10 Steps to a Fun After-Party (That Won’t Break the Bank)

Wedding reception after party ideas: TK / TheKnot.com
Photo by Kris Kandel

Keep the party going after the flower girl has passed out and the band has packed up. Nail down a few key plans for a smooth transition from the reception to late night. First, look at your guest list to determine what kind of after-party you should have: Is your bridal party full of up-all-night revelers or low-key loungers? Then estimate the number of guests who will likely join and figure out if you can host it at your reception venue, a hotel suite, a local restaurant or the karaoke bar down the street. Throw in a few inexpensive extras (like midnight snacks and morning-after treats) and you're good to go. Read our wedding after-party primer, then check off the 10 simple planning tips below to host your own!

1. Reserve a cozy spot where you can dance, talk and relax with after-partygoers.

Wedding reception after party ideas: Rebecca Arthurs Photography / TheKnot.com

Rebecca Arthurs Photography

From the album: An Elegant Island Wedding in Lanai, HI

2. Choose one or two (inexpensive) decor elements that pop.

Wedding reception after party ideas: NBarrett Photography / TheKnot.com

NBarrett Photography

3. Repurpose your wedding flowers as decoration!

Wedding reception after party ideas: Falcusan Photography / TheKnot.com

Falcusan Photography

From the album: A Rustic Orange Wedding in Mt. Hood, OR

4. Serve late-night (read: fried) food favorites.

Wedding reception after party ideas: Tory Williams Photography / TheKnot.com

Tory Williams Photography

5. Set up speakers and be your own iPhone DJ (or make your own music!).

Wedding reception after party ideas: Joey Kennedy Photography / TheKnot.com

Joey Kennedy Photography

From the album: A Modern Rustic Wedding in Lancaster, PA

6. Set up a group activity like a card game or home karaoke machine.

Wedding reception after party ideas: Andria Lindquist / TheKnot.com

Andria Lindquist

From the album: A Formal Glam Wedding in Seattle, WA

7. Since your photographer is off the clock, let guests capture the moment with Polaroids and disposable cameras.

Wedding reception after party ideas: Q Weddings / TheKnot.com

Q Weddings

From the album: A Rustic Destination Wedding

8. Arrange transportation for you and your guests to get back to the hotel.

Wedding reception after party ideas: Mandy Mayberry Photography / TheKnot.com

Mandy Mayberry Photography

From the album: A Classic Rustic Wedding in Beverly, MA

9. Send revelers home with a breakfast treat for the morning (plus water and Advil!).

Wedding reception after party ideas: Nikki Closser Photography / TheKnot.com

Nikki Closser Photography

From the album: A Bright Summer Wedding in Corbett, OR

10. Say good-bye whenever you want– you've had a long day!

Wedding reception after party ideas: Teale Photography / TheKnot.com

Teale Photography

From the album: A Vintage Country Wedding in Nashville, TN

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