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30 Wedding After-Party Ideas to Keep the Fun Going

7. Book an off-site venue for your wedding after-party early.

Don’t let finding a venue for the wedding after-party become an afterthought. In high-demand locations and popular wedding destinations, venue openings tend to get more difficult to find the closer you get to an event date. If you’re interested in hosting an after-party away from the wedding venue, reserve the after-party venue as soon as possible after confirming reception space.

8. Choose a wedding after-party venue near the reception or guest hotel.

The further the after-party venue is away from the reception venue, the higher the likelihood that some guests will fall off the party wagon in transit. Try to book an event venue within 10-15 minutes of the reception or the primary guest hotel to make switching locations easy on everyone.

9. Provide transportation to and from the after-party.

Depending on your wedding timeline, guests may have consumed a fair amount of alcohol by the time the wedding after-party rolls around. Guest safety should always be a priority, and choosing wedding transportation ahead of time will help prevent unnecessary risk. If you don’t have enough money left in your wedding budget to afford car service for post-reception party guests, consider using a ride-share service, such as Uber or Lyft.

Wedding after-party ideas for entertainment

There are endless options for keeping your wedding after-party guests entertained after an exciting and long day. Turn your after-party into an event to remember by planning an out-of-the-box affair.

 10. Turn the reception into a silent disco.

Some wedding venues have licensing-related restrictions that may hinder how late music can be played or drinks can be served. If your wedding venue has such restrictions, discuss the potential of turning the wedding reception into a silent disco for the after-party. Instead of dancing to the same speaker-produced music, guests throw on a pair of cool headphones and tune into their favorite music genre. After-party guests can dance late into the night uninterrupted without infringing on any venue policies.

11. Parade through town in a party bus.

Book a party bus and take 10, 20, 30, or even 50 of your favorite wedding guests on a late-night tour of the town. Spend your wedding after-party sipping champagne under strobe lights while taking in the sites with your nearest and dearest.

12. Hit a pool hall.

End your wedding night with some friendly competition between your most cherished loved ones. Visit a pool hall or pub to play billiards, darts, or a few rounds of pinball before the evening’s over.

13. Kick-off married life singing karaoke.

When you can’t say how you feel — sing it! Before heading back to the honeymoon suite, take the after-party to a karaoke bar to belt ballads and eat burgers. See if you can sneak a few quick recordings that will surely get a laugh at a later date.

14. Cash in at a casino.

Is your wedding venue in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or somewhere else known for casinos? If so, consider moving your wedding after-party to the slots.

15. Share a laugh at a stand-up show.

Couples looking for late-night entertainment should consider shuttling guests to a stand-up comedy show after the reception. Opening late and staying open into the wee hours of the morning, stand-up comedy bars, clubs, and events can be found in just about every town.

Wedding after-party ideas for decor

There’s no pressure for couples to spend money on additional decorations for the after-party. Designing a wedding is expensive enough without adding another event to your “Need to Decorate” list, so keep the bill for wedding after-party decorations low, or even better — zero.

16. Keep it simple.

Focus more on the guests and the after-party experience than material decorations for this event. 

17. Use lighting to transition from reception to after-party.

Looking for a way to transition from the end of the reception to the beginning of the after-party? A simple change, such as switching up the lighting and adding informal seating or lounge areas, can help signal the shift from reception to post-reception party.

18. Prep for a dance party.

By the end of the night, many of your wedding guests will be ready to really let lose, especially members of the wedding party. After a day of strict schedules and some high stress, treat your guests to the judgement-free dance party of a lifetime, where the most fun wedding songs you know will be pumping at high volume.

Feel free to provide glow sticks, leis, party beads, or other small dance-themed party favors. Or, put your efforts into creating a unique wedding dance floor where guests can bust a move and create a memory.

19. Display your married name(s) in neon.

Light up the after-party by displaying the last name of the newlyweds with neon tube lights. Whether you’re hosting an 80s-themed wedding or looking for a way to help shift gears into “after-party mode,” a custom neon wedding sign can make a great addition.

20. Forgo floral arrangements.

While you may feel compelled to include flowers at the after-party, as floral arrangements are a staple piece of wedding décor, there is no need to dish out extra cash on after-party arrangements. If there’s one place to embrace cheap wedding ideas without fear of judgment, it’s the after-party.

21. Prepare for phenomenal photos.

Your wedding after-party could lead to some pretty incredible photographs. Figure out whether or not you’d like professional-level photos of the after-party prior to choosing a wedding photographer. Discuss after-party event plans with potential photographers early in the planning process so that the after-hours celebration is included in the established service costs.

22. Capture the moments.

Wedding photography is a major expense for many couples. If your budget doesn’t leave room for an after-party photographer, consider setting up a polaroid station or wedding photo booth. Throughout the party, guests can stop by, snap a polaroid, add it to an album, and write a love note for the couple to look at later.

Fun and festive wedding after-party ideas for food and drinks

By the time the after-party rolls around, you and your guests will likely require a refuel. Here are a few ideas to make that happen.

23. Buffer the booze.

Get the guests to eat! Serve pizzas, burgers, tacos, and all of the other late-night snacks we love at your wedding after-party. Fries, sliders, chicken fingers — don’t be afraid to get greasy. Set up a snack bar instead of a cocktail corner to pump up the party’s energy without overserving your guests.

24. The perfect time for chips and dip.

A wedding after-party can be as informal as you’d like. Enjoy an intimate wedding after-party with select guests while snacking on chips and dip. To take your chip game to the next level, set up a buffet-style nacho bar and invite your guests to create a mile-high nacho pile with the toppings of their choice. In the early hours of the morning, this staple snack can really hit the spot.

25. Feast on fast food.

Fast food is not something we typically associate with weddings, but hosting an after-party tosses that expectation to the wind. Set formality aside and chow down on McDonald’s burgers, host a late-night pizza party, or bring the food to you by booking a food truck to greet guests post-reception.

26. Confirm whether the event will be open bar, closed bar, or BYOB.

Let guests know what to expect ahead of time. There’s no pressure to pay for after-party drinks, especially if you hosted an open bar wedding, but giving your late-night party people a heads up could help couples avoid any confusing hiccups later.   

27. Keep the napkins nearby.

Wedding finger foods can get messy quickly, especially when in the hands of wedding guests who have probably been consuming cocktails for hours. If you’re planning to serve condiment-heavy snacks or anything that easily drips, be sure to have napkins at the ready. Try to avoid menu items that stain easily and take a tip from us — wet naps are an after-partygoers best friend. 

28. Serve nostalgic nightcap shooters.

Depending on the event venue and your personal preference, you may or may not choose to serve alcohol at the after-party. Send guests off with a nostalgic shooter-style combination of vanilla milk and cookies. Serve up milk in a tall shot glass with a bite-size warm chocolate chip cookie to wrap up the evening and send your guests home with a smile.

29. Send guests off with a “snack pack.”

Gift your guests midnight-snack-themed wedding snack boxes as you wrap up an incredible wedding day. Not only will your guests benefit from a belly full of food after a long day of dancing, drinking, and wedding day hoopla, but it’s a gift your guests will genuinely appreciate. Pack affordable, recyclable folding cardboard snack boxes with soda, an energy drink, popcorn, pain relievers, antacids, or whatever post-party favors will best suit your wedding after-party.

30. Give yourself permission to be selfish.

It’s your day; don’t rush it. The after-party can go on for as long as you like (or as long as the venue allows). Do not let anyone rain on your parade. Soak up the once-in-a-lifetime sunrise the next morning if it suits you!

Pick the wedding after-party ideas that fit your style and have a blast!

Will your wedding after-party be hosted outdoors? Check out some of the most popular wedding lawn games couples are using for outdoor entertainment.

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