When Cinderella made her fateful trip to the ball, she had a pretty easy time getting there. A few waves of her fairy godmother’s wand, and an ordinary pumpkin became a golden coach; mice became horses, a rat was the coachman, and lizards were her footmen.
Unfortunately, fairy godmothers are in short supply these days — so brides must make other transportation arrangements for themselves and their handsome princes (and of course, their many attendants.).
I talked with a few locally based limousine companies about the latest trends in wedding transportation, and got a surprising — and unanimous — answer: PARTY BUSES!
To me, that sounded like just a cut or two above riding in a pumpkin. But they assured me it’s the way to go. Glenn Centola, owner of Limo Today, said, “Years ago, nobody wanted a party bus for a wedding. They were too big and too ugly. But buses have really taken off. About three years ago, only one of every ten brides was interested. Today, it’s more like three out of ten.”
The buses are still big and clunky, but that’s actually become an advantage. As wedding parties have grown — our experts say 20-25 people isn’t that uncommon — the typical stretch limo becomes less and less practical.
“Buses do hold more people,” said Anthony Onorata, owner of Anthony Limousine, Allentown, “but there’s also more room to move around. You don’t have to crouch or slide around on seats, wrinkling your clothes. With a bus, you can walk right in, stand and sit comfortably.”
The extra seating capacity also solves a very delicate problem faced by large, multi-vehicle wedding parties: Who rides with the bride? (Or, in other words…who doesn’t?)
And if your notion of bus trips includes uncomfortable, egg-crate seating, and staring out the side windows, think again.
Today’s wedding buses are absolutely plush. “Most of them feature wraparound seating for easy conversation,” said Brian Beale, general manager of A&A Limousine Service. “It’s also good for brides wearing expansive dresses. And there’s enough room for everyone to walk around.”
Flat-screen TVs and bars also help make the ride more tolerable. “And limo buses have sophisticated sound systems and electronics,” Onorata added. “Instead of handing a bunch of CDs to the driver, you can sync your smartphone via Bluetooth, and control everything you hear.”
Centola added one very practical point: the larger buses are equipped with on-board toilet facilities. You can imagine how handy they can be during long trips, or photo sessions in remote locations.
Most limo companies can also provide shuttle bus transportation for your guests. It’s especially convenient for out-of-towners who won’t know where anything is. And you can’t argue with the increased safety factor. Let’s face it — it’s likely that a few (or more) reception guests will overdo it; you’ll feel much better knowing that their return to the hotel will be in safe (and 100% sober) hands.
When you’re shopping around for transportation, our experts urge you to keep these points in mind:
- Get an all-inclusive price. Some companies may have add-ons (gas, mileage, toll charges and so on) that aren’t discussed in the initial phase.
- Insist on obtaining your driver’s name and cell phone number, in case there are last-minute changes.
- Although all limo companies will offer pre-set packages (such as a 3-hour minimum), some of them offer flexibility as well. Ask if your plan can be accommodated.
- Consider using the limo service for transportation to your honeymoon departure point. It’s a good way to avoid long-term-parking charges.
The companies we spoke with offer a multitude of vehicles and rates. For more information, contact them directly.
A&A Limousine Service:
215 352 1500.