After Parties!

What’s the deal with after parties? We’ve heard that question come up quite a bit in the last few years so today I’m sharing advice and the answer to the question. 

After parties offer wedding guests the opportunity to gather and continue the celebration after the reception has concluded.  Like weddings, these post-reception parties come in many different shapes and sizes.  Depending on the couple’s preferences, the guest list and the budget (of course), there is a lot to consider when choosing to throw an after party… or not.  

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

My best advice is to know your crowd! Couples can ask themselves, "After the reception is over, will our family and friends want to continue the party? If the answer is yes, an after party could be just the ticket!  Most often, the guests who want to continue the celebration into the wee hours are the college friends or family members who travel to attend the celebration and don’t get to see each other often. 

There are no rules when it comes to hosting an after party. For some couples, it simply means adding a note to their wedding website letting guests know they can meet at a favorite local bar for a nightcap. This casual approach to an after party is budget friendly, as guests don’t expect the bride and groom to continue to host the tab. As an added treat without breaking the bank, newlyweds can opt to provide food for the party. What late-night partygoer doesn’t love a snack after dancing the night away at the reception? Late at night a hamburger, a serving of french fries or a slice of pizza could hit just the spot!

Some couples choose to treat the after party as an additional hosted event of the wedding weekend. This more ‘formal’ affair can take place at a venue, private home, restaurant, bar… or even poolside. An after party offers a great opportunity for couples to infuse the celebration with a different type of entertainment than guests experienced at the wedding.  If the couple had a band perform at the reception, a DJ can help create a fun lounge feel. The possibilities are truly limitless! 

There is no “one size fits all” approach to hosting a wedding celebration and shouldn’t be! Sparklers and an exit in a get-away car create the perfect romantic ending for some newlyweds. Brides and grooms should feel confident in their decision to call it a night after the reception, if that’s what they would like. Simply put, after parties aren’t for everyone! 

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

Special thanks to for featuring my advice last fall... read more here!


Betsy KrugComment