How to Have a Great After-Party

Keep the celebration going after the reception wraps.

Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, so it makes sense to want to extend it for as long as possible.

Photo: Justine Ungaro

Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, so it makes sense to want to extend it for as long as possible. Whether it’s because one venue has an earlier end time than you’d like or you just want an excuse to switch up the vibe at your reception, an after-party can be the perfect way to make your celebration stand out.

how to have an extravagant wedding after-party, your guide to a wedding after-party

Photo by Samuel Lippke Studios; Floral Design by White Lilac Inc.

Of course, if the extra time drags on and is only more of the same, it will leave your guests thinking the event went for too long, so it’s important to make sure you keep everyone properly entertained. While there are more low-maintenance, spontaneous after-parties that involve going to a neighborhood bar or similar venue, this is in regards to a scheduled and planned after-party often seen at luxury events. Follow the tips below to make sure your after-party enhances your wedding to be an unforgettable event for your guests, as well as you and your new spouse. 

- An open invitation. Not to say you should invite the whole town, but no one who attended the reception should be excluded for sake of a party atmosphere. Remember that the late hour will keep young children and older relatives away anyway. And who knows, maybe your great aunt will turn out to be the life of the party! Either way, you don't want to end your wedding by hurting the feelings of your guests.

- A fun theme. While detailed themes – as opposed to aesthetic inspiration – can come across as a bit much during the main part of the wedding, the after-party is where you can let loose and do what you really want. 

- Unique entertainment. If you had a band for the reception, switch to a DJ to increase the club-like atmosphere. Hire dancers and other entertainers to liven up the party. 

- Late-night treats. It’s presumably been a few hours since dinner was served, and after dancing and drinking, the revelers are bound to be ready for some snacks. Bringing in a food truck or having the caterer provide the type of fare you’d want after a night on the town – such as pizza or French fries – is sure to be appreciated by your guests. 

- An outfit change. Make the atmosphere of your after-party clear by changing into a new ensemble to make it easier to dance into the wee hours of the morning. 

- Continue the photography. If budget allows, make sure you have a photographer and/or videographer present at the after-party as well. These are the moments most likely to be lost in the blur of the big day, so it will be great to have the memories documented.

- Space to relax. As much as you want people to be partying, some may be tired! Friends and family who traveled to be a part of your celebration may not want to call it a night before it’s over, but they can often use a cool lounge area to take a little break. 

Get ideas for songs to play at your after-party and learn how to decide if you need an after-party