Wedding day transportation is usually one of the more stressful parts of planning for our New Jersey wedding couples. And we get it, moving dozens of people from one place to another in a strict timeframe is A LOT! But today, we’re breaking it down for you so you can book those buses with ease (or just tell people to call an Uber with confidence).
If you’re new around here, we’re Well-Dressed Events, New Jersey’s premier stylecentric wedding, party and event planning company. We specialize in high-end, unique events for modern, bold, standout clients and we pride ourselves on cutting-edge, creative design, styling and event management.
Here in the tri-state area, it’s pretty customary to provide wedding day transportation for your guests but we want to remind you that its a nice to have not a must have. Below are our top questions to ask yourself if you are not sure if you should provide transportation.
Top Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you have a big drinking crowd? If yes, we always recommend providing a shuttle to ensure everyone gets to and from the wedding safely.
- Do you have a lot of out of town guests, or guests staying at the hotels? If yes, then it’s nice to provide transportation for the guests who went out of their way to book a room. It’s a bonus for you too because then larger groups of people are getting where they need to be on time!
- Is it easy to call an Uber or a Lyft in the area? This is not so much for our New Jersey couples, but in upstate New York it’s not as easy to call a car service late at night so providing shuttles is a way to ensure your guests can get to the wedding and home easily and safely.
- Does your venue have limited parking? If so, encouraging people to take a shuttle is a good idea to avoid parking issues and stressed out guests.
- Is the venue more than 30 minutes from your hotel? Again, this is more for our Hudson Valley couples, but if your venue is more than 30 minutes from your hotel then it’s also recommended that you provide transportation for your guest.
Now that you know if you need transportation or not, let’s talk about how to choose the type of vehicles you need and figure out the number of trips to schedule. We’re all about working smarter not harder here at Well-Dressed Events, and that goes for wedding day transportation too. This is our suggested approach to scheduling transportation, but this can be modified based on budget and individual needs.
Top Tips for Scheduling Transportation
- Get one bus per hotel. If you have two hotels, do yourself a favor and dedicate one bus to each hotel. Trying to coordinate a pickup at both hotels with one bus is one of the top ways to induce transportation-related anxiety. If you have more people staying at a certain hotel, you can always have the bus from the less crowded hotel swing by on it’s way to the venue to grab any remaining guests.
- Schedule one departure time from the hotel to the venue. Give guests them one time and pad it a little to account for any late guests. If you want the bus to leave at 4:45pm for arrival at the venue at 5pm, tell everyone the shuttle departure time is 4:30pm.
- If you are having an after party at the venue, schedule 2 departures back to the hotels. One for the guests who want to leave when the reception ends, and then another for when the after party ends. Don’t over think adding another trip for the middle of the after party. It’s up to your guests to stay until the end or call themselves an Uber if they want to leave the after party early.
- Embrace the school bus. They fit 44 people and are the most affordable transportation option. Plus, guests love the nostalgia. Don’t worry, they’re not the crusty school buses from our elementary school days. They’ve had a glow up.
- If you are providing shuttles, ask your guests to RSVP with which hotel they are staying at and if they plan to take the shuttle! This will make things SO much easier for you since you won’t be guessing how many people you’ll need to accommodate.
Make sure to check out our roundup of favorite transportation companies here.
Now that you’ve wrapped your arms around guest transportation, let’s talk about bridal party transportation.
Bridal Party Transportation
If you are not getting ready on site at your venue you’ll need to think about bridal party transportation as well. If budget allows, we like getting a 14 – 25 person shuttle bus (depending on the size of your group) to dedicate to the bridal party. Usually, you, your bridal party and immediate family head to the wedding venue earlier so you’ll want to schedule accordingly. It’s also nice to have a dedicate vehicle at the end of the night to take the bridal party back to the hotels with all of their belongings.
If budget is tight, see if you can get one of the guest buses to do an additional trip earlier in the day for the bridal party. The school bus makes for great photos of the wedding couple!
To Put a Bow On It…
There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding to get wedding day transportation or not. Sometimes the best approach is just to talk it out with a professional and review your specific needs. For help coordinating your New Jersey wedding day transportation, contact us. This assistance is invaluable and is included in our full and partial planning wedding planning and coordination services!