Just because the wedding reception is over doesn't mean the fun has to end. Keep the party going with an after-party. If you're thinking about celebrating with the late-night crowd, you may be wondering exactly how much planning you have to do. Are you responsible for moving everyone to another venue? Should you serve additional food and drink? Most importantly, should you hire additional entertainment for this portion of the party? While most couples who plan an after-party will either host a small gathering elsewhere at their wedding venue or head off-site for a late-night bites and drinks, very few consider whether or not they'll need to hire performers for this portion of the evening until the very last minute. Here's what you need to know.
No, You Don't Need Additional Entertainment
First and foremost, it's important to note that after-party enterainment is certainly not a requirement. If you want to spend a little extra time with guests who are able to stay late, enjoying a few last drinks and late-night snacks, that's great, but you don't need another hour of music to make it happen. Should you want to bring in entertainment, however, you do have options.
Consider Asking Your DJ or Band to Stay Longer
Hosting an after-party at your actual wedding venue? Ask your DJ or band what the cost of an additional hour or two of music would cost. If the price of your full ensemble is too expensive, or else you want this portion of the night to feel different, you might want to discuss how much it would cost to keep just a few members of the band—maybe a vocalist, keyboard player, and a guitarist—for an additional hour or so. Just make sure that you're able to comply with your venue's noise restrictions. Many properties have to cut off amplified sound at a reasonable hour, so if you're planning to party into the wee hours of the morning, you'll need to carefully consider your options.
Ask Someone to Create a Playlist
Assuming you can't have amplified sound during your after-party, a playlist of your favorite tunes is always a fun idea. Ask a close friend who knows your taste to curate a song list, then see if your venue will be able to play music (softly) over speakers.
Bring in Another Band
If you have money to spare in the budget, an entirely different performer could really set this portion of the evening apart. A cover band that plays your favorite type of music is always a fun, crowd-pleasing idea.
Find a Second Venue with Built-In Entertainment
If you plan to host your after-party as a second venue, consider ones that offer their own form of entertainment. Is there a local bar that has a live band every Saturday night? Could you move the party to a favorite jazz spot? Even a restaurant you love with a great juke box would be a good option.