Wedding After-Party Planning Guide

The biggest day of your life is almost over, but don’t worry, because now you’ll want to think about how to transition from day to night. That’s right! Wedding after-parties are buzzing at the moment and here’s the ultimate guide you need to plan yours. Of course, you have to do this planning with the wedding planning. You can strike a better deal with wedding tent rentals and other vendors this way.

Get The Basics Down

First things first, you need to understand the basic etiquette of a wedding after-party. It’s essentially a less formal, more casual party that takes place after the reception. It’s a party that normally stretches for about 2 to 3 hours mostly until midnight.

The hosts of the wedding, a.k.a. you and your better half, will be the hosts of the after-party as well. There are many ways by which couples can celebrate the wedding festivities. They can hit another venue, where there are decorations, all set up and they can dance the night away.

Alternatively, they can also go for a more chill and relaxed after-party at a resort of sorts where the main bridal party and the guests can stay over too.

An after-party can also consist of a yacht sail that can keep the party going until all of the guests have had the time of their lives and are borderline exhausted. Remember, the more creative and unique the ideas are, the better. After all, it’s your wedding and you can go as elaborate as you want so that people remember it forever.

The Venue

A lot of the time, wedding venues like reception halls, chapels, and even banquets have a strict time limit usually no later than 10 pm, to wrap up all the festivities and make minimal noise during the evening.

If your after-party is not aligned with these restrictions, then you might need to allocate a different venue for the party that’s more relaxed and has a flexible schedule. However, in some cases, especially where your after-party is a bit more on the tame side, you can get everything done in the same venue by talking to the venue manager in advance.

Who Will Be Invited?

You can invite anyone to your wedding after-party. It’s essentially an extension of your wedding. So, obviously all of the guests will be invited. However, given time, there might be people who can excuse themselves, especially if they’re older guests or people with children who just can’t handle the energy of the party and that’s understandable.

The main bridal party, including the bridesmaids and groomsmen, the main couple of the day, and other friends and family who don’t mind a bit of groove and letting loose after the wedding will be the major demographic of the guests that would love to join the party.

Make Two-In-One Invitations

Wedding after-parties sound amazing and all, but they do beg the question: How do I invite people? Well, that’s pretty simple. You’re going to have to make sub-invitations and deliver them along with your main wedding invitations.

You might have seen those smaller, more quaint cards that come with the actual wedding invitation that have information on other events like a bachelor/bachelorette party. Use the same approach to make a wedding after-party invite and even include details of the dress code and venue because people will appreciate it if you give them a heads-up beforehand.

Make A Schedule

You know what can throw a wedding after-party off-kilter? The absence of a plan. A well-thought-out after-party is going to be a smooth sail and everything will go according to plan.

So, if you’re planning to have an after-party, then you want to schedule a party that’s going to have clear instructions on how the party will commence, what events will follow, and how things will wrap up in the end. Having this guide and a clear schedule that won’t go astray is your best bet to host a party to remember.

After-Party Entertainment

Entertainment is the name of the game in wedding after-parties. The party isn’t all about dancing, being wild and whatnot. You need to level things up by adding certain layers of entertainment people won’t be able to say no to.

For instance, host the after-party at the beach. It’s a free venue and night-long entertainment for everyone. If you want to take things up a notch and are more old-school, then hit the arcade. It’s not like adults can’t play arcade games. The point is: whatever entertainment you choose needs to be unique and something that everyone will enjoy.

Is Décor Important?

This is a question that’s asked by a lot of couples. Décor can be super expensive and to have it done twice, one for the wedding and then for the after-party sounds like an overkill. Well, guess what? You don’t need to have an elaborate décor, especially at an after-party. Usually, people aren’t too consumed by the décor in after-parties, because they’ve already witnessed a magnificent wedding.

So, you can tone down the décor and go for something simple and manageable in terms of budget. It’s your call, so do whatever you want, as long as your wallet allows it.

What’s The Dress Code?

This is also something couples can be concerned about, especially brides. You can’t expect the bride to party after the wedding in her elaborate, hard-to-walk-in wedding dress. Also, the guests might want to change into something comfortable as well.

So, here’s what you can do: Mention the dress code in the invitation for the guests. This will ensure that they have a backup dress option and that they can change their attire within minutes. The same goes for the bride and groom. Have something easy and breezy for the party, because restrictions can’t stop you from having the night of your life.

Food & Drinks

Let’s be real: Food is probably the reason why people attend parties in the first place. Even though you’ve just fed your guests at the reception, that doesn’t mean that you’ll let them go on an empty stomach at the after-party.

The middle lane is that you can choose from finger foods and light snacks that aren’t only morsels of deliciousness, but can also pair well with drinks and on top of everything, won’t feel heavy at all. Mini sliders, walking tacos, an array of cheeses and meats, complimentary beverages and drinks, and desserts to end the night with a sweet bang, are enough.

Capture The Moments

While you’re going through all of the effort of hosting an after-party, then you might as well capture the moments in time too. It is a known fact that after-party photos and videos turn out way better than actual wedding portraits because these parties are more casual.

So, don’t be shy to hire a photographer and videographer for the party, because these moments will become beautiful and chuckle-worthy memories to look back on. Be free and enjoy the biggest night of your life.


Don’t let your wedding after-party be an afterthought. Make it bold, fun, and memorable with these tips. Create a plan, hire party rentals Northern VA, the venue, and other vendors, to ensure a memorable party.