This is one of my favorite topics to talk about. Who is going to clean up after your wedding is over? Either people just don't want to think about this, or they think their family/caterer/friends/venue is going to take care of it. After planning weddings for almost 10 years I've compiled some seriously amusing realities of what happens when you leave your wedding for others to clean up. I'll only list 3 here:
1. Your Wedding Reception will end early.
Here's the scenario: your older relatives think they're going to be really helpful and clean up for you. And they're tired at 8:30pm, so they start cleaning up at 8:30pm. But you've booked your reception space until midnight.
I was at a friends' wedding when an uncle literally removed the centerpiece, candles, AND LINEN from the table I was still sitting at. I was really confused, because it was very early in the evening. But sure enough, the reception ended very shortly after that, because the room was stripped bare.
Or how about the time I left a reception room for 5 minutes to prep sparklers for a sendoff, and in that 5 minutes, an Aunt decided to start packing up the centerpieces. Thankfully, she started on a few tables in the back of the room before I caught her! I politely told her I was being paid to do that, and she should just go back to enjoying the party. The candles she was blowing out was providing the ambient lighting in the room - she was going to make the room completely dark before she realized she shouldn't have done that.
If someone strips your reception room of decor while the party is still going on, it will kill the ambiance and end the party early. I promise. So be smart and hire a planner to clean up.
2. You will be charged penalties
Think about this - you've signed an agreement with a rental company. Likely, the agreement's fine print states that you WILL NOT put wet or soiled linens into the linen bag. But if you aren't physically there to clean up, who else knows that fine print on the contract?
Think about it - your wedding is likely on a Saturday evening. If you put those wet or soiled linens in a bag, and the rental company picks up on Monday, I guarantee there's going to be the beginnings of mold in there. It's gross. And it happens. And ALL weddings have wet and soiled linens. Trust me.
I heard from a rental vendor last week that she had to charge a $250 penalty because someone was helping a bride pick up after the wedding, and a relative literally took the linen off the cake table, with the cake STILL in the middle, and shoved it into a linen bag. It molded all the linens in the bag, and they couldn't be simply washed clean. The bride was upset she was being charged the penalty, and her defense was SHE didn't clean it up.
But guess what? When you sign that contract, you ARE responsible. Hiring a planner who knows your contracts avoids penalties like this.
3. Who really wants to clean up the next day?!
If you're lucky enough to leave decor up until the morning after, great. But do you REALLY want to clean it up then? I know the answer is no. You do too - you just have to admit it.
Trust us - there are a million things you would rather be doing than return to the reception room AFTER the party is over. An event venue after a wild wedding often looks like a tornado ravaged it. And in the daylight, the disaster area is only more visible. You don't want to remember your wedding this way.
So you should leave it to the pros to clean it up! The most overlooked but valuable part of my services is THIS:
I remove all decor and package it back into the original containers it came in. If you or a family member lives nearby, I'll drop off your decor to a house, or leave it ORGANIZED and ready for simple pickup in the room the next morning.
Actual picture of an actual wedding mess taken on my personal cell phone. Do you want to clean this up in your wedding dress? Do you want to leave this mess for your friends or family?