Thursday, February 26, 2009

Q&A Thursday: Transportation

Q: The distance between my ceremony and reception venues is only a short drive, but I guess it's not really a distance that you could walk. Do I have to provide transportation between the two venues for my guests?

A: I think that providing some sort of transportation option for your guests goes a long way toward making them relaxed and welcome at your wedding - especially if they are from out of town, in which case they may not have a car or be comfortable navigating a new city. The extent of transportation that you provide depends on the situation. Because I am planning the wedding in question here, I know that we are talking about a downtown situation - more specifically downtown Savannah (pretty small). The reception is also at the hotel in which rooms were blocked for guests. So the only transportation concern is the trip to and from the ceremony venue and making it easy for guests to arrive on time and with little hassle.

In another situation, it might be more of a safety concern that would compel you to provide transportation for guests. Let's say, for instance, your reception venue is not a walkable distance from the hotel in which the majority of your guests are staying that night. It is, of course, the responsibility of your adult guests to make smart decisions about drinking and driving. But why put your guests in a position where they have to make these decisions (and yes, sacrifices), or yourself in a situation where you are concerned that a guest is taking risks that you are not comfortable with? By providing some sort of shuttle, throughout the evening, to a hotel of your choice, you are taking the safety burden (as much as you possibly can) off of your guests, and yourself - as host.

Every wedding involves different transportation concerns. In the end, you are the host. If you want the overall wedding guest experience to be welcoming and hassle-free for your family and friends, getting to and from the event is the first and last impression they will have of the event. Providing reasonable accommodations for their transportation to and from venues guarantees that they will be good ones.

READERS: What has your experience been with transportation to and from weddings you have attended or planned? Do you think that we are right or wrong in our advice? Have you run into problems or seen any solutions to transportation issues that you thought were really stand-out?

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