Wedding Event Planners and Valet Parking

So the bride wants valet…

When parking is limited, inconvenient or difficult to find, or if the bride and groom just want to impress their guests, valet is a welcome added service. Sure, the bride and groom could recruit their second cousin twice removed to park cars, but what happens if a vehicle is damaged or worst, someone gets injured. Who will pay the insurance costs and ensure the guest’s vehicle gets repaired? Do you really trust this person to make the right decisions regarding customer service and vehicle safety? How will they manage and secure keys? Do they know what to do if a guest appears too intoxicated to drive? How will they ensure they retrieve the correct vehicle and not give away a Porsche to a Toyota owner?

Wedding Event Planners should let the experts determine the number of valets needed based upon the location of the parking, expected number of wedding guests, and event times. The number of valets needed will depend upon whether parking is on-premises or off-premises. As Wedding Event Planners know as most guests arrive and depart at the same time. To ensure guests are greeted promptly, extra valets will need to be scheduled. The rule of thumb is to divide the number of guests by two as most guests arrive in pairs and to then schedule one valet per fifteen to twenty cars. Charges for valet parking typically run $30-$35 per hour per valet. Many valet companies have a 4-5 hour minimum charge per valet. Most valet parking companies will want to see the venue before quoting a price.

What should be included:

The valet company should provide signs to direct guests, a secure box to hold vehicle keys, a uniformed staff, and tickets to ensure guests vehicles are tracked through the process. If an event is scheduled at a location requiring a special permit from the city, the valet company should take care of it.

Additional costs:

It's customary to tip a parking valet. If the bride and groom would like to include the gratuity in the bill, the valet company should post a sign notifying the guests that the gratuity has been provided by the host and instruct the valets to politely decline any tips offered by guests.

If the venue does not have on premise or nearby parking, the valet company may need to rent parking spaces in a nearby garage or parking lot. This additional cost will be added to the valet service charges.

Preferred Vendor:

Your valet company should offer a discounted rate. American Valet offers a 10% discount and ensures our preferred clients receive priority booking. You will always have the staff when you need them.

The valet company should have staff ready when last-minute wedding parking hiccups arise. To accommodate your needs, American Valet has more than 100 specially trained event valets.

How to choose:

Although there’s a lot to consider when selecting a valet parking company, there are three main things to look for:

  • Experience: Unfortunately, there are a lot of 'fly by night' valet service companies out there. The last thing you need is to deal with problems caused by unprofessional parking services. American Valet provides valet and charter services for more than 800 special events each year, from grand openings with 5,000 guests to smaller, more intimate gatherings. We have the resources and know how to handle any situation.
  • Proof of Insurance: : Make sure the valet company you are about to hire is fully licensed and insured so that when something goes wrong, you aren’t held liable. American Valet has a $5 million insurance policy; and all payroll and payroll expenses, including workman s compensation employment and FICA are included in our contract.
  • Trained, Professional Staff: The valet company should have a highly trained and neatly uniformed staff who understand they are the welcome committee for your wedding event. Consider visiting an event or venue to see their staff in action to get a true picture of their performance. We have locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Please feel free to visit and talk to our management team.

Finally, as a Wedding Event Planner, you know the lowest quote is not always the best option. If a company is offering an extremely low rate compared to the competition, you might want to keep looking. Nothing will ruin a bride’s day quicker than a mishap in the parking lot with inexperienced, uninsured, untrained valets who can’t properly handle the situation.

The valet company should share your ideals regarding customer service and overall customer satisfaction and value your reputation as much as theirs. Your business can only be as good as the vendors you work with.

Please contact American Valet to arrange parking for your next wedding or event in Phoenix, Scottsdale or Paradise Valley. Call us at (602) 424-8347 to learn more.