Post # 1
- Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center
Both my and FI’s families are South Asian and a little conservative/relgious, so we likely won’t have alcohol at our evening reception and might end up limiting dancing to certain types of music. However, I realize that most people expect alcohol and plenty of dancing at evening receptions. So I was considering throwing an open bar after party just for friends/cousins/whoever is under 30 crowd. But I ran into a few concerns that I was hoping bees who had an after party could help address:
- Wedding days can get very long, particularly if you have a morning ceremony (which we may end up having for religious purposes). Were you too tired for an after party if your reception itself ended at 11 pm or so?
- The second question is particular to ethnic/Middle Eastern/South Asian weddings – obviously, everyone cannot go out partying in their heavy lehengas/saris/sherwanis/other Indian clothes. For South Asian couples who had an after party, did you feel everyone (including the bride/groom) had enough time to go change out of their Indian reception clothes into western going out clothes that late at night?
Thanks! Looking forward to hearing why you did or didn’t have an after party post-reception.
PS – Any advice of how to deal with the particular situation at hand is appreciated. I hope this doesn’t turn into a bash on our decision not to have alcohol at our reception. Most people attending the reception will be family who do not drink, so that’s not really the question I am here to ask. Thanks in advance for understanding!
Post # 2
We had an after party. It was at the hotel where the majority of our guests were staying so it was easy for them to go change if they wanted to (we’re not South Asian but we did want to make sure that us and our bridal party would be comfortable). My mom footed the bill for a round of drinks and then it was a cash bar after that.
DH and I didn’t make it to the after party. We had every intention of going to have a drink, but once we got up to our room and sat down, we were done lol.
Post # 3
We won’t be having one because we’ll be having a long reception with lots of alcohol, but I have been to a few weddings with them…at the ones i’ve been to usually i’ve been to tired to stay the whole time. One of the weddings the bride and groom had a shuttle planned for guests that left the bar at like midnight (their wedding ended at like 10) so we basicallly had to stay out until that time or we couldn’t get a ride back (this was before uber…and I don’t think uber is even in that area now anyways). We were all so pissed because we were exhausted and just wanted to go home! lol!
Post # 4
We are doing an after party. Our reception will end at 10pm and the after party will be 10-midnight. The reception and the after party will be at the hotel where most people are staying so people should be able to change if they want. I will likely change out of my dress.
The last few friends weddings I’ve been to they have done something for an after party. Most 20 somethings aren’t ready to go to bed at 10pm so it’s a nice option. Some friends have rented large suites for the weekend (3beds) and done an after party in their suite. Others have rented shuttles to go to local bars (not my favorite).
I personally love after parties and it was a must have for us when choosing our wedding venue.
Post # 5
Didn’t have the energy to plan anything else after planning a big wedding. I figured if people still wanted to party they would organically form groups and continue partying together or apart.
Post # 6
We arranged for an after party in the hotel bar where everyone was staying. Hubs and I did not attend. We were tired and wanted to consummate the marriage, lol.
I’m told it was fun for about 45 minutes. Until a bar goer (not in our group) puked on the window. It was shut down quickly after that.
My advice if you decide to throw one: Not everyone will go. Weddings are long, people get tired. BUT if you put it on your invites for the younger crowed, talk to the bar. Maybe they can have a few drinks that people can order that won’t break the bank. We did that for our rehearsal dinner, and we came in on budget.
Or could you possibly have alcohol served at the wedding at a later time? Maybe after dinner? That might be cheaper if the bar is open for a shorter period of time.
Post # 7
We didnt because our wedding lasted until midnight anyway but I definitely think its a good idea for the younger crowd. Our wedding started at lunch time and lasted until midnight and people were still drinking/ dancing until we finished so I wouldnt worry about guests getting tired. As for getting changed, make sure guests know in advance that they may want a change of clothes and make it clear where the restrooms are or you could even dedicate a room for people to change in.
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
We had an after party. We had a short wedding (4½ hours from ceremony start to end of dinner) and we didn’t have any dancing. So to give people a chance to kind of unwind and be more casual, we had an after party at a bar attached to one of the room blocks we did that had a live band playing. Everyone changed out of their wedding clothes and we ate yummy pub food and danced and drank and relaxed. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad we did it.
Post # 9
We didn’t because we had spent enought money on the wedding and I knew we would be tired anyway. We went back to the hotel to sleep, and a very small group of our younger guests when to the bowling alley by the hotel to continue to party/drink.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center
Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!
Love the idea of paying for 1 round of drinks and everyone on their own after that!
Interesting, yeah I assume it wouldn’t go on past an hour. Good to know we should keep it short. And yes, we also want to start our marriage haha – but half hour shouldn’t hurt 🙂 I’m not sure if our families will allow limited alcohol at the tail end (like 10-11 pm), but we could float the idea. Thanks for the suggestion!
Yup, definitely geared at the younger crowd like you said, but I’m not sure if it should be strictly friends or also include cousins especially if it’s supposed to be “secret” or not not. Good call on the restrooms!
Thanks for the tip about the hotel bar – I’m not sure if the venue we choose will have this option or if we want to be so close to all the other guests (I feel like everyone will feel a bit more free if we just go out somewhere away from our relatives), but good idea to keep in mind!
Post # 11
I think it depends on how long the wedding and reception are. My reception was over by like 10:30 and honestly you couldn’t have paid me to go out to an after party.haha We were both starving and exhausted. (still the best day of my life ;)) There was a lot of dancing and alcohol though at ours even though my husband and I never had a second to just have a drink.lol We were just so drained by the time it was over and I was ready to be alone with my new husband. My sister however was done with her reception by like 8:45 because it was mostly older people, and was completely fine and could have went out all night. Again though, we were so different, I had never lived with my husband so I was ready to go spend the night together, while my sister had been living with her fiancé for about 2 years and wasn’t that concerned about that aspect lol so I think every situation is different!
Post # 12
lol I’m an old fossilized Bee but we stayed at our reception until 2:30 am
We didn’t have a separate after-party, just a long reception. But we also had an open bar. I’m not judging you at all for having an alcohol free reception, I’m a social drinker but I’m perfectly happy to go to a non-alcoholic event, I only mention this because I’m thinking this is part of why you want to have an after-party, to have drinks and dancing etc.
We did try to create a different atmosphere for the later evening though. All of the guests with young children and many of the senior citizens left around 9-10 pm. Later in the evening we changed up the music (dinner and earlier reception was a mix of all kinds of music from 50s to current, later evening was more alternative/hard rock etc) and we ordered in pizzas (buffet dinner approx 5:30)
A local pub or hotel bar could be a good idea
Even though I stayed at our own wedding til the wee hours, I would understand if a niece or nephew or younger teammate only invited an ‘under 30’ or similar crowd- just make sure of a few things:
If you have a particular circle (whether friends, cousins etc) where this will divide guests similar in age as to who’s invited/ who isn’t…..ie a group of friends where 4 of them are under 30 and 2 are early thirties…..or if you have couples where there’s an age difference (28 year old cousin and her 37 year old husband)…..make sure this age limit isn’t going to cause hurt feelings.
Post # 13
One of the reasons we chose our venue is that it is in an event room above a piano bar. So anyone who wants to continue partying can go downstairs to the piano bar. 🙂
Post # 14
We didn’t plan an after party. Our reception had plenty of alcohol. We kind of figured that people would probably continue the party at their respective rental houses (it was a semi-destination wedding a few hours away from where we live). Turns out, they did! So we went over to one of the houses were most of the party was going on…ate tacquitos, took shots and walked back to our own rental house after an hour or so, I think? I honestly don’t remember what time it was, but we were having such a blast, that we wanted to hang out with everyone longer.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2016 - Beach
We didn’t plan an after party but we met up with some of our guests at a local bar. We weren’t ready to end the celebration.