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Wedding Transportation and Lodging

WedingtransptationlodgingDetails, details, details. The devil's in them, and they have a tendency to cause prices to rise and tempers to flare when you're trying to work within your wedding budget. Some of those details are far from minor: it may not be a big deal whether you have creampuffs or crepes Suzette for your reception dinner dessert, but you're going to have to give some serious thought to two significant factors: wedding transportation, and lodging. Before you brush these topics off, realize that it's not just you they affect -- it's all your guests, too.

How much thought have you given to your wedding transportation? You've got a sweet variety of options, for example, just for the conveyance that takes you to and from the wedding ceremony. A traditional formal ceremony requires a limousine at least, but why not consider the ultra-formal option? Most companies that provide wedding transportation usually have a gleaming super-luxury car around, like a Bentley or a Rolls Royce. Think how impressive you'd look if you rolled up in one of those! On the other hand, suppose you've got an informal wedding planned; a retro look might be cool, in which case you might opt for an old Caddy or a 64' Ford Mustang. If, on the other hand, you want to be treated as a princess (and who doesn't?), then why not go for a horse-drawn wedding carriage, just like Princess Di? Then there are the wilder options: twin Harleys, a hot-air balloon (not so good if you're afraid of heights!), or even a helicopter. Hey, why not let your imagination go wild?

If you like, you can even provide transportation for your guests, especially if they've got to come in from out of town. You can hire a party bus to carry everyone from where they're staying to the wedding ceremony and, later the reception (and even the bar crawl to end the night, if anyone makes it that far). That way, you can make sure that everyone gets where they need to be on time. If they're scattered around the local area, you can have the party bus trundle around and pick everyone up from their individual homes and hotels -- and then take them on back when the festivities are over.

If you're all heading out to some exotic locale for a destination wedding, you should make an attempt to at least broker a package deal on transportation, especially if you don't plan to pay for all your gusts to join you. Transportation businesses love to get big groups booked for their seats well in advance, so you may be able to get a bulk discount on everything from airfare to motor coaches, in order to save your friends and family some money; this is especially important for destination weddings. In fact, if you're going to make folks go all the way to wherever you're being married, it would be a good idea to provide them mass transportation to and from your ceremony, at the very least.

Which brings us to lodging. If you're planning an old-fashioned hometown wedding and your guests and attendants don't have far to come, that's great; on the other hand, if people are coming in from out of town, then you should probably help them find places to stay. You can only pack so many into your spare bedroom, after all -- but you may be able to talk your local guests into giving at least a few of the out-of-towners a place to crash for the night. Otherwise, consider trying the bulk discount strategy with a local hotel or motel. You'll have especially good leverage for this if your wedding party is huge -- say, 100 people or more. This is also an excellent way to set up lodging for the entire wedding party if you're planning a destination wedding. Your travel agent will happily set this up for you, and will love you for it.

If you're planning to get married somewhere other than home and your wedding party is a very small one -- say, on the order of 15-20 people, or even less -- you might qualify for another intriguing option. Let's say you've got a beach wedding planned. In most locales located on the open ocean, especially touristy vacation spots like Hawaii or the Florida Keys, you can rent beachfront vacation houses by the day, week, or month. The larger locations, which often have four or more bedrooms, can easily house 12+ people for a few days, especially if they're really friendly. (If they can't stand the sight of each other, forget it). This offers a place for you and your guests to chill out, barbecue burgers on the beach, have an old-fashioned clambake, or just worship the sun for a while. Sure, they're hideously expensive, especially in Hawaii, but look at it this way: this is a special event, kiddo, and you deserve it. ------------------------------------

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