The Ultimate Guide to Planning Wedding Transportation

Wedding planning can be stressful, but securing group transportation should not be. Bus rentals are the safest and most reliable way to ensure all your guests get to where they need to be on time. With bus rentals available in a variety of sizes, all your wedding-related transportation can be accommodated, whether you’re having a large wedding or a more intimate celebration. From bringing your wedding party from the ceremony to the reception to  shuttles to get your guest home safely, there’s a bus type that’s fit for your needs.

To help you organize transportation for your wedding, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about bus rentals. From the different bus types available to specific use cases for wedding buses, you’ll learn the ins-and-outs of group transportation for your Big Day.

Bus Types

Renting the right type of bus often depends on your group size, budget, desired amenities, and the type of event for which you need group transportation. For example, bridal showers may require a simple passenger van rental, while a fleet of school buses may be more appropriate for your wedding day itself. Here is a closer look at the five bus types available:

School Bus

School buses are extremely popular rental options for wedding nights, serving many different uses. These vehicles make for unique and nostalgic backdrops for photo shoots, and can even double as a party bus on route to the final venue. School bus rentals can comfortably accommodate up to 47 people, making it a cost-efficient option to transport groups of people over short distances.

The school bus is designed with a standard set of amenities to keep costs streamlined, but still remains a comfortable option, featuring spacious fitted and cushioned seats. Keep in mind that storage on a school bus is limited, but your group can always repurpose seats at the back or front of the vehicle to store all your personal belongings.

Rent a charter bus for your wedding group transportation.

Coach Bus

The coach bus, also known as the ‘motor coach,’ is the most luxurious bus type offered and comes equipped with modern amenities, such as an onboard bathroom, power outlets, hi-speed WiFi, and air conditioning. Coach buses are perfect for transporting larger groups of people over longer distances, with a total capacity for up to 55 passengers at a time. We recommend renting this vehicle for any trip longer than three hours.

Bus.com currently offers four different coach bus rentals, including the Prevost H3-45, Van Hool, MCI, and the Prevost H3-41.

Mini Coach Bus

With a mini coach bus rental, you can enjoy many of the same amenities offered on a full-sized coach bus (vehicle-wide air conditioning, optional hotspot WiFi, and power outlets), but in a more compact vehicle. The mini coach bus is a versatile option that can be used for both shorter trips or travelling longer distances. Its capacity ranges between that of a minibus and a full-sized coach bus, accommodating up to 31 people depending on the model.

Mini coach bus rentals are great for wedding groups that need extra space for additional baggage or equipment, offering both undercarriage and overhead storage. Wedding planners have the option of renting between two different mini coach buses, including the TEMSA and the Freightliner, seating 40 and 32 passengers respectively.

Minibus

Minibus rentals are another cost-efficient alternative for wedding groups. These vehicles are ideal for transporting smaller groups of passengers on trips involving shorter distances (trop and many pit stops along the way. Similarly to school buses, minibus rentals are recommended for any trip under three hours, but will also be convenient for a shuttle service.

The most popular minibus rental option is the Ford E450. This vehicle is compact, yet still features comfortable amenities such as reclining seats, sufficient baggage storage, and air conditioning. As with all minibus rentals, this model comes with a professional and fully-vetted driver to ensure your wedding transportation goes smoothly.

Decorate your charter wedding bus rental for your wedding day!

Sprinter Vans

Sprinter vans, also known as passenger vans, offer passengers the unique ability to drive their own vehicle, which helps cut down on the cost of your bus rental. After all, it is the driver’s time that has the greatest impact on your final price. If you’re interested in driving your own rental vehicle, our Sprinter Van (No Driver) page has all the information you need to get set up for that option.

These vans can seat up to 15 people at a time, making it a convenient option for smaller groups of people. Therefore, smaller wedding events, such as bridal showers or bachelor parties, often employ this type of bus, keeping the entire group consolidated in one compact vehicle. Passenger vans come equipped with a variety of amenities, including vehicle-wide air conditioning, ample baggage storage as well as hi-speed WiFi and power outlets (available upon request).

Wedding Bus Rentals: Use Cases

Constantly busy with one event lined up after the other, wedding groups turn to bus rentals for different occasions, such as ceremony transportation, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and hotel shuttles. Let’s take a look at some of the most common uses for wedding bus rentals:

Rent a charter bus for your dream wedding's group transportation.

Ceremony Transportation

The most common use for wedding bus rentals is for ceremony transportation. Bus rentals will ensure your guests get to the final venue safely and reliably, all while keeping the entire group together. Depending on how big your guestlist is, there are multiple bus types of different sizes to accommodate everyone.

The best part of booking a bus rental for your wedding is that the itinerary is completely customizable. So, whether you simply need direct transportation from the ceremony to the reception, or if you want to set up multiple pick-up points to shuttle guests to-and-from your venue, routes can be adapted to your specific requirements. You can even customize your rental to fit your wedding theme!

Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Bachelor and bachelorette parties typically involve several destinations and pit stops along the way. By renting a bus, you won’t have to worry about designating a driver for the night, or hailing multiple cabs along the way. A fully-vetted and experienced driver will accompany you throughout your day (and night!) of partying, so you can simply savour in every moment of fun. Plus, a bus rental’s itinerary can be customized to fit your own schedule, offering you a lot more flexibility in planning your transportation.

Depending on the size of your group, school buses or minibuses are great options for these types of events, given the fact that they’re meant for trips spanning over shorter distances. If you’re looking for a more compact alternative, or have a tighter knit circle of friends with you, passenger van rentals are also a convenient option, fitting up to 15 people.

Bridal Shower

Bridal showers are a great way to ring in the wedding and typically occur between three weeks to three months before the Big Day. Wedding groups often turn to bus rentals for bridal showers, offering the bridesmaids a unique opportunity to spend quality time with one another before the wedding.

Bridal showers tend to be more intimate affairs, and can range anywhere between 15 to 50 people. For smaller bridal showers, we recommend the passenger van, but if you have a bigger event in mind, your group can always rent a mini coach bus or even a full-size school bus. The choice for bus type will depend on your group size, venue, and required amenities.

Rent a shuttle bus for your wedding.

Hotel Shuttle

Once you book hotel accommodations and secure rooms for all your guests, you might want to think about how they will get around. Whether you want a place to crash after your bachelor(ette) party or after your wedding night, a hotel shuttle service is a convenient way to get everyone home safely.

Some hotels offer shuttle services of their own, but you can always set up your own itinerary and create a route and pick-up points that work best for everybody. Passenger vans and mini coach buses are ideal budget-friendly options for a hotel shuttle service since they’re versatile enough to accommodate many different pit stops.

After the Event

Your wedding night was a huge success, but now it’s time to get home. Rather than calling a number of taxis in the middle of the night, you can charter your own bus rental.  Every bus rental comes with an experienced chauffeur, which will ensure that all your guests have a way to get back home safely.

Pro tip: Organize scheduled departures at regular intervals, offering your guests the flexibility to get home whenever they want. Simply share the schedule with all your guests beforehand or post it on your wedding’s website, if you have one.

Though the wedding may be over, your guests might still be in town for the weekend. Why not treat them (and yourself!) to a little something extra? Sunday brunch or a relaxing spa day sounds just perfect after a long night of celebrating!

How to Book a Wedding Bus Rental

Now that you are aware of the different bus types commonly used for wedding events, as well as which type of wedding events they can be used for, let’s go through how to actually book your bus rental.

Step 1: Choose Locations

The most important step when planning group transportation for your wedding day is to figure out what your itinerary will look like. Keep in mind that the more streamlined your routes are, the better you’ll be able to keep costs at a minimum. Whether you’re looking at pick-up and drop-off points for your guests, scenic spots for a wedding photoshoot, or hotels after the wedding, be sure to have a list of all the locations you need to get to.

Step 2: Nail Down the Schedule

Figuring out your schedule goes hand-in-hand with determining the locations along your itinerary. Wedding planning works around tight deadlines, and with a preplanned schedule, bus rentals will get you to where you need to be on time.

Start by determining when the ceremony and the reception will begin. Then, factor in any additional stops your group plans on making and account for potential delays and straggles in your schedule. Finally, have an approximate idea of when the festivities will come to an end to ensure that experienced bus drivers are there to take your guests home.

Pro tip: Set up a shuttle service at your final venue to offer your guests the option of leaving at different times throughout the night.

Step 3: Get a Sense of Distance

Before hitting the road or booking your bus trip, it is crucial to understand the distance you will be travelling (as it usually plays into drive time and therefore, the price of your bus rental!). A simple search on Google Maps should suffice, giving you a quick snapshot of your route.

Step 4: Add 15

You may think you have your schedule down to the last minute, but anything can happen and it’s better to be prepared and to account for potential delays. From hitting sudden traffic jams to late groomsmen, there are a variety of reasons why your group could fall behind its itinerary. We recommend adding 15 minutes of buffer time to each bus trip or stop you will be making. This will account for any sudden changes that need to be made along the way and ensure that you will still remain on schedule during your event.

Step 5: Share Your Itinerary

Once your bus booking is confirmed, share your itinerary with your wedding party and guests shortly after to get everyone on the same page. Don’t forget to make sure that your driver has a copy of it as well — that will help prevent any surprises! If you consider yourself to be an expert navigator, and have preferred routes that you’d like to take, you can share those as well. However, keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances such as traffic or construction may cause slight modifications to your itinerary on the day you’re traveling.

Step 6: Book Your Bus Rental

You have your itinerary. You know what bus type to rent. Your guests are all on the same page. It’s time to book. Confirming your bus rental is the easiest step of them all and can be done with the minimum of fuss from Bus.com’s convenient online booking system. Simply put in all your trip details and your bus rental quote will be generated in under two minutes. The estimate you receive is good for three days, giving you time to consider all your options and consult with your group before booking. If ever your quote expires, fret not — you can always request another one!

It’s always better to book your bus rental well in advance of your wedding day to guarantee your group the best rate. Our Book Now, Pay Later policy event gives you the ability to defer the full payment up until 21 days before departure, so you can book as early as possible.

Wedding Bus Rentals 101

Here are some final tips straight from transportation experts to make the most of your wedding bus rental:

Jazz Up Your Trip with Amenities

Like in a successful marriage, a little extra goes a long way. When booking a wedding bus rental, keep your desired amenities in mind. Contrary to popular belief, adding modern luxuries to your bus rental will not have a significant impact on your final quote. These extra amenities can include vehicle-wide air conditioning, onboard bathrooms, and hi-speed WiFi. The former is especially important if your wedding date is set for a hot summer day!

A coach bus is the most comfortable wedding bus rental option, offering your guests ample space and a number of amenities other vehicles may not have. Fitting up to 55 people at a time, a coach bus consolidates your entire group into one. While limousines may seem like the traditional option, the extra space and comfortable seating of a coach bus will help keep that wedding dress in pristine condition.

Style Your Bus to Your Wedding Theme

Your wedding day is one of the most special ones in your life. Why not customize your bus rental to reflect your personal tastes and chosen wedding theme? Whether you want to load your bus rental up with beautiful gigantic bouquets, or fill it up with party streamers and balloons, simple decorations can elevate your rental experience and make your wedding day that much more special. Need some inspiration in that department? Our quick guide on styling your bus rental has som tips and tricks on how to elevate your bus xperience.

Pro tip: Purchase photo booth props and put them in a few of the seats. Let your guests get wacky and capture the moment! Whether they’re professional shots or not, we assure you that you’ll be left with amazing memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope we answered all of your questions, but in case we didn't, here are some frequently asked questions that will streamline your wedding bus rental experience and ensure you don’t encounter any surprises along the way.

When to book your bus?

We typically recommend renting your wedding bus no later than four months in advance to ensure local availability and avoid price surging. Simply put, the earlier you confirm your bus rental, the more providers we are capable of sourcing your rental from. This is especially important if your wedding happens to fall between the months of April and June as you will be competing with prom and graduation seasons.

As soon as you have your wedding date, finalized guest count, and locations set, use our online booking tool to get a quote in under two minutes. With our Book Now, Pay Later policy you can defer your final payment up until 21 days before departure.

How much does a wedding shuttle rental cost?

Wedding planners will regularly set up shuttle services to ensure their guests get to and from the destination safely. Shuttle services allow your guests to make the most of their evening without having to worry about driving home. Typically, the cost of a wedding shuttle rental will depend on the amount of time you will be needing it. Once you have established your itinerary, our online booking system will generate a comprehensive quote. This will include the driver’s time, an industry-standard tip, as well as your desired amenities and applicable taxes. Get in touch with one of our award-winning booking specialists if you have any more questions.

In addition to reserving a bus, can I also book hotel rooms?

Group transportation may be our expertise, but we also offer accommodations for after your wedding night. Simply visit our hotel reservation website and secure hotel rooms for your entire group. If your wedding venue happens to be near a hotel or it is in a remote location, make the most of it and book a well-deserved stay at a hotel. Group travel advantages include negotiated and online discounts and top-notch customer service. Our hotel booking tool will help you compare competing rates at a moment’s notice.

Do all of your vehicle rentals come with drivers?

Yes, most of our vehicles come with a vetted and experienced driver to ensure your wedding events go smoothly. Bus.com has an abundance of experience with wedding planning, leveraging its NorthAmerica-wide network to offer your group the best rate available. With that being said, if your group is looking to drive your own vehicle, we offer sprinter van rentals with no driver. Restrictions may apply depending on your jurisdiction, but typically a regular driver’s license should suffice. Consult our Sprinter Van (No Driver) page for more information.

Is it possible to rent a bus for a wedding near me?

Absolutely! Renting a bus for your wedding has never been easier with our online booking tool doing much of the work for you. Once you have an accurate headcount and set an itinerary, simply use our online booking system and look for bus rentals near you. Bus.com offers a variety of different bus types, ranging from full-sized coach buses to compact sprinter vans. If you are unsure which bus type is best for your group, follow these simple rules: Coach buses and mini coach buses are recommended for trips longer than three hours, while school buses and minibuses are ideal for traveling shorter distances. You can always consult our quick guide on choosing a bus type or contact our 24-7 customer service.