Wow...What a party and what a mess!
At the end of the evening, when the bubbly is gone and your guests have gone home, the wedding night clean up begins. Some vendors refer to this as break down, some refer to it tear down. Either way, it’s important to know what to do. What happens and who does it will depend entirely on you. Here’s a list of all the items that need to be taken care of and what typically happens.
If you hire a full service caterer, they typically will help with cleaning up their dishes, flatware and linens. Some caterers will help with trash disposal. If you book a cater who offers a "drop off" service, then you'll be stuck cleaning up everything at the end of the evening. A drop off service essentially means they will drop off the food, drinks and paper products. You'll be responsible to throw everything away since there is nothing to wash or keep.
In addition to bagging up the trash, there are just a few things that the venue requires at the end of the evening in order to reduce any incurred expenses.
Return all of the benches, tables and furnishings to their original position.
Stack the chairs 5 high along the south wall of the ballroom
Sweep and pickup rose petals including any processional and "send off" debri
As a DIY venue, we have a very easy "LEAVE IT LIKE YOU FOUND IT" Policy.
If you borrowed decor, clean and return it to the shelves as you found it, to be checked in the next morning. We inventory lanterns and other decor after every wedding to make sure future brides will have them for their event.
However, if you'd like to hire a cleaning company to cleanup the ballroom for you, let us know in advance. We will email you some referrals. You'll contact them and make the arrangements. If you leave at the end of the evening without following the "end of evening" procedure, there will be incurred expenses which will be deducted from the escrow. It's cheaper to schedule them in advance.
The contract signor as well as the wedding planner should stay until the end of the event to follow up with all the vendors making sure break down happens and everyone and everything is out the door before 11:00pm according to your plan. The planner typically helps with making sure all of your items are sent home with the right person, the rentals are all accounted for and packed away for pick up, the florist picks up all their containers (and none were taken home by a guest who didn’t know any better), and to check if there are and damages you will be responsible for. We recommend taking pictures on the way out to show that everything was moved back, chairs were stacked, trash was bagged up and the floor was swept. Vendors, rentals, equipment or guests who are still on the premise after 11:00pm will result in overage charges meaning the contract signor will be invoiced for additional time/hours. If your planner has concerns, have her send us a quick email asap to eliminate questions on wedding day
This all factors into that “peace of mind” when hiring a planner to help with your wedding day, whether full service or as a day of wedding planner.
We hope this helps you to understand what to plan for at the end of the evening!