We have rented an enclosed pavilion for our reception at a park. However the park charges $1.50 per car for an entrance fee. What is a "tactful" way to give our guests the money for the fee? I've asked if we could pay up front for a certain amount of people and was told they do not do that, that each car has to pay. I also thought about using organza bags and putting 6 quarters in them. Then placing a bowl of bags at the doors as people exit the church. Would that be too tacky? Please help!
By Brittsmama from Atlantic Beach, FL
Since your guests must pay an entrance fee, I suggest posting a "valet" at the entrance (with a bunch of quarters) to pay the parking attendant for each wedding guest car. It would look nice if your attendant (perhaps a male teen or male college student) were dressed up in a suit possibly wearing a tag saying "(name/name) Wedding". Since he wouldn't know which guests were yours, I guess, you could enclose a little
"wedding guest parking " card with invitations to be used at the parking lot or just instruct guests to say that they're wedding guests. The guest would hand the card to your
"valet" , (or say they're there for the wedding) and your 'valet' would then pay the actual parking lot attendant on the spot as each car arrives.
If you can safely assume guests will respectively drive their own POV, then as you get rsvp's, you could always send a "wedding parking coupon" out. We've had a friend do this...had a wedding in a state park(on a military base on top of it)! and what we did was made it very clear to each rsvp'er that they MUST have the INVITE and the "Coupon" to not pay, and the person taking money at the "toll booth" just knew that anyone with a coupon AND invite, had already been paid for. It's always good to pay a little bit extra, JIC for some reason separate cars are driven, or someone doesn't rsvp like they should ;) this way, you avoid the "yikes" factor of having to dole cash back out...JIC a few ding dongs forgot their stuff and had to pay, we had 3 people make sure to casually ask "everything went fine with the *coupon* for parking, right?" if they said yes, all was well, if they said they had to pay, most of them handed over the receipt(not asked too though), and one of the groom's friends had like $50 in his pocket JIC of reimbursement. I think it was like 2.50/p car load(up to legal limit of cars passengers). We made everyone carpool lol. The bigger capacity the better ;)
The "valet" idea is a stroke of genius. My only caution would be perhaps verify guests' IDs somehow? Perhaps the valet could have a list of invited guests/RSVP'ers and request ID to match to the guest list. That would hopefully prevent shysters from fibbing and getting their parking paid for on you. Not to sound cheap, but if it were me, I'd rather pay for my own guests only rather than random park-goers, too.
I think your idea about the bags at the door with 6 quarters in it is good. After the wedding and the bride and groom and wedding party leave have the father of the bride stand and inform the people that they will find a bag next to the door and what is in it will get them in at the reception. Inside each bag you could also have a short note saying this is our way of saying thank you for coming use this for the parking fee.
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