If you have hired (or plan to hire) a transportation company to transport your guests from one location to another (ie. for your out of town guests to get from their hotel to your wedding venue; or for your young, unescorted guests to get from your Mitzvah ceremony to your reception venue) you have to remember to always be prepared...
Although the company that you have hired (or plan to hire) may have a fabulous reputation, sometimes there are circumstances beyond anyone's control, like traffic, mechanical difficulties or weather. If you are prepared for these circumstances, you can eliminate unnecessary stress on your special day. So instead of making a confirmation call to the transportation company a few days before your event and assuming everything will go according to the plan, you should take a few additional steps to insure that everything runs smoothly.
First, pick a trusted friend to be in charge of transportation on the day of your event - let's call this person your "transportation concierge". During your confirmation call a few days before your event, be sure to ask for your driver's name and cell phone number. Confirm the exact pick-up and drop off locations (front door? back door? side door?) and be sure that they have directions from point A to point B. I have learned over the years not to assume anything, no matter how reputable the transportation company is. Also, and this is very important, give the transportation company the cell phone number of your "transportation concierge". Remember, they have YOUR telephone number on file, but chances are that you won't be picking up your cell phone during your Wedding or Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
Next, you should create a "transportation itinerary" for your "transportation concierge". It should include the name and telephone number of the transportation company, the driver's name and cell #, and your own directions from point A to point B (thank goodness for Google Maps). Also be sure to include the scheduled pick-up/drop off times and the EXACT pick-up/drop off locations. If your driver is stuck in traffic or lost, he or she should be able to contact your "transportation concierge" directly. In case your driver does not think to contact your "transportation concierge" (yes this happens with even the most reputable companies), your "transportation concierge" can contact the driver directly to find out what is causing the delay.
If you are working with an event planner, the job of "transportation concierge" may or may not fall in their scope of work. Let me remind you again, do not assume anything. Be sure to ask your event planner in advance if they will be acting as your "transportations concierge" or if you need to ask a friend.
I was recently the "transportation concierge" for a friend's Bar Mitzvah. The bus that was supposed to transport the unescorted tweens from the ceremony to the reception had broken down en route to the synagogue. Neither the transportation company, nor the driver contacted me because they dispatched another bus immediately which was only going to be 10 minutes late- they did not realize that 10 minutes is an eternity when you are standing outside with 50 tweens and wondering where the bus could be. However, I did not panic because I was able to call the transportation company and find out that a bus was on the way. When the replacement bus arrived, the new driver did not know how to get to the reception venue. He was dispatched so quickly that he did not have time to get directions. My extra directions were both necessary and appreciated. The crisis was averted and there was no need for panic. My friend never had any idea that there was an issue.
And that is why it is so important to always be prepared!