The focus of most wedding planning is on finding a great venue and crafting the wedding you envisioned. But one key component is often overlooked: reception cleanup. How can you ensure that the cleanup and teardown of your reception go off without a hitch? Here are a few planning tips for every couple.
1. Overestimate Your Needs
In general, the best approach is to assume you need more of everything that you may actually need. This includes more helpers, more vehicles, more boxes, more space, more time, etc. It's much better to have more than you need at the end of the party when people are tired and want to go home.
2. Think About Transportation
There may be a large volume of stuff that needs to be removed at the end of the night. Many couples think about the disassembly or teardown, but they often underestimate the actual transportation needs. Arrange for plenty of vehicles of all sizes. Remember, some things — like flowers, leftover cake, and gifts — may need specialized spaces.
3. Coordinate With the Venue
What will the venue staff do at the end of your reception? It's important to know exactly what they take care of and what you're responsible for. If you're not on the same page, you and your helpers could end up with a lot more work than expected. On the other hand, the more the venue does for you, the more your helpers will appreciate you.
4. Keep It Simple
Make light work of the reception cleanup by planning a simpler setup in the first place. Choose a venue that provides plenty of additional services and in-house rentals. Look for a space with natural beauty which requires less transformation to achieve your vision. And skip some of the small details that make cleanup harder and longer.
5. Assign a Coordinator
The cleanup coordinator isn't a particularly glamorous job, but it will save your evening. Ask a friend or relative to be the point person for all things cleanup. This should not be the newlyweds. Make sure the coordinator knows all the details about who is helping, available vehicles, what items are rented (and from where), what can be discarded, and what's important.
Where to Start
The best place to begin designing a simple and quick reception teardown is by choosing the right venue. Talk to local wedding venues to find the right location for your event.