Consider the type of wedding you are planning, the number in your wedding party and the number of guests attending and to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time.
Type of wedding you are planning:
If you are planning a casual/formal beach wedding at an ocean front home, with the reception to follow at the same location, transportation for your guests is a definite must. Most rental homes have very small driveways, only enough parking for 3 to 4 cars, and no parking allowed on the street. Make sure you check with the realtor about the parking for your particular house. As an alternative you can arrange for a shuttle to pick up your guests at one central location or several locations and bring them to the house for the ceremony and reception and then return them to the original pick up locations at the end of the evening. If you are planning to be married at one of the public attractions that the Outer Banks has to offer…Lighthouse, Elizabethan Gardens, Whalehead Club, Aquarium, etc…parking may not be a problem but will everyone find the location, arrive on time (due to traffic), or find a parking space (since it is public, the tourists will also be parking there) once they get there? If you are planning to be married at a public location, church or rental home and having your reception elsewhere, having transportation for your guests can alleviate many potential problems that will arise from your guests being in a strange place, especially during our busy tourist season.
If you are getting married in Duck, NC... please visit this website www.townofduck.com/planningzoning.htm for information on obtaining a "Wedding-Related Event Registration Form". There is no fee, however, you must register with the town if you are getting married in Duck.
Number in your wedding party:
If you have a large wedding party, transporting first the groom and groomsmen to the ceremony site and then the bride and her attendants is an excellent way to guarantee that everyone shows up on time and also gives you the special private time together that you need before the ceremony. After the ceremony the whole wedding party gets back on the bus or shuttle and off to the reception together. You may also choose to shuttle certain family members that are either traveling alone, may be too elderly to drive themselves or are too large a group to be separated into individual vehicles.
The end of the reception:
No one likes to see the reception end, but inevitably everyone must go home. It is always a concern for our couples and their families that no one will drink and drive. Providing a Shuttle service for your guests at the end of the evening is a good way to guarantee they will arrive back to their hotels or rental homes safely. Depending on time of service, extra charges may apply after midnight.
The Outer Banks is a wonderful destination wedding location full of many options. Along with the options also come potential problems in getting around that you should be aware of. Depending on where your wedding and reception will take place, the time of year, day of the week and the time of day that you are getting married, traffic can be a problem. For instance…getting married in November any day or time usually is not a problem, but getting married in our busiest season, the traffic can create problems you would not even think about. Having a bus or shuttle to move your family and guests from location to location in comfort is the way to go…leave the traffic problems to someone else and let them sit back and enjoy the day.
Just follow these simple steps in gathering the information you will need to provide any transportation professional that is helping you choose the type of transportation and standard of service your family, friends and guests deserve. Let a professional help you decide what best suits your individual situation. Some of the things we hear from our couples all the time is that they didn't know, no one told them, they had never been here before and had no idea. Let us help you.
Address and/or location of pick up and drop off locations are a must. If the phone number at rental home/clients home (or cell phone) is available please get this information also. This helps in case the directions are not clear to drop off location or if stuck in traffic, etc. Having a contact person is a must (Planner, Parents, Bride or Groom, etc.). When determining these locations don't worry about the details of scheduling the itinerary or the pick up and departure times…we will do that with you closer to your wedding date.
If several pick up and drop off locations are needed…please be aware that additional charges may be added for any number over three. **You may think you need more stops than are necessary…condensing these locations is recommended and should be at hotels or large parking areas.
Find out from your professional if any specials may be available for number of or combination of vehicles used, number of hours needed, or time of year.
Make sure to check if you are required to tip the drivers individually or if the tip is included in the total fee. If you do need to tip the drivers, it is best to take care of that at the beginning of the day so you don't have to concern yourself with that when you are in the midst of your event.
Some things for you to think about once you have decided on a location for your ceremony and your reception:
- Research the area for hotels or rental homes to recommend to your family and guests. Suggesting they all stay at the same hotel (or in a few that are near by) or in rental homes close by…this makes shuttling so much easier and time effective.
- Decide what time you would like everyone to arrive at the ceremony and reception and what time it will all be over.
- If you just need a shuttle/bus for after the reception…consider how many hours, when it will start/finish and the distance the shuttle will have to travel to drop off your guests and return for more. Making several announcements regarding the transportation during the evening by the band or DJ is one way to remind your guests they do not have to drive at the end of the evening. Another way is to leave note cards on the bar and in the bathrooms reflecting the start and finish times of the shuttle/bus that will be available to them.
- If you will be using the shuttle/bus for your wedding party, it's nice to have a champagne toast or other refreshments on the way to the reception. You would need to designate someone that would be in charge of making sure that happens, perhaps a member of the wedding party or a family friend.
- If you are having pictures taken after your ceremony or want to make stops on the way to the reception and have pictures taken...that can take some time…so figure that into your travel time.
- It is very important to inform your family and guests that you are providing transportation for them. This can be done with a separate enclosure in your wedding invitation or a mailing done after a response is received. We suggest that you give them pick up times that are at least 5 minutes prior to the actual pick up time and that you choose either one or two pick up locations. If you choose a public location as a pick up point (retail/grocery store, restaurant or beach access, etc...) you must notify that business prior to your wedding day taking into consideration again the time of year and how crowded that area might already be.
- If your reception is at a restaurant, but you are getting married on the beach, another suggestion is to have your guests park at that restaurant and then board the shuttle/bus to the beach access for your wedding ceremony. Once the ceremony is over everyone returns to the restaurant via the shuttle/bus.
Since your family and friends would be joining you for a few days and not just for your wedding day, another great idea is to provide some fun activities prior to the wedding using a bus/shuttle to get everyone around.
- Girls shopping day
- Sightseeing tour
- Golfing or Fishing trip
- Girls/Guys night out
- Rehearsal Dinner/Get together
Planning some of these things in advance or even if it is a last minute thought, this can really add to your whole wedding experience while visiting the Outer Banks. Sandy Beach Tours will be happy to work with you or your planner in making your special day the day you always dreamed of... picture perfect and trouble free.