Keep Your Wedding Rolling With Xpress Valet
When all your guests arrive on the day of the wedding, you want parking to be the least of their hassles, and for all their thoughts to be on your big day of celebration! That's where valet services like Xpress Valet come in! Check out everything they can offer you to keep your wedding day rolling smoothly.
Kentucky Bride Magazine: First of all, how did you get into valet parking?
Jonathan Goshorn: A couple of us worked at a local nightclub as valet parking attendants when we were in college. We saw that the restaurant and nightlife scene in Lexington was expanding and that there was an unmet need for a company like ours. So we ended up teaming up with a mutual friend of ours, Dan Hurrelbrink, and started Xpress Valet.
KBM: Did Xpress Valet begin in the small, but busy city of Lexington?
JG: Yes, we're a local company. We started off by servicing some of the local restaurants and nightclubs and have now expanded into country clubs and private event venues. We found there was a large demand for what we were doing. Lexington is the horse capital of the world, so not only has the downtown scene really developed over the past couple of years, but there are always horse industry events and weddings going on too.
KBM: On your website, it says you service both Kentucky and Ohio. For brides looking to hire a valet service, what are your geographical limits?
JG: We do service both Kentucky and Ohio. Matt Donohoe, Danny and I are originally from the Northern Kentucky area, so we have a lot of connections in and around Cincinnati. But we've focused most of our energy in Lexington and haven't pursued any locations in Ohio. Despite this, we have still provided valet for events on a per-request basis throughout Kentucky and Ohio.
KBM: If a bride is looking to use Xpress Valet for her wedding, how far in advance should she schedule?
JG: We recommend that soon-to-be-brides or their wedding planner contact us as soon as they have a venue picked out. We get pretty booked up during the spring and summer, and it's best to reserve your wedding date with us as soon as possible. Usually we still try to accommodate any late-bookings, but we occasionally have to turn down a wedding or event if we have several reservations for that date.
KBM: You offer free consultations prior to booking an event. Can you walk us through one of your consultations, specifically for a wedding?
JG: Sure! We provide valet parking to a lot of the wedding venues in Lexington on a regular basis, so we can typically do a phone consultation for weddings at those locations. Typically, we like to find out the size of the wedding, arrival and departure times, as well as any special accommodations we need to make.
We also do a lot of weddings at private residences or horse farms too. When we do a wedding at a venue that we don't regularly operate out of, we like to do a walk-through with the wedding planner to make sure everything runs smoothly.
KBM: Do you offer any packages for brides who would like to use Xpress Valet for their rehearsal dinner, shower and/or wedding?
JG: We don't have any formal packages available, but whenever a wedding planner or bride-to-be contacts us for multiple events, we offer them a discounted rate.
KBM: From corporate events to weddings, you guys do it all. Besides weddings, what types of events do you service most frequently?
JG: Weddings comprise most of our events, but we also do a lot of horse industry events and parties when horse auctions or Keeneland races are going on.
KBM: On your website's "about" page, you mention that all of your drivers go through an exhaustive screening process prior to working for you. What are some of the qualifications you look for in a driver?
JG: Yes, our screening process goes beyond the standard motor vehicle record checks, etc. We're really close with our staff and work a considerable amount of the weddings and events alongside them. So picking the right drivers to add to our team is really important.
When we interview prospective drivers, we look for honest, energetic and intelligent new-hires. We've had a lot of success with the drivers that attend the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University.
KBM: Insurance plays a big role in valet business like Xpress Valet. What types of policies do you have and how much protection do they provide?
JG: Yes, trust is a big part of our business, so all of the weddings and events we do are fully insured. We include the price for liability and garage keepers insurance into all of our quotes. Our liability coverage is $1,000,000 per occurrence and our garage keepers' coverage usually depends on the size of the event.
KBM: What challenges have you faced as a part of the valet industry?
JG: With any small business, there are always challenges. I think the largest we've faced has been the building of our reputation. You have to place a lot of trust in a company that will be providing a service on your big day--especially if that service involves the handling of expensive property like cars. It definitely took us a couple years to fully gain the trust of the wedding industry.
KBM: What is your favorite part about being a part of the valet industry?
JG: Being a part of the parking industry allows us to interact with a large portion of the community. Because we provide parking management as well as valet parking, we are able to interact with local downtown businesses, those using our services downtown, and those using our services for weddings and events. We've met a lot of people and I think the connections we've made have really helped our business prosper.
KBM: Why should brides choose Xpress Valet for their wedding? How will the bride and groom know that their guests' cars are in good hands?
JG: That's a great question. There's a big misconception that valet parking is only needed for wedding receptions that are in city limits due to the lack of parking. But we do a lot of weddings on private farms where walking from a field to the venue isn't ideal for formal wear. Even if a venue has adequate parking, our service is usually still needed. Weddings are typically big events and when guests show up to the wedding reception they typically all show up at once. It's best to have a professional staff to accommodate a large arrival of guests and make sure their focus is on the celebration and not the hassle of parking.
KBM: At Kentucky Bride, we like to educate and inspire our brides. Give us a few words of advice to share with them so we can achieve this goal.
JG: Planning your wedding will be stressful. We'd recommend that you do your research and pick the vendors that are the best at what they do. Also, it's a good idea to talk and meet with any potential vendor before you commit to using them. Many vendors are like us and will be more than happy to provide you with free advice or a consultation. Take advantage of these services!