You’re about to make a huge mistake with your wedding. You have picked the perfect venue, the best photographer, and the food will be amazing. The D.J.? Check. The decorations? Yep – all done. All your invitations are sent out, and you even remembered Uncle Bob.
What’s missing? Here’s what’s missing: How are you getting to and from the wedding?
Most people forget about transportation until the last second, when they’re chasing around limo companies, trying to book a reasonable price for the wedding party.
Don’t Make This Stupid Mistake
Ever been to a wedding where everything was perfectly planned except for that one thing?
Clearly the bride and groom dropped the ball and most people wouldn’t notice, except that something just feels out of place.
Maybe it’s the last-minute decor. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s a stellar menu but no bartender. Maybe the D.J. forgot and played The Chicken Dance anyway.
But, for most couples, it’s the transportation.
And, while most vendors try to position themselves as the most important, gotta-have-us, service, limo services usually come off as being a bit snooty and aloof. It’s almost like they don’t want your business.
But, they do. They really do. A good limousine service knows how to cater to its customers and how to get you to pay top dollar for to-and-from transport. Your only leverage is booking in advance. Most couples don’t do this, so they end up at the mercy of last-minute pricing.
Don’t get caught in this trap. Book early. Negotiate a discount.
How To Tease Out Good Referrals Like A Boss And Avoid Getting Scammed
You’ve been here before. You ask for a referral from a company. They give you names. You call them. What does the referral say? “Oh, the service was fabulous.”
Then, you’re utterly confused when you hire the company and things don’t turn out like you expected. What happened? Well, companies never give out referrals that they think will give them a bad rep. That would be dumb.
So, what you have to do is change up your questioning techniques. When you get referrals from a limousine company,
Instead of asking referrals, “How was your experience with this company?” or “Did you like this company and what they did for you?”, ask more open-ended and thoughtful questions, like “Tell me about your experience with this company.”
Get the referral to tell you a story about what happened. This way, the person isn’t giving you their opinion or estimation about what happened. Instead, they’re giving you the facts and you’re making the estimation about the company’s service.
How To Kick The Tires Without Paying
Ask to see the limo company’s fleet. It might seem like an unusual request, but be concerned if they outright refuse.
Check out the condition of several different vehicles. Get inside and move around. Check out the details. Do they look nice on the outside, but dinged up and scratched on the inside? Does the limo company enforce certain restrictions on the use of the limo?
If they do, what? This might not necessarily be a bad thing. For example, if a limo company does not allow smoking, that means that there’s zero chance your limo will smell like smoke, have cigarette burns in the seat, or other cigarette or smoking-related damage.
Does the limo company allow you to drink in the vehicle? Sometimes, wedding parties get a little too drunk and that’s when things break.
Good to know before you sign up. Even if the limo company does regular repairs on vehicles for customer-caused damage, they may end up charging a higher fee or rate for services because of it (this can be true even when the customer puts down a deposit for damage).
How To Get Companies To Fawn Over You And Compete For Your Business
It feels much better when companies call you on the phone and start bidding for business, doesn’t it?
If you have to work too hard to negotiate on the price, or if it feels like you’re making too many concessions, you’ll start to feel taken advantage of. But, by calling at least 5 to 10 different companies, you instantly gain bargaining power. You know what the competition charges. If you look hard enough, you know the market rates.
And, when you know the market rates, you can start a bidding war. Even if you can’t start a bidding war, you may be able to convince a company to add in extras or increase the value of the offering, which is probably a better idea than asking for a direct discount.
Robert Scott Singleton is the web Developer at American Limousine, a Los Angeles based small business that has provided Limousine transportation for more than 40 years. Robert started as a Limousine driver in 1998. Having graduated at Hayward Alameda Technical College, he soon moved from behind the wheel to the computer for American Limousine. He resides in Los Angeles as a single man and no children.
Kairi Gainsborough says
I never thought about creating a bidding war over limo rentals. This sounds like a good way to try and get discounts or extras. Once we choose a date for our wedding, I’ll start calling around to get quotes from local rental services.
You should also check perhaps if you wanted a limo for the bachelor or bachelorette party in addition to the wedding if there was any sort of a discount. Good tips, thanks for sharing.
Jacking up the transportation on your big day is definitely something to avoid. Trust me, I know from experience 😉
Made that first mistake in my first at bat at marriage.
I agree that calling around is early to get rates is the best way to avoid getting gouged on pricing.
Is that ethical? The bidding war thing?
Dave Nichols says
Find a good reputable company that has been around a while and one that has the newest limos. Don’t cheap out on some cut rate company for your wedding day. You may regret trying to squeeze out an extra few dollars by hiring a cheap limo company
Great tips Zipporah!
I really like the idea behind contacting multiple companies at once. In a way, you’re investigating them before deciding, very good strategy. It also gives you great leverage when talking to the business owners; now you’re in control instead of them. When the business owners know that you’re shopping around, they’ll want to offer you a discount or anything at that point just to obtain your service.
Thanks again for the info, keep up the good work!
What an awesome post. That’s exactly what everyone should be doing. It just doesn’t only apply on limousines, that strategy should be applied when shopping for any service really. The more you take time to ask different businesses, the more you are to earn yourself a good deal. And definitely, when it comes for limos, trying a lot of companies before you make the final decision is the right way to go. Yet, it’s surprising how many people don’t even think about this. I totally agree, when asking multiple owners, you are the one in control and that allows you to not only save money but to get your dream package at the lowest possible price. I also have always thought that it would be crucial that one finds out about the driver and make sure he/she knows when the driver will arrive and what he/she should expect before the actual day as a little slip up may mess up the party.
Again, great job.
All limousines are required to carry commercial livery insurance and proper permits. You have to check on that first. This is to protect yourself from “gypsy companies”, ask for proof of these with your signed contract.
Limo Company in Youngstown says
Fantastic idea…always check reviews of the company! As it turns out when people end up waiting to the last minute, you normally can’t book a limo! If you can, you could be running into a service issue. Not saying all are like that, but some are! Good luck limo customers
Lillian Schaeffer says
This is some great information, and I appreciate your suggestion to book a limo for your wedding well in advance. My fiance and I are going to be getting married this coming spring, so we’re ironing out the details for our wedding. We’d like to have a limo to provide transportation for our immediate family, so we’ll definitely look into booking well in advance. Thanks for the great post!
Alice Jones says
Planning a wedding can involve a lot of time and thought. I agree with how you said that the planning of transportation is usually forgotten when it comes to wedding planning. Hiring a limo service seems like an appropriate choice for an event like a wedding. I’ll suggest this chauffeur service to my sister who is currently trying to plan her wedding.
Afton Jackson says
I fiancee and I are currently planning out wedding. We want to make sure everything is perfect, so we’re looking for a good limo rental service. I never knew how important it is to check different vehicles to ensure they are safe and reliable. I’ll be sure to remember this info moving forward.
Jay Jorgenson says
I’ve definitely seen that happen where everything gets planned for a wedding but the transportation! It’s your special day so getting a limo is an ideal way of making the transportation seamless, fun, and luxurious. Great ideas!
Spencer Montgomery says
Great tips! I like how you emphasized that booking in advance is our leverage for a good limousine service. I’ll make sure to keep these tips in mind for my future wedding. Thanks for sharing!
Henry Killingsworth says
I thought you brought up a good point when you explained that it is important to book in advance when scheduling transportation for a wedding. My fiance and I have started planning for our wedding, and we want to find the right kind of vehicle to ride in that will help make our day feel special. We’ll be sure to keep this information in mind when we start looking for a vehicle to charter.
These are some amazing tips and very helpful while hiring a transportation service. I really appreciate that you shared this information with us. Thanks and keep up the amazing work.
Limelight Limos says
The article is amazing and informative as well.
The ideas presented in this post to hire a bridal party limo are quite interesting. I have never thought bidding for a limo service could actually bring some discount offer in your way. Thanks for the nice tips.