After all, it makes sense to provide transportation for wedding guests flying in for a day or two. If the hotel can provide transportation, then guests will not have to rent a car, or worry about assigning a designated driver.
The following are a list of questions you should ask before signing the room block contract. As with any other agreement, make sure everything is in writing.
When does the hotel need the number of guests needing a shuttle to the wedding venue?
Ideally, you want to give a final number after everyone has checked. This way, you can get an accurate count of who will be needing a shuttle to the venue. However, many hotels will insist on a final number a few days ahead of time so you may have to have someone in your bridal party call each out of town guest to see if they will be utilizing the shuttle. Once you have a final number, pad it with an extra 10-20% for last minute additions.
How many times will the shuttle run back and forth?
If a hotel is offering shuttle service, make sure to clarify whether there is a limit on how many times they will go back and forth. The last thing you want is an out of town wedding guest that is stranded at the reception and has no way to get back because the hotel will not send the shuttle anymore.
How many guests can fit in the shuttle?
When deciding if a hotel shuttle is suitable, ask how many it can seat. Is it a regular van or is it a large shuttle? For example, if you expect 120 guests will need a shuttle, then a van that seats seven passengers at a time will not be sufficient. It may be better to offer rent a bus instead.
What times will the shuttle start/end?
It is important to have several time slots scheduled for you and your guests. Remember that your wedding party will need to be at the reception earlier than regular wedding guests.
They should have a scheduled shuttle that leaves much earlier than the bulk of your guests. Also, try to schedule a shuttle every half hour so guests can continue to go as they get ready instead of all at once.
Make sure you have all the shuttle times in writing so you can inform guests ahead of time (Leave a list of shuttle departure times in their welcome bags at the hotel).
What happens if a guest needs to leave the party early?
Draw up a contingency plan ahead of time. If the hotel is close by (less than 5 miles), then they should have no problem picking up a guest even if it is not a scheduled time. If the wedding venue is further away, then the guest may have to cab it.
What if the hotel is called for another shuttle run while they are transporting my guests?
Most hotels only have one shuttle so this is not a farfetched question to ask. Who gets priority if there is a need for the shuttle to go to the airport? Will your wedding guests be stranded at the hotel waiting for the shuttle to come back from the airport run?
What is the best method to organize the shuttle to/from wedding venue?
Sign-up sheets are life savers. Ask each guest that needs a ride to the wedding venue to sign up for a specific time slot. This way, you won’t have too many people crowding the hotel shuttle at the same time.
A hotel shuttle can be a fantastic amenity for wedding guests since it provides an easy way to get all your guests to the reception quickly. Just make sure you ask all the questions above so your expectations of the shuttle service are set accordingly.
What should you do next?
Read about how you can arrange for a shuttle to your wedding venue when you block hotel rooms.