The Aftermath

The “I Do’s” have been said, the guests have left and there is a mountain of presents for you and your honey to open. Aside from maybe a little bit of sadness that the Big Day has now come and gone, there are still a few things you need to tie up. So today’s post is about all of those after-the-wedding details that often get missed. And if you and your spouse plan on jetting off on an adventurous honeymoon right after the knot is tied, it is usually family members or friends who get stuck with these tasks.

I have compiled a list of things you will want to think about BEFORE the wedding to prevent any headaches from happening AFTER the wedding.

1. Take the next work day off.

Even if you aren’t headed off on a vacation immediately, you will definitely want to have the next work day off (usually Monday for most brides and grooms). The day following the wedding is usually filled with lots of family members leaving, possibly a bridal brunch, a little haziness from the previous night’s festivities and let’s face it, some much needed R&R. The next business/work day is crucial to give you time for the following:

  • packing for your honeymoon or leaving for your honeymoon
  • returning rentals
  • organizing all of the decor and take-homes from the wedding
  • giving you time to get a head start on thank yous
  • feeling like you have a day to breathe

2. The clean up crew.

More often than not, this is the most dreaded part about the wedding celebration. As the honored guests, it should not be your responsibility to clean up after the celebration. You should be cruising off into newlywed bliss. But you will want to choose your clean up crew wisely. You don’t want to have to rely on the bridesmaid who is also the life of the party. Holding a glass of wine while cleaning up really just isn’t productive. You also might realize that those “reliable” people you asked the night of to stay behind and help clean disappear when it comes time for the bar and DJ to shut down.

My advice is to designate certain individuals: a wedding planner, a close family friend, extended family, etc. to be in charge of helping to tear down and clean up after the festivities end. That way, those individuals know ahead of time and can be relied on that evening or the morning after to be at the venue to help load up and clean up all of the wedding supplies. Remember the multiple trips you took to the wedding venue with all of your beautiful decor? Yeah, that’s not really something you want to  get stuck moving back by yourself the day after the wedding.

3. The fine print.

Whether it’s rentals, the venue or another vendor you’ve been working with, you want to make sure you read the guidelines and fine print on your contract. I am not talking necessarily for the day of the wedding but any miscellaneous leftover details that need to be tied up:

  • Do your rentals need to be cleaned or washed prior to returning? Whether it’s plates that need to be washed, chargers that need to be wiped down or votives and candlesticks that need to be soaked free of wax, most rental companies will have a fine for returning dirty rentals.
  • Does your venue have a specific time all guests need to be out by? If so, don’t schedule your party up to that very last minute. Give yourself enough time to make sure intoxicated guests can get cabs or take an Uber home. Make sure there is enough time for clean up to be done that evening or check to see if the venue lets you store your supplies there overnight.
  • Are there parking restrictions around your venue? With how easy it is these days to get transportation home, it’s silly for guests to even think about driving after they have had a few cocktails. But, you will want to make sure that if guests choose to leave their vehicles overnight around your venue that they will not get towed by the city, the venue, etc.
  • If you decide to extend your celebration because all of your guests are having the best time of your life, what fees are you going to incur that might seem “worth it” the night of but not so much when you have to write the check. This list can include: extending the bar timeframe, extending the time of your service staff, extending your DJ contract, extending your photographer, etc. Most vendors will offer options to extend the evening of, but some of them will cost you some steep hourly fees.

4. The gift that keeps on giving. 

I see it after every wedding. The bride or the mother of bride looks longingly at all of the gorgeous floral arrangements that helped set the mood and scene for the day. But now what? Aside from the bride’s bouquet that she might want to dry out and save, what on earth do you do with the rest of the flowers?

  • Give them as take-home gifts to guests who helped throughout the big day (your clean-up crew, whoever took your gifts and cards home, your vendors, etc.) Just make sure to bring.
  • Make arrangements prior to wedding day with a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility. There’s no better feeling than to brighten someone’s day with a beautiful arrangement!

Even though you might not think of EVERYTHING prior to the wedding day, arranging a few of these details will make the day following your wedding just that much sweeter!

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