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Who Gets Invited to Your Wedding After-Party?

And other questions about the end of the night.

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Photography by: Edyta Szyszlo

There are a few sticky questions you might be faced with at the end of your wedding night. Rather than make these decisions on a whim after a few drinks, you might put some preemptive thinking into how you'll handle some very likely scenarios. Here are a few hot topics that usually come up as the party starts to wind down.

 

Do You Have to Have an Open Bar at Your After-Party?

 

Should we have a wedding after-party?

With many venues shutting down before midnight because of noise restrictions, the wedding after-party is a great way to keep the celebration going late into the night. Most likely, your late-night party crew will end up at a local bar, hotel bar, or somewhere that's casual with easy access to drinks. Bonus points to couples that plan both the location and invite list in advance. Word of mouth paired with a casual group text or email is the best way to get this info out.

 

Who should we invite to our wedding after-party?

You should know that word travels quickly among the party crew, so go ahead and invite all of your friends who are planning to attend the wedding. You'll probably have a pretty good idea of who will join the late-night party based on their personalities, and it's unlikely that every person you invite will attend. It's not necessary to invite older family members or anyone you wouldn't normally hang out at a bar with. Of course, you also wouldn't invite anyone who isn't also invited to the wedding.

 

How do we deal with too-drunk guests at the wedding or at the after-party?

If you have a wedding planner, event manager, or maître d' at the wedding, it's a good idea to make them aware of the situation and advise them to have a chat with the bartender about any guests who've been over-served. Depending on the situation, the bartender may serve watered-down drinks or refuse to serve the guest. You might also consider having a mutual friend call a taxi for the guest and letting them know it's time to wrap up the night. Either way, you shouldn't be the person in charge of dealing with this scenario.

 

What should we wear to the after party?

Party shoes will definitely come in handy after a night on your feet! You might opt for a more casual outfit or continue to party in your wedding dress if you're loving it. There's no etiquette rule that applies here, so you can really wear whatever bridal option suits you.

 

Do we have to attend our wedding after-party?

You'll either be exhausted or full of energy after your wedding reception, and it's hard to know which until you're in it. You should probably try to attend your after-party for at least half an hour. Beyond that, everyone will understand if you're too exhausted to continue. If you're planning to pull a no-show, let a few friends know so the guests aren’t waiting around thinking you'll show.

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