At the extreme end, you may have to arrange for the transportation when you block rooms at a hotel for out of town guests.
But in most cases, your family can handle transporting guests from the hotel.
Things are not that easy at a destination wedding where all your guests will be out of towners needing transportation throughout the trip. You can expect to arrange for:
- Airport pickup/drop-off
- Transportation to/from ceremony
- Transportation to/from reception
- Transportation to/from group activities
Looking at the above list, you may start to think that this can get very expensive, very quickly. So the first question is whether wedding guests are expecting you to transport them?
Do guests at a destination wedding expect you to provide transportation?
Sure they do. Guests will have spent a bundle of money for plane tickets, taxi cabs, and hotel stays already. Having them pay more to get to and from your wedding is an additional cost they don’t need.
In this article, we are going to go over the different types of transportation that you will need to arrange and tips on how to save money when arranging each one.
Airport Pickup / Drop-off
The smartest thing to do about airport transportation is to pick a hotel or resort that offers 24 hour complimentary airport shuttle service. When you are looking to block hotel rooms for destination wedding guests, make airport transportation a top priority. Any hotel that does not offer it should be taken off the list of potential venues.
And if you can’t find a hotel or resort that offers shuttle service (due to distance of venue etc.), then the next best option is to rent a van yourself. Rather than have each guest pay for a cab, the classier thing to do is to rent a van on the day that you expect the majority of guests to arrive. Have family members take turns driving it throughout the day so the task is not shouldered by one person.
Finally, if you can’t arrange any kind of transportation, then consider talking to the cab company that services the airport to give your wedding guests a discounted rate. Remember that the average destination wedding has over 50 guests so the cab company can expect a lot of business from you, and will in turn offer discounted group fares.
Transporting to/from ceremony and reception
In many cases, the ceremony and reception halls are at the same place or at least near each other so that you don’t have to transport guests to each place separately. In this case, all you need to do is arrange for transportation there and back.
Your first option should be to try and arrange for free transportation to and from the wedding.
Before you book a hotel, consider asking the venues what hotels will provide complimentary transportation to/from the wedding venue. Many hotels will do so if you block hotel rooms. To learn how to get free transportation, read this article.
If you cannot find any hotels that provide transportation, then ask the venue for a recommendation. They deal with hundreds of weddings and a dozen or so transportation companies. They will be able to provide you contact information for one that is reliable and inexpensive.
If you do have to arrange for a bus, expect to spend $600-700 if your wedding is in the US. If you are on a tight budget, consider renting a school bus from a local school district and they will charge $200-$300 for a yellow one.
Another, less frequently used option, is to ask the church where you are getting married if they have a van or bus that you can rent at a very discounted rate. Many churches and other religious institutions have their own fleet of buses for private transportation so it may be worth it to ask.
Transportation to/from group activities
Out of all the transportation that you are going to provide, this is the one that guests generally don’t expect you to pay for. If the activity is far enough away, then consider telling guests that you have arranged for a bus to do pickup and drop-off, and that the cost will be $XX per person. Most destination wedding guests won’t mind paying a small transportation cost.
Providing transportation for guests at your destination wedding is not only the classy thing to do, but it is also the right thing to do. After all, do you really want to risk having wedding guests get lost on their way to the hotel? Or worse, get ripped off by cabbies during the entire trip?
While wedding guests may not say that they expect you to provide it, most will greatly appreciate the time you spent in arranging for transportation.
What should you do next?
Learn how to arrange arrange for transportation to and from the wedding without busting your budget.