Image courtesy of A Practical Wedding
(My A-Z Guide is a resource for people planning an event, be it a wedding, birthday party, shower, etc. As long as it’s related to events, it’s fair game for this series. Please add to the usefulness of this guide by leaving your opinion, advice, or perspective in the comments below! And if you have topic suggestions, definitely mention those, as well!)
If you’re having a “typical” wedding, your ceremony will start around 5pm and the reception will end around 11pm or midnight, usually due to requirements from the venue. For most women, hair and makeup will start around 9 or 10am. The guys get lucky, and don’t usually have to be anywhere until around 1 or 2pm, but the ladies have a really long day. And if you’re the bride, you’ll likely be pretty tired at the end of all of this.
But, exhausted or not, you might not want the party to end! Herein comes the after party.
After parties give the couple a way to keep the party going, without impacting their budget or necessitating long discussions with the reception venue. Basically, it’s a no-host continuation of the wedding, which usually occurs at either the hotel bar or a bar within walking/stumbling distance of the reception venue.
Since it’s a no-host event (meaning the attendees are paying for whatever they eat or drink), the after party isn’t listed on the official invitations. Basically, it’s a word-of-mouth thing that spreads during the reception. The newlyweds can choose to attend, or they can opt to bow out and let their guests keep partying. It’s totally up to them, but it’s nice to at least show up for a drink or two. After all, these folks are in the area to see you, so you may as well make the rounds and hang out a little, in a less formal setting than your reception.
My husband and I had an after party at a nearby bar, and I opted to just go in my wedding dress. Wearing that dress into a dive bar was one of the most memorable parts of the night!
Do you have a spot in mind for your after party? Did you have one when you got married? Let me know in the comments below!