Wedding Etiquette Forum

Do we pay for our guests parking?

So our first choice venue is smack In the middle of downtown. Its a Big city. There are various parking garages near, street parking with meters, and valet. Do I have to pay for parking for my guests? How do I know they will park where I have paid? What if we do pay for parking and no one uses it? How do I know how many guests are bringing their cars versus carpooling or taking public transportation? I
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Re: Do we pay for our guests parking?

  • I don't think you have to pay for parking, BUT, if you have the budget for it, I would. Especially if parking in your city is expensive. I would be annoyed if I was forced to pay $20 to park for your wedding because there wasn't free parking or enough parking available.

    Can you work out a deal with a parking garage close by to be charged only for the guests that park there for your wedding? You may be able to get a discounted rate.

    pinupbride6189JBee85
  • I don't think you have to pay for parking, BUT, if you have the budget for it, I would. Especially if parking in your city is expensive. I would be annoyed if I was forced to pay $20 to park for your wedding because there wasn't free parking or enough parking available.

    Can you work out a deal with a parking garage close by to be charged only for the guests that park there for your wedding? You may be able to get a discounted rate.


    I will ask our venue what parking garage they work with or if I can get a discount with their valet. I do have 20 guests so at the most I will probably have to pay for 10 cars. But I won't know for how many hours I will have to pay. If they are overnight guests that's more money.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It's optional.

    You might inquire about discounted rates at the garages or being billed after your wedding by the garages or for valet parking based on the number of cars that actually use it.
  • I tried to maintain a policy to not worry about things that really weren't my responsibility. I think the parking of maybe 10 cars should not be one of your worries.

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  • DarthV8rDarthV8r member
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited July 2015
    luckya23 said:
    I tried to maintain a policy to not worry about things that really weren't my responsibility. I think the parking of maybe 10 cars should not be one of your worries.

    As long as that is good etiquette.
  • You don't have to pay for their parking.
  • JBee85JBee85 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2015
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I expect to be able to attend both the ceremony and reception without paying for parking. I find it rude to ask guests to open their wallet to attend. You don't have to pay for overnight parking, but you should cover parking during the ceremony and the reception.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In a downtown situation I do not think it's necessary.  Nor do I expect it has a guest.

      However, as I host  would do what I could to either pay myself, get a discount.  Maybe provide transportation from hotels to help with the costs.

    If the location themselves requires paid parking (i.e. they are the only option), then you need to pick it up.   Example might be a say a country club that has paid parking and no other parking options (i.e. on street parking) available. 






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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  • Ceremony and reception are held in the same space. It is a hotel and all hotels in this area usually charge between 20-40$ for parking. There are a lot of parking garages in the area all walking distance. So I will try to get a group rate and make a wedding website with all the info and different options.
    Guests might have to pay for parking at their hotel anyways so I will include walking directions too.

    This is why when I go downtown I take public transportation no parking and no driving . I can drink all I want and walk to the trolley.




    [Deleted User]
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    OP I was in the same boat as you and opted not to pay for parking. It was too complicated. Some people take public transit, some stay at hotels, etc.
    People who live in or near Big Cities know paying for parking is unavoidable no matter what the occasion. I think the etiquette difference comes in if you choose a suburban or country venue that charges for parking. When Venue A has free parking and Venue B has paid, and you choose to book B, then you pay.
    And, as a city dweller, the presumption of paying for parking irritates me. When I drive to a suburban wedding I don't expect them to reimburse my tolls. I don't expect to pay airfare for people who fly. The line has to be drawn somewhere fair.
    ________________________________


    DarthV8r[Deleted User]STARMOON44
  • If the venue itself has parking right there I'd try to negotiate a lower rate.  If the guests have options then I wouldn't worry about it.

    Ex: A local wedding hot spot is a mansion on the water.   It's in a state park that charges you to park.   The only way to avoid that parking charge is to park in BFE and then walk a long distance.   If I was invited to a wedding there, I'd expect the couple to pick up my parking charges.

    But if you invited me to a wedding in the middle of Manhattan I wouldn't expect the parking to be covered since it's in a location where many people take cabs or public transportation..
    DarthV8rlyndausvi[Deleted User]STARMOON44
  • Today I had to pay to park to go to graduation party in a county park.  That was kind of annoying because I wasn't expecting it!  Glad I only put a $20 bill in the card ;-)

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  • HeffalumpHeffalump member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015
    banana468 said:
    If the venue itself has parking right there I'd try to negotiate a lower rate.  If the guests have options then I wouldn't worry about it.

    Ex: A local wedding hot spot is a mansion on the water.   It's in a state park that charges you to park.   The only way to avoid that parking charge is to park in BFE and then walk a long distance.   If I was invited to a wedding there, I'd expect the couple to pick up my parking charges.

    But if you invited me to a wedding in the middle of Manhattan I wouldn't expect the parking to be covered since it's in a location where many people take cabs or public transportation..
    This is exactly what I was going to say.  We got married in a botanical garden, so we covered our guests' parking.  But if it had been in an urban area that didn't really have dedicated parking and had the usual assortment of lots/garages/meters/public transit, I wouldn't have worried about it.
  • Another option is to call the parking garage and ask if you can do validated parking and pay per validation ticket. 

    My venue is attached to a parking garage and the caterer (who is the strict caterer for this venue) provides the validation tickets. Just set them on the bar and guests will grab them when they are ready to leave.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I would only expect my parking to be paid for if the venue itself had pay parking, not for the couple to cover my downtown parking.
    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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  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think if there are options, then you aren't required to cover parking, only if parking at the wedding venue is the only option.

    Likewise, in the case where you did pay parking, it should only be for the duration of the event, not overnight.

    Similar to a hotel- the B&G aren't responsible for paying for a hotel for all of their guests, so I think parking falls in the same realm.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Long story short, I feel like if the VENUE requires you pay to park there, then the B&G should cover it. If the venue does NOT require you to pay, and people who don't want to use transit decide to pay to park in a lot, then the B&G aren't on the hook.
    I think Wrigley found the holy grail of parking etiquette. This makes so much sense! 
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  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I've always considering parking fees as part of my travel costs for a wedding - whether it's a downtown lot, valet or self park at the hotel.

    I would never expect the B&G to pick up the tab for parking.

     

  • You should check with the hotel you're using as the venue. They may be able to negotiate free parking for the event or at least a discount.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Long story short, I feel like if the VENUE requires you pay to park there, then the B&G should cover it. If the venue does NOT require you to pay, and people who don't want to use transit decide to pay to park in a lot, then the B&G aren't on the hook.
    I think Wrigley found the holy grail of parking etiquette. This makes so much sense! 
    Yeah, it's amazing how concise I can be after babbling so much. ;)

    lyndausviSP29
  • If you do opt to pay for parking what you can do is make a parking voucher to include with your invite that is for whatever specific location you are covering. Then just work it out with the parking company that you will pay them based on the number of parking tickets that have been turned in. This way if people car pool or opt to park somewhere else, you aren't paying for unused parking vouchers. Of course you would need to work this out in advance with the parking company and chances are this isn't the first time they have had this situation, they may already have something printed that you can use.

  • hicocohicoco Chicago member
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    When my cousin got married in downtown Chicago, we had to pay like $50 for parking at her venue. That was about 5 years ago and my family still talks about it. My friend last night was saying she was recently in the same situation and she was super irritated about it because it was about half of what they wanted to give as a gift. If there's any sort of situation you can work out, I would try to.
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  • hicoco said:
    When my cousin got married in downtown Chicago, we had to pay like $50 for parking at her venue. That was about 5 years ago and my family still talks about it. My friend last night was saying she was recently in the same situation and she was super irritated about it because it was about half of what they wanted to give as a gift. If there's any sort of situation you can work out, I would try to.
    I totally wanted a downtown Chicago wedding, but I don't want to foist this kind of expense on my family.  If we don't elope (which is getting more and more likely), it will probably be a suburban wedding, somewhere with lots of free parking.
  • STARMOON44STARMOON44 member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2015
    hicoco said:

    When my cousin got married in downtown Chicago, we had to pay like $50 for parking at her venue. That was about 5 years ago and my family still talks about it. My friend last night was saying she was recently in the same situation and she was super irritated about it because it was about half of what they wanted to give as a gift. If there's any sort of situation you can work out, I would try to.

    Or take the bus or a taxi or the subway or park 3 blocks away? For me, in a downtown venue, you don't have to drive. The couple no more needs to pay for your parking then they need to pay for my bus ticket. If your venue is located where the only possible way to get there is to drive, and the only place to park requires payment, then the couple should cover it.
    thisismynickname2
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    When my cousin got married in downtown Chicago, we had to pay like $50 for parking at her venue. That was about 5 years ago and my family still talks about it. My friend last night was saying she was recently in the same situation and she was super irritated about it because it was about half of what they wanted to give as a gift. If there's any sort of situation you can work out, I would try to.
    Or take the bus or a taxi or the subway or park 3 blocks away? For me, in a downtown venue, you don't have to drive. The couple no more needs to pay for your parking then they need to pay for my bus ticket. If your venue is located where the only possible way to get there is to drive, and the only place to park requires payment, then the couple should cover it.

    BOX

    Yeah, I had a downtown Chicago wedding. It would have been about $30 to part near the venue in a garage, similar at our blocked hotel. But it's $7 per person on the Metra round trip. $2.25 per bus ride. $10 cab from the Metra station. People could come just for the event, but some people made a weekend of it. We had suburban guests outright decline the invite because they didn't want to come into the city. No one "has" to pay $50 to park, but then, if it's split by 4-6 people in a vehicle, than that works too. 
    ________________________________


  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't think paying for parking is necessary.  Are you also considering paying for the gas it'll take them to drive to and from?  However, if you're able to get a discounted rate at a nearby garage, I'd do that and inform the guests.  I attend weddings in NYC all the time, and part of city life is paying for parking in garages.
  • I received a discount of only $15 for parking at the venue during my event. I will shop around and see if I can see a better deal at a near by garage.
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I expect to have to pay for my own travel costs at a wedding: airfare or gas, hotel, parking at the hotel at which I am staying (even if this is the wedding venue). But I do not expect to have to pay for parking at the actual ceremony or reception venue if it is separate from where I am staying. I believe etiquette requires you to cover this cost. <p><br>

    When I was married, our venue had paid parking. They provided parking validation tickets to our guests that were specific to our event. They had a ton of them available but I only paid for those that were used.
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