Three Questions to Ask Before You Book a Transportation Company for Your Wedding
This is a very important big-day vendor—be sure to properly vet them before signing a contract.
Interviewing a transportation company for your wedding may seem straightforward—all you'll need to do is ask a few questions about the types of vehicles they offer, their availability, and pricing, right? As it turns out, the experts say you should be inquiring a little further. Adding these three expert-approved questions to your list of initial questions to ask can save you time, energy, and money in the long run.
How many vehicles do I really need?
An all-day event requires a variety of transportation options: large buses to shuttle guests from the hotel to the ceremony, private cars for your parents and grandparents, a mid-sized limo, trolley, or other transport for your bridal party. The size of the group you're transporting varies throughout the day, and by the time guests are leaving the reception, you may have gone from needing a 50-person bus to a 12-person van. "You can step down your transportation," says Michelle Rago of Michelle Rago Destinations. "You don't need it all, all the time. Talk to them about different types of vehicles they have and how over the course of your evening—so that you're not paying for that 50-person bus the entire time—what's the step down program? That gives people a little more access to spending less."
Who's my day-of point person?
If you're working with a wedding planner, someone from their team is usually tasked with making sure guests get to the right transportation at the right time (and no one gets left behind). But your transportation company may also have someone who can play this role, which is generally called an expediter. "If you don't have a wedding planning team, you can hire someone who becomes the point person for your transportation," says Rago. "That's important—there's one person you can pay an extra fee to that makes sure all the pickups are happening. You're providing the list, and they know who's getting on." If you're working with multiple drivers, ask for day-of contact information for each of them. "If you hire drivers for pickups for specific people and times before the wedding, request their cell phone number so that the number of that driver is given to the person they're supposed to pick up," says Rago. "That way you take yourself out of having to manage that."
How experienced are the drivers?
It's standard for companies to provide proof of insurance and licensing, especially if you're working with a wedding planning firm that requires that type of documentation, says Rago. But the question that has a bigger impact on how smoothly your day will go is less about the paperwork and more about the drivers' real-world experience. Do the drivers you'll work with live locally? Do they know the best shortcuts? Are they familiar with the routes, detours, local construction, and traffic? A professional driver should be able to adjust to any situation, but if you and your guests don't know the area—and can't help if you get lost—then you need to make sure you have clear directions for the drivers. If you're hiring a transportation company to provide valet services or drive a specialty vehicle (like golf carts) on the property, Rago recommends checking that the employees you'll work with able to handle anything your guests pull up in. "A lot of these valets, they really don't all know how to drive stick," she says. "You should make sure that you guarantee the people you're getting know how to drive all the different vehicle types."