Limousine 411

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One of the  best things you can do for yourself on your wedding day is to hire a limousine to transport you and other members of the wedding to the event. This is especially important if the ceremony and reception are at different locations or if you are leaving the reception site immediately after the festivities. Although it may seem like an easy task, there are some points to consider before hiring just anyone to carry you to and fro.

Talk to any limousine professional and they can tell you horror stories including (but not  limited to) drunken passengers, unrealistic expectations and last minute bookings. The key word is professional. I always urge couples to  check references and in this case it is super-important to ‘have a look under the hood’.

1) Book Early. Proms, Homecoming, Quinceanera, Communions, have all become events that garner the service of a limo. Be particularly careful in April, May and June when most proms are held because these events book up to a year in advance. The Exotic cars book faster.

2) Size Matters. If you have an extra large party with extra large gals and an extra large gown, (a group where everything is on a grand scale) book a larger vehicle. A luxury SUV such as the Hummer, Expedition or Range Rover may be your best bet.You might even consider a party bus.

3) Outsourcing is bad. Some companies book their limos from other companies. Yes, it’s true. They advertise various cars and vehicles, then book through another company. Not only are you paying double, you are not getting the best service since you have no contact with the actual company that is contracted. Do some research, ask questions and make sure your company is not involved with this shady practice.

4) You get what you pay for. A reputable limousine company has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their fleet. The cars are cleaner, newer, better maintained. The drivers are licensed,  trained, reliable and professional. A slooppy, unprofessional driver can ruin your event so can a broken down car.

5) Classic Cars, Trolleys, etc. If you are sold on making your appearance and/or exit in a specific classic car, make sure the car is fully restored and in perect working condition including heat and air. Trolleys are adorable, vintage looking vehicles but can be loaded with dirt and hot as hell in the summer months. A reputable company will make sure this is not the case for you.

The best way to make your limousine decision is to see the vehicles in person and meet with the vendor face-to-face. Pictures on the internet can be deceiving . Make sure they are clean, ask what amenities are included, make sure that there is a back up plan in case there is a problem and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS get everything in writing.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago