Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Pretty sure I know the answer...

My FI and I are starting to look at venues and one of the places we really like is located in an 'entertainment complex' type area- restaurants, bars, Aquarium, all on the waterfront. The drawback is that most of the parking lots in the area charge about $5, though there is some free on street parking, which local's would know about and know how to find it. Most of our guests (approx 80%) will be coming in from out of town, and we'll be getting a large block of rooms at a nearby hotel. Because of this we'll be arranging for a shuttle to and from the hotel, but are we also required to pay for the parking for our local guests? The only way to do that might be to pay for valet service, which is hella pricey, esp given how few people would be using it...

I know you never want to have your guest open their wallet, so if we have to factor in parking then so be it. I was just wondering what the etiquette in this situation would be. 



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Re: Pretty sure I know the answer...

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    No, I don't think you need to pay for parking for local guests. 


    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    I paid for my own parking at a wedding at a museum downtown and didn't think twice about it.  
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    colexcolex member
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    I would assume no on this one. The way my logic worked was if I were entertaining people at my house, I wouldn't pay for them to park at a metered parking spot. 
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    Your venue sounds awesome. Yes, unfortunately, I think you have to pay for parking. Some people won't be staying at the hotel and of those that are, not everyone will want to take the shuttle. You can definitely promote the shuttle in hopes people will take it instead of driving, but if people want to drive, they need a place to park.

    I would talk to the venue and see if there's any other option besides valet. Our RD venue asked how many parking spots we'd need. We paid up front and they gave us little tickets that people put in on their dash board. We overestimated so that we'll have enough. The venue reimburses us for any that aren't used. Maybe they'd work with you on something like this?
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    ok cool! I think of you ladies as the last word on all things E related, so if you don't see an issue with it then I don't either.

    I just didn't want my guest to be offended :)



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    Is there a way to set up an arrangement with one of the lots?  Then you could include an insert with the lot's information and tell guests to inform the attendant that they are with your wedding.  You could give the lot X amount of dollars before the wedding and have them return to you X-$5 per guest that parked there.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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    we had been thinking about something along these lines instead of doing the valet. The lots in the area are all run by the same company, so maybe we can arrange something with them. I know that drink tickets are a no-no, but would some sort of voucher to hand over to an attendant be a no-no? With a voucher at least we'd have a physical way to account for who parked there...



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    Is there any way to have their ticket validated while they are at your event? Then, you would cover the parking for those that went with this route (the others might have found on street parking)

    I attended a wedding where this happened, and we gave an attendant at their venue our parking ticket, and they switched it out to one that would let us get out of the lot without paying. I presume the bride and groom then covered the parking fees (unless it was set up ahead of time that it would be included - I really don't know). Just an idea. 
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    lennonkdc said:
    we had been thinking about something along these lines instead of doing the valet. The lots in the area are all run by the same company, so maybe we can arrange something with them. I know that drink tickets are a no-no, but would some sort of voucher to hand over to an attendant be a no-no? With a voucher at least we'd have a physical way to account for who parked there...
    I think you could do a voucher and send it with invitations and have the attendant give you the ones people turned in.  I don't see a problem with that.

    You could also ask the attendant to take down names of people that park there.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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    I would just make sure that it's clear on your invitations that a shuttle is being provided from X Hotel at Y time. This way, those who are nervous about parking could always park at the hotel and hop on the shuttle. I would also spread this info by word of mouth, esp to people not staying at the hotel.
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    lennonkdc said:
    we had been thinking about something along these lines instead of doing the valet. The lots in the area are all run by the same company, so maybe we can arrange something with them. I know that drink tickets are a no-no, but would some sort of voucher to hand over to an attendant be a no-no? With a voucher at least we'd have a physical way to account for who parked there...
    No, I don't think it's like drink tickets - because drink tickets you are limiting the number of drinks someone can have before they pay for it themselves. See if you can work it out where you'll give them a flat amount based on an estimate, your guests say "we're with the lennonkdc wedding" and tally for you. Then they reimburse you for whatever you don't use.
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    we're doing a site visit of the venue tomorrow, so I dig a little deeper on the parking issue, see what our options are. 

    It seems like the general consensus is that if we can figure out a cost effective way to pay for parking we should, but we're not required to pay for it. Is that what I'm hearing? 



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    I'm in the minority camp of paying for parking (mainly because it'd be strange in my circle not to), but I'm learning something here too, that in general it's not etiquette required.
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    I don't think you need to pay for parking.  When I attend an event in a large city, and it is not in a residential area, I assume that I will need to pay for parking.
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    lennonkdc said:
    we're doing a site visit of the venue tomorrow, so I dig a little deeper on the parking issue, see what our options are. 

    It seems like the general consensus is that if we can figure out a cost effective way to pay for parking we should, but we're not required to pay for it. Is that what I'm hearing? 
    That's my thought.  If you can find a cost effective way to do it, I think it's the nice thing to do.  If it's too much of a headache or outrageously expensive, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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    We paid the $5 per car fee for every guest that parked at our wedding reception. The ONLY option for parking was their lot, so we felt that it was a generous offer to pay for it. I mean, it only added an additional like $125 to our budget. 
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    Baltimore Inner Harbor?
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
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    Valet or pre-paying a lot would be nice of you but it's not a necessary or expected expense. If you happen to have the money for it, I'm sure it would impress the local guests. However, I can't imagine your guests will bat an eye at a $5 parking fee. Heck, that's pretty reasonable, IMHO!
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    I know a lot of the downtown venues here will validate parking for weddings (or at least many of the one's we've attended have) - have you asked if that's a possibility?

    Otherwise, I think you should attempt to budget for it, but if you can't, oh well. I'd put a note on your website or something to tip off OOT people to the free parking.

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    It's not required to pay for guests' transportation, and I would see parking costs as a transportation cost.  I wouldn't think twice about parking not being paid for.
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    Baltimore Inner Harbor?
    I wish! 

    Its actually a venue in Cleveland, OH, not MD, but still pretty cool ;)



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    We got a discounted rate for the valet parking at the hotel where we are holding our wedding and reception.  We are going to pay for the parking, as the only other option would be metered parking for our guests and I don't know if they'll all be able to find a spot.
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