The last thing any bride or groom wants is to show up late to the altar. Arranging a chauffeur to get you and your closest pals to and from the ceremony won’t just make your day run a lot smoother – it will make it more fun for all.

Start It Up

Limousine companies tend to get booked quickly during the summer – peak wedding season – and late spring – prom season. Begin looking for a limo as much as six months before these prime periods. If your wedding takes place in the off-season (fall or winter), look to book three or four months out.

Size It Up

The biggest factor in limo choice will be the size of the wedding party and any extra people who will be traveling in the limo. A smaller group may get by in, say, a stretched-out Lincoln limousine, while a group of a dozen may need a converted-SUV limo. Large groups – 20-some people – could even opt for a party bus.

With the type of ride that would best accommodate you in mind, compare prices among like vehicles at different vendors in your area.

Like every driver on the road, the company you go with should be licensed and insured. Look for companies with a fleet of recent model-year vehicles, and seek references from recent customers.

When getting a quote, be sure to get the whole picture. The bulk of companies charge by the hour and probably will have a three- or four-hour minimum for a wedding, depending on the day. Prices can range anywhere from $250 to $500 for a stretch limo up to $1,000 for a converted SUV. Don’t forget to ask if the driver’s gratuity – typically 20 percent – is included. Depending on the time of year, it may be possible to negotiate the hourly rate.

Drive Details

Be sure to read the rental contract thoroughly before signing. It should denote:

• Make, model and year of the vehicle

• Date of service

• Pick-up times and locations

• All costs involved, including deposit and cancellation policies

• If you don’t have a physical contract, be sure to keep a copy of the itinerary in your email

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