Ask DIY Bride is a weekly column where you can ask your most pressing wedding or crafting questions.
DIY Bride readers Layne and Derrick ask:
We having our reception in a beautiful 18th century barn in our community. Our contract requires us to to do the cleaning after the wedding and we’re unsure of how many people we’d need] We’re having a local restaurant cater but they’ll only clean the food area. There is 1.5 hours between the end of the reception and when we have to be out. We have about 160 guests.
DIY Bride To The Rescue:
Layne and Derrick, the general rule of thumb for cleanup is 1 person for every 12 guests though actual clean up time will depend on what, exactly, is being cleaned up. Do you have a lot of props that need to be carefully packed? Or bales of hay that need to be loaded onto a truck and hauled away? Those things will take more time than just breaking down tables and chairs.
Be sure to check your contract – or otherwise get in writing – to know what your venue requires in terms of cleaning. Do they only want the floors swept and serving areas wiped down or do you they require that the garbage be taken off site and that any food-serving areas be sanitized and mopped?
For 160 guests, a clean up crew of 13 would be sufficient if everyone hustles and your props/decorations are minimal. Do keep in mind that everyone will be a little tired at the end of the event (and perhaps even a little tipsy…) so it’s best to have as many hands available as you can spare.