(Closed) Asking guests to pay for parking?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Is it tacky to expect guests to pay $8 to park at reception?



    Other (please explain below)

  • Post # 31
    451 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    If your venue is downtown, for example, with plenty of other options to park, be it paid or otherwise, I wouldn’t have a problem with paying for my own parking. This includes me walking a couple of blocks.  

    If your venue is in the middle of nowhere AND I have no other choice to valet park my car at your venue, I would expect you to pay for that.  If your venue is the out of town, no other option, choice, I really think you need to find it in your budget to pay. It’s too bad if it’s going to stretch your budget, but your guests shouldn’t be contributing to the cost of your wedding.  I think you need to suck it up. 

    Post # 32
    1575 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

    I ruled out a venue for this very reason. I think it’s tacky.

    Post # 33
    2009 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I don’t think I’d be terribly offended but I’d probably grumble about it (not to the bride of course). Can you cut something else in the budget to cover parker? No one really needs programs, for example.

    Post # 34
    531 posts
    Busy bee

    I wouldn’t be offended, but apparently I’m in the minority.  I would expect modest travel expenses. Should you pay for people’s gas, tolls, train tickets, can fare, etc?  Of course not!

    I also really can’t understand leaving the house in an automobile without cash.  What about emergency scenarios?  I don’t get it.

    All of that being said, I would ask yourself if the valet is 100% necessary.  If it’s obvious that I could have easily self parked, then the $8 would strike me as an unnecessary expense.  That’a offensive.

    Post # 35
    347 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: Aspen, CO

    As a wedding guest, I would be very annoyed to know I was being asked to not only bring you a gift off your registry and then be surprised by you all asking me to pay for parking… 

    Post # 36
    132 posts
    Blushing bee

    This has to be another urban/non-urban cultural divide. If I go anywhere in a car, I know I will likely have to pay for parking, and I would never think that anyone else is responsible for it, even the person who invited me somewhere. (Should that person also pay for gas there and back? My train pass? A cab fare? Should I reimburse my guests’ travel expenses if I throw a birthday party?) Finding out that a valet is gratis is just a nice little surprise.

    I’m more surprised reading how many people leave the house without cash, and I think that might be another urban thing. So many little local stores and mom and pop restaurants are cash only, credit card machines often break down, and there are so many services (like valets and dry cleaners) that require cash to exchange hands. We went to a restaurant last week where the bill was $70 for two of us, and even that was cash only (yes, we had it on us)! When I’ve traveled in Europe, I’ve noticed that things there are also more cash-based, with a surprising amount of businesses refusing cards. This board keeps providing surprising cultural education for me.

    Post # 37
    1099 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    It’s one thing to understand that in an urban setting, people might have to pay for parking, but ther eare almost always free options in those settings.  When my friend got married in the heart of Boston, I parked on the outskirts and took the subway in.  If the only parking option at all is $8, then I think you should pay it since you essentially created the issue for you guest.

    Post # 38
    596 posts
    Busy bee

    Y’know, it’s not just $8 for the valet.  Most people tip the valet guy so you’re looking at least $10.

    Either way, $3, $8 or $10, I think it’s annoying to expect your guests to pay for parking if it’s the only option.

    Post # 39
    442 posts
    Helper bee

    View original reply
    bgu073:  Agreed.

    a. No one should leave their house without at least a few $$..like, AT LEAST $10-20 between the two of you if not more. (IMHO)

    b. If you get invited to a ritzy party somewhere or some function at a resturant or hotel, more than likely you wouldn’t think twice about paying for your own valet, and it’s being hosted by someone just the same. If it was $20, I would understand at scoffing, but <$10 is very reasonable in the city for valet.

    If I go to a wedding in the country or to a suburban venue, I assume it will be self park (not to mean I don’t bring cash- I make sure one person in my party has it..I mean, what if it’s a cash bar?? )  But if we go somewhere in the city or general metro area, I think there may be a possibility that there will either be valet or we will be parking in a garage/lot that isn’t free.

    Post # 40
    2953 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    View original reply
    pinkrose23:  It would be really awesome if you could cover your guests. However, since it’s not in the budget, definitely let them know beforehand.

    Post # 41
    4539 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2013


    pinkrose23:  it’s not that big of a deal. Damn, it’s only $8. I’d put the information on the website asap. Have you sent out invitations yet? If not, include it on a little information card.

    Post # 42
    1029 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    What are your other options for making budget cuts?  

    It’s all well and good to tell you “Pay for parking!” but if it means you can’t pay your rent next month, skip it.

    If it means downgrading a photography or flower package, or losing the deposit on a cariacture artist, or having one less tier on your cake, or not exchanging a bride/groom gift, then I think your guests would appreciate that you prioritized their comfort.  

    Post # 43
    7974 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    we told our guests there was complimentary garage parking.  all they had to do was take the elevator upstairs.  we were not covering valet parking.  90% of the people valet parked.  it saved us a lot of money.  i was curious why more people didn’t use the garage.  but oh well.

    but if i go to a wedding, i don’t like having to pay. if i must, i must.

    if there is anyway you can cover the cost, that is very nice as a host.

    Post # 45
    1114 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Guests at our wedding had to pay for public transportation and/or parking, it was in downtown SF. We did pay for shuttles to and from the ceremony. At our reception venue itself, parking was ridiculously expensive, we provided our guests with information on cheaper parking structures close by, but the logistics of paying for that would’ve been awful. The parking structures accepted credit cards.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by ladyamalthea.

    The topic ‘Asking guests to pay for parking?’ is closed to new replies.

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