You might not find this question in any of the wedding planning books, but it’s an important one to ask: Does your wedding need a shuttle service? While transportation will inevitably mean an additional cost on what’s already a long list—in certain circumstances, a shuttle service is both convenient and considerate for your guests.
We’ll cover the scenarios when you should consider offering this service in a moment. But before you panic, “Great, another thing I have to worry about!” this isn’t as complicated as it might seem.
Scheduling a shuttle service can be as simple as renting a bus through a local hotel. If you worked out a discount on rooms, ask if they offer any sort of transportation, or if they have a deal with a local bus rental business. You provide the address for the ceremony, and they do the rest!
If the hotel doesn’t offer anything, Uber and Lyft offer services for special events, like weddings or parties. Your guests won’t have to wait or pay for their ride. Both situations are simple to coordinate and can benefit your event in the long run.
So how do you know if your wedding needs any transportation? Consider these six situations below—if you fall into one (or more!) of them, then your wedding could greatly benefit from a shuttle service.
Everyone is staying at the same hotel
You’ve likely already reached out to a local hotel or two for discounted room rates for your wedding party. This is especially helpful for any out-of-town guests—they don’t want to guess which nearby hotel is the best or the closest. If you can recommend one or two, and offer a discount, it makes their overall experience better. It might even help convince them to attend!
And with everyone is staying at a nearby hotel, it’s simple to set up a shuttle service to and from that location. Like we mentioned earlier, the hotel might even offer transportation in your bundle.
There’s an open bar
It’s obvious that you want everyone to have fun at your wedding—the whole point, after all, is to celebrate! Typically, that includes alcohol. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with an open bar—offering friends and family a safe way to get back to their hotel ensures that the fun lasts through the end.
Pairing a shuttle service with an open bar means guests don’t even have to drive to the ceremony. There’s no car to accidentally get into—they just wait for the bus to take them back. You can rest easy that night, knowing everyone is safe. Plus, guests feel more comfortable enjoying a drink or two without having to drive after.
It’s a destination wedding
Most destination weddings aren’t local for anyone—including the happy couple. That means, unless cars are rented, no one will have transportation on the other side. Some guests might choose to rent a vehicle for driving to and from the airport, or if they choose to stay after the wedding and turn the trip into a vacation. But it’s safe to assume that isn’t the case for most attendees.
If you’ve ever traveled far from home, you know it can be a hassle to navigate unfamiliar streets and highways. Coordinating a shuttle service is a huge help to your friends and family—and even to yourself. You’re away from home, too, and you’ll need a way to get around for the rehearsal, ceremony, and any last-minute shopping. Research a weekend bus rental that can be used for any wedding-related trips!
Parking is limited
Local guests are most likely driving to and from the wedding on their own. If the venue parking is limited, space should be preserved for those guests not spending the night. But if that’s the case, you still need to make sure everyone can get to the venue for the wedding. That’s where a shuttle service comes in handy! Out-of-towners can leave their cars at the hotel, and catch a ride on the bus. This removes any parking distress, without limiting your guest list.
You have a large wedding party
And we mean large! Your bridesmaids and groomsmen may carpool to and from the wedding, but if you have a large wedding party that might confuse matters. If they don’t all want to leave at the same time, sorting that out could add stress to the evening. And if everyone drives themselves, that’s more cars to park—and we just covered the potential hassle of that!
Solve any potential chaos by offering a shuttle service exclusively for the wedding party. It can take them around the hotel and wedding venue so they don’t have to keep track of their car or their ride. Plus, if you rent a private bus, everyone can leave their items on the bus and not risk losing them at the reception.
The wedding venue is close to the reception
If your ceremony and reception are too far apart, you definitely don’t want to offer a shuttle service. It will take guests too long to go back and forth from the two venues. Your line will either be super long, or people won’t feel like they can leave in a timely manner. But if the two spots are close by—or if they’re the same location, and the hotel is close by—a shuttle service is a totally practical option.
A shuttle service can be a huge help to your guests, and it can make logistics easier for you on the day of. To determine if it’s something you should offer, go through your guest list and see how many guests are traveling—and assess the total number of guests, too. Understanding that, along with the limitations of your venue, will help you make the right choice for your wedding.
Do you think a shuttle service is necessary for your wedding? Why or why not?