Keep the Celebration Rockin' with a Reception After Party!

Your wedding day is cause for a huge celebration. The best way to celebrate means something a little different to each couple, but more and more couples are forgoing the grand exit to enjoy a wedding reception after party. Theses informal gatherings can consist of anything from just a few guests hitting the bars to a planned party on the reception site or the bar or restaurant of the hotel your guests are staying in. For those who love the idea of partying until the wee hours of the morning, here are a few tips on how to pull it off.

Photography by Katie Day Photo via

A lot of couples question who to invite to a wedding reception after-party. If the event will be at all organized, it is important that you invite everyone on the guest list. In this case you can simply add it to your invitations or in your wedding programs. A simple "join us after the reception" will suffice. One couple even had business card sized invites printed up for the ushers to hand out as they sat guests. This is a cute way to let guests know about the after party if you planned it after the formal invitations were sent out. If your after party consists of the bridal party heading out to the bars in a party bus or limo, it is still a good idea to let guests know where they can meet up with you by word of mouth. The more the merrier, after all!

Another common question is how to fund an after party. On a tight budget, a couple and all who want to keep the party going can hit the bars. It is usually understood in these situations that any food or beverage desired is paid for by the guests. However, if you are hosting an after party in the hotel or on your reception site an open bar is never inappropriate. This may be a good compromise for the couple who can't decide whether or not to serve alcohol at their reception. A dry reception keeps the evening family-friendly while still providing adults a chance to enjoy their beer and cocktails at the after party. I especially love the idea of hosting a casual bonfire at the beach or a campsite for rural wedding or having a night out on the town in a bigger city.

There are a few more things you may want to consider. Does your honeymoon flight leave early the next morning? If so, you may want to keep your celebration short. You will also want to have a wardrobe change for your after party, especially if you are leaving the reception site. What girl doesn't love a reason to buy a new outfit? Lastly, make sure that all guests will have a safe way to return home. Collect keys if you must. You can get a party bus, call for cabs, or even ask a few non-drinking guests if they mind being a DD. With all your bases covered, you will have a night that is wonderfully memorable for all the right reasons!

Have Fun!

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