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eadinad's avatar

Is it rude to ask wedding guests to pay for parking? Details Inside.

Asked by eadinad (1278points) August 15th, 2010

My partner and I are planning a budget wedding and we are leaning towards holding it at a state park. The park charges a $5 parking fee per vehicle. Would it be rude to expect each vehicle to pay for this as they enter? Should we include a small note about it on the invitation so they can expect it? If we do need to pay for parking, how would we distribute the passes? (I kind of doubt we can buy them in advance enough to send with the invitations, but it’s possible.)

Thanks for your opinions.

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22 Answers

josie's avatar

They are your guests. It would be rude to have them pay for their food and drinks. It would be rude to have them pay for their parking.

Seaofclouds's avatar

If you don’t decide to cover the cost of the parking, you definitely should let your guests know that they will need to pay to park so that they are aware of it. I would suggest calling the state park and asking them if you could pay for parking in advance or asking them how people have handled it in the past.

Pandora's avatar

Did you find out if perhaps parking is already included with the price? Some parks may give free passes for holding the wedding at the park.
I would pay. Because they have no choice to pay in order to get to the wedding. Just see how many people can car pool. If 5 people per car enter and its a total of 100 guest than you will only pay 100 dollars.

eadinad's avatar

@Pandora, Unfortunately, parking is not included. That would make it simpler. Perhaps I can just pre-pay for X number of passes and leave them at the front gate, and let people know they should tell the ranger they’re with our party as they enter?

JilltheTooth's avatar

I went to a wedding like that last summer, we all paid for our own parking and nobody minded, or felt it was rude, because the setting was casual and easy going. We called it the “I-Do-B-Que” :-)

figbash's avatar

I had this experience just last night. For a reception, I had to park in a pay lot that cost me $10 for 4 hours. It was an inconvenient surprise, but I could understand. This was a young couple trying to also hold a budget wedding and people shouldn’t expect the hosts to always plan and pay for all of the contingencies.

I also went to one last year where the hosts expected the guests to pay for every single contingency, and that was pretty off-putting.

Seeing how both scenarios played out, I’d suggest you graciously let your guests know about the $5 fee in advance so that they can plan accordingly. If you can get tickets in advance, at least try to get 20 or so to cover the people who are working, like vendors etc. If tickets aren’t available, you could be diplomatic and say that you’ve invited these people to your wedding because they are an important part of your lives and you want to share this day with them. If they find the parking fee at all preventative have them email you privately and then offer to pay for them.

I think you’ll find that with this approach, someone would really have to have some kind of other issue to ask you to pay for their parking. I doubt anyone would take you up on it.

Jeruba's avatar

Is there a place where they can park outside and walk in? If so, let them know their options and how much of a walk it is. I’m assuming your friends are most likely to be familiar with a state park environment since it seems to suit your lifestyle.

If I were a guest, as long as I knew ahead of time and also knew my options, I wouldn’t be offended.

If these were my plans, I think I might also ponder including a word to the effect that if the parking fee is a problem for anyone, let me know and I will cover it. Not sure; I’d just think about that.

jrpowell's avatar

I never carry cash so without some notice I would be screwed if I showed up without a notice. Is it possible to have someone stand next to the place where you park with a sign that says ****** ******* Wedding——-> and have them pay for people as they enter? Teenagers are good for stuff like that. My sisters kid will sit on a hot sidewalk for ten minutes with his pants pulled down for a beer.

janbb's avatar

I would pre-pay it and have the guest identify themselves to the cashier as a wedding guest or the cashier ask the people if they are wedding guests. I’m sure you can arrange something with the park. It seems tacky to have the guests pay the $5.

mrentropy's avatar

This is a toughie. If you had a wedding in a big city you wouldn’t be expected to pay for all the parking meters.

Pre-paying for parking would be a good idea, except that I generally have a low opinion of people. If park rangers started asking people if they were with the wedding party I think there would be several people taking advantage of that. It might be better to have to show the invitation to get the parking pass. And maybe a refund on unused passes because you never know if that ditzy couple will decide to ditch the wedding at the last minute.

Or give fair warning ahead of time but say they’ll be reimbursed the $5.00. Then you can see how many people decline being paid back and be extra nice to them when they have an event.

Aethelwine's avatar

That’s too bad the parking is not included. My husband and I were married at a state park, and parking was included in the price of the wedding. All the guests had to do was tell the person at the entrance they were there for the wedding.

I don’t think it is rude at all to ask the guests to pay, as long as they have warning ahead of time.

I hope you have a beautiful wedding. So happy to hear you decided to have it at a state park. I love outdoor weddings! Congratulations. :)

Cruiser's avatar

Contact the park directly and I can almost guarantee they can give you a group rate. Also arrange with one of your Ushers for him to pay the total number of cars up to a certain cut off time and the late ones will just have to pay their own way.

mollydrew's avatar

If they do need to pay for parking YES tell them in advance. I went to a wedding on a cruise ship and we had to pay our own parking and to tell you the truth I thought nothing of it. However I do know State Parks will allow your guests through with their invitation or a password you should ask them.

YARNLADY's avatar

Prepay for parking or include a “parking ticket” in each invitation so they will know they are required to pay. I have been to weddings where the transportation, including air fare from California to New York was included, plus shuttle from airport and hotel room/meals all included. I have also been to DIY weddings where everything was paid by the guests.

Be sure to spell it out on the invitation.

jca's avatar

what @janbb said. prepay and have passes available at the gate. you can have a guest list for the gate so each car just identifies themselves and their pass is there. that way nobody who is not invited but is a joker gets a free pass by saying “I’m with the wedding.”

JilltheTooth's avatar

I still think $5 isn’t too much for a guest to pay. yes, I agree that notifying is a good idea After all, if there are 100 guests, the extra $500 could strain the budget of the wedding. If you went to the park for a pinic you’d pay the $5 and more than that for your food! I’m always thrilled just to be invited!

jca's avatar

@JilltheTooth : if you went to the park for a picnic you’d pay the $5 and more than that for your food, yes, but this is different. This is being a guest, and it’s very likely the guests will have given a large financial gift. I think with those two factors, asking guests to pay $5 to park is tacky and parsimonious.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Sorry, @jca , still not agreeing. A cash bar at a Rockefeller wedding would be tacky, but since this is a budget wedding I consider parking to be part of transport, and as such, the responsibilty of the quests. I also wouldn’t ask them to pay for my gas, train fare, airplane ticket, etc.

jca's avatar

@JilltheTooth: i understand your point – but i still feel it tacky to ask people to shell out this fee. i also feel a parking fee is a little different than transport to the locale. i feel the difference is transporting people is not the same as taking care of your guests once they arrive (i.e. parking fee, making sure there is a safe place to park, etc.).

i guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jca : This is one of the most civilized disagreements I’ve seen on Fluther! Good on ya, @jca ! and good on me, too, I guess

eadinad's avatar

Thanks everyone for your input. Unfortunately it still seems like there’s two sides to this issue, so I guess I’ll just keep thinking about it. But I will probably try to pay for everyone’s parking if there’s room at all in the budget once we get closer to the date.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What about this? Send out the invitations with a note about the $5 parking fee. People need to know on the front end so that they can be prepared to pay it. I would be a bit miffed to show up and have to either turn around and go home for it or borrow the money from someone. If I knew ahead of time and was was on a tight budget, I might spend less on the wedding gift in order to keep to the budget and attend the wedding.

And if you find that you can cover the costs of the parking for the guests once you get closer to the date, then go ahead and pay for it. It will be an unexpected delight when they arrive.

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