Friday, September 24, 2010

Which Way To The Church?

When you picture the bride arriving at the church for her wedding ceremony, you probably picture her stepping out of a long white or black limo as the photographer snaps away, capturing this classic moment.

But on my wedding day, there was no limo to be found, since Stephen and I decided early on that we didn’t want to shell out the big bucks. Instead, we chose to rent a black van for the day, which my future sister-in-law Meg graciously offered to drive.

Was it worth the savings? In the end, I'd say it's a toss up. Though things definitely worked out fine – we got where we needed to be with everyone who needed to be there – I underestimated how hard it would be to get in and out of a van in my gown, plus how cramped I would feel while riding. And then there were the issues of directions and pre-wedding jitters.

While heading to the "first look" site at Gardens of the World, and later to the church, I was so nervous that when the girls asked me to verify directions, I froze a bit. As familiar as I was with the streets and the local area – having grown up there, for goodness sake! – I was entirely distracted and had too much on my mind to think clearly. Fortunately, after a few minutes of back-and-forth discussion, we successfully arrived on schedule.

LESSON LEARNED: Before you cut a certain service or vendor from your budget in hopes of saving money, take into consideration just how much that particular aspect may add to your comfort or peace-of-mind on the wedding day. It may be more worth the spurge than you initially think. In retrospect, I may have been willing to spend the money on a limo at least for the rides to the “first look” site and church, so that I could be as comfortable as possible during my most nervous and anxious moments. It may also be a good idea to have printed directions to each location on hand in your emergency kit, no matter how familiar you are with the area, in case you draw a blank in all of the excitement.

What type of wedding day transportation do you plan to use?

(Photo Credits: Personal Library)


  1. Great Tip!! I didn't have a limo either, my dad drove me :)

  2. We scrapped the limo, too, in favor of paying $50 to have the shuttle at our hotel drive us to the venue. We don't have a separate first look location, and I'll change into my dress at the venue, so I'm hoping to avoid some of the small snags you mentioned. We used the money we saved on the limo to put towards hiring a lighting designer. I'll let you know if it was worth it.

  3. We splurged and got a limo to just take both the girls and then the guys to the venue. I wanted to ensure everyone in the wedding party would arrive on time and since most of them had dates driving there separately I didn't want them to have to worry about taking two cars home. Fortunately we found a place that let us just rent a limo for 3 hours rather than the standard 8 which saved a lot of money.

  4. Despite feeling cramped and jittery, you still looked gorgeous! My bridesmaids and I were delivered to the ceremony site via golf cart. :) It was pretty awesome.

  5. Luckily we won't need much wedding day transportation since our ceremony and reception are at the same location and I will be staying on site with my family for the entire weekend as well. For our guests, however, we are planning on booking two vintage trolleys to shuttle everyone from the hotels to the venue.

  6. This is a really interesting perspective. We never considered renting a van, it was either a limo or we would just drive one of our own cars. But the need for space and the fact that we didn't want to drive ourselves after the reception won out, so we splurged on the limo!

  7. Great hindsight perspective. I know that when I am nervous I don't think clearly at all. So having map or directions written down ahead of time is a great idea.