After the show, it's the after party.
After the party, it's the hotel lobby.
Well, you get the idea.
Everyone talks about how loooooong the wedding day is, and I can certainly believe them. Given that part of what I do for a living involves running events, I am very familiar with the tired-feet-as-the-adrenaline-wears-off syndrome that often accompanies the completion of an event. When you spend a day troubleshooting, you tend to rack up massive miles walking problem-solving loops and determining how to put out many [hopefully metaphorical] fires.
However, I would imagine that work events are very different from a wedding day (or, more specifically, MY wedding day). Especially given this one key difference:
Skip ahead here, kids, if poignant vulgarity offends you.
It's ok; just join us in the following paragraph.
Being a bride has certain perks—one of which is being given a free pass to not give a sh*t. More specifically, you’re allowed to think, “I’m going to f*cking kill you!” and then to think “You know what? I’m getting married right now; this is not my problem,” and turn around and walk away.
A Practical Wedding. Meg Keene, p. 192.
This–perhaps the single best sentence I have encountered in all of my reading–is precisely what I plan to do on my wedding day. That fact, combined with all of the fun things we have planned; general marital happiness; and the gathering of our most-loved family members and friends; makes this substantially different than shepherding lost students at work.
And by different, I mean awesome and, hopefully, energizing.
My point in saying all this is that I'm pretty sure I won't want all of it to end. Lately, the man and I have been debating about the wedding-day timeline and what we can do to maximize time with our guests, and no matter how we slice things, the time we truly have to relax and enjoy the company of our guests seems unimaginably fleeting.
Sure, we have rearranged and massaged our timeline as much as possible to decrease the arbitrary “musts,” but there are still many factors that make it all fly by at the speed of light (amount of food, length of venue rental, and an obscure municipal rule that says that liquor service has to end at a certain time, to name a few).
Recently, I was reading one of the books on my recommended reading list, and they suggested the concept of the after-party following the wedding. A light bulb went off in my head as I read this information, and I wondered, “Why the crap didn't I think of this?”
Now, I am not talking about anything that would be detailed down to the minute. You have plenty of that sort of thing to do in just planning the wedding day itself. However, how awesome would it be if you were able to take advantage of the fact that the wedding brings together people from all over whom you may not often get to see? What if, instead of just stopping by their table for a moment or two during mandatory mingling, you actually got a chance to talk with them? What if you could hang out and catch up? Think of the possibilities!
Here are just a few examples:
- Stopping by a bar after the official end of the wedding day while you're still all decked out
- Hosting (or simply suggesting) a day-after brunch for people who are staying in the hotel
- Invite people to unwind at a local yoga class or introduce them to a taste of your upcoming honeymoon adventures with a trip to the beach or margaritas on the patio
- Inviting more than just your bridesmaids to join you at the salon the day of
- Leaving for your honeymoon a day later to allow for visits with friends
- Having people over to your place (if it's nearby) to have pizza and watch movies
- Allowing friends or family to host an informal dinner/pool party/whatever
- Having a baking event the day before if you are making your own desserts/cake
- Or anything you want!
Wouldn’t that be awesome?!