Today I want to talk about weddings, and having an end of night plan!
So the end of the night comes, you have been at the venue since 9am, getting your hair and makeup done, taking pictures, eating lunch, through the ceremony, dinner, dance, and reception. All of a sudden the last song is playing and you’re trying to figure out what to do with your flowers, and vases, and centerpieces, and bags full of your street clothes and make up! I can’t stress enough, the importance of having an end of night plan! Not only for yourself, but for your wedding party and guests! Most venues want everything out by a certain time, and they make no exception!
Centerpieces – If you’re working with a professional florist, some give you the option to have someone come back to the venue later and take all of the vases, candle holders, or whatever you’ve rented through them away. This is a great option because then you don’t have to figure out who’s going to start taking things down or where to put the flowers because you can’t seem to find the boxes that everything came in! If you decide to take everything back yourself, have a point person to coordinate that with the florist. That way they know where the boxes for returning things ended up after the florist sets up! If you’re bringing in all of your own items, have a plan for packing them back up at the end of the night. If you’re using cardboard boxes, direct your helpers to NOT break them down. I assure you, there's a very slim chance that your venue or caterer has 10+ boxes just laying around for you to re package your centerpiece items in.
Cake – This is a quick and easy one! If you want to save your cake topper, double check with your bakery that they are leaving a box to put it in. Otherwise your caterer has to get creative, and can’t ensure the quality of it through travel home. That’s all :)
Gifts – This is a big one! First off, making sure that someone puts your gifts in a safe place as soon as possible, is SO important! We’ve all heard the horror stories! Sometimes the venue says they will take care of that, sometimes you need to designate someone. This might be a good job for a personal attendant. Also, even if the venue is taking care of it for you, having someone to double check that it’s been done isn’t a bad idea! End of night… Who’s taking them? Where do they need to be in the morning? If you’re going back to a hotel that’s nearby, make sure there is someone who can drive them over, or if the hotel is within walking distance, bring some sort of cart! Sounds silly, but it will save you so much time and effort at the end of the night when you’re hauling everything out!
Wedding party – When making an itinerary for your wedding party, note that they need to have a late night plan of attack for their own belongings! Is there a bridal suite you can store things in? Or will they be searching for their shoes under tables at midnight? Yes it’s an extra step, but it will make you and your bridal party feel much more at ease the night of.
Planners – If you decide to work with a planner or wedding coordinator (not your venue coordinator), some professional companies offer a service where they will take your gifts, centerpieces, left over booze (if that’s an option), cake stands, bags from bridal suite, etc. back to your house, or they will deliver it to you the following morning! Pretty slick! They take care of the hard stuff for you! Of course it’s at an additional charge, but it takes the stress off of you, which could be totally worth it!
I’m going to end by telling you this, DON’T STRESS IT! It’s supposed to be fun! You can be as organized as you want to be! These are just some helpful tips I’ve seen from professional experience that I want to share with you all, in the hope to make your day a little more stress free :)
Thanks for reading!
Pictures below from a recent wedding at James J Hill Library!