There are so many amazing D.C wedding venues, but not all of them are conducive to great parking or easy accessibility for your guests. This is when hiring a trusted valet can come in handy, and ease the stress of transportation logistics from your guests. Here are a few important questions to determine your valet needs, in hopes of making your wedding transportation logistics easier for the big day.

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1. How many guests are you expecting?

This will determine the total number of valet attendants you will need. Every event location is different, so unfortunately there is not a standard formula for determining how many valets that is universal. We typically assume that your guests will arrive in couples, so expect about 50 cars per 100 guests. If the parking deck or lot is close to the venue one to two valet attendants per 50 guests can fit your needs. There are many variables to consider, such as distance to parking, traffic, time of the event and so forth . Many valet companies will send a representative to survey your location at your request if they are unfamiliar with the venue or location to determine your overall guest needs.

2. Will your guests all arrive at once?

Expect everyone to show up at the same time for weddings, and other formal events. Be sure to have enough parking attendants to handle the rush. Let the companies you are requesting bids from know if the ceremony or reception are are separate locations and the timing to determine the arrival expectations of guests.

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MJ Valet

3. Is there sufficient parking close to your location?

Talk to your venue coordinator to determine the number of parking spaces near your entrance. They have valuable information regarding what has worked in the past, and this will make sure the valet drop off area is close to the entrance of your function. If the parking attendant has to run a block away to retrieve the cars, or if the drive is far from the entrance, expect to hire a few extra staffers for parking.

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Marc Parc Valet

4. What will the weather be like the day of your event?

Plan for the worst if you are planning your event during inclement weather months such as February for snow, or September for rain. In your valet contract, require that the valet attendants have adequate equipment to handle the weather. Umbrellas for rain and snow removal items such as ice scrapers, salt, and snow shovels during the winter events. When planning for guest exits, make sure your guests have a comfortable place to wait for their car to be delivered.

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My Primitive Boutique Valet Signage

5. How much should you expect to pay for a valet parking service?

Most companies will quote a job by the hour, per attendant and add in insurance, and permit costs. Don’t always go with the lowest cost option, but instead trust in a company that has solid references, and a good reputation.  Your guests are trusting one of their most prized possessions, their vehicles in the hands of your valet service and you want to ensure you have a reputable company handling their needs. Always do your research, looking for reviews on wedding sites or ask for referrals from past couples.

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credit: Amber Wilkie from Party in a Box!

6. Keep guests in the know!

Always make sure your guests are properly informed of your transportation options for the event. Welcome bag information sheets, wedding websites, and word of mouth can let them know that valet services are available. Inform them that complimentary valet is being provided, and always give precise driving directions if the front of the venue is logistically tricky or hard to navigate.

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