If you’re considering renting a party bus for your wedding, you can rest assured that the bride, groom, and the wedding party won’t have to worry about getting to and from all the wedding day festivities. Along with the typical wedding decked out party buses, there is usually a trolley or other special party buses available are an extremely attractive and popular choice when you want a fun vintage look for your wedding day transportation. Here are some simple steps to ensure your wedding day goes as smoothly as possible during wedding transportation periods.
Book sooner rather than later
Start searching well before you need your party bus. You should hire your party bus company with at least six months to go – after you’ve settled on your date, ceremony/reception sites, and wedding party size. If you’re getting married in May or June, buses will be in very high demand, so you’ll need to book your transportation even earlier (around nine months – 1 year out is a good benchmark). The same goes for special rides like a trolley, which are in shorter supply than your typical party bus.
You want to always err on the side of booking sooner rather than wait for things such as bridal shows to try get discounts. It’s worth it to spend full price to have the peace of mind that you have your transportation booked and even better yet, you get your vehicle of choice. For weddings, it’s generally a good idea to contact your party bus service a week before the event, just to ensure everything is confirmed.
Think beyond the stretch limo
A limo works well with a traditional glam wedding, but if that’s not your style, getting creative and matching your ride to your taste will be a much better choice. Whether you want a unique getaway to express your style, or a fun, festive way to give your bridal party or guests a lift too, there are lots of options for your wedding wheels, especially a pimped-out party bus that pairs perfectly with a hip hotel affair.
Know before you go
Getting the right vehicle often depends on the type of wedding, number of people, number of hours you’ll need, and how far you’re going. Many party bus companies specialize in certain events to deliver the best possible experience. The more details you can provide, the better the value and service you’ll receive. Remember, not all party bus rental services are equal. Price should not be the only factor in your search. Much like renting a hotel, different price points often mean different service levels. It’s good to have a budget determined ahead of time, but also know what type of overall wedding ride experience you want.
Give your bridal party a ride
Technically, you’re not required to provide transportation for your bridesmaids and groomsmen for the entire night. But since they’re working hard for you — give them the chance to celebrate without having to worry about how to get around. You may be traveling to the ceremony with them, however, if you’re not, consider getting them their own bus or trolley. Once the ceremony is over, duck into a fun ride with your entire entourage for the jaunt to the reception. Then at the end of the night, your wedding group can pile into a guest shuttle home or back to the hotel.
Don’t leave your guests stranded
If you’re hosting a lot of out-of-towners, consider providing them with a ride from their hotel to the wedding and back. That way, no one has to worry about navigating an unfamiliar city or choosing designated drivers. The last thing you want to worry about is how your guests are getting around since they are there to celebrate you! A party bus or shuttle will usually do the trick.
Make your reservation in person
Research your party bus company online and chat with a few over the phone, but make your final booking in person. You’ll be able to get a look at the bus you’ll be riding in (or at least a very similar one). You can also avoid any unwelcome surprises by making sure their fleet looks like it’s in good shape before putting down a deposit.
The most important thing to consider when booking a party bus rental is safety for yourself and your wedding party. Legitimate bus rental companies need to be registered with their state, have the proper levels of insurance and be properly licensed. Never book a bus with a company that can’t promptly show you their licensing and insurance credentials – don’t take chances.
Add 30 minutes of extra time to every trip
You never know — with traffic, unexpected delays, and the task of getting excited people into a party bus, it’s a good idea to add 20 to 30 minutes to each trip you’ll be making. If you want to be extra cautious, take a test spin of each route at the same time and day of the week of your wedding to use as your guide. Research any irregular events in your area (think: sporting events or festivals) that might be going on during your wedding day that may cause interruptions and add extra travel time.
Plan to pay for wait time
Most party bus rental companies charge by the hour and require a minimum time period. In most cases, this means that you’ll contract them for the full time needed. Either way, you should calculate the total hours needed from the ceremony pickup to the end of the reception to determine whether it’s worth it to pay for the wait. (Our opinion: Just pay for the wait. It’ll save you stress because your driver will be there for you all day). Expect to pay about $150 per hour, plus a 20 percent tip to your driver on the day of your wedding.
Add the Details
Wedding transportation is supposed to feel special. It’s your big day after all! Special requests, a certain type of music player you need (like an iPod connection) or a specific dress code for the driver, can usually be accommodated. Think about all the details of your ride experience. Do you need ice or drinks? Do you have a preferred route for your ride? What stops would you like to make? Providing these details to your chosen chauffeured bus provider will help them meet your needs. Just ask your rental company about adding any extras into your contract before you sign.
Create a photo opportunity (that the bus will allow)
We hate to be the ones to break the news, but many bus-rental companies don’t permit decor on their vehicles. So before you get attached to the idea of a decked-out wedding bus for that perfect wedding photo, ask about it. Many companies will allow certain décor for a photo op but will require you to take the trimmings off for safety reasons as soon as you drive out of sight. Chances are your photographer may already have plans to take photos at multiple locations and this is much easier with the assistance of a party bus, especially if you have a big wedding party.
Make a wedding playlist
Don’t ride to the wedding in silence. Make a few mixes of your favorite mood-setting songs for your trips to the ceremony, reception, and home at the end of the night. If you’re hiring shuttles for your guests, create playlists for their rides too, to get them in a great wedding party state of mind.
A wedding bus rental can add that extra touch of convenience, charm, and pampering to your wedding day. Consider renting a party bus for other events such as bachelor and bachelorette parties, concerts, football tailgating, proms or school dances, birthday parties, corporate events, and winery and brewery tours, just to name a few.