Five Ways to extend the celebration that’s not an after party

Your wedding is one day, and the party is often just a few hours. It’s hard to be able to see and have a conversation with everyone who is there. Some of them you may have not seen for many years or maybe they live far away or maybe there are just so many people that it is impossible to have the time to talk to everyone. Here’s 5 suggestions of ways to extend the party and have more opportunities to see and talk to your guests.

  1. Have an open house rehearsal dinner the night before. If you have the ability (aka budget) to have a large rehearsal dinner, I really suggest it. You can invite friends and family that are from out of town and have the whole evening to see and talk to all of those guests. Your rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be fancy either, cook up a bunch of pasta for all your guests. Or you could even do a potluck rehearsal dinner where people who aren’t travelling can bring dishes to share. 
  2. If a big rehearsal dinner isn’t your thing, have a no-host cocktail party at a local bar. Let everyone know that you’ll be at ______ bar or restaurant around 8 if anyone wants to stop by and have a drink with the bride and groom to be. I recently went to a wedding where they did this, and it was extremely fun, and I did not feel put out at all that it was a no-host event.
  3. Invite your guests to help with set up operations. I personally love to help with things at weddings. If you’re doing your own flowers, invite anyone who wants to come and help put the flower arrangements together. You can also invite your guests to come the day before and help set the tables. It may not sound like super fun things to invite your guests to but many will be excited to spend more time with the bride and groom, regardless of what they are doing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  4. Have a next day brunch. If you aren’t able to host a brunch because of the cost, make it and informal no-host brunch at a restaurant in town. Just tell your guests, “Hey, we’ll be at ________ restaurant around 10 on the day after the wedding if you want to stop by and say hi or have some breakfast.”
  5. If you have people coming into town more than just a day or two early, plan out some actual events like a tour of where you’re getting married or a movie night at the local movie theatre. I know for my wedding, some of my family from across the country came in on the Tuesday before the wedding. We had a dinner party a few nights before and we went to a local free concert another one of the nights. 

There’s going to be a lot going on right around your wedding day, but taking time to find some ways to extend your celebrations can make the whole thing more enjoyable for you and your guests.