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We have so much adoration & respect for wedding planners. The attention to detail required, and the juggling of so many moving parts is not something any human can do, and we have serious admiration!
We like to think that, while we aren’t event planners per se, we do have years of experience writing transportation itineraries and planning events from the logistical standpoint of simply getting everyone where they need to be on time. I mean, what’s a ceremony without your guests?
When you zoom out, and look at your wedding day or your event as a giant puzzle, timing is the glue that binds the pieces together. Yes, most seasoned wedding planners build in extra “breathing room” to the day-of timeline (because we all know that delays are inevitable) but if travel time is not estimated accurately, it can result in significant delays to the ceremony, which creates a domino effect in the timeline (in other words, the whole day gets pushed back).
This is why we go the extra mile when reviewing that timeline or receive new details from you or your planner. We hop over to google and map everything out – taking into consideration details you may not be familiar with like traffic, city ordinances, and passenger loading times.
Sounds like a lot, but we love it! And we know that some folks find the logistical/transportation side of planning an event to be a bit foreign and intimidating, so we’re here to help.
See below for some quick tips that we believe make transportation (and therefore the entire day) run more smoothly. The more you plan ahead, the less you have to worry about on your big day!
Tip #1: Hire a planner.
Ahh, the three magic words to event planning. We understand that budget restraints cause hesitation when deciding on hiring a wedding planner. Hey, I didn’t have a wedding planner. I’m a DIY girl at heart and I definitely told myself “ehh, I can do all that myself” but let’s be real – it was stressful. I got married in the mountains and the bus broke down on the way up the mountain. With family and guests on board. As I was busy getting ready with my bridesmaids – and drinking PBR – I had no idea that groomsmen & family members were hopping into their rented SUVs and shuttling guests up to the ceremony site (and some guests literally hitch-hiked). It definitely makes for a great story, and my guests still talk about the bus ride (half-way) up the mountain. But let’s be real, I was blessed that I had others handling that teeny tiny mishap, 30 minutes before my wedding ceremony.
Let’s just say that, if you plan on inviting more than 100 guests AND that involves transporting them to the event, we highly recommend hiring a wedding planner, or at least having someone as a logistical point-of-contact (for all vendors, not just transportation). When the Big Day finally arrives – the last thing you’ll want to be doing is answering your cell phone & coordinating last-minute timing delays.
Tip #2: Reserve Hotel Blocks
I know, it’s hard when you’re unsure of where people will want to stay, or how many people will attend, but a hotel block is so handy, especially for a large wedding where all guests will need transportation out to one of the plantations.
In our experience, having a bus pick up at more than (2) hotels adds too much opportunity for delay. We always recommend allowing for 15 minutes loading time at each stop. That’s already (30) minutes in the timeline, and we haven’t even factored in travel time (which btw, travelling in a bus will take longer than navigation will tell you).
That’s why it’s simply easier (from a logistical point of view) to utilize a hotel block where everyone is picked up from 1-2 hotels. We can also advise you on which hotels in your area work best when it comes to loading folks onto a bus. Some hotels have large bus loading zones right out front..some don’t! (meaning guests may need to walk a block or 2).
Tip #3: Rent Hourly vs Round Trip
You can rent our buses in (1) of (2) ways: Hourly or Round Trip. (please note, Round Trips are only offered in the Charleston area)
Hourly – This means the bus is rented for a “chunk”of consecutive hours (4-hour minimum for the Charleston area) which gives you complete access with unlimited stops, shuttle trips and miles within the reserved time frame. The bus will standby at the venue (or as close as logistics allow) during the contracted timeframe.
Round Trip – This is essentially (2) one-way trips:
The “Initial Trip” – Point A to point B, and the Return Trip – point B to point A. Each trip includes up to (1) hour of loading/travel time. The bus will not standby during the event, but there is no limit on the time in between the two trips.
Logistically, Round Trips are a transportation planner’s dream due to their simplicity. But we find that guests (specifically older family or those with small children) really appreciate the option to leave the reception a bit early. When you rent a bus (or add a sprinter van!) to standby throughout the evening, we will help you schedule out timing for “early departure” trips to make sure everything runs smoothly and the bus/van returns in time for the final guest departure.
In addition, we often see folks rent a bus hourly and utilize it for the wedding party to get to the venue, then circle back for guests. And keep in mind – if you’re booking more than one bus – it’s certainly an option to do (1) bus hourly, and the others as Round Trips!
Obviously, there are lots of options when it comes to your transportation options – and we’re here to help! Shoot us an email or give us a ring (EXT 2 for new inquiries, EXT 3 for existing reservations) and we’ll help guide you through all of your options. It’s what we do and we love it.