, first serve basis.'"
While ridesharing has most certainly changed the way wedding weekend transportation is planned, it's still a toss-up in terms of reliability. "Ride-sharing just isn't always 100 percent reliable when you are on a schedule," says Reinhard, which is why she doesn't recommend any key players—the couple, their wedding party, or any immediate family members—rely on it.
If a couple insists on taking public transportation to their wedding, then Weinberg recommends adding in some serious buffer time. That way, if public transportation takes longer than expected, it won't have a domino effect in making everything else late for the day. "Depending on the type of transportation the couple wants to take, enough wiggle room can be accounted for in the schedule unless something goes terribly wrong," she adds.