New Wedding Planners – 4 Tips for Planning The After-Party


Many brides and grooms don’t want the celebrating to end with the reception and may want to consider an after-party. This should not be a last-minute event so while you are planning the wedding with your bride, ask if this is something she and her groom want to do.

If they want something very casual, with guests just meeting at a local club or restaurant, make reservations so you can be sure the facility can accommodate a crowd.

If they want something more organized, you will have an opportunity to offer your services. The Fall 2012 issue of Inside Weddings has an article by top wedding planner Tiffany Nieves-Cook that featured tips for planning a well-organized after-party.

Here are 4 tips that will help you:

1) Invitations

The bride should invite everyone who has been invited to the reception with a separate card in the wedding invitation or a message on her wedding website. Plan that only perhaps 50% of the guests will actually attend and select the venue size that matches the size of the crowd.

2) Location

Stay close to the reception location. This makes it easy for guests to get to the party quickly. One option is to rent another room at the reception venue or, if the reception area is larger than you actually needed, drape a portion off for the after-party.

3) Theme and decor

Your bride probably had many ideas for her wedding theme so have her select a different one for this party. If the reception was traditional and formal, the after-party can be fun and casual and reflect the personalities of the bride and groom. If you are the one planning the design, consider setting up lounge seating instead of just having tables and chairs.

4) Food and drink

Guests have been dancing and drinking so they may still be hungry even after eating a full meal at the reception. Serve food that is different from the reception that can be passed or set up at food stations. It can be as casual as dim sum, sliders, or tacos or set out a variety of desserts, if the bride didn’t have a dessert bar at the reception.

If there is an open bar at the reception, the after-party should also have an open bar. Add a gourmet coffee station to give guests the opportunity to get sober before they head home.

Your bride should decide ahead of time whether or not she wants to change out of her wedding or reception dress. The longer she wears it, the more chance she has of staining or tearing it.

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