Who pays for the valet?

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zimi61 Posts : 12 Registered: 8/8/09
Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 27, 2009 11:24 PM

So I think I know the answer, but of course money keeps getting tighter so I have to ask.

The location we want to have our recetption at has limited street parking around it. There are three parking lots within 1-2 blocks of the venue, all of which cost approximately $5 to park at on a Saturday evening.

Our venue can set up valet service for us through a contractor at a cost of $10/vehicle, including the parking lot fee.

We expect about 200-250 guests, so about 100-150 cars. At $10 a car, that's not a small sum to add.

We see four different options, A) supply the valet and pay the $10/car, B) supply the valet and split the cost with guests for $5/car, C) supply the valet but don't subsidize any of it's cost for our guests, or D) don't supply a valet at all and let everyone find there own parking spot.

This seems alot like the question of who pays for alcohol but I wasn't sure what the ettiquette was for parking.

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 12:20 AM Go to message in response to: zimi61

Are the guests familiar with the area of your venue? The reason I ask this, is because I live in the Chicago burbs, but I know if I go anywhere into Chicago, I'm going to pay for parking, so I already plan to have some cash, rather it be for on the street, a parking lot, or valet. For a wedding I'm not sure of the ettiquete on this one, I'm sure someone on here will have better advice for you. If I was a guest though and knew the area of your venue had limited parking, or you had to pay for parking, I probably wouldn't expect you to pay, but putting a little note in the invite would be helpful so that way I'm not calling around to everyone asking where are they going to park.

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KatyDee Posts : 48 Registered: 7/2/09
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 2:55 AM Go to message in response to: zimi61

I have a similar dilemma to you, and I'm not sure if my solution is according to etiquette or not, but I will tell you what I am planning on doing. Our venue has a small lot (fits about 1/2 of the cars we need to accomodate). However, the streets are LINED with metered parking, which is free after 6. Unfortunately, my reception begins at 5. The venue has agreed to "bag" quite a few meters, meaning that people will be able to park there as well on a first come first serve basis for free. For the last 1/4 of the guests who show up last, they will have to park in a nearby lot and walk a block. I know that its unfortunate, but I cannot afford to pay 10$ per car valet (With this venue it's either all valet or none).

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 8:58 AM Go to message in response to: zimi61

Yes, you should pay the cost of the valet or arrange some other form of transportation for your guests. You might be able to set up a shuttle from the guest hotel to the venue - or from a free parking lot to the venue. If that won't work, then you should pay the cost of the valet. If I am an OOT guest driving a rental car in a strange city, I'm going to have a hard enough time finding the venue, let alone figuring out where to park nearby, especially if there are one-way streets, traffic circles, or anything else that might confuse me. As a guest, I would greatly appreciate valet parking. And as the host, if your venue doesn't provide parking, you should cover the costs.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 10:38 AM Go to message in response to: zimi61

Dear Zimi,

I have to dissent with Artbrides. (This is rare.)

In my opinion, the guest's transport to the event is their expense. Parking a car is part of that expense.

If you have a lot of people staying at the same hotel, then, yes, a shuttle from the hotel to the event would be a great idea.

What I would do is make it clear, using an invitation insert, that parking is available at X Y and Z parking lots at a cost of $5 for the entire Saturday evening. If you want to use the valet service, then include its cost in your info insert.

Your other alternative would be to discuss the situation with various guests and see what they think.

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 11:35 AM Go to message in response to: zimi61

I have to agree with AOTB on this one. I think an insert about the lots is a good idea. And if they dont want to pay the $5, then I think it should be up to the guests if they want to find a free street spot. Definitley check with your hotel though. you might be able to get a free shuttle bus for the hotel guests. Thats what we did and it worked out great. They ran 2 shuttles about 30 mins apart, and then came back and picked everyone up after the wedding. This came free with our group rate and it was very convenient.

As a guest I dont think I would mind paying $5 or $10 to park. If it were a valet you'd have to tip anyway.

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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MrsM2009 Posts : 422 Registered: 3/16/08
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 12:15 PM Go to message in response to: NJ4Life

I also agree with AOTB - when I go to a wedding I plan on paying for parking if it's in the city. If you choose to pay for the valet I'm sure your guests will appreciate it, but I don't think it's necessary. If I showed up at a wedding and the valet wasn't comped I wouldn't find this offensive the same way I would something like a cash bar. I think you can get away with not spending on this without looking rude to your guests.
P.O.O.P. - People Offended by Offended People

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 2:11 PM Go to message in response to: MrsM2009

It would not occur to me, even one tiny bit, that by going to a wedding I might have to pay for parking. I rarely carry cash on me, so this would pose a problem, unless, as auntofthebride said, you allow people to know in advance.

That said...I rarely disagree with auntofthebride, but this time I do. In my area at least, there are PLENTY of places to choose for a wedding, of varying price points, that have adequate parking for a large number of guests. In my opinion, if you choose a place that does not, you should cover the cost of parking.

I had to pay for parking at a shower recently. I was annoyed. Though I was also not given any "heads up" about that.
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 8:23 PM Go to message in response to: zimi61

I think it comes down to a matter of choice. If there's convenient public parking (at a minimal charge) available, then the insert should work. If the guests have no choice but to valet park, then I think you should pay. At my daughter's wedding, there was valet (paid by us), but the guests had no other choice. The same is true at certain hotels.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 8:41 PM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

Dear BL,

" In my area at least, there are PLENTY of places to choose for a wedding, of varying price points, that have adequate parking for a large number of guests."

And there are plenty of places where there is no free parking provided by a venue. I'm thinking of big-city hotels, for example. They have paid parking garages. Going to such a place with no cash is just plain foolish.

I often visit some friends in Germany. They pay for parking at the supermarket.

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 29, 2009 1:06 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I stayed at a hotel not too long ago where you had to pay to park even as a guest. I thought that was stupid. My 200$ a night couldn't include parking?

But anyway, I guess my advice should be ignored as I cannot relate to the situation. As I said, in my area, there wouldn't be much excuse for making guests pay, but I guess other cities are different.
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Sep 29, 2009 1:25 AM Go to message in response to: BirdLover

I'm used to the whole paying for parking when I go to certain places, but if I spent $200 a night and had to pay extra for parking, I would be mad as well!

While were on the topic, I went to the city the other day and didn't have to pay for parking, and I didn't get towed either, LOL! OK sorry, back onto the original topic, don't want to high-jack, just wanted to share something that made me grateful :)

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MissApril Posts : 276 Registered: 1/21/09
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Oct 1, 2009 4:11 AM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

FutureMrsDJLeo-- where in the hell did you park without paying and not get towed? I now must do that just so I can say I did it. I've paid for parking and still got towed, in areas where I was allowed to park and still had time on the meter! Urg. There went $600 total for tow fee, handling fee, and bumper damage they never owned up to. As for the OP just let them know there will be a charge and what the charge will be. The PP's have already given good advice about that. Being from several different regions of the country I can tell you that many OOT guests will probably have no clue there's a parking charge. My family in Nebraska would be shocked to learn at the last minute they had to scramble for cash, which means finding an ATM, in a big city they view as nothing but dangerous. Also a shuttle (as previously mentioned) would be a good idea just to help people get arround. The same family I'm discussing here would probably give himself a heart attack trying to drive through city streets. All that said, I don't know who you are inviting or where exactly they are from but I think you should still give them a heads up about anything they have to pay for.
CoolStick your head out the window and smile for a satellite picture!Tongue out

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Oct 1, 2009 1:20 PM Go to message in response to: MissApril

Waiting, it was at a Dominicks on the north side, off of Sheridan. We were meeting with a videographer and he said just to park there (he was located across the street) and that everyone parks there, it's not a problem. FH and I did technically go into the Dominicks though to use the bathroom, but I was very happy and relieved to not get towed! That sucks about getting towed ESPECIALLY if you still had time on the meter! Did you try to take it to court! I've learned to always carry a camera around so if you get towed and your not illegally parked, it's easier to fight it.

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MissApril Posts : 276 Registered: 1/21/09
Re: Who pays for the valet?
Posted: Oct 1, 2009 2:45 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Yes I faught it. It was FH's car, so they said something like "statistics show young men are very likely to cause damage to their own cars" and no I didn't have a camera so we couldn't prove anything. Oh I was pissed!
CoolStick your head out the window and smile for a satellite picture!Tongue out

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