When do you recommend that couples reach out to you to book transportation for their wedding day?
When thinking about a time line for wedding transportation, you can never reach out to early. While VIP Services utilizes a real time network of different types of equipment, ranging from: coach buses with on-board restrooms, to mini-and party buses, trollies, stretch limos and sedans, the amount of capacity is unfortunately not infinite. The last thing anyone wants to do is try and “squeeze in” a wedding on an already busy day.
The perfect time to reserve your transportation is once you have an selected your date, have an idea of the venue and where out of town guests are staying, Then the logistics map can then begin to be created. The processes involves estimating and accounting for guests, accommodating special needs that may result from complicated family dynamics, and refining an accurate number of attendees that will ultimately rely on the transportation the coupleis offering for their guests. All of those details are then melded with a refined timeline of ceremony, picture tour, and reception times. Getting an early start insures that you can reserve the type of equipment that best fits your event. While the actual wedding day is the most important day, bachelor and bachelorette parties can also be elevated when the party is able to leave the driving to someone else.
Specialty cars such as an antique Silver Cloud Rolls Royce’s or an iconic 1935 Auburn book up well in advance for popular dates! Additionally from time to time the particular type of vehicle may need to be sourced from outside the Chicago Market, so additional delivery times and costs can apply.
What is the #1 mistake that couples make when booking transportation?
The wedding day is very busy and there is a lot going on, not only with the wedding party but sometimes within the city. What often should be a quick 10 minute jaunt to the church can turn into a nail bitter when the city plays host to large street festivals and concerts. Be early and allow enough time, so you’re not dealing with added stress from being stuck in traffic.
Another key component is to hash out the photographer’s shot list well in advance, like many artists they often like to use their creative inspiration to drive a photo shoot, but when you have several moving pieces and tight timelines, an advance plan keeps the transportation running smoothly. Some photographers like to travel independently using their own car, some utilize the wedding party transportation, making sure there is adequate room for both passengers and gear is critical.
What Chicago venues or transportation routes are more logistically challenging for valet and bus transportation?
Many of the most popular venues are challenged by limitations of space and loading areas. Additionally there are ordinances in Chicago that prevent diesel idling in certain areas, if it’s cold in the winter or hot in the summer, the bus may need to park some distance away in order to stay running and keep the climate in the coach perfect for guests.
Hotels like the Palmer House Hilton only allow transportation to load on their Wabash entrance and The Hyatt on Wacker has a special loading zone that is one floor below ground level.
Making sure that the pick-up and drop off location is made aware to all guests can ensure things run smoothly.
Additionally, properly informing guests and bridal party of when the shuttles are leaving will help ensure all are aboard before it departs. We always recommend to pad the actual departure time by 10- 15 minutes.
When you have a day off in Chicago, what is your favorite thing to do, see, or eat?
On the off chance VIP members have a day off, catching up with family, sports and friends are a must! If it gets to happen at home, by the lake, or anywhere in between – it’s perfect. But our customers come first, then ourselves.
About the author:
VIP Services has been in business for 20 years and specializes in event services as they relate to valet parking, coat check, and transportation management. They have handled logistics for weddings as star studded as the George Lucas wedding at Promontory Point, and countless intimate receptions at private homes within the Tri-State area. They pride themselves on providing a service that is safe, professional and exceeds the customers’ expectations for what was originally thought feasible.