Etiquette

Paying for Guest Parking

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Re: Paying for Guest Parking

  • lyndausvi said:

    @SoonToBeSmith0512, for what it's worth, that is exactly the situation I was picturing.  That the venue doesn't normally have valet parking, but they'll hook that up for an additional fee.  Though I wasn't picturing that fee as steep as $2500.  That is something I normally don't think etiquette would require a host to pay for.  Since valet services are not normally offered anyway.

    But the rest of my post is the general conundrum I'm having, and some of the other PPs, of "does a 3-block walk mean being too far"?

    This is probably picking hairs, but some of it would depend on how long those blocks are, lol.  In a city environment, I'm assuming they're long.

    I'm still not sure how I feel about that.  I more lean on the side of most/all people can handle it and/or do a drop off.  But, then again, I definitely hear not wanting to make life more difficult for guests who might have mobility issues.  But a $2500 cost to make a guest(s), who might have a mobility issue, more comfortable does sound like an over-the-top option. 

    ---------------------------------------------------------- 

    It's not quite related, but I just can't help but mention it and it's a good example of the impossible difficulties cities can have with parking.  I was recently on a local forum board for the newspaper.  And some tourist was super angry and appalled that the restaurants in the French Quarter don't have their own parking lots.  And they were so upset because his disabled mother couldn't go anywhere.

    You could almost feel the confusion and head tilt from everyone.  I get it, I probably can't even begin to imagine how hard it is to have a mobility issue.  But, exactly where does this guy think magical parking lots are going to go?  That's pricy real estate.  For a restaurant to buy a lot next to it.  Then retrofit it to be a parking structure.  Starting at $100 million would probably be a bargain price.  And I'm just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt that he would have no way to know that anything "modern", like a parking structure, would no longer be allowed to be built in the FQ anyway.

    As an aside, there are a few pay parking structures.  But you'll pay $30+ and still have to walk a few blocks for some of the restaurants. 

    This is hardly a unique situation for most cities, smh.

    At any rate, that's my long way to say, I think it's important that as a society we make life as fair for people as possible.  Especially those facing mobility/medical issues.  But life isn't fair.  And sometimes there is nothing that can be done or nothing that can be done that isn't prohibitive.  Those are the punches we have to roll with sometimes. 

    FQ is the worst, but what is the alternative?   That part of town was built BEFORE cars.   The streets are narrow and in some cases not even enough room for on street parking.   Empty lots to make a parking lot/garage just do not exist.     And like you said, it's a historical district they wouldn't be allowed anyway. 

    Heck, FQ getting decent sidewalks for people with mobility issues was barely approved and that was only because it was contingent  to get the Super Bowl.

    I originally had this in my post also.  But I was already being super wordy, lol.

    Heck, there are restaurants still in business today in the FQ, that opened in the late 1800s.

    I was not aware of the sidewalks issue!  Interesting.  Though calling them "decent" is a strong word, lol.  I know what you mean, I'm teasing.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    lyndausvi
  • So to slightly change the topic, regardless of which option we choose, what’s the best way to inform guests of the parking situation? We plan to add the info to the wedding website but knowing not everyone will look there, is word of mouth our second line of defense? We won’t be having a map insert or anything in the invitation suite. 
    I think this actually does depend which option you choose. If you are providing (paid) valet parking, then I would put that info in an insert.

    If valet parking is available but not paid for then I would put this info on the wedding website with other logistics/location information (e.g. "Valet parking is available for $10 per car on site. Limited street parking is available, or the nearest parking garage is approximately 3 blocks away at 4th and L St. and costs $10 for the evening if you enter after 5pm. Please note that it is a credit card only facility"). I wouldn't spend too much time spreading it by word of mouth. 

    I would definitely spread it by word of mouth in addition to the website if you don't have valet onsite at all--that way people can make the appropriate arrangements (e.g. bring a jacket, wear flats, plan to drop Grandma off at the door then go park, etc.). 
    southernbelle0915short+sassyCasadena
  • I'm not sure what's really etiquette approved or what's on the hosts and what isn't... but I know as a guest, if I were invited to a wedding and then had to pay to park and then walk three blocks in heels it would leave a bad taste in my mouth and would likely be one of my biggest take aways from the wedding.
    And if the wedding had a bunch of frills (favors, photobooth, really expensive bridal gown, etc) I'd judge the couple.

    I know some cities it's hard to find parking in. But by the same token, I think lots of downtown venues tend to be on the higher-end. There are always exceptions, but lots of times you can find more affordable venues in suburban and rural areas where it's easier to park.
    I feel like if you're going to go all the way and have a fancy venue, that valet is almost an expectation.

  • banana468 said:
    I'm not sure what's really etiquette approved or what's on the hosts and what isn't... but I know as a guest, if I were invited to a wedding and then had to pay to park and then walk three blocks in heels it would leave a bad taste in my mouth and would likely be one of my biggest take aways from the wedding.
    And if the wedding had a bunch of frills (favors, photobooth, really expensive bridal gown, etc) I'd judge the couple.

    I know some cities it's hard to find parking in. But by the same token, I think lots of downtown venues tend to be on the higher-end. There are always exceptions, but lots of times you can find more affordable venues in suburban and rural areas where it's easier to park.
    I feel like if you're going to go all the way and have a fancy venue, that valet is almost an expectation.

    I don't think you're being realistic with an understanding of how some cities work or how the planning works. 

    That's essentially telling a couple who may reside in a city to move the location of their event because parking is limited where they are. 

    It's not just a 'downtown' situation if the entire area is set up that way.   Do you honestly suggest that a couple relocate their entire wedding??

    I'll agree that if the entire event appears to have boatloads of bells and whistles and the guests have to pay for parking then that smells off.   If the guests have a lot of options for getting to the venue this doesn't seem so bad IMO. 



    A couple can have their wedding wherever they want.
    My point was that in many areas, downtown wedding receptions are often more upscale so if a couple is having a downtown wedding they already know it's going to be expensive. And if it's too expensive for them to provide parking, maybe they should be looking at other options for their own well-being (not even necessarily the guests'. OOT guests might prefer staying closer to the airport / not driving out on country backroads).

    Maybe there are some really great downtown budget venues and I'm just personally not familiar (though, on that note, it makes me wonder about the safety of the neighborhood which would again make me wish there were valet...)

    I haven't been to many downtown weddings. One in Pittsburgh, one in Chicago, two in St. Louis (including my own). Chicago had a shuttle and the others all had valet.
    Every other wedding I've ever gone to I've had to park myself but parking were close. These tended to be rural and suburban weddings.

    Maybe I've just been spoiled so I don't understand?


    MyNameIsNot
  • aurianna said:
    banana468 said:
    I'm not sure what's really etiquette approved or what's on the hosts and what isn't... but I know as a guest, if I were invited to a wedding and then had to pay to park and then walk three blocks in heels it would leave a bad taste in my mouth and would likely be one of my biggest take aways from the wedding.
    And if the wedding had a bunch of frills (favors, photobooth, really expensive bridal gown, etc) I'd judge the couple.

    I know some cities it's hard to find parking in. But by the same token, I think lots of downtown venues tend to be on the higher-end. There are always exceptions, but lots of times you can find more affordable venues in suburban and rural areas where it's easier to park.
    I feel like if you're going to go all the way and have a fancy venue, that valet is almost an expectation.

    I don't think you're being realistic with an understanding of how some cities work or how the planning works. 

    That's essentially telling a couple who may reside in a city to move the location of their event because parking is limited where they are. 

    It's not just a 'downtown' situation if the entire area is set up that way.   Do you honestly suggest that a couple relocate their entire wedding??

    I'll agree that if the entire event appears to have boatloads of bells and whistles and the guests have to pay for parking then that smells off.   If the guests have a lot of options for getting to the venue this doesn't seem so bad IMO. 



    A couple can have their wedding wherever they want.
    My point was that in many areas, downtown wedding receptions are often more upscale so if a couple is having a downtown wedding they already know it's going to be expensive. And if it's too expensive for them to provide parking, maybe they should be looking at other options for their own well-being (not even necessarily the guests'. OOT guests might prefer staying closer to the airport / not driving out on country backroads).

    Maybe there are some really great downtown budget venues and I'm just personally not familiar (though, on that note, it makes me wonder about the safety of the neighborhood which would again make me wish there were valet...)

    I haven't been to many downtown weddings. One in Pittsburgh, one in Chicago, two in St. Louis (including my own). Chicago had a shuttle and the others all had valet.
    Every other wedding I've ever gone to I've had to park myself but parking were close. These tended to be rural and suburban weddings.

    Maybe I've just been spoiled so I don't understand?


    I think so! There are venues throughout NYC that don’t have onsite parking, I think it’s pretty out of touch to say people should just have a wedding in the suburbs then!
    PrettyGirlLostbanana468kahluakoalaeileenrob
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
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    edited January 11
    I'm not sure what's really etiquette approved or what's on the hosts and what isn't... but I know as a guest, if I were invited to a wedding and then had to pay to park and then walk three blocks in heels it would leave a bad taste in my mouth and would likely be one of my biggest take aways from the wedding.
    And if the wedding had a bunch of frills (favors, photobooth, really expensive bridal gown, etc) I'd judge the couple.

    I know some cities it's hard to find parking in. But by the same token, I think lots of downtown venues tend to be on the higher-end. There are always exceptions, but lots of times you can find more affordable venues in suburban and rural areas where it's easier to park.
    I feel like if you're going to go all the way and have a fancy venue, that valet is almost an expectation.

    If you can't walk a few blocks in your heels, then I'm not quite sure how you're going to manage lasting through a 4-6hr reception. . .

    Change into flats?  Oh, well then just slip them on to walk to the venue.
    Or have your Spouse/Partner/Date/Uber drop you off right at the door.

    I don't personally expect a couple to provide expensive valet service for me- in the major cities valet services are quite pricey.  As an adult I can figure out how to get my ass into the venue in the most comfortable fashion for me, lol.

    I would much rather the couple invest their money on the things that actually matter at their reception- the food and beverages, music, etc.

    aurianna said:

    Maybe I've just been spoiled so I don't understand?


    Yes, probably.  ;-)

    In most cases shuttle services, paid parking, and valet services are really nice bonuses.  Most city weddings I've been to have had none of those provided for me as a guest.

    I have used Uber, carpooled with other guests, rented cars, paid for parking, and walked many, many times.

    The only weddings I have been to where a shuttle was provided were situations in which the wedding site and reception venues were pretty far apart from each other and far from the main hotel where the couple had arranged room blocks.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


    STARMOON44short+sassy
  • Wait a sec, are @aurianna and @EvilSockLady the same user?? 

    I'm not sure what you even mean by "a downtown" wedding.   New York is a major city and many locations including where my friends live simply don't have parking.  Even in a borough the on street parking situation involves stalking and block circling. 

    A place having its own lot anywhere in the city (uptown, midtown, downtown) is just unusual.    There are lots / garages that serve the local space but they are their own businesses and not linked to others.    So for starters the idea of calling it a 'downtown' makes me giggle.  There's a reason that mass transit, Uber and taxis are used so frequently.  

    So the concept that a couple would move their wedding from out of the city into the suburbs is borderline absurd to me and borders on the preposterous.   It actually creates problems in the name of solving one that may or may not even exist. 
    STARMOON44PrettyGirlLosteileenrobshort+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
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    banana468 said:
    Wait a sec, are @aurianna and @EvilSockLady the same user?? 

    I'm not sure what you even mean by "a downtown" wedding.   New York is a major city and many locations including where my friends live simply don't have parking.  Even in a borough the on street parking situation involves stalking and block circling. 

    A place having its own lot anywhere in the city (uptown, midtown, downtown) is just unusual.    There are lots / garages that serve the local space but they are their own businesses and not linked to others.    So for starters the idea of calling it a 'downtown' makes me giggle.  There's a reason that mass transit, Uber and taxis are used so frequently.  

    So the concept that a couple would move their wedding from out of the city into the suburbs is borderline absurd to me and borders on the preposterous.   It actually creates problems in the name of solving one that may or may not even exist. 
    In this specific case, OP said that the ceremony is in the suburbs, it's just the reception that is being held in the city. That, coupled with the fact that OP seems to expect that the majority of her guests will be driving to the wedding suggests to me that this is not New York or another huge city. I, for one, think it would be silly to provide valet service in Manhattan, especially with many OOT guests. 

    In a mid-size city where people do expect to have to drive places and there are options for venues with parking, IMHO the equation is different. I'm with PP that venues in the city are generally nicer and more expensive than the average venue in the suburbs. Most midsize cities have uber or the equivalent, but not all do, and public transportation options are generally limited. In that sort of situation, I'm more inclined to say that providing parking should just be part of the expense of deciding to do a city wedding. 

    Honestly, I think it depends. But I'd be annoyed if my friends from the suburbs here (Atlanta) decided to get married downtown, but didn't factor parking into the equation. I'd be even more annoyed if this plan involved a ceremony in the suburbs, which basically means driving is the only option. Guest comfort > dream venue. 
     
    Jen4948InLoveInQueensSP29
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    I think that no matter what you decide to do, if you expect guests to find their way to your reception venue after parking some distance away, at the very least you owe them a heads-up about the distance between the parking and the venue, and it would be a nice gesture to let them know what options are available for getting from the parking area to the reception venue if they can't walk the three blocks. 

    Don't just assume that everyone has a companion who can drive them or that they can take Uber, Lyft or mass transportation. I'd make sure that these options are actually available and that your guests know about them.
  • So curious about what people think about venue parking? What if the venue has parking but it’s paid only— would the couple be expected to pay for parking then? 

    I guess the the way I see it is once people get to the venue location they should be expected to pay for anything, including entering a parking lot/ramp. If there are a bunch of free spaces around then sure, no problem there’s accessible free parking. If people opt to take a cab instead of walk from free parking, awesome. But I think it gets blurry when the only parking options are all paid places AND it’s a city/location where driving is the primary means of transportation. 
    This is where I am, too. In other threads where it's a pay-only to park venue or required valet, we always advise that the couple picks up the tab since guests shouldn't have to pay for anything once they're at the venue. 

    This situation is basically that PLUS making them walk. I remember a thread where a couple was getting married at a beach and there were only like 10 FREE parking spots at the entrance to the beach. A quarter mile or so down the road, there was a big lot where lots of people could park (also FREE). She was asking if that was ok or if she should have a shuttle. I don't think there was one reg on here who didn't shame her crappy planning and tell her to get a shuttle. I will reiterate: that parking was FREE. 

    This person wants to make guests pay AND make them walk. It's ok because it's a city? IMO, no. You choose to get married in a city (or wherever) you need to cover these kinds of costs and not make your guests hike to your event.
    2 or three blocks of walking versus a quarter mile is a huge difference.

    If guests don't want to or can't walk, they can get dropped off at the entrance to OP's venue, get a taxi, get an Uber, carpool, etc.  Lots of options.

    I'm with Starmoon and others in that I don't see this as a big deal.  This isn't on the level of a gap or lack of chairs or a cash bar.

    The guests can figure out how they are going to get to the venue and where they are going to park, even if they have to pay for it and walk.  If I were OP I wouldn't kill myself trying to rework my budget over this one.

    And for the record we paid for some valet parking, but most guests did not utilize it.
    Actually, depending on the city, 1/10mi per block is a fair estimate - meaning that 2-3 city blocks very well could be .25-.33mi. 
    sparklepants41southernbelle0915
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
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    *Barbie* said:
    So curious about what people think about venue parking? What if the venue has parking but it’s paid only— would the couple be expected to pay for parking then? 

    I guess the the way I see it is once people get to the venue location they should be expected to pay for anything, including entering a parking lot/ramp. If there are a bunch of free spaces around then sure, no problem there’s accessible free parking. If people opt to take a cab instead of walk from free parking, awesome. But I think it gets blurry when the only parking options are all paid places AND it’s a city/location where driving is the primary means of transportation. 
    This is where I am, too. In other threads where it's a pay-only to park venue or required valet, we always advise that the couple picks up the tab since guests shouldn't have to pay for anything once they're at the venue. 

    This situation is basically that PLUS making them walk. I remember a thread where a couple was getting married at a beach and there were only like 10 FREE parking spots at the entrance to the beach. A quarter mile or so down the road, there was a big lot where lots of people could park (also FREE). She was asking if that was ok or if she should have a shuttle. I don't think there was one reg on here who didn't shame her crappy planning and tell her to get a shuttle. I will reiterate: that parking was FREE. 

    This person wants to make guests pay AND make them walk. It's ok because it's a city? IMO, no. You choose to get married in a city (or wherever) you need to cover these kinds of costs and not make your guests hike to your event.
    2 or three blocks of walking versus a quarter mile is a huge difference.

    If guests don't want to or can't walk, they can get dropped off at the entrance to OP's venue, get a taxi, get an Uber, carpool, etc.  Lots of options.

    I'm with Starmoon and others in that I don't see this as a big deal.  This isn't on the level of a gap or lack of chairs or a cash bar.

    The guests can figure out how they are going to get to the venue and where they are going to park, even if they have to pay for it and walk.  If I were OP I wouldn't kill myself trying to rework my budget over this one.

    And for the record we paid for some valet parking, but most guests did not utilize it.
    Actually, depending on the city, 1/10mi per block is a fair estimate - meaning that 2-3 city blocks very well could be .25-.33mi. 
    Wow, really?

    Wow, then a quarter of a mile is nothing!  It always sounds so far when stated in miles vs blocks.

    My opinion on walking in heels still stands!

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


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