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Transport: Your Carriage Awaits

So it’s your big day. The minister stayed sober, your soon-to-be mother-in-law kept the condescension to a minimum and you didn’t even have to tell the caterers that, no, the guests with the seafood allergies really couldn’t have anything cooked in shrimp stock. There is still one minor hitch: You need to get your and your betrothed’s entire families to the church, then to the reception and maybe (assuming the bouquet toss didn’t end in bloodshed) back home or to hotels afterward. It is, after all, a wedding, and there will be a bit – a bit – of champagne flowing. Outside transportation is probably a good idea. Here are some of your options:

Alert Transportation has been in business for a little under a decade and has a variety of wedding party options available. Their custom fleet of vehicles includes Towncar limousines, stretch Lincoln Navigators, sedans, SUVs and minibuses. “All our buses are French Quarter-friendly,” says Herman Tureaud, the company’s president (buses over 31 feet long are barred from entering the Vieux Carré). Tureaud’s minibuses accommodate 14 to 33 revelers. They also offer various refreshments if you want to get the party started on the way to the reception or keep it going on the way home. Serving the greater New Orleans area, and points as far away as Covington and Slidell, Alert lists their standard package deals at AlertTransportation.com, and you can inquire about custom packages by calling 362-4145.

If you’re in the market for minibuses and want to up the ante with a Rolls Royce thrown in for the happy couple, Big Easy Limos has all sorts of ritzy extras to help you roll out in high “just married” style. Their minibuses aren’t quite as large as Alert’s, but they go a bit farther afield. Mike Wetzel says, “We’ve been as far as Indiana. As far as service is concerned we go anywhere.” Big Easy offers complimentary champagne for the newlyweds on top of their service options, which include stretch Cadillac Escalades and Hummer H2s, in addition to their 1957 Rolls Royce. For more information, visit BigEasyLimos.com or call 466-4477.

If your party is more demanding in terms of sheer numbers, Louisiana Motor Coach has a fleet of full-sized charter buses at your disposal. They work throughout the greater New Orleans area (including the Northshore) and can obtain specialty vehicles outside of their fleet of behemoth charter buses. “It’s pretty much whatever the clients asks for,” says Louis Sanders, the company’s vice president and general manager, “whether it’s a motor coach all the way down to a Rolls Royce, even a horse and buggy.” You can check out their economy-sized conveyances at LouisianaMotorCoach.com or by calling 343-1400.

Buses are all well and good, but maybe you want to kick things up a notch. For that there’s the VIP School Bus, which is built out of – you guessed it – a decommissioned school bus (actually, there are two identical VIP buses and one matching trailer). “We do a free bottle of champagne and also a commemorative sign for the bride or groom,” says Emiley Brown, who runs their accounting department. “They have VIP glasses (plastic, for safety’s sake) and can do a full bar.”

Brown says the buses are decked out with thousands of songs, videos, fog machines and a “safety pole.” (The bus is popular for bachelor parties – use your imagination.) Class is in session at VIPSchoolBus.com or 846-9968.

Finally, if you want to take an even wider departure from the usual – and also take advantage of the Big Easy’s new status as a “bicycle-friendly city” – you can reserve a wedding package with Need A Ride Pedicab. “We probably have about three or four (weddings a week) in the French Quarter,” says Suzanne Alford, the company’s owner. “Sometimes it’s the whole party; mostly it’s just the bride and groom, and a second-line from the church to the reception.” Need A Ride Pedicab has 15 of the modern rickshaws in their armada and runs events in the French Quarter and City Park. Get your chariot on at NeedARideNOLA.com or 488-6566.

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