Getting from a hotel to a wedding venue to a reception hall can be so much more than point A to point B. But if you’re considering a limo, what happens if your guests aren’t ready to leave on time? Is traffic being accounted for? Is a limo alright, or do you need a charter bus? This week, we brought Joey Medellin of Team One Luxury onto the podcast to answer all the questions you have about wedding transportation!
Joey: We understand that every wedding is beautiful and there’s not one single wedding that’s alike, maybe similar, but not alike, and everyone has different needs. So we really try to do more towards the customization part of the quote whenever we start working with clients. We have certain questions that are already prompted on our website so that we can start guiding us to where we need to be price-wise. Depending on the number of guests and the vehicle size, the price starts to go higher and higher.
Typically we see people wait until the end of planning to hire the transportation and then they don’t have much budget left, but really transportation is expensive, especially when you are looking at larger numbers of guests.
When it comes to the bride and groom, we have luxury SUVs, we used to have sedans. We had a Jaguar, and it was good but we noticed that most of the wedding gowns and dresses needed a bit more room. So now we have black luxury SUVs and they get booked quite a bit.
Joey: One of the things that we did a bit differently on our end is that we actually don’t start our time until we get to the first destination, and then we kind of go from there. We start our time from when we arrive which is usually about 15 minutes prior to set up, and kind of go from there. On average, at least for our preferred venues, we’re anywhere between $450 to $500 for the limo and the whole service. For the venues that we don’t work with much, it’s anywhere from $750 or higher, but we definitely like to spread the love and help out, saving some money when possible.
Other companies, traditionally charge drive time. Usually, it’s a 4-hour minimum, and while you may be thinking that’s too much time, if you are in the city those 4 hours actually go pretty quickly because they include drive time to and from the venue, set up time, and then the actual trip where you are the passengers.
Joey: Usually when transporting the wedding party, they’ll book two, one for the guys and one for the girls because most of the time they don’t want to see each other prior to the wedding. Or we’ll bring out our stretch escalade and that takes the entire wedding party.
We like to get to know what our couples are desiring and that’s where the customization comes in. Sometimes it’ll be 2 vehicles getting to the ceremony with the guys and girls separate, and then the whole wedding party will want to get into a vehicle together which takes them to the reception venue. We work with our couples to put everything together to what they need, because sometimes you don’t want to just have that 1 vehicle and we make it cost-effective.
Joey: We have meetings with the client and we find out if they have people who they know will want to go earlier and then we start putting down the names and we ask for those people. Essentially a guest list, if you will, so that we can put these together. It’s important for us to at least have a head count. That’s the main thing, especially on anything that’s a large group so we know how many are going and how many are coming back.
We account for how many people need to go in early (officiant, father of the bride, etc)., and how long it takes for the vehicle to go there and come back and not GPS. We also look at how long a large vehicle will be able to go in and come back and then stage up and get already for the next one. But the most important thing we do is always have a plan B, and make sure that we’re prepared for those who want to go on the early return and those that may want to stay for the final run. We never leave it to have just enough room, because just enough is when people get left behind.
Joey: A minimum of adding an additional buffer of 10 to 12 minutes. I know it’s not like an even number, but 10 to 12 minimum. It also depends on the city you’re in. So if you’re in a very large city and you’ve mapped it out that it’s only 7-8 miles away, which would normally take 12 minutes in a car, we take 25 minutes to get there. Not because we’re just having a good time, but because when we have to get out of the parking lot, we have to account that we take up 2 lanes to get out of the parking lot. We can’t just whip around and go, we’re taking precious cargo, we have people in the back.
One of the things we like to do is give clients a timeline of what we’d like to do, especially if we’re doing weddings where we do transportation for the entire weekend, and it lets people kind of know what to expect.
Joey: We try to make sure that we have a standby driver and the chauffeur that’s ready to go for the night just in case we need them. If you decide you are ready to end the wedding night early, because you are tired and just ready to go, it’s important to be aware that it could take us a bit to get there depending on where the car is located, traffic, and of course those lovely deer.
Joey: It’s important when you’re doing your guest transportation that you have an accurate headcount, but also that you are taking into account the luggage and items that you are bringing with you. We can bring a vehicle for 12 people, but if each person has luggage, we will need something bigger. Your headcount should account for actual people, not the number of rooms that are booked at the hotel.
It’s also great if we have a list of who gets to ride in the vehicle because we’ve had people sneak in and we have to nicely ask them to please get out of the vehicle because there isn’t room for the people who are supposed to be in it.
The information that Joey provided was so helpful for us, even being in the wedding industry, so we hope you found it helpful as well. If you are local and you’re looking for transportation, please check out Joey and his team out at Team One Luxury. As always, make sure that you are planning your wedding according to your desires, don’t let anyone push you into something you don’t want. Check out the resources on our website and book your free consultation today if you are interested in wedding planning or DJ services!
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