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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.

After Party

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?!

Since all these ideas are just rolling around in my head right now, help me out! Are you hosting outside-of-the-wedding day events (besides showers and bachelorette parties)? If so, what and how?

After Party

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About Heather

Heather is a 20-something lifelong learner who works in higher education and overanalyzes everything. Now engaged to her boyfriend of 6 years, she spends way too much time in coffee shops fueling up on espresso drinks and creatively massaging marital traditions. Follow along as she makes meaning out of the chaos and (hopefully) pulls it all together for her May 2012 Chicagoland wedding.

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  • Kelly

    Last year a friend got married at the beach and stopped on one of the typical beach bars in her wedding dress. At a bar where most people have on flip flops and bathing suits it was hilarious.

    So I specifically booked a hotel for a room block that was directly next to a Millers Ale House so that we can have an after party without worrying about transportation.

  • Angie

    I got married a couple months ago. My husband’s parents were generous enough to plan and pay for the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding and a brunch the day after the wedding. All out-of-town guests and family (so virtually everyone) was invited to both. After the rehearsal dinner, my college friends and I went out and then hung out at my house. I loved the extra opportunities to see everyone!

    We had an evening wedding & reception that broke up close to midnight. I can’t imagine having an after-party after the reception. I was so eager to have a bit of alone time with my new husband and get a little sleep.

    We also waited to leave on our honeymoon for a couple days after the wedding to see family that stayed in town – and so that we had more time before the wedding to spend with friends and family who came in early, since we knew we would have time after the wedding to get ready for the honeymoon.

    • We also had our out of town family come to my parents’ home the day after the wedding so we could spend a little extra time. It all went by in a blur and I still kind of wish we’d gotten to spend more time with our loved ones. It’s great that you got to do that!

  • Ashley

    My in-laws are inviting everyone who’s coming in from out of town to the rehearsal dinner, and an after-party for that at their place (since we can’t do booze at the rehearsal dinner site without hiring a park ranger). I’ll be so glad for the extra time with people I don’t see often!

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