Etiquette

Shuttle Bus For Groom's Guests

As I've posted before, most of our wedding guests will be from out of town. My FI and I moved back to my hometown about a year ago. The state we live in now (Alabama) is not a destination or place with exciting things to do that you'd ever travel to on vacation if you didn't have a reason to come here. 

We chose to get roomblocks in the downtown area because that will be a good area for guests to have things to do and we know a lot of them will want to go out to the bars. Our venue (we will have ceremony and reception at the same place) is about 30 min from the hotels we chose. It is also kind of in the country and you have to drive over a one lane bridge to get there. 

Both my parents grew up in my hometown and both sets of grandparents lived here. All my extended family (although they live all across the country) grew up with visiting my hometown very often to see our grandparents. 

All of my FIs guests will be flying/driving in from out of state and honestly would probably never even dream of coming to Alabama if it wasn't for our wedding taking place. Because of this, we decided to rent a shuttle bus (holds 33 passengers) to take these guests to and from the wedding and reception. The idea is that the bus would be intended for the grooms out of town guests with no ties to Alabama. The groom is paying for the bus. We have scheduled the bus to pick up at the hotel and drive people to the wedding venue then make 2 return trips- one halfway through the reception and one at the end of the night. This will give people the option to leave early if they wish. 

Now...I have a lot of family flying in and driving far distances to be here for the wedding as well. All of my family as I mentioned has been to Alabama many many times before. However a few of them have found out about the bus and have started to ask some questions regarding it. My family loves to drink so I know a free ride probably sounds great to them. 

Ideally we would be able to provide this bus transportation to everyone but since it only holds 33 passengers, we will likely only be able to fit the grooms guests. 

My question..is this rude to only offer this bus to the grooms guests? Should we try to find a bigger bus (that would likely be much more expensive and also this smaller bus is rated to safely drive over the one lane bridge)? Unfortunately this is the only 33 passenger bus available in our whole town (it's a small town). Just trying to find out how much etiquette we might be breaking here... :/

Re: Shuttle Bus For Groom's Guests

  • I'm not sure of the etiquette rules about something like this, but yeah....it seems a little rude. I would be a little put off if I found out that transportation was provided for half of the guests only. How would you designate who was allowed to ride in the shuttle? Will they be staying at the same hotel as your other guests?

    Have your family members been to the specific location of your wedding before? Even in areas I'm familiar with (aka visit several times a year), if I'm going to or from a new place I still feel uncomfortable driving, especially at night and after drinking. 

    We're toying with the idea of creating a Lyft "event," which gives our guests a code they can enter to receive credit up to a certain amount (set by us) for a ride. We would give this to all OOT guests. If you have Uber or Lyft in that area, that may be something to look into instead of the shuttle?
    STARMOON44OurWildKingdomInLoveInQueens
  • We thought about Lyft or Uber but our town doesn't have Lyft and Uber would be unreliable for our guests to get home since the venue is outside city limits and Uber doesn't work out there. Hmm...
  • Yeah the problem with doing round trips is that the hotel is 30 minutes away so round trip would be an hour and that's too long. i might call the bus company and see how much a larger bus would cost..just worried it will break the budget and still might not hold everyone 
  • nonexxxxxxnonexxxxxx City By The Lake member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Yeah the problem with doing round trips is that the hotel is 30 minutes away so round trip would be an hour and that's too long. i might call the bus company and see how much a larger bus would cost..just worried it will break the budget and still might not hold everyone 
    Well, another option is to have preceremony hospitality. You either need another bus, or one larger bus that can still get over that bridge. (Or, find hotels that are closer to your wedding and let people figure out the transportation to entertain themselves the rest of the trip.)

    I did attend a wedding with one bus doing two rounds. I think the ride was roughly 20 minutes. We took the earlier bus and pre-ceremony there were beverages out. 
    ________________________________


    InLoveInQueens
  • okay thanks for the advice. I obviously knew we were breaking some etiquette but you all are right. I just counted the total possible number that might need to ride would be 66. I'll try to find a bigger bus and they will just have to take a longer route that doesn't go over that bridge. Is it okay to ask these people before hand if they will be riding so we can get a count for the bus driver? Also if a lot of them don't want to ride we might be okay with the smaller bus anyway. 
  • adk19adk19 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Do you HAVE to use this hotel?  As a guest, I'd rather have a hotel closer to the reception venue for that night.  Then, if I was extending my visit, switch hotels to be in the center of town for any additional nights.
    InLoveInQueensMairePoppy
  • Is your family staying at the hotel? I think it's fine to say the shuttle only travels between the reception and the room block hotel, but I agree with PPs I don't think you can further limit who takes it between the reception and the hotel. 
    SP29
  • adk19 said:
    Do you HAVE to use this hotel?  As a guest, I'd rather have a hotel closer to the reception venue for that night.  Then, if I was extending my visit, switch hotels to be in the center of town for any additional nights.
    It is a "know your crowd" type thing. There is one hotel about 10-15 min away from the venue but there is literally nothing else around there..just a Walmart. We know that both sides of guests are planning on going out to the bars after the wedding and staying downtown will make that much much easier for them. Anyone is of course welcome to book at the closer hotel, we just didn't get a room block there. Also I just did a Google maps--the room block hotel is listed as 22 min from the wedding venue (14 miles). I talked with my parents about it last night and we discussed who would want to maybe ride on the shuttle..I think it will be big enough to offer it to everyone staying at the hotels (not all of my family is staying at the hotels I guess a lot of them are staying with my grandparents). My dad is also letting some of the family borrow one of his cars for the weekend. Thanks everyone. 
  • lnixon8lnixon8 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Is your family staying at the hotel? I think it's fine to say the shuttle only travels between the reception and the room block hotel, but I agree with PPs I don't think you can further limit who takes it between the reception and the hotel. 
    This is important. Your family/your side should not be expect the shuttle to drop them off at their apartments or homes, or other family members homes. But f they are staying at the hotel they should be offered a ride as well.

    I had a few people not stay at hotels and ask if it was okay to ride the shuttle (which I made sure it would be!)


    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensSP29
  • We asked people to respond on our RSVP card if they would use the shuttle. We worded it like, "We will need _____ seats on the shuttle." However, I am finding it difficult to get an exact number because I have found that some people said yes to the shuttle, but never got around to reserving a hotel room. However, I am realizing that there is only so much I can do.
    greeninspringahoyweddingeileenrob
  • Would a school bus be able to cross the bridge safely? If you end up needing a bigger vehicle than the shuttle van a school bus may be a less expensive option to hire.

    ILoveBeachMusicSP29
  • I think you really need an additional bus or a bigger one. Because the two trips only is going to bite you.
    If the party is hopping and really fun, you might not get that many people that want to go back at the halfway point, and then not everyone will fit on the bus on the way back.
    Alternatively, if for some reason a lot of people want to go back early (maybe start bar hopping sooner!) and the first bus fills, you're going to have people stuck there for hours (now... they're adults and can try to find their own transportation back but it's still a pisser when they went in expecting transportation would be provided).

    Also, I know you said it's a know your crowd sort of thing but I'm actually surprised that you think so much of his family wants the city stuff. When I travel for a wedding it generally goes like this: fly in, find hotel, rest/freshen up, go to wedding, party at wedding, get back to hotel somehow, go to sleep, wake up, get ready to go, leave. ESPECIALLY if the town is pretty boring.
    If you don't have to pay anything I'd consider getting an additional block in the close hotel.
    adk19
  • I'd definitely look into getting more busses. I'd try to have enough to fit all of your guests in a single trip. How many guests are you looking at here? If the groom's family fits in a 33 person bus, is it around the same for the bride? Maybe you could get a few smaller busses, and they'll leave for the ceremony as soon as they fill up. Instead of 2 33-person busses, you could have the one you already have and 2 20-person busses, for example. 

    Since you know people are interested, I think you have to do this. What would you do if you intended the bus for the groom's family only, and then other guests just got on? Would you kick them off? 
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