chicago wedding transportation

Top Tips for Renting a Bus for a Wedding

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You’re there, your family is there, his family is there… but where is the groom?

As if there wasn’t already enough chaos this morning with bridesmaids showing up late and the best man getting lost in a city he’s never driven in, now your future husband is nowhere in sight. You know he doesn’t have cold feet and he made it to the rehearsal yesterday so he knows his way to the church. It has to be that antique car he insisted on!

Planning a wedding is overwhelming, complicated, and riddled with more details than there are flower petals in your bouquet.

You have to think of everything, and anticipate problems with your Plan B and your Plan C. Among the most disastrous wedding logistics often left to the last minute (or completely forgotten about altogether) revolve around transportation, specifically:

• Who do you need to transport?
• Where do they need to go?
• How are guests safely making it back to the hotel?

To keep it simple, the most important function of renting a bus for a wedding is to get you, the groom, and all of your guests safely to and from the wedding with as little hassle as possible.

Not sure how to do that? Here are some useful tips for renting a bus for a wedding.

#1 Renting a bus for a Wedding Early

Once you’ve determined your wedding date, ceremony location and reception, and how many guests are coming, it’s time to book your transportation.

Booking ahead is especially essential if you’re planning on exchanging vows during peak wedding season, which tends to be from April to June.

If you’re really on top of your game, it’s best to book up to nine months ahead of time. However, if you’re still waiting to confirm the number of guests, five to seven months prior to the big day is still a pretty safe bet for securing the wedding transportation you need. This will give plenty of time for rental account executives to team up with you and/or your wedding planner to ensure that all aspects and details of your transportation needs are taken into account for the big day.

#2 Think Outside That Long Limo Box

When you’re ensuring the safety and timely transportation of dozens of people, you definitely need to think bigger than a stretch limo. A limousine might be fine for prom, but for your wedding, step away from the tradition, and make an impression! There are several different forms of wedding transportation you can book, including bikes, tractors, horse carriages, and even party buses! Pick one to suit your personality, your budget, and the number of people you’re responsible for transporting.

If you’re looking for places to tighten up your wedding budget, renting a school bus is a cheap alternative that gets everyone to where they need to be, on time for the big day! Before you get too caught up in planning your wedding transportation, remember—it’s not what you arrive in as much as who you’re committing to when you say your vows.

#3 Who You’re Obligated to Transport

Before deciding that you want to rent a horse and buggy, it’s important to take a head count and ensure there’s enough space. It’s not completely necessary to take charge of transportation for all wedding attendees, but there are some people you will want to make sure arrive on time, without a hitch!

Here are a few essential parties to be included in your wedding transportation plans:

• The bride and groom
• The wedding party
• Both sets of parents
• Siblings not in the wedding party
• Grandparents

Some couples also choose to provide transportation for close relatives and out-of-town guests, while others choose to transport all their guests. If that’s the case, you’ll certainly have to start thinking bigger than buggies.

Though it’s wonderful to be able to provide transport for all your guests, you shouldn’t feel that it is your responsibility. Nonetheless, it’s nice to at least do your best to ensure everyone has a safe way to get back to their hotel or home, especially if they’ve had a couple drinks too many!

No matter who you decided to assist with transportation, know that it’s much better to leave room for extra space, and never fill a vehicle completely to capacity. You never know who may try to get in on your wedding transportation, and it’s better to be a little flexible, instead of letting the situation distract you from your perfect day!

#4 Get There at The Right Time

Before the wedding, the groom travels with the best man (and sometimes with the ushers) and should be the first member of the wedding party on site. Next up, bridesmaids arrive with the bride’s mother. Last, but certainly not least, the bride is to arrive at the ceremony with whoever is present to walk her down the aisle.

With everyone there on time, without the stress of worrying about transportation, vows can be read and families can rejoice.

The newlyweds, riding together, will be the first to leave the ceremony for the reception. Parents of the bride and groom are expected to also be at the reception early to help the newlyweds greet their guests. The bridal party should arrive ahead of the rest of the guests.

Because not everyone is leaving the wedding ceremony with whom they arrived—think bride and groom— it’s important to ensure that everyone has a car or bus seat to the reception hall. Planning your wedding transportation logistics ahead of time will ensure a smooth process!

#5 Account for Transport Costs

Once you’ve established your wedding transportation needs, stop to consider the costs.

Companies usually set a minimum, three-hour rental limit for weddings. So, calculate the time from pickup to the end of the reception to see if it’s worth having them wait.

The price of a rental vehicle can vary dramatically depending on if you’re arriving in a party bus or a in Lamborghini. However, in general, expect to pay about $50-$150 per hour. Additionally, a required 15-20% tip is usually stipulated as part of your contract.

In order to get the best price, take the time to shop around and understand what additional services rental companies offer, such as pick-up and drop-off services.

#6 A Bouquet of More Tips

The best way to ensure your wedding transportation is done right and that there are no unpleasant wedding-day surprises is to do it yourself. Take the time to meet the rental company manager in person and take a few minutes to scope out the vehicles.

Once you’re ready to move forward, here are some essentials items to include in the contract:

• Date, time, and locations of pick-up and drop-off points
• Type and number of vehicles
• Exact hours for which each vehicle is hired
• Amenities supplied in each vehicle
• Total cost including gas and mileage
• Overtime fees and gratuities
• Deposit amount
• Cancellation and refund policies

Don’t be afraid to look through the fine print!

While you’re talking with the rental company, ask them about a post-ceremony buffer, in case the ceremony finishes early. Also, if you’re getting a shuttle for your guests, make sure there is an option for older guests who might want to go home earlier in the night than those still on the dance floor into the early hours of the morning.

Oh, and don’t forget to hand the driver a map to the venue!

#7 Choose BusBank

BusBank will make sure that the transportation logistics for your wedding will be one less thing to worry about. With years of experience, we know how stressful a wedding can be and how essential reliable, professional, and experienced drivers are to the experience.

BusBank is your single source for renting chartered buses anywhere in North America. Because they work with plenty of independent bus operators, they are able to secure the right bus for your wedding. Once you have BusBank on your wedding-day team, they take the reins, managing everything down to calculating the time it takes to get from pick-up points to drop-off points.

Reliable wedding transportation is essential for your big day to go off without a hitch. However, with so much already on your plate as you plan for the wedding, it’s definitely possible to simplify this one aspect of the day. So, decide on what you want, what you need, and what you can afford, then let BusBank take it from there!
Tell us about Your Wedding Transportation Dreams on Twitter by tweeting at @BusBank!

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