Monday, July 9, 2012

Real Wedding Planning: Transportation Poll

Dolls, we are facing our first "crisis" when it comes to Saira's wedding planning. As many of Saira's venues involve urban environments, we are faced with the age old questions that many brides must ponder: Should the bride and groom provide shuttles and / or valet parking for guests? As part of the venue search (which is still underway) one of the cons we are facing is that many urban venues simply do not have their own parking lot. Let's look at our two options in some detail:


Venue #1 is in Newark, New Jersey, which is not exactly known for its scenic routes. As the majority of the guests will be staying in New Jersey and therefore will be driving in, parking options are key. The options are as follows:

(1) Valet parking: This would be the most convenient option for guests, and would protect the guests from the streets of Newark (yes, there is a little sarcasm here). It would also be the most expensive option, costing up to $3,000.

(2) Garage parking: There are a number of parking garages in Newark, many of which are located within a two block radius from the venue. The couple would likely be able to get a discounted rate, which the guests can either pay themselves or which can be covered by the couple. The guests will still have to walk through Newark (or at least the driver will have to), but it would be a very short walk.

(3) Hotel shuttle: This option is available for all guests, whether or not you are staying at the hotel. Guests can park their car at the hotel (which will likely include a small parking fee) and then join other guests for a shuttle which will take them directly to the venue. We do want to note that there will be no alcohol at this wedding, which is one of the main reasons couples provide for shuttle service.  Nonetheless, it will be convenient for guests who don't want to worry about traveling back from the venue at night. The downside is that guests will still have to pay for some sort of parking and the couple will have to pay for the shuttle. Plus depending on the number of shuttles available, there will be some lag time in between trips, thereby inconveniencing guests.

(4)  Nothing: Guests can be provided with information about parking garages and the hotel, and arranged things based on their own preference.

VOTE: Now we need your help! Please vote on which option you think is the most fair and practical for all those involved for parking in Newark, New Jersey. Please feel free to leave comments as well!

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Venue #2 is in New York City, just blocks from Penn Station. With the majority of Saira's guests coming from New Jersey, travel to New York City will require some additional planning. Here are the options:

(1) Valet Parking: This is actually not a realistic option for this location, but we thought we would include it anyway, mainly to see if you all are paying attention.

(2) Garage parking: The venue offers discounts with two garages, where cars would pay $25 a pop. This could be paid directly by the guests, or covered by the couple. The garages are located within a few blocks of the venue, and the area surrounding the venue is very safe, albeit a little isolated.

(3) Hotel shuttle: The upside to staying at a hotel in New York City is that you can take public transportation to the hotel (train, subway, path, what have you), check in and get ready, and then have a nice convenient shuttle waiting to transport you to the venue. While it's unclear how many guests will opt to stay at a New York City hotel, guests can have the option of parking wherever their hearts desire and taking the shuttle from the hotel, regardless of whether they are staying there.

(4) Nothing: It's very different to talk about arranging transportation when you are getting married in New York City. The beauty of New York City is the availability of public transportation! Because of the number of different options, guests can simply be provided with the different transportation options and choose what is most convenient for them.

VOTE: Please vote on which option is the most fair and practical for a New York City wedding. We would also love to read your comments and suggestions!

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Please share your thoughts with us and let us know what you think!


Jen & Saira


  1. I'm curious: what is the NYC venue like? It wasn't in the venue post!

    Re the Newark parking situation: Discounted parking garages are a nice touch and I remember there being a few that were relatively close to that venue. However, if guests are staying at the hotel and you don't have shuttle service then they'll have to pay for parking twice. I don't know if this would play a role in the decision-making process, but it's something to think about. Maybe ask Mike and Sheryl what they did? :)

  2. Even if you aren't "providing" parking, I'm sure you'll provide plenty of information. People heading to the city from New Jersey probably already have their favorite method (the wild drivers, the bus people, train people, park-at-the-PATH people). As for Newark, I actually think valet is annoying. I use my car a little like a garage - I want to go get my cardigan, oops I forgot my lip gloss--and waiting for the valet dude when you are ready to go is annoying.

    I would actually guess in Newark that the garage parking would be less than hotel parking.

  3. We are loving the feedback!

    @ Maggie: The New York venue will be featured in a future post, so stay tuned! We believe Mike and Sheryl did valet and shuttle, which is incredibly thoughtful.

    @ Capitol to Capital: We're not sure about the prices for garage parking vs. hotel parking, that is a good point. Perhaps the hotel provides parking at a reduced rate for guests? One more option to look into!

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