Post # 1
Hive, I’m completely stumped and looking for advice.
My FI and I want to provide transportation for guests to and from our reception, but our hotel does not provide a shuttle. We could rent a mini-bus and have it shuttle guests back and forth. However, we would have to rent the bus for the entire six-hour reception, even though it will only be used for the first and last hour. I hate to spend several hundred dollars on a bus that we’ll hardly use, but I also want everyone to enjoy themselves and not drive after drinking too many cocktails. Is this the best way to go?
Another alternative would be to let guests drive to the reception and then we’ll call and pay for cabs for the people that need them. However, as I anticipate most of the bridal party will be in no shape to drive, this might not be the best option.
Should we spring for the bus? Or is there another way that I’m not thinking of in my panicked state? 🙂
Post # 3
We’re going to rent a 15 passenger van and have someone be the DD. In our area it’s only $120 for 24 hours. If you don’t know someone that would be willing to drive it perhaps you could hire a friend of a friend, or put an ad on Craigslist?
Post # 4
We thought we were going to have the same issue! I had callled up a trolley company to get a quote for the full time of the reception and although it was within our budget…i was looking to see if we could get it cheaper.
My fiance however called up the trolley company and explained to them what services we were looking for (meaning at the beginning and end of the reception only) and they were like "oh…that’s only going to be $xxx" which was less than half of the original quote I had recieved.
My advice would be to call various places and explain what you are looking for. You never know when someone will actually only charge you for the time you use!
Post # 5
That’s what I was thinking! Rent one or two vans and designate a couple of people to be DDs. Either have some good friends of yours do it and that way they can enjoy the reception (sans the alcohol, of course) and they’ll be available to drive people back to the hotel early in case a guest or two needs a ride. Or, like caitlanc mentioned, hire some sort of "chauffer", either a friend of a friend or by putting up a Craigslist ad. Renting a car/van would be cheaper than renting a mini bus since you’d be paying for the day instead of hourly for a specialty service.
Post # 6
Unfortunately most companies don’t offer only the beginning and end of the night. I’m getting married in wine country and there are no options except to rent shuttles for six hours. If you can find people that will be DD then by all means go for what the previous posters idea, but I don’t want to worry that so and so had a few drinks and is supposed to be DD and grandma needs to go back to the hotel. I guess it depends if it is just friends that need to be shuttled, or majority of your guests, and how many guests you have. I know how hard it is to deal with transportation so good luck!
Post # 7
This is too late for the original poster, but as an FYI to anyone reading: we talked to a local cab company and they gave us a great rate if our guests booked a cab with them. We could also pre-schedule cabs, and have some on-call too for the end of the night if they were needed. Play the “exclusivity” card, say you’ll put their card in the invitations, or their info on your wedding website, post the number at the hotels and reception, all that good stuff. You might be surprised that they will compete for the business 🙂 This was in a rural area, not sure how it’d work for a metro location.
Post # 8
Ok I hope this doesn’t offend anyone but I would NEVER assign any of my friends/guests to be the DD for my wedding to shuttle guests, even if they did not drink a drop purely because of choice. I think that’s extremely tacky, you should never ask them to play chauffeur for your guests (difference would be if it’s a few people not the entire wedding). They are GUESTS, not the help.
I would definitely hire some sort of shuttle service and maybe you can work out some sort of deal/package with them. However, that’s usually how it goes, though, with paying for the entire night instead of just the time that you used them. Remember formals in high school in college? We paid for the entire night limo service even though we used it to get to dinner then dance and the dance to home, not the time in between. Sucks but that’s how it usualy goes.
Look up some vendors and call and compare. Don’t be afraid to haggle with them, explain your situation, and even say well this other vendor offers this so what can you do. The taxis seem like it might be confusing for not only the guest but for you as a hassle to keep up with who is using them, how many to call, and keeping up with the open tab. A shuttle service would be paid for upfront and there would be no confusion with guest thinking they have to pay. If a guest thinks they have to pay a taxi, they might decide to drive and that defeats the purpose of looking out for their safety and conveinece.
Compare vendors and don’t be afraid to use the more offbeat modes other than a bus. As a guest at other weddings, it was really cool and unique when the couple used trolleys, double decker buses, and so on for us and it wasn’t suprisingly too expensive. I see it as worth it.