Planning the After Party
Planning the After Party
Shhhhh! Did you hear? After the reception is over, and grandma and grandpa are safely on their way home, all the leftover booze is going to room 204! You’re invited!
Ahhhhhh, the after party. It’s kind of like Vegas; what happens there, stays there. Not that I would know; rarely is the photographer invited. There’s no need for pictures for posterity at this soiree, after all, because talking about the after party to anyone who wasn’t actually there is strictly forbidden.
Okay, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration. And let’s be real; the after-party is nothing new. In fact, after parties have probably been going on for as long as weddings have been a party themselves. It’s the natural extension of the celebration for whoever isn’t quite ready for the party to end when the DJ stops spinning.
The only thing that’s different is that in recent years, brides and grooms have gotten in on the official planning of the after party. Gone are the days when guests wandered the streets themselves looking for someplace to take the fun. Today, brides and grooms often provide that location for them.
Now, let’s get a few things straight: there is nothing formal about the after party. It takes place in someone’s suite, or the hotel bar, or a VIP room at a restaurant just down the street from the reception area. There are no official invitations, though it is usually just the new couple’s closest friends and family who attend. The wedding party, for instance, and anyone they met at the reception who they might want to hook up with.
But again, shhhhhh! You didn’t hear that from me!
So what goes into planning an after party? Well, in most cases, you want to find a place that either serves booze or will allow you to bring your own. You also want a location that will allow the party to continue for at least a few hours after the reception ends. Ideally, a spot within walking distance of where most of your partygoers will be sleeping for the night.
And most importantly, you want it to be somewhere that won’t get the bride and groom in trouble. Which means hotel rooms may be out if you have a larger group; you don’t want the newlyweds getting kicked out of their hotel before they even make it to the honeymoon suite. So make sure you choose a location where extended party hours are acceptable rather than frowned upon. But don’t hesitate to ask your hotel ahead of time – they may have some options that could actually work. You might even be able to completely rent out the hotel bar for the night, which is certainly convenient.
Another good after party idea is to have some food on hand. Don’t worry, you don’t have to cater this; pizza and leftover cake will go a long way. Just something of substance to keep your boozing partygoers somewhat levelheaded, and to provide the bride and groom a chance to finally put something in their stomachs as well.
One last tip: just because you are planning the after party, does not mean you have to stick around until the very end. Absolutely, if that’s what you want to do, go for it! But if that nice, quiet honeymoon suite is sounding more and more appealing by the minute, make your appearance, have some laughs, and then bid your guests farewell. Trust me, they’ll understand; getting married is a big deal, and no one expects you to spend the entire night partying with them, rather than cozying up as a couple!