After the party is the after party, whether it's a dance party at your favorite club or a few reserved tables at the local bar. If you're planning to keep your wedding festivities going all night, some more celebratory drinks will be in order. Do the hosts have to pay for them, or can you ask guests to pay for their late-night drinks themselves? Here's what our experts have to say.
Just as with your wedding reception, there's no hard-and-fast rule requiring that you pay for everyone's drinks through the after party. If you are inviting your guests to an official continuation of your wedding reception, here are a few different ways to address the drinks situation:
If you want to offer a partial open bar, you could choose a few options (say, your favorite beer and your favorite mixed drink), then let guests know that anything other than those beverages won't be covered. So if they're craving a gin and tonic instead of your signature Moscow Mule, they're on their own.
You could also set a cash limit on your tab, covering all of guests drinks up to a certain dollar amount, then switching over to a cash bar. This might only be enough to cover the first round, but after an evening of hosting, no one will blame you!
Don't want to spring for booze? If you're also going to serve late-night snacks at your after party, you could offer hosted food (and maybe add on non-alcoholic drinks like soda) and have all alcohol be served at a cash bar.
And of course, it could just be a trip to the bar in your wedding finery, with nothing paid for by the two of you except your own drinks — if anyone will let you buy yourself a glass of wine while you're wearing a wedding dress, that is!
See more: Do We Have to Go to Our Own After-Party?