Transportation: A Planning Worksheet

Coordinating wedding transportation isn't nearly as much fun as outfitting your registry or designing your wedding cake. To help speed up the process, we've organized everything you need to consider. Review this worksheet and weigh your needs against your transportation budget, then start comparing rates among limo companies and parking services. Ready to go?

Hopefully, you've already determined your transportation budget. Knowing your buying power will make it easier to choose services and proceed with your plan. Figure $50-$75 per hour per car (depending on transport mode) and $20-$25 per hour per valet for parking service. Be sure to factor in tips -- about 15-20% of the bill (often conveniently added to your total in advance).

Who Pays?
Contemporary grooms are generally expected to take charge of transportation arrangements. Traditionally, the bride's family pays the wedding party's transportation needs (to ceremony, reception, and wherever the couple's going afterward), plus any parking expenses. The groom's family covers just the groom's and best man's ride to the ceremony. Depending on who's footing the bill for other wedding items, transportation and parking fees should be easy to split evenly between families.

Arrival & Departure Style
Do you see yourself in a horse-drawn carriage a la Charles and Di? A lightning-white stretch? A Mary Kay Cadillac? Matching snowboards? Here are some options:

Stretch limo
Classic car
Horse and buggy
Town car
Luxury car
Own car

Attendants & Family Transportation
Take a head count, then calculate your vehicle needs. Compare prices as you shop around -- one stretch limo might be cheaper than two town cars. Here's a breakdown of average capacities:

Stretch limos: 10-12 passengers
Limos: 6 passengers
Town cars: 2-4 passengers
Own cars: 2-4 passengers (determine how many each will seat comfortably, then decide if you need to rent)

Guest Needs
Depending on your reception and ceremony locations, you might not need to provide mass transport. But if you expect guests to arrive on their own, it's a good idea to cover all bases in terms of parking. Depending on the number of guests, you can choose parking attendants only or a full-service valet team. Guidelines? Four valets (or two or three attendants) plus a site manager generally can service 100 guests. Choose from these options:

Buses: 52-passenger capacity
Vans: 7-passenger capacity
Parking attendants only
Valet parking


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