Once the party really gets going, it can be sad to say good night, but you're better off preparing yourself for the inevitable and hit the hay on the earlier end. Our etiquette experts explain why.
Typically the reception venue will dictate when the DJ needs to pack up, so pre-select an end-of-the-evening song and have the DJ invite your guests to join you for one last spin on the dance floor. Pick a classic so that everyone can sing along and end the night on a high note. If you choose to host an after party, keep in mind that it's an after party for your guests, but your wedding reception has ended. Join them for a short period of time and then excuse yourself. There's nothing worse than seeing a bride out way past her bedtime and dragging around the train of a couture gown. If the bridal party decides to move to the hotel bar, remember that you're the bride and tonight is not the night to be drunk at a bar. Of course you're going to want to join them for one last drink, but retreating to your room with your new husband is a much better decision.
No matter the location, the after party can very quickly turn into a total rager, and in the morning, you'll be thankful you capped off the evening with happy, vivid memories rather than asking yourself, "Oh wait, did I do that?" Right now, you're probably thinking that there's no way you're letting the night end at midnight when the venue gives you the boot, but trust us, you are going to be exhausted. Not only will you probably not sleep the week before the wedding, the big day is just that — big. It starts early, ends late and is filled with emotional ups and downs. Do yourself a favor and leave the after party when things are still lively. Give the day a chance to imprint itself in your memory and wake up ready to take on the world as a newlywed. Next stop, that fabulous honeymoon!