Wedding Blog: Keep on Partying After the Reception!
Let me tell you as a bride and wedding planner, your wedding day will fly right by and before you know it, the reception will be over. You may be tired and ready for some rest, but many couples want to keep going after the music has stopped and the food is all gone. Some venues, like hotels, have curfews and end the party early, out of respect for hotel guests. So what do you do if you want to keep on partying?
If you and your guests don't want the night come to come to an end and want to keep celebrating, make a plan to prolong your special day and put special touches on it to impress your guests with surprises and personal details.
When planning your after-party, consider the costs, convenience, and mood. Depending on the style of your after-party, the work to put it together and the cost will vary. Some brides and grooms find a bar close-by and meet their guests there and everyone pays their own bill. Another option is to reserve a private room in a bar for some exclusivity. Others splurge and have a wedding reception Part 2 and rent a venue where the open bar is continued, the DJ follows, and there may be a midnight snack buffet or sweet table.
Careful planning will ensure that the entire night is smooth, so whether you rent a venue for an elaborate after-party or you're meeting at a bar after, make sure your reservation for a private section is confirmed. If you're going to a bar that is open to the public, make sure they're not closed for any private events that night.
Make sure you inform your guests. You don’t have to stress too much about invitation etiquette for an after-party, but if you want to make sure your guests know well beforehand that the party does continue, you can use word of mouth or add the after-party details on a separate card and mail it with the official invitations. Another option is to post this information on your wedding website.
One thing to be careful of is to not discriminate between who gets an invite and who doesn’t. If they're invited to the wedding, invite them to the festivities after. Even though you know certain people won’t come, you don’t want a guest to find out that there is indeed an after-party but that they didn’t make the cut. So, if you would like to have a party with mainly your friends, choose a venue that is more catered to your age group, like a trendy lounge, or a bar frequented with people in your age group. And, if your parents or older guests do show up, make them feel welcome.
Make it easy for your guests. They will feel that you really appreciate their presence if you make this after-party convenient for them to get to. Choose somewhere that is close to the main reception venue, hassle-free and, if possible, within walking distance. As guests will have been drinking all night, you don’t want them getting into their cars. If your venue isn't within walking distance, have someone call to have a few cabs already waiting outside the reception venue so guests can easily jump into a cab.
The eating continues. Everyone works up an appetite after hours of dancing and drinking, so offer some late-night munchies to quell hunger and help absorb the extra alcohol. Make it interesting and serve something very different from the food at the reception. You don’t want to serve beef kebabs if you served a beef filet earlier. Keep it different, simple, and casual with easy finger foods.
After you've been a very generous and gracious host at your formal wedding reception, guests will be likely to take out their cash and credit cards to keep the celebration going and to thank you for an amazing night. If you formally invite guests to an after-party, then you may want to cover the costs, especially if it's a private party or if it's in a rented private venue. If the after-party is in the same building, say a hotel, but in the bar of the hotel, sometimes parents of the bride and groom or the bride and groom themselves will simply add this cost to their master bill. Just remember that your bill may add up very quickly so consider capping the open bar at a certain amount or just offer the few first rounds.
Whatever you decide to do for your after-party, keep in mind that it is a continued celebration of your very special day. The after-party should still be about your day and not about continuing a drinking fest. Be safe and have fun!
Written by Rita Wong, Rita Wong Events http://www.ritawongevents.com
Rita Wong is a wedding and events planner and owner of Rita Wong Events. Based in Montreal, Rita also plans many weddings every year for brides living in Toronto and abroad. She is a dedicated follower of new trends and her goal is to give each bride a wedding that is fresh, unique, and a personal reflection of who they are. She now shares her professional insights with slice.ca.
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