How to Get Out and Make a Timely Appearance at The After-Party

In addition to
writing Wediquette, I am also a contributor to another incredible events blog
called The Event Crashers. A few months ago,
as the last wedding season was wrapping up, I thought back on what was on my
mind as a recurring concern/issue that would be pretty easy to fix with some
planning, and wrote a post called ‘A Planning
Step Not to Skip’
. It just came to mind and I wanted to share the content
with Wediquette readers too, so here it is. If you’re planning a wedding or
party for which you’re bringing items that will need to be brought out at the
end, you need a plan for them to ensure that they–and you– get out in a timely
manner, even in the midst of all of your end-of-party tasks and goodbyes. Check
it out, share it and be sure to browse The Event Crashers blog sometime!  
Last wedding
season, I saw a number of brides & grooms essentially ‘stranded’ at the
reception venue at the end of the night, long after the party ended.  This
should never happen. Whether the guest shuttle ran out of room and it took a
long time to get back for them, or the bride and groom weren’t quite ready when
the last shuttle left and then waited until it (hopefully) returned for them,
it was sad to me that they were sitting around waiting, when they could’ve been
enjoying the after-party with friends and family.  While you’re planning,
consider two very important end-of-reception points to help you wrap everything
up and get out the door as quickly (yet efficiently) as possible:
A Planning Step Not To Forget | The Event Crashers
 1) If your venue does not allow you to leave all of
the things that you, your florist and your guests brought in
 (decorations,
centerpieces, guest book, parent/grandparent wedding pictures, toasting
glasses, gifts, cards, etc.), you must have a plan to get them out at the end
of the night.
 Although you and your parents may think
you’ll be able to do it, keep in mind that you’re going to be saying goodbye to
all of your guests, taking care of tips (consider asking a parent, your best
man or maid of honor to deliver these for you) and payments (try to get as many
of these taken care of in advance as possible) and getting your own things
together. You’re not going to want to worry about all of the ‘stuff’ that
you need to take with you. Have a plan for where it’s going and ask one or
two people who are willing/able to help out if they would take charge on those
things.  Even if you are able to leave most things, it’s likely that your venue
will not let you leave gifts and cards overnight
. Have someone reliable
who can take care of those, or take them yourselves. If you’ll be leaving for
your honeymoon right away, consider sending gifts and cards home with a set of
parents or siblings, to be picked up when you return.

Flowers– Communicate with
your florist about what will happen at the end of your event. Sometimes, they
use vases that can go home with guests. Sometimes, they need the stands for the
flower arrangements back. Be sure to communicate with your guests (or have your
band/dj announce) that they can take centerpieces home. Otherwise, you may end
up with lots of beautiful flower arrangements that you’ll have to transport
out. In any case, the centerpieces should be removed from the guest tables as soon
as possible, to allow the staff members at your venue to clear the tables and
in some cases, prepare for another event.
If you’re getting ready at the venue in a bridal suite You and your girls
will have clothing, shoes, beauty supplies, purses, hangers a music docking
station and more that have accumulated throughout the day. My biggest tip to bridal parties as they
arrive at our venue is to have each girl keep her things in one place, and to
have everything ready to go before they even leave the room for the ceremony or
reception.
 The day will
fly from that point on and at the end of the night, in a blur, they’ll be able
to just grab what they need and go. Even better, if they have a car at the
venue, they can bring their things out before the excitement picks up and not
have to worry about collecting it all at the end of the night. If you’re
looking for a good gift, consider tote bags or duffels with each girl’s name so
they can literally keep everything in one spot.
If you are able to pick
things up the next day, gather a few helpers- it’ll go faster that way and be
more fun!
A Planning Step Not To Forget | The Event Crashers
2) Have a plan for how the bride and groom will get
out, and have a timeline in mind
. If you’re staying
overnight at the hotel where your guests will be, let them know where and when
everyone can gather for the after-party. Then get there as soon as possible!
The longer you wait, the fewer people will be around when you arrive. Whether you
plan to hop on the shuttle or get a ride with parents/friends, know what you’re
doing and don’t ‘miss the train’! If you’re going home or heading right to the
airport for your honeymoon, consider asking someone to drive you, or better
yet, renting a limo. Plan
so that if you are the last ones out of the venue, it’s only by a few minutes.
Then relax and enjoy the party!
A Planning Step Not To Forget | The Event Crashers

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