There are many ways to arrive at the church and your reception. You can have your Best Man drive your personal car, acting as chauffer, you can hire a horse drawn carriage, bus, even arrive on a fire truck. But the most elegant mode of transportation is a beautifully equipped, chauffer driven, Limousine.
From Towncars to Hummers, Limousines come in all shapes and sizes. They can carry from 4-6 people to 20 or more. They come in four-door, six door, some have a moon roof and there are some that even have a hot tub on the back. The latest rage is the strech Hummer Limo. Most Limousine companies offer a variety of sizes, styles, amenities, time and services.
When you start looking for a limo company, there are a few things you need to keep in mind and ask each one you contact. Decide in advance if you want to transport the entire bridal party in one (or 2 limos depending on the amount of people), or just yourselves and maybe the Maid-Of-Honor and Best Man. Also decide if you want the limo to pick you up at your home and take you to the church, wait and then take you to the reception or just meet you at the church for the trip to the venue. These decisions will help determine the costs when you talk to the companies as well as comparing apples to apples. That's important because you don't want a salesperson throwing options at you that you really don't need.
Next, you need to ask a number of questions (ask the same ones to each company) to be able to make an informed decision. Remember, bumping up in size of vehicle can not only increase the price, it can sometimes double or triple it.Here are some of the questions we suggest you ask of each company....
1. What types of limousines do you offer?
2. How far in advance are reservations required?
3. Do you have a minimum rental time?
4. After the minimum rental time what are the additional charges.
5. What is your cancellation policy?
6. What are your deposit requirements, when is it due, how much, and how is the
balance due paid?
7. Can the vehicle be seen before the wedding?
8. Can we decorate the vehicle?
9. Do you offer a wedding package?
10. Do you provide multiple pick up and drop offs?
11. Are your vehicles and drivers properly licensed and insured?
12. What do your wedding packages include:
13. Do you offer a contract?
14. Are you licensed and insured for my area?
You may think of other questions to ask depending on your individual needs. If you do have some, write them down so you are always asking the same questions of each company. The Better Business Bureau warns, if you don't hire a reliable company, you might not get to your event at all. To reduce the risk of a no-show, getting poor service, or not getting what
you expected, the BBB urges consumers to check on the limousine service before hiring them.
Complaints against limousine services in 2001 ranked 30 out of approximately 400 types of businesses tracked by the
BBB in Pittsburgh. Complaints over the last few years cite:
inoperable equipment in the vehicle, including in one case the heat and lights
unsafe operation, including reports of drivers unfamiliar with the oversize vehicles, speeding and being involved in a minor traffic accident
the wrong vehicle being sent, which in some cases was not large enough for all the riders
inability to cancel the service and difficulty in getting refunds, even after being promised billing adjustments.
You can certainly see why it's important to ask the above questions and then follow up by checking with the BBB for a report, keeping in mind that companies who are unresponsive to complaints filed at the BBB, may not be responsive to your complaints either. If you do encounter a problem, remember that mistakes do happen, and even very reputable firms make them. Be patient and try to work with the company to resolve the issue. If this doesn't work, contact the BBB to file a complaint.
And here's another thought, Consider renting a mini bus to arrive near the end of the reception. With the rising awareness of drinking and driving, more families and wedding parties are riding home safely. You can also designate a few close friends, who won't drink, to be drivers to trim costs and enable more family members the consideration of being provided a safe ride home.
As with any large purchase, take your time and discuss it with your spouse-to-be and family. Don't make an impulsive decision while you're on the phone or at the showroom. Pressure made decisions rarely work out well for you. Remember, you're in the "drivers seat", at least until you hire the company you want.