Weddings often put guests in the mood to keep on moving, and after-parties are a great way to keep up the excitement. They’re an especially good idea if a lot of your guests have traveled a long-distance for your ceremony, and want to take advantage of their mini “vacation.”
In general, after parties are geared for the younger crowd, in their late-teens or 20s, who are staying at a hotel. However, that’s not a set rule, and you should include local friends, and anyone else who’s involved with your wedding.
“True, the jackets and ties are off and the heels are off and everyone is ‘feeling good,’” says Craig Goldstein, Executive Producer of E squared concepts in Miami and New York. “That being said, you have to remember to cater to all your guests who’ve spent money and time on your wedding. If your parents and their friends want to stick around, have the DJ play something other than Top 40 or House.” Find out ahead of time what kind of crowd you expect, and inform the DJ; one more reason why communicating though your wedding website and RSVP’s are always a great idea.
Goldstein suggests that, if you want an after party to be just for your friends, to send out a separate invitation, and to have it in a different venue than your reception site, such as a nearby club or bar. Just as important, he adds, “Have a party bus or trolley transport friends to and from the site so no one’s drinking and driving.” If that’s impossible, make sure a sober friend is responsible for calling cabs when guests leave.
It’s polite for the bride and groom to attend any after parties, even if they stay for a short while. Guests will understand your fatigue and hectic schedule, but they also know that, ultimately, you’re the star of the show. To make it easier on yourselves, make sure you’ve greeted everyone, ease up on the alcohol, and say your goodbyes before the sun comes up