5 Tips to Consider When Planning an After Party
Considering an After Party on your wedding day? I have planned super elaborate after-parties like the one displayed here as well as much more casual celebrations after the reception. In either case, these are 5 very important tips to consider in order to have a successful, organized, and fun, and safe, after-party.
In order to have a fun and positively memorable after-party, the timeline is key. When building out your timeline, work backwards from the end time. If you know the After Party will end at 1:30 am (insert tip number 6 – you must designate an end time *because you are booking transportation, entertainment, bar service, etc), work backwards from the end time and decide when the After Party should begin, when your wedding reception should end, when the wedding reception should begin, etc. Keep in mind this is long day of celebrating for most guests and in order to end on a positive (i.e. not sloppy) note, you want to make sure the day is not too long.
- MORE FOOD
Most wedding receptions offer food during cocktail hour and of course during before the dancing begins. If you are planning on continuing the celebration with an after-party, then offering late night food during the reception is a great idea to keep people engaged and energized. These could be fun snacks that are either passed by servers or offered at a food station.
Once guests arrive at the After Party, food is a must. They will most likely be continuing their celebration with you for a few hours and you want them to remember all the fun they had! 😉 Offering a significant spread of food for guests to help themselves at their leisure is key to ensuring guests are comfortable and taken care of.
- WOW FACTOR
To create a truly memorable experience, wow guests with an entirely different design for the After Party. You’ll see that for Ashley and Joe’s wedding below they had a very beautiful and romantic ceremony and reception at a country club, and then invited their guests to a super modern, all white, after-party at a private estate.
- PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION
Do not rely on Ubers or Sober Sam. Taking care of your guests’ safety and experience is essential to a successful and memorable event. Provide transportation from their hotel to the ceremony + reception location, as well as to the After Party. From there, make sure to have transportation on hand so guests can depart the After Party whenever they wish and enjoy safe travels back to their room.
- COMMUNICATE CLEARLY
This is so important as to not cause any confusion and also so you don’t have 200 texts from guests asking you questions.
In your invitation suite, include the After Party on your RSVP card so you can have an accurate headcount to ensure you have enough food ordered, etc.
Also include a Details Card which lists information about the After Party. On the Details Card below we listed information about the entire event including “Transportation for all guests will be provided to the bride’s family home for an extended reception. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this one”.
We also included information about which hotels will receive transportation so as to encourage guests to book their rooms at those specific hotels.
Lastly, create a website and include hotel and transportation information here. This is where you can list the hotel room blocks you have created, the time guests can be expected to be picked up from their hotels, as well as other information necessary to communicate with all of your guests.
Planner and Designer: Nicole Mower Weddings and Events
Ceremony and Reception Space: Abenaqui Country Club
Photography: Rachel Buckley Photography
Ceremony Musician: Katherine Skudera Haddad
Band: Big Party Orchestra
Florals: Laurie Andrews Design
Signage: AMR Calligraphy
Baker: Cakes For All Seasons
Makeup: Amanda McCarthy Beauty
Hair: Hair That Moves
Tents: Sperry Tents Seacoast
After Party DJ: JetSet Sounds
After Party Lighting and Balloons: Maine Event Design and Decor
After Party Catering: Blue Mermaid