Have a wedding after-party at your favorite bar

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After Party
After Party © by Edward Allen L. Lim, used under Creative Commons license.

Wedding receptions are awesome! For some, it's the bestest part about going to the wedding — getting to party with all your friends well into the night. But the problem is that it's usually the biggest expense of all the expenses. Here's an awesome idea from a former Tribe member for those of you who don't want to pay for a DJ, drinks, decor, or even the venue space at all…

Have your reception OR after party at a bar or night club!

Speaking as someone who's experienced this venue switcharoo, I can say that it was awesome. After crying at the wedding, munching on some appetizers, and sipping lemonade at their subdued reception, I was ready to do some crazy partying. So, after the appetizers were consumed, and the grandparents were ready to take off, all the “big kids” headed out to a nearby bar and continued the revelry.


  • No paying for drinks. None of us minded pitching in for drinks — in fact, we were happy to do some “hosting” of our own for the newly weds. And by the end of the night, even total strangers were buying the drinks!
  • No DJ woes. We danced to whatever the DJ spun and had a blast. Since she wasn't a “wedding dj” there were no cheesy tunes or awkward announcements.
  • No cleanup. When were good and exhausted, we just left. (For some that point came when the bar was closing. For the bride and groom it was slightly earlier.)
  • No kids. This is for those of you who want a kid-free wedding, but aren't able to do so for various reasons, or maybe you want kids there… but not necessarily when the party starts kicking in. This is your chance to break up the kid-friendly and kid-free time, and have some adults only fun.

Obviously, this guerilla reception/after party idea would work best if there happens to be a bar or club nearby for an easy transition, so it may not work for everyone. But for those of you who wrestling with your need to partay and your empty pocketbook, this option may be worth considering.

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Comments on Have a wedding after-party at your favorite bar

  1. It would be hard in a rural area, but one could always crash the locals’ bar. It could work!

  2. That’s what we’re planning since most of FH’s friends aren’t really the wedding and reception sort of people. Going to a bar in downtown Boise that has $3 buckets that night. It’s cheap, fun, and will be much more comfortable for everybody involved. It probably will be the earliest “afterparty” I’ve ever been to though, lol.

    • Oh My GAWD! I’m in downtown Boise, and we would be having the whole wedding at The Neurolux if we could convince our families to allow it! As it is, we’re planning on after-partying there, around 8PM in July. So yes, the sun will be sooo up when we get there… A couple of the bartenders are photographers, so they cut us a bomb! deal, and one of the DJs is a friend, so she said she’d DJ for the price of “six hourse hanging out and picking music with [us] guys.” Best idea ever!

      • We’re using Tom Grainey’s, but you probably figured that out when I said “$3 buckets.” We thought about using a cool warehouse space we know of that involves a small half pipe and a bunch of arcade games, but it was harder to work out the logistics on.

  3. Most amazing advice indeed!! I just cancelled our DJ (saving us $1200) and told everyone that we will be heading across the street to the club to end our night!! Great advice!! Thank you

  4. YUP! We had our after party at home: with homebrewed beer, a few (seven) cases of Sam Adams, friends with guitars and motown on the stereo. We spent maybe $500 on booze, and it was THE BEST PART of the day.

    • I’ve long thought about having a bonfire after-party on my parents property. Grab a keg and their stereo system and it’s on ’til the break of dawn.

  5. We’re doing an after party for a different reason. My mom glares at me when ever I have booze so we’re having a dry reception,with a party at a local pool hall after. Derrik loves 8 ball billiards so much he’s on a league so the after party at the pool hall is just logical.

  6. I love hearing how the guests reacted to this. I’ve always sort of thought about something like this, but I had wondered if anyone was feeling put-out because they didn’t bring any cash or expected to be entertained, or anything like that. I’m bad not to bring much cash to weddings (tiny purses for the lose) but if I knew beforehand that this would be on the evening’s itinerary, I’m sure I’d be down.

    • Our invites will include that, while the champagne toast will be free at the reception, The After-Party will have a “no host bar.”

      And on the Wedsite FAQ, “What the heck is a ‘no host bar’?” “It’s a bar without a host; or in simpler terms, if you want to drink, you can bring cash or a card, because no-one (including the broke-ass newlyweds) will be picking up your tab.”

  7. We are doing a destination wedding in NOLA, and this is exactly the plan. Our reception ends at 8:30pm, and then we are just going out on Bourbon afterwards. No obligations, no plans – just hanging out in a city that we love! I can’t wait. 🙂

  8. We did something like this. After our noon wedding and afternoon reception, we had an after party at a nearby casino/bowling alley. We reserved a party room for dirt cheap and had some appetizers there for snacks, and people drifted in and out as they pleased. They seemed to like it and a few people won a decent amount at the casino.

  9. i love this idea, too. my partner and i had been talking about doing something similar (bar-hopping or dancing or something) but he was worried that unless we arranged it beforehand we’d have too many people, or this or that other thing would go wrong. nice to see it’s worked for someone already — can i ask how many people from the wedding went to the club? wondering how big a crowd we can get away with without pre-arranging…

    we’re having an afternoon reception that’ll be over by dinner time, so our idea was that we’d let everyone get dinner on their own, have some time to ourselves, and then meet up for partyin’.

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