So you’ve got your wedding. You’ve got your reception. But have you got your after party? This third event has become increasingly popular of late. Taking place at the end of a long day of festivities, the after party allows you to celebrate with a select group of your guests.
With each successive event on your wedding day, the number of guests is reduced. The ceremony typically contains the largest crowd, the reception may hold slightly fewer, and the after party is an extremely select group. Many couples take this route, inviting certain individuals to certain aspects of their day. Weddings are expensive and if you are trying to keep the affair small, you may need to consider unique invitation options.
Typically, you would narrow down the guest list to your closest friends. Your ‘closest friends’ could be just your bridal party, or the friends who just missed the bridal party cut, or the friends who flew in from far away. Be sure to inform those you invite to the after party about the select nature of the event, so that they do not discuss it around those who might not be invited and so that they do not bring any plus-ones.
Weddings are a great excuse to have a party. Yes, their primary purpose is to publicly recognize of the commitment two individuals are making to stay together ’til death do them part. But, you happen to do so among a group of your closest friends and family members. How can such a crowd not make for a party?
A wedding after party allows the celebratory mood to continue even past the reception. While the reception initiates these celebrations, many traditional aspects of this event prevent guests from fully unleashing. Also, the reception will still have many older family members in the audience who are sensitive to loud noises, fast music, and flashing lights. But the after party is all about youth, vitality, and a good time. Wedding after parties usually have fun dancing, conversation, games, and just hanging out with good friends. Let the activities of the after party reflect your personality and interests.
If you are renting a venue for your reception, you will need to find a different location for your after party. Most wedding venues are outrageously priced, and it’s not worth the cost of the hourly rate to host your after party at such a location. The small crowd allows for virtually total freedom in where to host your after party. A backyard is always a great, reasonably priced option. You could also rent out a bar or other facility open late at night.
The wedding after party takes place after the reception. You can determine how long you want the reception to last until you progress into the after party. But typically, the transition would take place once all the quintessential reception activities have concluded — think the introduction of the wedding party, the first dances, and the cutting of the cake. In order to avoid any awkwardness, clearly state the time when the reception is ending so that the desired guests stay and the uninvited ones leave.
Make an outfit change into something more comfortable that still sets you apart as the bride and groom. Bride and groom jumpsuits are the picture of comfort. To maintain some elegance, wear a shorter, more casual white dress and your man can switch into shorts and a button up shirt. Keep the decorations simple, maybe a few candles and flowers. Throw together any random assortment of snacks, the leftovers from the reception will suffice, but you could supplement them with other late night snacks. Remember, these are your closest friends. They will not judge you and they’ll appreciate your efforts to create a fun atmosphere.
A couple may want to host a wedding after party as a way to further refine who they spend their big day with. They may do so out of respect for certain guests, as certain people may not enjoy the loud music and fast dancing you desire as a means of celebration. A wedding is a time for celebration, make the celebration complete with a wedding after party!