Wedding Transport Guide: The Etiquette of Who Travels with Whom

wedding transportGetting to and from the church is of course an important factor when making your wedding plans. This article is not about the different types of wedding transport that are available to you but more about who should be travelling in your chosen mode of transportation.

After you have discussed and chosen your means of transport, whether it is by wedding car, horse and carriage or even if you have asked your friends and family to take their own cars you will need to make it clear to everyone who is going where.

As with any important occasion, the essential people, in this case the Bride and Groom will of course require transport to and from the various venues.

Wedding Party Transport

The people that normally need transport during the wedding are the Wedding Party and this usually consists of the following:

  • Bride & Groom.
  • Best Man.
  • Bride's father.
  • Bride's mother.
  • Maid of Honour & Bridesmaids.

Wedding Transport - Plan of Action

Drawing up a plan of action can be useful to hand out to everyone so all the wedding party know where they are going and with whom.

Your plan should detail the following :

  • During a traditional wedding, the Bride and Groom prepare for their big day at separate venues and will each travel to the church (or venue where the ceremony is due to take place) independently.
  • Before the Bride leaves, the Bride's mother and the Maid of Honour along with any bridesmaids (and pageboys) will be transported to the ceremony venue. Sometimes, the Bride's mother and bridesmaids may follow the wedding car (with the Bride on the way to the ceremony) in another vehicle but this is a personal preference of the Bride-to-be. Do you want your mother waiting for you when you arrive at the church or would you prefer them to arrive at the same time?
  • The Groom and his Best Man usually arrive at the venue via their own means (generally arranged by the Best Man) while the Bride and her father take the chosen wedding transport.
  • After the ceremony is over, the newlywed couple will usually take the wedding transport to the reception venue (if it is at a separate location to the ceremony) while the remaining members of the wedding party will make their own way there, unless of course the transport is prepared to return and pick them up too.
  • Some couples will also arrange for their transportation to take them from their reception to a hotel where they will be spending their wedding night, or of course it could even take them directly to the airport if they are leaving for their honeymoon immediately.

Some couples will organise for larger modes of transport (i.e. mini buses or coaches) to transport their wedding guests from place to place but this will require quite a bit of research as well as a large chunk of your budget.

Travelling to the Wedding Reception

If you do decide that you would like to arrange for transportation to the reception venue for your wedding guests, there is a typical order to follow:

  • The Bride and Groom usually arrive first at the reception to greet their guests as they arrive.
  • The next to arrive should be the Best Man and the Bridesmaids in order that they can make any last minute arrangements to the reception.
  • Shortly after the Best Man and Bridesmaids arrive, the Bride's parents should traditionally arrive together in the same transport however in today's society; families are made up of many variances so this will probably be down to your family structure.

Wedding Transport Etiquette Tips

Following are some points to consider as well as some questions to ask yourself (or your driver) if you feel they are relevant.

  • Before you book, have a think about how many cars you will need.
  • Consider that you may have had a drink at the reception so don't be tempted to drive somewhere yourself afterwards. Think ahead and plan your transport.
  • Does the Best Man have a back up driver?
  • Don't be scared to make one of your journeys a 'wacky' one by including a weird mode of transport, perhaps a fire engine to take you from the church to the reception?
  • Double check the prices of hiring your vehicles for the length of time that you will require them for.
  • Have some local taxi firm numbers to hand for you and your guests.
  • Include contact information in your flow diagram just in case you need to get a hold of someone in your wedding party at the last minute.
  • Make a back up plan if one of your bridesmaids falls ill and is unable to attend the wedding.
  • Remember that most wedding guests will make their own way to and from the reception so don't be too concerned about how they will get there. Concentrate on your own transport.

There is a traditional etiquette to follow in relation to the wedding transport but this does not have to be followed to the letter. A Bride might like her young child to accompany her and her father to the church for instance. Go with the flow, follow the traditions if you wish but in the end you should do what you feel is comfortable!