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From trolleys to bikes to double decker buses, some brides opt for the whimsical over the extravagant. Photo credit: Honeysuckle Photography
With all the stressors that go into prepping for a full-blown American-style wedding, limousine services can help make those memorable days as stress-free as possible.
By keeping up with ever-changing fleet preferences, operators can not only rake in word-of-mouth clients, but glean revenue from fleet vehicles beyond the traditional white stretch. From understanding popular vehicle types and colors, to brainstorming what your chauffeurs can do to add that special, tingly touch, your company can set itself apart by showing the bride and groom you’ve got their backs.
The days of the bride and groom riding solo are about over. Transporting wedding guests seems to be the priority for most wedding couples, says Jennifer Cuozzo, president of A Touch of Class Limousines in Frederick, Md. “I have several wedding couples who give up transportation for themselves to provide safe transportation for their guests.”
The Bridal Bliss team (L to R): Molly Corr, Nora Sheils, and Elizabeth Corr have seen an increase in requests for vintage transportation. Photo credit: Mosca Studio
Wedding parties are opting for more transportation for more people, says Elizabeth Corr, lead coordinator of wedding planning company Bridal Bliss of Lake Oswego, Ore. “Brides and grooms are viewing it as a fun activity on the wedding day to enjoy together. We’ve seen everything from vintage trolleys to double decker buses.” In fact, they usually make sure to build in a buffer time for the vehicle to travel throughout the city because it provides fun picture opportunities.
While Corr has seen an increase in requests for non-traditional vehicles such as buses, Lincoln stretch limousines remain popular. Limo buses also have seen an increase in use because they are so much easier to get in and out of when dressed in formal wear.
However, quite a few operators are noticing a preference for black vehicles over the traditional white. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the getaway car at the end of the night. Most couples choose a luxury sedan or a small limousine for themselves. “That’s something that is a tradition and won’t really go away,” Corr adds.
Deborah Kosmicki, director of sales for Grand Occasion and Grand Select for Grand Avenue Chauffeured Transportation of Nashville, Tenn., also has seen an increase in couples requesting older vehicles. “Vintage glam is big this year,” she says. One of the vehicles she often recommends is the company’s gray Rolls-Royce because it photographs well against a white wedding gown.
Blue Ivy’s Veronica Alexandra knows that many of today’s brides are looking for the best deal.
More often than not, brides are looking for vehicles that are affordable, says Veronica Alexandra, founder and coast-to-coast event producer for wedding planning company Blue Ivy, based in Boston, Los Angeles and Palm Beach, Fla. “They are trying to find the smallest vehicle that can fit everybody. If it’s a vehicle that fits 36 people but they only have 24, they will go with the vehicle that fits 24,” she says. “They just want to make it happen. They want to make sure it’s reliable.”
Some of her clients have asked about non-traditional vehicles, but once she shows them the rates, they begin to lean more toward traditional selections. Often, planners are limited by the number of companies that offer such options. If your company can’t provide vintage cars, you might consider affiliating with one that can.
Work With Me
Planning a wedding involves incredible amounts of teamwork. No bride, wedding planner, or transportation company can do the job on their own. It’s important to be ready to answer any questions about contracts. Joseph Giras, owner of G&G Limousine in Southlake, Texas, and Cuozzo require phone numbers from people other than the bride and groom to be able to communicate any last minute changes.
“The most critical part in a wedding service is the agent who places the reservation,” Giras says. “They are the only one who can really put into words the vision they have for the limo portion of the experience.”
Gray is another nontraditional color choice that looks particularly stunning against a white wedding dress.
Teaming up with other vendors also helps. Jeremy Bellinger, owner and president of Platinum Limousine in Avon, N.Y., is developing partnerships with a couple of local wedding venues, and is already recognized as one of the preferred transportation providers for weddings in his area.
While not partners yet, he sends business to other companies and vice versa. Grand Avenue has partnerships with various restaurants, which could help with wedding catering, Kosmicki says. Andre Gaughan, owner and CEO of All About You Limousines in Dumfries, Va., has preferred vendors he’s used in the past for different events. He finds it helpful that they invite him and his wife, All About You co-owner Karen, to come to different weddings they are a part of so they can see how that particular vendor interacts with the wedding party.