Your last straggling — and happily exhausted! — guests are bidding you goodbye. The DJ is disassembling his turntable. And the wait staff is clearing the last glasses from the tables. But before you pull off those gorgeous Manolo Blahnik peep-toe pumps, head for your hotel and kick-off your honeymoon, there are still a few things you have to do.
"No one wants to see the beauty of the evening end so quickly," admits Erin Donoghue, owner of Your Event By Erin. But when your reception comes to a close, don't forget to take care of the following things:
1. Send your gifts home with a family member — and pack up your cards to read over on the flight. "If you're zipping off on a honeymoon, there could be some useful spending money in there," Donoghue says.
2. Snag the top of your wedding cake. "Freeze it, and eat it on your one-year anniversary," Donoghue recommends.
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3. "Vintage family heirlooms, such as your cake topper or toasting saucers, are irreplaceable," says Donoghue. So make sure they're packed up before you leave the ballroom.
4. Leftovers may not seem appetizing at the end of the evening — but when you spend $30 or more per plate, you should be sure to get your money's worth! "A lovely package of food to enjoy, because you may not have eaten all night, or some yummy little desserts packed up," are perfect for late-night snacks in your hotel, explains Donoghue.
5. Before your last guests hit the road, send centerpieces along with them. "You can tell your family members to spread the word, or ask your MC can make a nice little announcement that the flowers are for taking," suggests Donoghue.
6. Pack up any leftover paper products. "They could be perfect for a wedding day scrapbook," says Donoghue.
Feeling stressed about all of these last-minute to dos? Pass the buck by assigning these tasks to your mom, maid of honor or another friend before your big day!