When it comes to your wedding day, every bride and groom have a few non-negotiable items they have their hearts set on. Perhaps it’s the wedding date, venue, the style of wedding, color scheme, or wedding dress.
But it’s important to remember that flexibility should play a role in your wedding planning, too. When it comes to secondary items such as wedding transportation, invitations, and décor, flexibility could really save your budget in the long-run.
If you’re interested in learning more about wedding transportation costs, this blog outlines it all.
Breaking Down Wedding Transportation Costs
Just because wedding transport is considered a secondary item, doesn’t mean it’s not important. How else will you and the wedding party get to the wedding venue, after all? The same goes for guest transportation. This should also be made a priority.
However, this is not to say that you should completely blow your budget on getting to your wedding. Here’s how to budget, realistically:
Research shows that the average amount most couples spend on wedding transport is $800, as of 2019. This is just an average though – there are a number of factors that could drive up this amount. This includes the wedding location, the type of vehicle, etc. These are the average transportation spends across the U.S.:
- South/Southeast coast: $702
- West Coast: $661
- Midwest: $698
- Mid-Atlantic: $1082
- Southwest: $555
If you plan on having a destination wedding, this could also drive up the cost. Naturally, you’ll have to pay for extra driving mileage, as well as for guests flying in from far-flung destinations.
What Do Wedding Transportation Costs Include?
Most couples choose to hire wedding vehicles by the hour. Generally, this charge ranges from $50 – $150 per hour for a fancier vehicle or limousine. You can expect to pay significantly more for larger vehicles such as a party bus or shuttle bus, at $200-$300 per hour. However, it’s important to bear in mind that costs can vary depending on your region and there is no real ”standard” cost.
It’s considered fairly taboo to not tip your driver. So this cost is factored into the overall charge too, which ranges from 15-20 percent of your overall bill. Sometimes this tip or surcharge is included in the contract. If not, $20 is the average amount to spend on each driver.
In some cases, you may be required to contract or hire a vehicle for a minimum time period, which is usually three hours or more. If you choose to offer a personal parking service for your guests, the final bill should include a 15-20 percent gratuity charge. So, be sure to let your guests know that there’s no need to tip!
Don’t Forget to Factor in Guest Transportation
This can actually eat up a large chunk of your wedding transportation budget if you’re not careful. So depending on the size of your budget, you’ll need to decide if you can afford to offer this service. Otherwise, guests will have to find their own way to your venue – which is not uncommon!
All-in-all, it’s a nice gesture to offer guest transportation, but it’s not always necessary. At the very least, you may want to organize personal transport for special guests such as far-flung out-of-towners, parents, and grandparents.
If you’re having a destination wedding and want to provide some form of transport back to the nearest city for your guests, the shuttle bus hire is your best option.
Additionally, if your ceremony and reception venues are quite far apart, a shuttle bus option may also be a good idea. But once again, this depends on the number of guests and your budget.
Before you splash out on guest transportation, be sure to check whether your wedding venue offers complimentary transport services. You could also try to make a deal with a local hotel if you’ve made a large block booking for guests. They may be willing to offer a decent discount on transport services.
How to Overcome the Wedding Parking Dilemma
If you don’t offer a guest transportation service, there is the possible issue of guest parking space – or lack thereof. If you’re having your wedding at a hotel, events center, or banquet hall, check with the site manager regarding the parking availability.
Ask what the parking capacity is and whether they offer a guest parking service. If not, will you be able to hire and offer an independent service, using their parking spaces?
Here are a few tips about parking and valet costs:
- Valets are attendants that park cars for your guests upon arrival. They also retrieve cars upon departure — some venues offer this as a complimentary service
- Valet-attendants direct traffic and point your guests toward designated wedding parking spaces
- The cost for each valet/attendant ranges from $20-$25. You should budget at least three to four valets per 100 guests
If you choose to hire an independent valet service, the manager should scout out your wedding location first, before quoting you on price. Remember that limited parking space and a large guest list will increase the need for manpower, and overall cost. So, it may just be worthwhile just hiring guest transportation if this is the case.
Waiting Time Costs
If you choose to offer a pick-up and drop-off service, this means that your wedding drivers have to wait around for both you and your guests. This cost could add up very quickly. You will most likely be charged by the hour for these wait periods!
Instead, it may be worthwhile hiring wedding transportation for a solid block of time, rather than hour-by-hour. Sometimes, you could even be offered a discount for hiring transport for the entire day, saving you money in the long-run.
Get in Early and Book with Corporate Transportation
It’s crucial that you book your wedding transport as early as possible. The longer you wait, the more the price could sky-rocket. Remember that peak times will incur a higher charge, such as prom and graduation season which runs from March to July.
If you’re looking for reliable, yet affordable wedding transportation, we are your go-to in the St. Louis region. Learn more about our wedding transport packages here and tick this item off your to-do list today!