Whether you opt for a carriage ride to the church or party bus for your bridal party you need to be educated in securing the details of your transportation.


Advance Reservation – It is important to give yourself enough time to be a smart consumer when choosing your limousine service. Most companies will need at least six months notice in advance of your event. But as Larry Chrystal of A-1 Mr. Limo, Inc. states, “Limo Coaches (14 - 30 passengers) require one year notice during peak seasons. The limo coach is becoming the most popular of all the choices, per Larry “a party on wheels!” Making sure everyone is together and on time is a great stress reliever for the bride and groom.


Horse Drawn Carriage – Like vehicles on wheels, coaches driven by horses require advance notice. Most companies offer their services during Spring, Summer and Fall with limited service available during the winter months. Howard Goodyear of Spring Mist Farms reminds us, “Be aware of how far your ride will be from point A to point  B.” He has an eight mile limit for his horses to pull the coach and six adults. Seat belts are not required by law, but an adult must accompany a child at all times. Just as important whether it be a limo or a horse drawn carriage, ask if they have a backup plan just in case of the unforeseen.


Deposit – Most companies will require 25% to 33% down to hold the date, with the balance due the day of the event. John Yedlick of LimoBusters issues the contract the day of the wedding because, “so many details can change right up to the wedding day.” The balance due should be paid by cash, credit card or a money order, checks are usually not accepted as final payment on the day of the event.


Tipping – Make sure you are clear on what is provided in your bridal package. Some companies include the tip and others do not. Generally a fifteen to twenty percent tip, usually paid in cash, is rewarded to the driver if he has given you the level of service expected.


Wedding Specialists – Not all transportation companies specialize in weddings. Look for companies that specifically advertise in bridal magazines and that participate in bridal shows.


Liquor – Local limousines companies are prohibited by Ohio law to provide liquor; however you can usually bring your own. It is very important that the license plate or a sticker appear on the vehicle that has the word “livery,” this will avoid any problems with open containers. 


Vehicles – It is so important to make an appointment to physically see the vehicle that you will be contracting. As Yedlick, tells us, “You do not want any surprises on the day of your wedding!”  A reputable company will provide you with a vehicle identification number or mark your paperwork with a specific car detailing the color, make and year. Make sure that you are clear on the vehicle that you have chosen.


Umbrellas – We all wish for blue skies and sunshine on our wedding day, but that doesn’t always happen.  It is wise to make sure that you will be dry getting in and out of the vehicle. Having an umbrella on hand will be one less thing to worry about.


Minimums and Maximums – A standard wedding package is for five hours, but with every company this can change. The bottom line is to ask the minimum charge and the charge if you go over your package hours. Be clear on the cost. The best advice is to let your professional advise you on the package that will provide you with the service you will need for your day. This will give you peace of mind that if you choose to stop at a romantic spot just to say “I love you,” you will have the time to do so.


Consumer Red lights – Make sure that the company you choose is insured. Look for the word “livery” on the back license plate on any limousine that holds more than fourteen passengers. Ohio law requires that limousine coaches have the State of Ohio seal and the current year be visible on the side of the coach.


Most importantly remember that you need to get to the church on time. Whether you choose a car or carriage you’ll want to be treated like royalty. Asking the right questions and giving your transportation company the right information will guarantee that this portion of your wedding planning will be perfect!


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