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The After Party

This year we are seeing couples focusing on the “after party”! The after party is the late night portion of the reception. We love that brides and grooms are wanting to keep their special day going to the wee hours of the morning.

  1. The first way you can prolong the wedding reception is to be sure the venue allows the longer hours. You should call ahead and see if they also allow outside food in. Bringing in snacks like pizza, hot dogs, fries, mini hamburgers and milkshakes are fun for after the main course! You want to vary as well. If you served salmon as the main entree you’ll want to serve something unrelated for the after party!

 

2. The after party gives you a chance to change! You may love your dress to death but odds are it’s also huge, maybe heavy and flows all over. If you’re not that type of bride then consider rocking your dress all night. For others, think of how fun it would be to change mid scene! If you’re wearing a two piece dress you could even keep the top but put on some comfortable jeans or leggings with glitzy shoes. The after party dress is usually shorter but definitely still flashy. This is where you get to really personalize your style and wear something you might not even normally wear.

 

3. The after party will generate some cost so who’s paying? Since it’s a newer trend, there is no etiquette for this. If either family offers that’s great. Sometimes the couple pays for the extended hours. Or, perhaps, you have a very generous wedding party. You can keep costs down by closing the open bar too. It doesn’t have to stay open for the entire after party. In fact, depending where you’re having the reception, you may have to move locations altogether. The after party doesn’t have to be limited to your venue!

 

Wedding Budget Strategies

Wedding Budget Strategies

 

Time is of the essence after getting engaged. That is, unless you plan on hiring someone to take care of all the details i.e. a wedding planner, which by the way runs on an average of $2,500 to $4,000. To help guide you, here are 5 ways to help maximize your wedding budget strategy.

1) Prioritize – Right away, you will want to prioritize your most important aspects of the wedding to your fiancé and you. Will the groom just die if you do not have a Hummer limo? Or, are photos more important to you? They do last a lifetime!

2) In-season / Off-season – Having your wedding during the most popular wedding months are a key indicator that your costs will reflect this as well. A wedding budget strategy here is important because you don’t want to be blind sided by the cost of a venue during certain times of the year.

3) Day of the Week- Saturdays typically tend to be the most popular day to host a wedding. However, many vendors will give deep discounts for choosing a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. If you really like a venue, but the Saturday prices are too steep, consider having the event on an “off” day.

4) Limit Guest List- This might not make you the most favored person, but friends and family whom understand that budget is a big factor should understand. Be choosy about whom you invite. Don’t feel obligated to invite people that aren’t very important to you or you have lost touch with. Just because you were invited to your friend from college’s wedding five years ago does not mean you must invite her to your event.

5) Location, Location, Location – Your location definitely impacts tax, gratuity, and other factors. If you choose a ritzy hotel in the city versus a banquet hall in a rural area you are likely to pay less just because of location alone. Take into consideration that these places also may charge for parking, valet, etc. There are many decisions to consider and finding what is most important is the best way to help figure out where to splurge and where to be conservative.

 

Wedding budget strategies aren’t hard but they do require work on your part. Just take it one step at a time and breathe!

Destination Weddings: Post Wedding Party

If you’re planning a destination wedding, chances are a large number of family and friends will be unable to attend the nuptials. That might be part of the appeal for you, but you’ll still want to offer friends and family a way to celebrate with you. Hosting a reception at a later date gives you a great opportunity to party with loved ones who couldn’t attend the ceremony. Here are a few pointers for planning a bash after your destination wedding:

1. Invitation: Hosting a larger party following the destination wedding allows you the opportunity to include more people in your celebrations. It might be tempting to send these people an actual wedding invitation, assuming they won’t be able to make it, and include the info about the late reception with it. Unless you’re willing to accommodate these guests at the destination wedding, don’t send them an invite. You might be pleasantly (or unpleasantly, as the case may be) surprised at the number of people willing to attend your destination wedding, raising the costs for you considerably. Instead, send them a separate invitation strictly for the post-wedding reception/gathering. Depending on how long you’re waiting between the actual wedding and the party, you may want to wait until after the wedding and send the invitation along with a marriage announcement.

2. No Gifts: Proper etiquette states that if a guest isn’t invited to the actual wedding, you should not expect to receive a gift from them. Granted, most people attending your reception will want to commemorate the event with a present, but it shouldn’t be expected, which means that it’s best not to include registry information on the invitation.

3. Casual vs. Formal: The great thing about hosting a separate gathering is that it removes a lot of pressure from you, as the bride, about the overall feel of the event. Because it’s slightly unconventional to host a reception on a day other than the wedding day, your options are limitless. You can organize something as formal as an elegant, sit-down dinner or as relaxed as a backyard barbecue. It’s entirely up to you.

4. Cost: A post-wedding reception can be a costly affair, especially if your guest list is large. If you chose to have a destination wedding to save costs on a massive, lavish party in your hometown, you might want to consider an informal gathering for the post-wedding reception. If you and your new husband have recently purchased a home, call it a housewarming party and prepare the food yourselves or rent out pavilions at a nearby park to host a barbecue. If cost isn’t an issue, plan the reception of your dreams at your favorite local venue.

5. Festivities: It’s perfectly acceptable for your post-wedding reception to feature all of the events and traditions of a conventional wedding reception. You can have your first dance as husband and wife, cut the wedding cake together, and toss a bouquet. If you prefer to opt for a low-key or unconventional gathering, that’s fine too! There are no rules about what you do and don’t need to do!

6. Attire: What you wear is up to you, but guests will love to see you in a wedding dress! Plus, wearing a more traditional wedding gown will certainly place you and your new husband at the center of attention. If your post-wedding party is more relaxed, consider purchasing a casual white party dress to wear.

7. Photos: Don’t forget to display photos from your destination wedding for guests to see! It’s a great way for attendees to feel like they’re part of your celebration. If you have video from the big day, schedule to show it on a television or screen during the gathering or let it run on a continual loop somewhere in the venue for guests to watch.

After everything…be sure to read our blog on Thank You Card Etiquette.