After your wedding celebration has ended, the last thing you will want to do is stick around to clean up. Make a plan in advance for what will happen so that you and your new spouse can (hopefully) be whisked away in a limo to a luxurious hotel suite, while the professionals (and maybe a few kind friends) deal with the aftermath of your backyard wedding.
Your wedding planner should stay until the end of the event and then place your gifts, personal items, left over food, cake and beverages in a predetermined spot. He or she should also stay long enough to make sure that the rest of the breakdown is going smoothly. Once the guests depart, the caterer and entertainment will break down and remove everything they brought with them. A reputable caterer will remove all of the trash from the event. While they will do their best to pick up everything, in the morning, you (or someone you assign) should walk around and see what was missed during the nighttime clean up, particularly if you have neighbors close by.
If you rented items from your florist, they will likely come back at the end of the night to pick those up. If your guests won’t be taking the floral arrangements with them, and you don’t have another plan for them, talk to your florist about taking away leftover flowers, and possibly donating them to a hospital or retirement home. Your planner may also have a suggestion for the leftover flowers.
The tent company will start to break down in the morning or possibly the following Monday. Depending on the extent of the installation (number of tents, size of the floor), it may take them more than one day to break it all down, pack it up and haul it away. The generators and restrooms will also need to be picked up. In general, you don’t need to be around for this, but it is smart for someone to be there to watch out for your personal belongings and your property.
End of night photo made by Katie Stoops.