If the bride has tasked you with hiring a limousine for your wedding, you can’t let her down. Nothing would be worse than pulling up to the chapel in some dilapidated jalopy of a limo. Well, actually, it could be worse; you could get stood up with no transportation at all if you choose an unreliable provider. Don’t let the bride down, get this job done – consider it a gift to the bride from the groom (but don’t cheap out, you’ll still need to get her a real gift) Before you start stressing out, we have some great tips that will keep the wheels from falling off the wonderfulness of your wedding day.

Get referrals. This is one time to pay extra care to what other people think. Inquire among friends, family and co-workers; get the scoop on what limo services are well worth the expense and which ones to avoid. If you are not able to get a personal recommendation, at least check with the Better Business bureau before you book a reservation to ensure that the company doesn’t have a large number of complaints.

Book early. Line up your ride well before the event – definitely not the day before, guys! If your big day is planned in the spring, you’ll want to get a contract signed on your limo service at least several months in advance. With so many weddings, proms and other formal affairs this time of year, it can sometimes be hard to track down and reserve the vehicle you want, especially if you live in a smaller market.

Consider limo size. When choosing a limo, you’ll want to take into consideration the numbers of people who will be getting a lift. Bigger is better here. Limo capacity doesn’t take into account all the other intrusive factors of a wedding – large, poofy dresses, mountains of flowers, wedding gifts, groomsmen gifts, best man gifts and other space-hogging gear. So, in reality a 10 person limo might only hold six or seven.

Get a contract. As previously hinted to, it is important to get a contract between you and the service provider. Not only will this outline the price and hours of service, it should also describe exactly what car will be providing your service and how emergencies, breakdowns and other contingencies will be handled.

Other legal issues. Ask to see documentation that the limo service is insured in the event of personal or property damage while you are being transported. Also check to see what the company’s cancellation policy is in the event that you have to back out at the last minute due to an emergency or (heaven forbid) cold feet. For a small fee, some providers will offer cancellation insurance.

Pre-drive the route. Before the wedding, drive the route from your home to the church to the reception (along with any other places you may need to go in the limo). If possible, try to make this dry-run happen at the same time of day so you can properly gage traffic and determine how much time to allot.

Stock the limo: Make sure your limo has all the “must-haves” for your group including snacks, disposable cameras, a great play list and other practical things like engraved flasks and portable personalized coolers (both of which make great groomsmen gifts, by the way).

So, you probably didn’t realize all the little nuisances of booking a limo. Hopefully, my list of tips will help future grooms make the best choice when planning for their big day.

Have you ever run into any problems renting a car for hire or a limo? Share your tips for making the process smoother in the comment section below.