Monday, April 06, 2009

Valet Parking Tip

Dave and I recently went to a wedding at a hotel in New York. When we pulled up at the entrance we told the doorman we were there for the Jones wedding and asked if there was valet. He said yes. So we left the car, got a ticket and went in and had a great time.

Five hours later we left and gave the doorman our ticket and were directed to the front desk of the hotel where the night manager informed us that there was a $65 fee for valet and a 25-minute wait to get the car.

First let’s discuss the wait time. We left two hours before the wedding ended so there wasn’t a line of people waiting for their cars. It turns out that it’s a standard 25-minute wait time. When we arrived no one told us about the wait time so instead of running and giving the ticket and then staying at the party for an extra 20 minutes, we ended up waiting in the lobby for 20 minutes.

Now on to the $65 charge. Let’s just say we were shocked. It’s not that we expected the bride and groom to cover our valet charge, but when we arrived and told the doorman we were there for the Jones wedding and asked if there was valet parking, he should have said, “There is valet parking but guests of the wedding have to pay the $65 charge.” If we knew this we would have looked for parking on the street or a less expensive garage.

If you’re not planning on offering valet parking to your guests that’s fine, but if your wedding location does offer valet that your guests would have to pay for themselves, it’s very important that the valet guy informs guests what the charge is when they arrive.  

As the bride and groom you are not obligated to offer complimentary valet parking to your guests, but they will appreciate finding out ahead of time that there's a fee for parking.  You don't want your guests to end a great evening arguing with the valet.


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