Wedding Day Podcast Episode 3: Rod Childress with Butler Transportation

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This week's topics: wedding transportation, different vehicle options, transportation considerations, adult beverages in Butler vehicles, personal wedding touches, how and when to book wedding transportation, why you should prioritize transportation in the planning process, safety, transportation budgets, working with planners, getaway cars, transporting kids and elderly guests, tipping your drivers, essential questions to ask your transportation pros 

For this episode of Wedding Day Podcast, Iron Diamond's founder Sonja Babich and co-host Dan Riggs joined guest Rod Childress from Butler Transportation to break down all things wedding transportation hosted at Luly Yang Couture in Seattle. Childress works across the pacific northwest to work with couples on things ranging from getaway cars to ensuring the perfect transportation ambience. 

Butler Transportation brings a curated approach to the wedding experience; Rod talked about the 55 inventory options at Butler ranging from sleek SUVs to a gorgeous Mercedes that Rod calls "immaculate." Butler notably doesn't work with limousines, but Rod is a huge supporter of using other forms of transportation for weddings. One of the most common tasks for Butler is to transport bridal parties, where vehicles like a limousine can be constricting and very challenging to get in and out of with your wedding day look in-tact. It's a key question for many (and our hosts) - can you bring adult beverages on board? All the vehicles in the fleet at Butler are limo-credentialed vehicles, meaning alcoholic beverages are allowed on board and the cars are designed to foster a lively ambience (but Butler does have a fine for any unexpected sickness incidents). Rod delved into his favorite ways to personalize lighting choices and other details to fit each unique couple as a true customer experience expert. 

Rod also talked about the booking process - Butler is already booking for 2025. He said that transportation often is not the first consideration for many couples in the planning process, but it's one of the most essential aspects of a successful wedding day. Once you have a venue, it's time to think about parking and transportation options ASAP, which Sonja and Dan wholeheartedly agreed with. In the Pacific Northwest area, there are a lot of alfresco venues that couples are choosing to explore in nature with limited access to parking. For Butler, safety is the top consideration - it's essential to make sure everyone has reliable and safe transportation especially if alcohol is being served. 

Let's talk budget - it really depends on your event according to Rod. Sonja and Dan asked about all-things budget and Rod says that Butler is dedicated to working with couples to ensure they find options that work for their budget while ensuring an enjoyable guest experience. It's also always helpful when Butler can work with planners to smooth out any last-minute details and make sure timing is down to a science with a plan. Dan brought up a good point for discussion: you have to thinking about grandma and grandpa. Elderly family members don't always want to stay the entire reception, and having an earlier option for guests to leave is a great idea - which you can display in cute signage around your wedding. It's also important to take kids into account, and plan for carseats and proper accommodations. 

Getaway cars are totally trending, and Rod went into all the details and options for couples to make their grand exit. While classic cars are having a moment, Rod warned couples to make sure things like the engine can function properly - one time Butler even stepped in to get a Mercedes on-site within 30 minutes when the classic car wouldn't start to transport newlyweds. When the night is wrapping up, Rod said Butler Transportation is focused on keeping things safe and enjoyable, including calling ride shares for guests who may need extra help getting home. To wrap up our episode, Sonja and Dan explored wedding tipping conventions with drivers and the norms across the industry and Rod gave us his top advice for couples. 

This episode is powered by Luly Yang and I.M. Artistry. Special thanks to members Linen EffectsContinental DiamondWarpaint International

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