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Choosing The Right Limousine For Your Wedding Day

Updated on April 5, 2014

Choosing The Right Limousine For Your Wedding Day

Limousine Use at Weddings

Your wedding day is not just an ordinary day, the special day calls for riding in style. Arriving by limousine has long been a tradition as part of the wedding scene. It is important to choose the right limousine company and right limousine for this special occasion. The bride should pull in to the ceremony site in a vehicle that stands out, which creates excitement to the wedding guests, the arrival of the bride in the identifiable limousine builds excitement of the wedding.

Luxury limousines began to become popular after World War II. Citizens started to notice the limousine, they became a status of glamour, power, and wealth for big bands and movie stars would use them to arrive at special events. Limousines soon became part of the wedding scene as they offered plenty of space for the bride's wedding dress to fit and serves as a chariot, riding in a vehicle of impeccable style. In many luxurious limousines, a glass window has been added between the driver up front and the passenger area in the rear of the vehicle, enabling passengers to talk in private without being overheard.

The word limousine comes from the french language, the word originating from the french limousine region. The word was gotten from the cloak hoods that shepherds wore in the early 1900's, linguists were reminded of the style of cloak in naming the vehicle. The first limousine company in America was introduced in the year 1928, by the Armbruster Coach Company of Arkansas.

The limousine has become a fun way to travel to get the bride to the wedding and to get the wedding couple to the wedding reception and sometimes on the couple's way from the wedding reception to start their trip onto their honeymoon. Many limousines are equipped with a few extra amenities such as with a little booze bar, or entertainment system that allows a private celebration for a wedding couple and sometimes for a bridal party.

The ride of the bride's ride to the ceremony site sometimes impacts a bride's emotions. As she climbs into this luxurious vehicle, she realizes she has just hit a transformational moment of her life, she reminisces of her past life growing up, the day at hand, and the start of her new life.

Choosing The Best Wedding Limo For Your Special Day

Where To Find Limousine Companies

For a bride's special day, she needs to be careful on the limousine company and limousine she chooses, some of the limousine companies out there are more geared to the business traveler, some companies have their limousine drivers headed for airports the morning of a wedding and should air travel changes or delays disrupt appointments, a change in a limousine schedule disrupts the wedding day schedule. The bride could end up with a different limousine than what she was expecting or end up with a different driver. In some cases, the limousine will end up showing up late, or may not show up at all. Limousine companies may lie about what happened and gives what sounds like a good excuse.

Most limousine companies geared to weddings, don't put their chauffuer's schedules in jeopardy. Their business and reputation is geared to having their limousines ready for transporting a bride and wedding couple to and from the wedding. Their limousines are kept in mint condition and the chauffeur's are professional and are prepared to make the trip a classy experience.

You can find limousines in wedding planning apps that can be downloaded from the Apple, Google, or ITune store which you can put wedding vendors into your iPhone, IPad, or Android device. One company in which to download vendor apps is called Wedding Selections. Look under "Limos" or "Transportation" category. You can also find wedding limousine companies from wedding directories online. Some reputable directories include www.theweddingdirectory.us , www.gatheringguide.com , www.eventective.com , www.weddingwire.com , www.mywedding.com, www.theknot.com , and www.decidio.com .

You can also find limousine companies using a search bar inputting your city or town followed by "limousine" or "transportation companies". You also might ask family, friends, other wedding vendors, and co-workers if they would recommend any limousine companies. You can also search for limo companies using your local Yellow Pages.

Bridal Party Traveling By Limousine

What To Look For in a Limousine For Your Wedding

You don't want to just call up a limousine company on the phone and order one for your wedding. Your wedding is a special occasion, not just any limousine will do. You first want to identify that the limousine company you are planning to use is geared to weddings. You also want to inspect the limousine you are planning to use personally in person. You want to choose a limousine that looks sharp, appropriate for a wedding occasions and that it offers amenities you would like to have on your wedding day.

If it's possible, you invite along a mechanic or knowledgeable automobile along to inspect the limousine to be sure it's in good and good operating condition. You want the driver's area checked out, the passenger's area, under the hood, and check out the trunk too. Companies that maintain their limousines well have all areas in sparkling condition. The best day to inspect a limousine, is a Saturday or Sunday morning when the limousine is being readied for another wedding.

Any limousine you choose for your wedding should be 3 years or less in age. Any limousine that you choose you want to minimize any chance of a breakdown. Older limos tend to get many miles on them resulting in a greater risk of breakdown. You want close to zero risk of a limousine breaking down on your wedding day.

You also might be looking for a limousine with amenities. Some amenities you might be looking for is a limo with a bar, video, sound system, or a CD or DVD player. You want your limousine driver to be an excellent chauffeur. You want a chauffeur who looks the part, dresses well, who is well behaved, is not intrusive, has a calm demeanor, one who is prompt, is knowledgeable of the area being driven, knows how to follow directions and who has a good driving record.

Choose the limousine that most meets your purposes. Is just the bride taking the limousine to the ceremony, or is the bride and all the bridesmaids traveling together to the wedding ceremony. After the ceremony is the limousine needed just for the bride and groom to be taken to the photo shoot and wedding reception. Or is a larger limousine needed to transport the entire bridal party. Or is a limousine needed for the bride and groom and maid of honor and best man. Who is to be traveling in what car and limousine needs to be determined before deciding on which limousine to go with.

Check limousines out with a number of limousine companies and comparison shop for the best deal. Also check on reviews with each of the limousine companies. Also ask the company for referrals of wedding couples that have used them in the past two years. Ask for referrals on the chauffeur too. Lastly check each limousine company out with the better business bureau.

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Provide Driving Directions to the Limousine Company

The limousine you choose should be inspected three times, first when you book, second about a week before the wedding and third, the morning of the wedding. Invite along a mechanic or someone knowledgeable about automobiles to inspect the limousine.

These days, limousines are equipped with GPS devices, these devices aren't always accurate. It is best to provide directions to the limousine company. Directions should be drawn up on how to get the limousine from it's storage lot to the bride's house, then from the bride's house to the ceremony site, then from the ceremony to the photo shoot and then to the wedding reception, and then from the wedding reception to the hotel or airport and off to the honeymoon. Include in the directions, the departure time and expected time of arrival for each location.

Fax the directions or drop the directions in person to the limousine company and to the driver of your limousine. and verify the directions are received by both. Copies of the directions should be kept with the bride and with the groom, this insures someone has a copy of the directions should the limousine company send a different driver. Having a copy of the directions has sometimes saved the day when a replacement limousine driver has no knowledge of the route. On each directional map include a copy of the limousine company's and chauffeur's reachable mobile phone number.

There are a few different ways to draw up directions for a limousine company. Some couples drive the routes themselves to get the route accurate. You can create directions using a computer or mobile device. On the computer you can derive directions using Google Maps or Mapquest. You can also download an app that provides maps to your IPhone, IPad, or Android device. You can install a GPS Navigation device called Copilot or Google Maps onto your mobile device. There are videos online and Youtube videos that explain and demonstrate how to use these mobile device systems and lay out directions. When handing out directions, always have directions showing in print, handwritten notes often gets misconstrued, often it's difficult to read someone else's writing.

Traveling By Wedding Trolley

Consider a Party Bus or Wedding Trolley For The Bridal Party

Many limousine companies also offer a party bus or wedding trolley to carry bridal party members. Often using these vehicles is a cost savings over using multiple vehicles. Very often the bridal party ends up having a really enjoyable trip from the ceremony to the photo shoot and to the wedding reception when the bridal party is able to be kept all together.

Sometimes, the party bus offers a neat sound system, offer video screens, provides a fun video, takes video, offers a light show, some even offer a photo booth on board. Some include a little champagne, beer, wine, or alcohol bar on board, depending on what the state allows. The ride on the bridal bus or wedding trolley keeps the bridal party all together and creates a memorable experience. It also provides a great backdrop for a party bridal shot for the wedding album. These vehicles are great to use, especially if there is a bit of travel between wedding venues.

What Needs to be in the Wedding Limousine Contract

Make sure you interview with a number of wedding limousine companies before deciding on which one to go with. Don't let one company coerce you into a deal before interviewing with a few different companies. Make sure you choose a limousine company whose operation is geared to weddings.

You should not use a limousine company if it asks for a high deposit upfront, the only exception to this rule if the limousine vehicle is a specialty vehicle such as an antique car, an expensive vehicle such as a Rolls Royce, or a wedding carriage. Some wedding vendors ask for much money upfront to order food, flowers, venue spaces, and decorations. A limo company has no upfront major outlay as do other wedding vendors, thus they should not require a major deposit.

You want everything agreed to spelled out in the limousine contract. You want the assigned vehicle identified, the limousine in mint condition, and all amenities that are to be included spelled out in the contract. You also want to meet the driver that will drive the limousine and who is the driver that will drive the limousine on the wedding day.

You also want all the routes and times spelled out in the contract. You want to be able to inspect the limousine at three separate times, at booking, a week before the wedding, and the morning of the wedding. You want all charges spelled out such as the use of drink or food and how it would be charged if used as well as the use of other amenities such as video, light show, or sound system.

You also want to understand all charges including scratches upon the vehicle, messes, spills, and vomit charges should the limo need to be vacuumed, dry cleaned or need scratch fixes. You want a breakdown of all potential charges of any costs you might incur, such as overtime charges for the driver, and charges for gas or mileage. The contract needs to include what happens if the limousine is found not to be in mint condition on the wedding day, that a comparable limousine be found quickly. The contract should also include should the driver become sick, the limousine has insurance, also what happens should the limousine have to be cancelled should an issue arise regarding the wedding.

The contact should include all expenses broken down, when the deposit payment is due and the date the final bill will be due. All vehicles being used should be included in the contract. You should also request the main office phone number and the chauffeur's cell phone number. You should also ask where will the chauffeur be located during the time of the ceremony and wedding reception. Does the chauffeur hang out at the event or travel and stay at an office some place. Is the chauffeur reachable during the event.

Should the wedding reception take longer than 3 hours, you might be better off to book the limousine twice. Also, a not as big limousine will suffice, the wedding dress will no longer be worn, and a ride for bridal party members may no longer be needed. Discuss the situation with the limousine company.

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