Unless you’re hosting both your ceremony and reception in a hotel, at a resort, on an estate, or someplace else that comes with lodging, you should at least consider providing wedding day transportation for your guests. This is especially the case if your ceremony and reception are at different locations.
There are a number of other factors to consider, too; for example, how far apart are your different venues? You wouldn’t want everyone to drive out of their way or rack up a large Uber charge. Even if your ceremony and reception venues are a short distance from each other, you also need to consider the proximity of hotels. Another important element? How many guests are from out of town and how far the majority of them have traveled. If most are set to arrive by plane, you don’t want them all to have to rent cars. All in all, take the time to consider the needs of your guests.
With that said, if you simply can’t afford to accommodate everyone on the guest list, you should still budget to transport you and your S.O., the wedding party, and close family members (e.g. both sets of parents, grandparents, siblings) to each location.
Depending on where those locations are, along with the aforementioned factors, you’ll have a few different wedding day transportation options to choose from. Here are just a few:
- Help From Hotels
- The first phone call you should make about transportation is to the hotels that you’re booking room blocks at. They could potentially offer, at the very least, an airport shuttle service.
- Customized Ride Share Plan
- Ride-sharing apps like Lyft allow you to create up to 500 ride codes that you can distribute to each of your guests. When setting up the Lyft Event code, you’ll designate start and end times, as well as pickup/drop-off locations. Guests won’t have to pay on their own, either — you’re charged upfront for the full budget that you set for your event code (any unused amount is refunded after the code expires).
- Cars, Vans, SUVs
- Depending on how you want to split your guests up, you can opt for numerous smaller vehicles or just a couple of larger ones.
- Buses, Trolleys, Limousines
- These will obviously be more expensive than smaller vehicles but are often more affordable in the long run.
All of these make for good transportation options, though buses tend to be the most popular choice (especially for large weddings). We spoke to Justin Tuggle of GOGO Charters specifically about bus options for the big day.
In what scenario should a couple think about renting a charter bus for their wedding day?
Charter buses are great for shuttling wedding guests if your venue is separate from your hotel, or if your reception takes place hours after your ceremony. Instead of asking guests to drive themselves or take rideshare services, you can provide a ride that guarantees that they’ll end up at the right place at the right time.
How do you figure out how long you need it for, or how many buses you typically need?
You can use your bus for as long as transportation is needed. We can take you from your hotel to your ceremony, from your ceremony to your reception, and back to your hotel at the end of the night. Or, we can simply drop in to provide a quick shuttle service before the party begins.
As for how many buses you may need, that depends on how many wedding guests you’re moving and how quickly you need to move them. We can pair you with a minibus for a small wedding, which typically seats around 25 guests at a time; or we can send a full-sized, 56-seater charter bus for a larger wedding. Plenty of in-between options are also available.
What’s the average cost of renting a charter bus for a wedding?
Costs vary widely depending on your location, when your wedding will take place, what type of bus you book, and how long you need your bus.
Say a bride is booking a shuttle for her April wedding in Atlanta. She’d like to have her shuttle move guests from her hotel to her ceremony/reception space, and keep the shuttle going so that guests can return to the hotel at their leisure. She needs the shuttle for a total of 6 hours, on a Saturday, and chooses to book a 25-passenger minibus. Her quote would be around $858, not including a potential additional cost to park the bus at the hotel. A full-sized 56-passenger bus would cost about $946 in the same scenario.
For comparison, using all of the same factors but changing the city to San Francisco, a 25-passenger minibus would cost about $912, and a 56-passenger bus would cost about $1,014.
What are the main benefits of renting a charter bus vs. other wedding day transportation?
Booking a charter bus for your wedding gives you and your guests the added peace of mind of knowing that their transportation is secure for the entire night. With rideshare services, guests must call their own cars, split into separate vehicles, travel to the venue, and worry that they may not arrive at the correct place. A charter bus provides a reliable, spacious, scheduled ride at no additional cost to your guests that’s guaranteed to take everyone exactly where they need to be. Plus, you’ll have a designated driver throughout your celebration to ensure that everyone gets home safely.
No matter what you decide, it’s best to make sure that your guests know about ALL their wedding day transportation options, whether you provide the actual shuttles or not. 🙂