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seating 10-14 passengers in the lap of luxury. Most super stretch limos are outfitted with state-of-the-art sound systems, wet bars, televisions, and some even boast custom fiber optics. It’s a glamorous way to arrive and depart on your wedding day, and you’ll be able to fit a number of your nearest and dearest in this sophisticated mode of transportation.
SUV Limo The newest trend in wedding transportation, the SUV limousine is becom- ing the most popular mode of transportation for couples and their attendants. Ford Expe- ditions, Lincoln Navigators, Cadillac Esca- lades, even the H2 Hummers have all been modified into swank SUV limousines. These luxurious vehicles are great because they hold more passengers (usually anywhere from 16-28 people) and create quite a stir wherever they travel. However if you’re working with a tighter budget, you might want to check into other modes of trans- portation because their popularity usually commands a heftier price tag than a classic limousine.
Before You Book
Shop around and compare prices for the best deal on wedding transportation, but remember that the lowest price doesn’t always yield the best deal. You don’t want the hassle of a late arrival or a no show on your wedding day, so do your homework. Ask friends for references, check out the pages of local bridal magazines like Weddings In Cleveland, or visit our website www.Wed- You should probably start your search at least six months before
your wedding date; if your wedding falls during prom season you should start looking 10-12 months in advance.
Before you call for price quotes, make sure you have an accurate passenger count. Once you’ve taken down the numbers, add two or three people to your final count. If you want your ride to be comfortable (and we know you do), you should plan on renting a larger limousine to allow extra space so your bridal gown, bouquets, and bridesmaid dresses are less likely to be crushed or wrinkled by other passengers.
If you’ve narrowed your search down to two or three companies, ask if you can make an appointment to see their fleet. That way, you’ll have a better idea of the makes and models they have to offer so there are no surprises in the end.
Get It in Writing
Now that you’ve settled on a specific company, insist on a contract that outlines the details you’ve negotiated. You’ll probably need to put down a deposit to book your wedding day; if possible, put the deposit on a major credit card. Many times, the credit card company will assist you in recovering your deposit if an unforeseen problem arises.
Here are the major points that should be outlined in your contract:
• The full names of you and your fiancé, along with the full name of the company you’re contracting with
• The date, times, and places of the ceremony and reception
• The amount of the deposit, along with the date payment must be made
• The amount of the balance, along with the date final payment must be made
• The makes and models of the vehicles reserved, along with the colors of each
• The number of vehicles reserved, along with the maximum number of passengers allowed and the amenities provided in each vehicle (such as drinks, champagne, red carpet, or decorations)
• The number of hours reserved, along with any overtime fees
• All pick-up and drop-off locations, includ- ing specific times for each stop
• Any restrictions (such as outside deco- rations or alcohol consumption)
• The chauffeur’s attire (should be a uni- form, suit, or a jacket and tie)
• Contingency plan in case of a breakdown
• Cancellation policy
The Pick-up
A few weeks before your wedding, put together an information sheet listing all addresses and pick-up times, detailed direc- tions to the ceremony and reception sites, and phone numbers to call in case of emergency. The week before your wedding, send or drop off a copy of the list to the limousine company. Ask a close friend or family member to check in with the limo driver the morning of your wedding to con- firm the timeline and answer any questions. It’s also a good idea to provide extra copies of the list to your attendants just in case your driver misplaces his or her own copy.
Have the chauffer arrive to pick you up 30 minutes before you’re scheduled to leave for the ceremony. The extra cushion of time will allow for photographs and a bit of leeway for any unexpected stops.
In the End
Remember to show your gratitude to your limousine driver with a proper tip. It’s customary to tip at least 20 percent of the total bill; however if he or she went above and beyond the call of duty to make your ride spectacular, tack on a little extra. §
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