We know, we know – you don’t even want to think about it! And trust us, we’d much rather focus on the fun stuff too. But it’s got to be done – so let’s talk clear-up.
In an ideal world, you and your partner will be involved as little as possible in the clear-up – and if you can, we say delegate! If you’ve booked your wedding as a package (ie. including catering, decorations, etc.), the day after your wedding is likely to be a lot more straightforward as your venue may well take care of almost everything for you. You can also ask your suppliers what they offer in terms of clear-up – florists, for example, will likely come to collect any reusable elements from their displays. But if you’ve gone the DIY route, it’ll be on you. In that case, get your wedding party to take care of as much as possible so you and your partner can enjoy your first days as newlyweds… instead of spending them litter-picking.
Once you’ve confirmed who’ll be taking care of the clear-up, make sure they have everything they need. This includes things like bin bags and boxes – but it also includes transport. You’ll almost certainly want to make sure they have access to a car so that anything that needs to be stored elsewhere can be easily removed.
A few days in advance of your wedding, make a list of everything that will need to be cleared up – especially if you’re handing over responsibility for the clear-up to someone else. Start off by thinking about your decor, including decorations, signage, floral arrangements and table decorations. Equipment also falls into this category – sound systems, lighting and so on. Next, if you’ve rented any of your clothing, you’ll want to make sure you know when and where it needs to be returned, and whether it needs to be dry-cleaned in advance. Finally, work out what you’ll do with leftover food and drink.
Start off by splitting everything into four categories: keep, collect, recycle/donate, bin. If you’ve arranged for your wedding party to take care of the clear-up, make sure to communicate to them what falls into each category. You don’t want keepsakes thrown in the bin – but you also don’t want to come back from your minimoon to find you have to recycle a hundred table settings. If you’d rather do it yourself, a good alternative is to arrange for everything to be temporarily stored somewhere until you have time to deal with it.