Michael Caswell Photography

Wedding Day Transportation

If there's one thing I've learned over the course of documenting hundreds of weddings big and small, it's that transportation almost always takes longer than expected. The actual travel time between locations may end up being affected by traffic issues, but a far more common factor is simply the logistics of moving a (possibly large) group of people around on an action-packed day. You may plan to leave the hotel at 6pm, but by the time all the bridesmaids gather their belongings and everyone waits for an elevator (sometimes needing several if it's a larger group), it might be 6:15 before you're actually boarding the bus. It's almost inevitable that a forgotten important item (bouquet, marriage license, rings, tote bag of necessities, etc.) is suddenly remembered at this time, requiring someone to sprint back to the room to retrieve it, and of course we all have that one friend who is perpetually running late.

When you're on such a tight schedule and little things start to go wrong, it can be a real challenge for even the most cool-headed bride to remain calm. So it's best to figure out whatever amount of time you think you'll need to move from location to location, and double it. That way, if you run late, your timeline won't be substantially affected, and if you happen to arrive early, you'll have a little extra time to relax and catch your breath. A good and experienced wedding coordinator can be worth their weight in gold in ensuring transportation goes smoothly.

French Quarter Weddings

For events that take place solely in the French Quarter, either all at one location or with the locations within walking distance, couples often don't need to arrange any transportation at all if the weather allows, which of course greatly simplifies things. Sometimes brides choose to arrange for a limousine even if the ceremony venue is only a few blocks away, for comfort and taking precautions for the dress, or for the prestige and splendor of arriving in a classic Bentley or Rolls Royce.

If the ceremony and reception are at different locations (but still walking distance), the best way to get you and your guests there is by having a second line parade through the streets!

Photographer Transportation

For events that involve multiple locations (prep, ceremony, reception) in different parts of town, it's almost always best that I ride along with the wedding party to minimize the potential for mishaps that could cause me to be delayed. Though when leaving home I give myself plenty of time to arrive at the first location of the day to account for the possibility of car trouble or bad traffic, once the photography coverage begins, there's often a very tight timeframe to get to the ceremony, and then to the reception, with virtually no margin for error. The time needed to deal with even a minor accident, or simple car trouble like a flat tire or dead battery, could prevent me from arriving in time.

Even if there are no problems encountered during this travel, your wedding transportation will likely be dropping passengers off right at the venue's door, while if I were in my own vehicle, I'd have to find a place to park (which can be a real challenge to accomplish quickly on a Saturday evening in the French Quarter, as even the larger parking lots are often full) and then walk to the venue, during which time you may be waiting on my arrival. A taxi or ride sharing service is the next best thing, but I always feel the safest option with the fewest possibilities for mishaps is for me to stick with the bride and groom or wedding party when traveling between locations.