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Wisconsin

HELP!!! cocktail reception & after party questions

Hi all,

I'm having a difficult time trying to determine a good timeline among other things.  I am having an outdoor wedding and the pavilion is where I would like to host my vows & small cocktail party (50-75).  I'm planning on signature cocktails, wine, beer & non-alcoholic beverages along with cold & hot hordourves.  I would also like a small cake to cut along with a dessert table.  My fiance wants a keg & karaoke for all of his friends that aren't invited to our wedding (probably another 100 guests).  So our decision was to have a 2-3 hour cocktail reception and then have an "after party" at a local bar, reserving their tiki bar out back.  We are going to have a dj & karaoke.  We would also like to do the traditional dances including the dollar dance there.  Then later in the evening provide pizza and/or sliders & fries around 10-11pm.  We are planning on partying until 2am and the grill closes at midnight.

The questions I have are:

1. Would this still be considered an after-party even if we are planning on doing our traditional dances at the after party/tiki bar and the time we are thinking of starting it is at 8pm?  Should it start at 9pm instead?  Is that too late?

2. What time is appropriate for all of this?  (My thoughts are wedding 3-4ish, cocktail hour from 4-6:30/7, after-party 8pm, late night snack 10-11pm, and partying until 2am+

3. Will the above timeline allow enough time for guests to grab a full meal on their own?

4. Should I sent out invites to the after-party to those guests that aren't invited to the wedding & cocktail reception?  (Basically, this is the main reason we decided on this event, so my fiance could have his friends join in the celebration.  He is also insistent on a dollar dance.)

5. Should I mention on a separate card within the wedding invite that there is an after-party with dancing & karaoke along with a late night snack (is it necessary to mention there will be a late night snack or not, I'm guessing not, but I'm not sure).

6. Do I need some seating arrangements at my outdoor cocktail reception?

7. If it's a planned "after-party" and since only hordourves & dessert were provided at the cocktail reception, the guests may want to grab a full meal on their own, if they do, would I still need to provide transportation to the "after-party"?  (NOTE: there are lots of nice places to eat all in walking distance of where we are having our wedding/reception, even the hotel is in walking distance, but the tiki bar requires transportation).

8. One hotel is close to the wedding/reception and is very nice.  The other hotel is close to the tiki bar after-party, not as nice but still decent and within walking distance.  Should I set a time for a shuttle bus to pick guests up from the downtown hotel?  Do I need round the clock shuttle service?

9. Do I give the guests an option of which hotel they want to stay at or do I just pick one?

Any input would be appreciated.  Thanks everyone :D
K

Re: HELP!!! cocktail reception & after party questions

  • edited December 2011
    In Response to HELP!!! cocktail reception & after party questions:
    [QUOTE]Hi all, I'm having a difficult time trying to determine a good timeline among other things.  I am having an outdoor wedding and the pavilion is where I would like to host my vows & small cocktail party (50-75).  I'm planning on signature cocktails, wine, beer & non-alcoholic beverages along with cold & hot hordourves.  I would also like a small cake to cut along with a dessert table.

    My fiance wants a keg & karaoke for all of his friends that aren't invited to our wedding (probably another 100 guests).  So our decision was to have a 2-3 hour cocktail reception and then have an "after party" at a local bar, reserving their tiki bar out back.  We are going to have a dj & karaoke.  We would also like to do the traditional dances including the dollar dance there.   I have a slight issue with this, these guests didn't make the cut to see you actually get married but you want to party with them after?  Why not just invite everyone to everything?  This *could be* headed down the path of gift-grabby.  By doing the traditional dances thsi still seems to be part of the reception rather than a separate event... see my comment near the end of this post.

    Then later in the evening provide pizza and/or sliders & fries around 10-11pm.  We are planning on partying until 2am and the grill closes at midnight. The questions I have are:

    1. Would this still be considered an after-party even if we are planning on doing our traditional dances at the after party/tiki bar and the time we are thinking of starting it is at 8pm?  Should it start at 9pm instead?  Is that too late? Again, by including elements from a traditional reception, I would still consider this part of your reception.

    2. What time is appropriate for all of this?  (My thoughts are wedding 3-4ish, cocktail hour from 4-6:30/7, after-party 8pm, late night snack 10-11pm, and partying until 2am+ As far as the timeline goes, it looks okay except that you are having your cocktails and hors d'oeuvres during a meal time.  Can you move the ceremony and cocktails up so that guests can plan on eating by 6/6:30?  Then you can have your party at the bar start at 8 and it gives plenty of time to eat and check into hotels.

    3. Will the above timeline allow enough time for guests to grab a full meal on their own? You might want a bigger gap because that's when your guests will eat and likely check into their hotel

    4. Should I sent out invites to the after-party to those guests that aren't invited to the wedding & cocktail reception?  (Basically, this is the main reason we decided on this event, so my fiance could have his friends join in the celebration.  He is also insistent on a dollar dance.) I won't comment on the dollar dance .... Personally I would not invite anyone that is not invited to the rest of the events.

    5. Should I mention on a separate card within the wedding invite that there is an after-party with dancing & karaoke along with a late night snack (is it necessary to mention there will be a late night snack or not, I'm guessing not, but I'm not sure).   Mention the "after party" don't mention the snacks.

    6. Do I need some seating arrangements at my outdoor cocktail reception? No as long as you have a seat for each person attending.

    7. If it's a planned "after-party" and since only hordourves & dessert were provided at the cocktail reception, the guests may want to grab a full meal on their own, if they do, would I still need to provide transportation to the "after-party"?  (NOTE: there are lots of nice places to eat all in walking distance of where we are having our wedding/reception, even the hotel is in walking distance, but the tiki bar requires transportation). It would be a nice gesture, but not neccesary ... instead use the money to invite more people to all of the wedding festivities.

    8. One hotel is close to the wedding/reception and is very nice.  The other hotel is close to the tiki bar after-party, not as nice but still decent and within walking distance.  Should I set a time for a shuttle bus to pick guests up from the downtown hotel?  Do I need round the clock shuttle service? You can have cards at the after party and include them in the wedding invites that state at which times the shuttle will be going back and forth to the hotels.  Maybe allow for 2 or 3 times they can jump on the shuttle, I don't think you need to offer any more than that.  Have cards at the bar that have taxi numbers listed for those that may stay out later than the last shuttle.

    9. Do I give the guests an option of which hotel they want to stay at or do I just pick one? Give them an option.

    Any input would be appreciated.  Thanks everyone :D K



    ***my bigger issue**** the more I read this over and over, it really seams like you want the traditional wedding, but are just trying to find a creative way not to feed your guests dinner


    Posted by nerakola[/QUOTE]
    image


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    There are a ton of questions in your post... I'm just answering a few:

    Why not just have a party that all of your guests can attend.  It sounds like you will be providing food at the after party and paying for a DJ.  Why not put that money towards the original reception? 

    You need to provide people a meal if an event is durring meal time 11 am - 2 pm and then 4 pm - 8 pm  (maybe you can squish that from 5-7)

    Give your guests options for the hotel. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    I have to agree with the first respondent, it mostly sounds like you are trying to get away from paying for plates for dinner.  I could see only inviting a small group to the ceremony, because that is the most intimate part of the wedding.  But if I were a guest getting an invitation, and I only got an invite to the latter part of the evening, I would feel a bit insulted.  I think you need to keep your wedding either restricted to the first 50-75 you were going to invite, or invite everyone to everything.
  • edited December 2011
     To what Jules08
       gadragonetti
    said?

    Amen. 

    The extras... that are after(party)thoughts, they will know they are B list, and feel like they are being used for your ego. 

    I've been on both kinds guest lists.  
    I would rather not be invited than be given a "B" invite.  I wasn't insulted, I was an adult and understood.  It was fine, I still bought the couple a drink when I saw them again after the honeymoon. 
    When I was invited to other kind of guest list... I really was not very gracious, and my (lack of) gift refelcted it.

    Congratulations on the wedding and I hope you enjoy your day. 
    Anniversary
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