How to Keep the Party Going: From Who Pays the Bill to After-Party Alternatives

Etiquette, Showers & Parties

The fun doesn't stop once the wedding reception's over. Most couples keep the good times rolling with a more casual after party. And whether you're not keen on downing shots into the wee hours of the morning or are confused as to who pays the bill, our etiquette experts are here to answer your most puzzling after-party questions.

Do I have to throw a blow-out after party?
Not at all! If several more hours of open-bar boozing isn't in your budget, ask your wedding party to spread the word about an informal get-together near (or in) your host hotel. You won't be expected to pick up the tab, and guests won't have to travel far once they're ready for bed. Just be sure to give the hotel a heads-up several days in advance.

Can I throw my after party at my venue?
If your venue allows, move your late-night revelers to a smaller space on the property. There, you can unveil a whole new party scene, complete with a DJ and midnight snacks like sliders, french fries, and boozy mini milkshakes. You can even ask your caterer to prepare a "survivor's breakfast" for the diehards who keep dancing until the very last call.

We're having an after-party at a nearby bar once the reception is over. Who is supposed to pay for the drinks?
In terms of who typically pays for the after-party, there really are no set rules. Your parents may consider it part of the reception and offer to pay for the after-party, too, especially if it's taking place in the same hotel or venue, since it can easily be added to the final bill. Other couples decided to pay for the after-party themselves, regardless of who pays for the wedding. And for couples whose budgets don't allow for several more hours of open-bar boozing, that's totally fine. Chances are there will be many guests offering to slap down their credit cards at the bar, anyway. You might want to include a mention of the after-party on your wedding website; also, ask your wedding party to spread the word about an informal get-together near (or in) your host hotel. You won't be expected to pick up the tab, and guests won't have to travel far once they're ready for bed.

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