Post # 1
I’m really strugging with the cost and logistics for shuttles for our wedding ceremony and reception.
My fiance insisted that having shuttles was the most important thing for him at our wedding. He is paranoid about people drinking and driving. The ceremony and reception are at a vineyard about 20 miles (35 minutes) from downtown where our hotel block is reserved. It is in the middle of nowhere with dark roads. We will have about 150 guests, with over 100 being from out of town. However, my parents insist that our entire extended family (~50 people) would never use a shuttle option, despite being unfamiliar with the area.
I have looked into the available bus/shuttle options. We’ve been told that full size buses can’t get up the driveway at the vineyard, so we would need mini shuttles (15-passenger) at $500 each for the night. Multiple trips are out of the question due to the distance, so we’re looking at at least 7 shuttles ($3500) for guests. This is a HUGE part of our budget, obviously.
My biggest issues are:
1) How do you know how many guests will take the shuttles? I feel like we need to have room for all guests in case they end up planning on the shuttle option.
2) The cost would be over $3500, if not several thousand more. Is that a reasonable cost for transportation? I’m terrified that only a few guests will end up using the transportation option and we’ll throw the money down the drain.
Post # 3
Is there a way to ask if people intend to use the shuttles on the RSVP? That way you can get a head count and only reserve what you need…?
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@kimberlystews: I would doublecheck about the big shuttle driveway issue – that seems like a really important detail! We had a pretty good size bus (31 passenger) for our shuttle. It had to drive up a dirt road for about 3/4 mile, including going over a narrow wooden bridge, and then turn around in the parking lot. Sometimes these drivers can do surprising things. I wouldn’t trust the venue, if they’re who told you a full bus can’t make it.
To answer your other questions, I think about one-third to half of our guests used the shuttles. The younger people who were more likely to have more than a couple drinks definitely appreciated it. Our venue also allowed people to bring a tent and crash there, which some people took advantage of.
We spent about $900 on shuttles. $3500 is a lot for sure. I agree with trying to get a head count for the shuttle, and hopefully you can get bigger ones up the driveway.
However, I do agree with your FI that this is a really really nice thing to do. People like to party at weddings, and since you’ve chosen a place way out of town, it’s a very nice gesture to let people party without having to worry about having a DD or anyone driving drunk.
Post # 5
Thank for the advice! We decided to put a line on the RSVP card so that we could have a headcount. That will definitely make arrangements easier. We were able to get a few shuttles reserved without a deposit, which gives us more flexibility. I appreciate have some objective input!
Post # 6
That sounds like a good solution! A shuttle was really important to me, as well, so i understand your husband. But our hotel was only about a half mile form the site, so we just used a 15 pasenger van. We were going to rent one, but my dad had the brilliant idea to use the van from the local homeless shelter where he volunteers. So we used the shelter van and just made a donation to the shelter. And we paid some of dad’s friends, who work at the shelter, to drive back and forth. I’d say about 1/3 of guests either used the shelter or walked.
Post # 7
@kimberlystews: our hotel block is giving us two 15 passenger vans if at least ten rooms are booked. our venue is 15 minutes away from the hotel so we had a hard time as well.
Post # 8
I had to ask around and get a final head count for transportation, just the same as any other vendor. I was charged a per person fee. I had established way early on that transportation would be provided to and from the hotels to the venue.
I didnt have near the number of guests that u are expecting, tho. So it will be quite an undertaking for u probably. But yeah, I had to have a head count and so I had to ask around. Then the shuttle company figured how many vehicles they would need based on that.
Post # 8
kimberlystews: I have to ask how did everything end up going? We are in an almost identical situation as you and have been quoted at $2600 for two buses.
Post # 9
kimberlystews: we had to kind of guess, and we are only having a bus take people home to the hotel. To get to the ceremony (reception and ceremony are at the same location) they will have to take cabs and figure it out on their own. I’ve had to do this for many weddings I’ve attended and it was fine.
I understand your concern with people getting home though, which is why we are getting a bus. We’re renting a school bus and it’s only $200!!! It seats 48. Is that an option for you?
Post # 10
secretbee33: What’s the school bus company?? We looked at First Student and I think it’s about $500 or something…
Post # 11
BurlapnLace: yes! I suppose if you needed them for both ways it’s more expensive because they have to wait around during the whole reception. Since we’re just using them for bringing guests home it was cheaper. I think they are still cheaper than party shuttles, at least when we looked they were