If you are like many brides, you are probably planning on hiring a limousine company to transport you to your wedding. Before you begin to interview companies, you should think about what type of car or limo you would like to rent, for how many hours and write down any questions you would like to ask the company.
First, calculate how many people will be riding in the limousine, or how many in each limousine. There are several types of limousine cars, each seating a specific amount of people comfortably. These are some standard cars available, however, not all limousine companies will have the same cars available.
- Sedans (mostly Town cars but sometimes Mercedes or Specialty Sedans)
- 6 Passenger Limousine (Seats 4 comfortably)
- 8 Passenger Limousine (Seats 6 comfortably)
- 10 Passenger Limousine (Seats 8 comfortably)
- 12 Passenger Limousine (Seats 10 comfortably)
- 14-22 SUV Limousine (Typically a Navigator, Escalade, or Excursion)
- 18-20 Passenger Hummer
- Small Shuttle Bus (22-35 Passengers)
- Coach Bus (45-55 Passengers)
- Small Limo Bus (14-22 Passengers)
- Coach Limo Bus (28-35 Passengers)
- Classic Cars (Rolls Royce, etc).
Once you know how many people will be in the limo, you then need to figure out how long you need it for. Most limousine companies charge by the hour, so it is important to decide how many hours you will need. Additionally, most companies have an hourly minimum on Friday and Saturday nights, so if you wedding falls on one of these days, and you only want a limo for one hour, you may still be charged for their minimum rate. Additionally, inquire about their overtime rates. If your photography session runs a bit over schedule, it is possible you will be charged additional fees at the time of service if the booking ran over it’s allotted time. When inquiring about packages, many limo companies offer a wedding package. Typically, a wedding package includes 3 hours, red carpet service and often a champagne toast. Three hours of limo service will cover your transportation to the ceremony, transportation to the photography location, and drop off service at the reception. You may also want to think about transportation home after the reception. The limousine company can schedule a pick up time after the reception without waiting for you during your reception.
You will want to book the company at least four to six months before your wedding. If your wedding falls between the months of April through September, you may want to book your transportation even earlier as the more popular wedding months fill up quickly. Keep in mind that during the months of April through June, depending on area, limousine companies also book proms – which may hinder your booking plans.
Call several companies in the area and see how responsive they are to your questions and inquiries. It is important that they be responsive and courteous to your requests. While requesting their rates also inquire about including gratuity, cancellation fees, and how overtime rates are charged. Limo companies usually allow a fifteen minute grace period to allow for extra time, however, once you have passed your grace period, overtime may be charged. Ask what the vehicles come with as well, alcohol, music, smoking or non-smoking, refrigeration, and/or food. If possible schedule an appointment to view their fleet of vehicles.
Book your limousine with the company that you feel will be on time, have the best vehicle and chauffeur, and has the best price. For most people, price is not as important as service, so do not automatically choose the lowest rate, often in the limousine business, you get what you pay for. When booking, make sure to get a copy of the contract, confirmation / reservation number, as well as their cancellation policy in writing. Confirm with the company if they will be handing the job or if they will be farming out the job to another company. If they plan on farming out the job, (which is a common practice among limousine companies, especially for ‘hot’ booking dates) get the name and address of the company so that you can verify their reliability, car condition and service. If you do not feel comfortable with your wedding transportation handled by another company, tell them so.
A week before your wedding, call and confirm your reservation and request a contact number for the driver. Be sure to verify the route and addresses for pick up are correct. The day of the wedding you may also wish to call and confirm that your limousine is scheduled to arrive on time.
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