The best thing about attending prom, fashion shows, or even the Oscars is not the event — it's the after-parties. The most unforgettable memories happen when everyone is high on the joy of celebration and feels comfortable enough to let loose, which is precisely why many couples are now incorporating late-night fetes into their weddings. In fact, the search volume for "after-party inspiration" on Pinterest has risen 35% over the past year, according to a report released by the platform.
"Partying into the late hours is a great way to change up the vibe after all the formalities have been addressed," says Cristina Verger, a wedding planner in New York City. The most successful after-parties are often held in the same venue, but in a different room or area. "Moving your guests to a different location usually creates too much of a lapse and sort of “breaks the mood'," says Verger. When it comes to duration of the bash, one to two hours is the most ideal.
Sending out formal invitations is not necessary, as these gatherings are typically announced at the end of the more formal reception. Not that grandparents are barred from joining, but attendees usually skew closer to the age of the newlyweds. "Think of it as natural selection," says Verger. "Usually about half the guests will stay to party late into the night — typically the younger crowd — but everyone is invited to stay and have fun."
We've asked the seasoned event-planning pro to share five of the most delightful blowouts she's arranged for her clients in the past. If there's a way to get people to rave about your wedding for years to come, this is it.
1. Concert After Dark
The fastest way to get people on the dance floor is by dropping some lovely tunes. Verger recommends booking a fabulous jazz trio and a vocalist to recreating the essence of a downtown jazz club. This is for the La La Land fans out there.
2. An Intimate Tasting
One of the favorite after-parties Verger has ever organized included a cigar roller, paired with a single-malt scotch tasting after dinner. Perfect for a smaller group, this is the type of event that will impress your friends with discerning tastes.
3. La Hora Loca (Pictured)
La Hora Loca is Spanish for the crazy hour – this high-energy show includes lively dancers in feathers, boas, and flashy costumes. It's a big hurrah that will surely be a memorable experience for any guest.s
4. Hit The Club
Turn your wedding venue into a buzzing nightclub by having DJs play into the wee hours. "This will be a great mood contrast to the live band that performed during the reception," says Verger.
5. Late-Night Food Crawl
The presence of food trucks at an outdoor wedding will make your guests eternally grateful. (Taco food trucks are always a crowd favorite.) Verger also encourages enhancing the open-air get-together with a bonfire and game room.