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Reception Ideas

Talk me through parking logistics

I'm going to try and be concise as it's a little hard to visualize. 

My wedding is at my parents' farm and we are inviting 92 guests. The casual and outdoor nature of our wedding will be communicated, so I am assuming that guests will dress accordingly.

We have parking onsite, but we want to maximize ease and convenience for our guests. The driveway, which is gravel, comes down a hill into a loop by the front walk. The parking "lot" will be before the hill begins, so if guests park they will need to walk down and back up the hill to their cars. It's a gentler slope, nothing too serious, but still a hill nonetheless and could be tricky for certain guests. 

Here are our thoughts/options so far on parking:

  1. Use signage to advise guests to have the driver head down the hill to the loop to let off passengers, then return to the parking lot. This means only the driver has to walk down the hill, or at least leaves the option up to the guests.
  2. Rent a 4- or 6- seater golf cart, likely manned by my dad, to function as a shuttle.
  3. Have my dad run a "wagon" on the tractor to function as a shuttle.

We know that we will do some lighting for folks walking to get back to their cars - my mom is intending to set up glow sticks in jars to either line the ground or hang in the trees, and she wants to provide glow sticks folks can grab and carry to act as flashlights as they walk back.

My main concerns are this:

  • If we do either of the shuttles - getting the timing right. Guests could be arriving any time starting 30 or so minutes before the ceremony and if the shuttle isn't there they'd need to wait. More people could show up at once than we can take in the shuttle. If we do this option I think we'll need signage indicating the shuttle is available and when to expect it.
  • Shuttles again - not just for arrivals but departures. Folks could need to leave at any time. Should we start running the shuttle at a set time and if they want to leave before that they'll need to walk? 

I'm leaning towards option 1, frankly, but I don't know if that's because it's the most practical or if it's because trying to sort out the shuttles - timing, expense, logistics, etc. - is giving me a headache. I want guests to be comfortable, though.

If you were a guest coming to a casual farm wedding, what do you think you'd prefer/be okay with? 
Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Re: Talk me through parking logistics

  • When you say shuttles do you mean like an actual normal vehicle or the wagon/golf cart? 

    Maybe I'm imagining wrong (like what you would ride on a hayride minus the hay?) but I don't think I would like to climb into a "wagon" when I'm dressed up.  Could you have more than 1 golf cart? My wedding was at H's extended family compound and while parking was near some of his cousins loved to take the opportunity to show people around on golf carts. Don't know if that's an option for your wedding aprty/family/ other relatives.

    I would also think about something more substantial than glowsticks in jard on the ground. How about solar powered lights?


  • I would rent two golf carts and hire some local high school kids to run them. If the high school has the carts, you might see if they will loan them to you, with 2 drivers, for a donation to whatever club or program is in charge of the carts.

    No one wants to walk up a gravel drive in heels. It isn't practical to ask them to do that, and it stinks to make the driver do that alone.

    You can probably find solar power lights to put in the ground for $1-2 each at target. They go on sale at the end of summer.
    image
    kimmiinthemittenMairePoppy
  • I'd go with valet parking, but I'm the least out doorsy person ever. Honestly I don't think you need to do anything except lighting. They'll figure it out. And I think you need to do better than glow sticks for lighting.
    MairePoppy
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Thanks for all the feedback!

    Re: heels. Again, our wedding is very casual and this is communicated via the website, invitations, etc. I am trying to avoid the etiquette blunder of telling people not to wear heels, but I'm hoping they'll get the picture.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Since the opinions seem to be preferring to the shuttle options (the golf cart(s) or wagon), is there any advice on the timing questions I mentioned above?
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Thanks for all the feedback!

    Re: heels. Again, our wedding is very casual and this is communicated via the website, invitations, etc. I am trying to avoid the etiquette blunder of telling people not to wear heels, but I'm hoping they'll get the picture.
    On our wedding website, under attire, I noted that the parking lot was gravel and that the ceremony was on grass, and so while I didn't straight up say "don't wear stilettos" the message came across.  

    My cousin got married at a place that required a steep walk down some steps to the ceremony area.  The venue had a golf cart available for anybody who truly couldn't do the walk... mostly elderly people.  So, since the cart was only really available for those who truly needed it, a "schedule" wasn't needed.  When someone decided to leave, a staff member would summon the person driving the golf cart.  Not sure how though as we didn't use it.
    Married 9.12.15
    image
    kimmiinthemitten
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper

    I think if you want a shuttle you should hire someone to be available to drive it all night. Not your dad!!!!!'

    It's my dad's house, lol, not a third party venue. That makes things a bit different. He wants to do the tractor thing. I'd rather do the golf carts if we do a shuttle from parking lot to yard. We could try to find some drivers for those if we do them. My mom wants to do option #1. My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding and it's on their property.

    Do you have any feedback on the timing issues I mentioned in my OP, Starmoon?
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2015



    Thanks for all the feedback!

    Re: heels. Again, our wedding is very casual and this is communicated via the website, invitations, etc. I am trying to avoid the etiquette blunder of telling people not to wear heels, but I'm hoping they'll get the picture.

    On our wedding website, under attire, I noted that the parking lot was gravel and that the ceremony was on grass, and so while I didn't straight up say "don't wear stilettos" the message came across.  

    My cousin got married at a place that required a steep walk down some steps to the ceremony area.  The venue had a golf cart available for anybody who truly couldn't do the walk... mostly elderly people.  So, since the cart was only really available for those who truly needed it, a "schedule" wasn't needed.  When someone decided to leave, a staff member would summon the person driving the golf cart.  Not sure how though as we didn't use it.


    **********boxes************

    Thanks! Maybe I can have the emcee make an announcement about the point person for the shuttle.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Just curious, how far is this walk? 

    Does the tractor have benches to sit on?  Obviously, you'll fit more people in there than a golf cart, so it'd be less annoying to wait for as a guest.  But I imagine a golf cart can zip people back and forth more quickly when there's not a big crowd. 

    No matter what you do, hire someone to do the work.  Your Dad, no matter how much he may offer or want to do this, shouldn't be doing it - he should be enjoying his daughter's wedding!
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    JoanE2012 said:
    Just curious, how far is this walk? 

    Does the tractor have benches to sit on?  Obviously, you'll fit more people in there than a golf cart, so it'd be less annoying to wait for as a guest.  But I imagine a golf cart can zip people back and forth more quickly when there's not a big crowd. 

    No matter what you do, hire someone to do the work.  Your Dad, no matter how much he may offer or want to do this, shouldn't be doing it - he should be enjoying his daughter's wedding!
    It's not far. The driveway is .2 mile and the parking lot will be in from the drive, maybe halfway. I don't think it would be a true hardship but if there's a practical way to make things a bit more "put together" I'd like to do so. 

    I can think of nothing more my dad will enjoy than greeting everyone and showing off his tractors, lol, but I agree with you, for what it's worth. I keep reminding my mom I don't want her running around at the house the day of the wedding, that I'd rather have her with us getting ready and have her, and therefore me, be calm and ready. We will have a coordinator to do things at the house. Anything that doesn't get done by the day before (and can't be done by the coordinator the day of) then we won't have it. I'll talk to the golf cart people about hiring a driver.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • I think if you want a shuttle you should hire someone to be available to drive it all night. Not your dad!!!!!'

    It's my dad's house, lol, not a third party venue. That makes things a bit different. He wants to do the tractor thing. I'd rather do the golf carts if we do a shuttle from parking lot to yard. We could try to find some drivers for those if we do them. My mom wants to do option #1. My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding and it's on their property.

    Do you have any feedback on the timing issues I mentioned in my OP, Starmoon?


    Yeah my feedback is that if this is really necessary, it should be available all night. Certainly from 30 minutes before the ceremony, and for most of the reception. Which is why I think under no circumstances should your dad be doing it. I would feel horrible taking the father of the bride away from the reception to drive me.
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I think if you want a shuttle you should hire someone to be available to drive it all night. Not your dad!!!!!'
    It's my dad's house, lol, not a third party venue. That makes things a bit different. He wants to do the tractor thing. I'd rather do the golf carts if we do a shuttle from parking lot to yard. We could try to find some drivers for those if we do them. My mom wants to do option #1. My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding and it's on their property. Do you have any feedback on the timing issues I mentioned in my OP, Starmoon?
    Yeah my feedback is that if this is really necessary, it should be available all night. Certainly from 30 minutes before the ceremony, and for most of the reception. Which is why I think under no circumstances should your dad be doing it. I would feel horrible taking the father of the bride away from the reception to drive me.
    Definitely. I agree. I don't know what we'll end up doing, I guess it depends on how expensive hiring a driver will be... I wish my parents were still going to their church so they could rope some kid into doing it for $100 haha.

    Parking... just another thing for "laidback" backyard brides to worry about. I'm happy our wedding will be in a place that's private and means a lot to us, but Lord Almighty it's so much fucking work.
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  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    I think if you want a shuttle you should hire someone to be available to drive it all night. Not your dad!!!!!'
    It's my dad's house, lol, not a third party venue. That makes things a bit different. He wants to do the tractor thing. I'd rather do the golf carts if we do a shuttle from parking lot to yard. We could try to find some drivers for those if we do them. My mom wants to do option #1. My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding and it's on their property. Do you have any feedback on the timing issues I mentioned in my OP, Starmoon?
    Yeah my feedback is that if this is really necessary, it should be available all night. Certainly from 30 minutes before the ceremony, and for most of the reception. Which is why I think under no circumstances should your dad be doing it. I would feel horrible taking the father of the bride away from the reception to drive me.
    Definitely. I agree. I don't know what we'll end up doing, I guess it depends on how expensive hiring a driver will be... I wish my parents were still going to their church so they could rope some kid into doing it for $100 haha.

    Parking... just another thing for "laidback" backyard brides to worry about. I'm happy our wedding will be in a place that's private and means a lot to us, but Lord Almighty it's so much fucking work.
    Honestly if you can't find a driver I'd scrap this altogether. Your dad should not be doing this on the day of your wedding, regardless if he wants to and if it's his property.

    Formerly martha1818

    image


    STARMOON44
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I think if you want a shuttle you should hire someone to be available to drive it all night. Not your dad!!!!!'
    It's my dad's house, lol, not a third party venue. That makes things a bit different. He wants to do the tractor thing. I'd rather do the golf carts if we do a shuttle from parking lot to yard. We could try to find some drivers for those if we do them. My mom wants to do option #1. My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding and it's on their property. Do you have any feedback on the timing issues I mentioned in my OP, Starmoon?
    Yeah my feedback is that if this is really necessary, it should be available all night. Certainly from 30 minutes before the ceremony, and for most of the reception. Which is why I think under no circumstances should your dad be doing it. I would feel horrible taking the father of the bride away from the reception to drive me.
    Definitely. I agree. I don't know what we'll end up doing, I guess it depends on how expensive hiring a driver will be... I wish my parents were still going to their church so they could rope some kid into doing it for $100 haha.

    Parking... just another thing for "laidback" backyard brides to worry about. I'm happy our wedding will be in a place that's private and means a lot to us, but Lord Almighty it's so much fucking work.
    Honestly if you can't find a driver I'd scrap this altogether. Your dad should not be doing this on the day of your wedding, regardless if he wants to and if it's his property.
    Right. I'm saying if we can't afford the driver for whatever reason, we won't provide the shuttle. I really don't think it will be a hardship for the vast majority of guests, especially if they dress appropriately. I just wanted to get opinions on what would make things flow nicely and seem more put together than a regular BBQ. I don't want my dad missing from the reception, which is why I asked about timing for the return shuttles and having people walk instead.
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  • I think a shuttle is total overkill. I'd communicate with your elderly/disabled guests ahead of time, or the people who are planning on driving them, and make sure they know the situation. Everyone else should be able to walk for 5 minutes, even up a slight hill on gravel. 

    If you're committed to a shuttle, I agree that it should be driven by hired help, not your dad. Perhaps you could have another hired hand (if you're using a caterer, this could be one of the servers) standing at the parking lot explaining the walk and that guests can be dropped off up top, and if the driver also needs assistance that he can call a golf-cart shuttle to assist. 


    My wedding was down a flight of stairs. Our coordinator had a person stationed out front greeting people and pointing them where to go, and offering them to walk around the back to an elevator if needed. I knew we had two guests (one elderly, one with a mobility issue) who would likely prefer the elevator. 
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I've attended a couple weddings in my area that were like this. The couples hired a valet service. In one instance the valet was set up at the top of the hill and the valet company had 2 or 3 golf carts running up and down the hill. Available all day. I'm not sure why the valet wasn't set up at the bottom. I can't remember - but I think catering was set up in part of the driveway blocking the turn-around. The other wedding I attended had valet set up at the bottom of the driveway so the hill part wasn't a problem for walking.

    If you do the shuttle, I would have it ready no later than 30 minutes prior to ceremony (45 would be better, I think) and then available the entire event.
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