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You heard it here first: the concept of ending wedding receptions “earlier” is slowly making waves! We have noticed that our couples are wanting to be more strategic with their spending and directing the funds towards planning an “After Party” versus a potentially unused open bar package and dance floor at their dinner reception.
Lately I have seen a range of 25-30% of weddings guests leave the reception soon after the dessert course and/or cake has been served, essentially after the first dances have occurred. Typically, once the fun, upbeat music begins, this is when the older guests tend to trickle off and head home. As much as we appreciate photos of the grandparents out on the dance floor getting their groove on, realistically this only lasts for a couple of songs, perhaps thirty minutes maximum after the DJ or Band’s dance set has begun. The same goes for parents who live within driving distance and have children. The timing often lands around 10:00pm, with typically an hour or two of dance time and open bar remaining.
You know your friends and family best, so we always suggest taking some time to think about the demographic of your guests and how long they can (and want to) hang. Not only does the age of your group need to be considered, but the location of your wedding and the amount of out-of-town guests that you have invited also strongly affects the percentage of people that choose to stay for the dancing portion of the evening.
We feel that opting to relocate to another venue or another area/room of the venue can help switch things up and keep the energy of the evening going. On the contrary, it can cause your guests to want to bow out and head home.
It may sound harsh, but we are sure that you can admit that sometimes you just can’t let loose around your older relatives as much as you can around friends that are your age! And although they can be quite cute at times, having to place out sandals or flats as favors for your guests should be an obvious sign that it has been a long day for everyone. Why not end the party on a high note! No one wants to see the wedding guests walking around barefoot, it’s just not a good look… unless it’s beach wedding 😉
If you are looking for a casual local bar, we suggest calling as far in advance as possible to see if they can reserve an area for you and your wedding guests. And if you are looking for a trendier or more upscale place to go to, hotels are a great option. It’s especially worth looking into hosting an after party at one of the hotels that you have room blocks set up with, because often times they are willing to give you a discount on either the food and beverage costs, or possibly the room rental fee or spending minimum if there is one.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog about great After Party locations here in Chicago!
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December 12, 2016
Storybook Weddings and Events is a luxury wedding planning and event production company in Chicago and the Chicagoland area and suburbs. Chicago Wedding Planner and Day Of Coordinator.