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Everything but the limo
Add personality to your ride on the big day

01/28/16
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 Limousines are sleek and fancy, but they’ve also been done a million times. Here are some ideas for alternative options, from buses and old-fashioned cars to kayaks and trolleys.

 
Make an entrance
The way you come in really sets the tone of a wedding.
Laurie Mantegari, event planner and owner of Everyday Details, worked on a wedding that was located at Squam Lake. The wedding party went out on kayaks and guests took a ferry to the wedding location.
This summer, she worked with another couple who built a hayride-like contraption on the back of a trailer, complete with benches, that traveled from a parking site to a beautiful property in the woods where the ceremony would take place.
“When people do come up with creative things — such as the piece built on the back of the trailer with benches — people talk about it. It sets the tone, that people there are going to have fun at this event,” Mantegari said. “It was very effective. The guests loved it.”
 
Old-fashioned ride
“Trolleys are great for nostalgia and fun. They’ve got that personal touch,” Mantegari said.
They can also hold a decent number of people but can be on the pricier side (and are a little more rare; not every city will have trolley cars available for rent). 
But some venues also have quirkier transportation already included, said Lori Walter, owner of Lori Walter Weddings & Events. She pointed out Waterville Valley, which has trolley rides in its package. 
She’s also been to a wedding at Searles Castle in Windham in which the bride and her father rode up to the aisle in a horse-drawn carriage.
If you’re looking for something old-fashioned but intimate, lots of car and limousine companies also rent out stylish or antique automobiles for the big day.
Rae Pierson, events coordinator for Grace Limousine in Manchester, said 99 percent of the time the company’s 1956 Rolls Royce S-1 Bentley is rented out, it’s for wedding parties. 
Sometimes it’s to go with a theme, but sometimes not. 
Often, it’s to add drama and make that day more special — plus, they look great in photos.
“The sheer beauty of the vehicle helps in creating those lasting photos and memories for years to come,” Pierson said.
 
Bus stops
Walter said a lot of couples today are using buses on their wedding day.
For guests, they’re especially useful for venues without ample parking or for people traveling far to attend the ceremony. They also ensure safe travels if guests want to indulge in a beverage or two, maybe picking them up at the hotel and then transporting them to and from the reception hall. Some companies Walter’s worked with have put in extra effort to make the ride special.
“One of the coach companies we used last summer was so sweet — the bus driver called a couple weeks before the wedding and asked the colors of the wedding, and he dressed in those colors,” Walter said.
Mantegari said school buses are especially popular for their size (typically fitting about 49 people) and inexpensive price. 
“One of the things people really like is when a bride and groom go the extra lengths to plan those types of details, because they’re really helpful to the guests. A lot of people have anxiety about getting from Point A to Point B, especially if they don’t know the area. So providing transportation is really a very thoughtful and kind and generous thing, to have all those other logistics mapped out,” Mantegari said.
For more inspiration and to learn what’s possible where you want to get married, Walter suggested theknot.com, pinterest.com and weddingwire.com, which are also helpful for finding wedding vendors. 





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