Monthly Archives: April 2018

After Parties: What, How, and Yes, Please

Who doesn’t love a party that keeps going? A wedding after party is the perfect solution for a night you’ll never want to end! Guests will love that you want to spend more time with them, and you’ll appreciate having a game plan for late-night revelers. Often it can be as simple as a nightcap in someone’s hotel room with just the wedding party. Of course, you can even make it a wedding-part-two!

Let’s take a look at the after-party trend and the must-know etiquette to make it happen. Then, we’ll give you a snapshot of two fabulous after parties we’ve planned. If your wedding is as spectacular as you’re dreaming up, then your guests will be excited to see what else you have in store for them as the night unfolds.

AFTER PARTIES: A NEW TREND

What happens if your guests don’t want to leave? Your wedding ends before midnight, but it’s too early to go to bed. Your guests are enjoying making memories with you and just having fun and celebrating. One solution is to have an after-party! It keeps the energy going, and it lets your guests continue to mingle.

Usually it’s a smaller group that attends the after-party, and it’s typically hosted by the groom’s family. Keep in mind: the most important elements are the food, drinks, and music! Of course, simple comfort foods are always a great go-to.

The trend first started because guests travel so far to come to weddings and they want to make the most of their time. How often do they really get to see all of their friends? They want the moments to last.

AFTER-PARTY ETIQUETTE

Peaked your interest? First, let’s consider a few logistics to follow in planning and attending your after-party.

Hint #1: Couples typically stay at the after-party for an hour. After that, you’re free to go! The festivities with guests don’t have to last all night. Your friends will definitely understand.

Hint #2: Change up the décor at your after-party. We suggest letting the groom or his family pick the theme, but still fits your personality. Some examples, we created an Alaskan Village because the groom was from Alaska.  We created a Hunting Lodge because the groom loved to hunt and we have even created a Man Cave complete with a whiskey tasting bar had a casino craps table and a cigar bar! How can you make it memorable? Have fun with it with a nod to the groom!

Hint#3: Let your guests know if there’s an attire change. You can go casual for the after-party, but make sure everyone is on the same page. Dressing to match the theme might be fun, too.

Hint #4: Have breakfast/comfort foods ready for the partiers. After parties general last 2 hours or so, your guests will most likely start to get hungry. Having food on hand is sure to improve people’s moods and maybe help sober the guests.

Hint #5: Costs are often paid by the groom’s family.  Your guests are already giving you gifts for the wedding (and possibly, pre-wedding events).  It’s just another thank you for sharing the couple’s day. Light on funds? Use the money for favors to help pay for the cost of this add-on. Costs can range from $500 to $5,000!

AFTER PARTIES DONE RIGHT

Want to get a sense for what an after-party looks like at a real wedding? We’ve helped with after parties for some of our recent weddings (below). We make sure that the party matches the style and personality of the couple. Guests love it when the couple has an after-party that’s just them. Get ready to hear about a couple of our recent smashes in planning an after-party that not only adds a personal touch, but also makes for good, old fun.

Austin & Jonna

Austin, a Major League Baseball star, married his bride, Jonna, at the Four Seasons. After an elegant wedding ceremony and reception, the guests discovered that there was even more planned for the evening. Our team arranged for a “sophisticated mancave” inspired after-party that extended the festivities on into the night.

The party was complete with casino games, whiskey tasting, and a cigar roller. The bride and groom took a photo beneath a sign that announced: “Action Jackson’s Whiskey & Cigar Lounge.” As you’re planning your after-party, you should brainstorm a few ideas that will just scream you and will surprise your guests. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

John & Courtney

After dancing at the reception, John and Courtney met up with their guests at an after-party with an Alaskan theme. As guests entered, a tall sign read: “Welcome to Kaplan, Alaska. Established 2017.” It all came about because the groom was from Alaska! Go for it on personalizing your after-party; guests will love that extra special touch.

Inside, guests found strings of lights, white walls for an icy feel, and mock campfires. There was even a Polar Bear handing out Klondlike Ice Cream bars! For your own after-party, you could match the theme to your hometown, adding in elements that remind you of home.

Thinking about making plans for an after-party? Let us talk through ideas with you! Look through our Weddings by StarDust offerings today. You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Austin & Jonna

Venue: Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas | Photographer: Amy Herfurth Photography | Floral, decor & rentals: Bella Flora | Bakery: Fancy Cakes by Lauren | Drapery: Dallas Drape & Lighting | Lighting: Beyond | Bridal Attire: Eve of Milady and Toni Federici from StarDust Celebrations | Bridal Party Attire: Monique Lhuillier from StarDust Celebrations | Beauty: Mo Bowers, Fairy Godmother Bridal | Entertainment: Jordan Kahn BandMarcus Rollins Entertainment

After-Party –
Furniture: Shag Carpet Prop Rentals | Florist: 21 Parc | Cigar Roller: Sabino Sotelo

John & Courtney

Venue: Four Seasons Resort and Club | Photographer: F8-Gary Donihoo | Lighting: Randy Ro Events & Entertainment | Bakery: Frosted Art | Florist: The Garden Gate | Linens: BBJ Linens | DJ/Emcee: Marcus Rollins | Band: In10City

Real Wedding: Step into an Enchanted Forest

Once upon a time, there was a fair maiden in love with a handsome prince. Isn’t that how all good fairytales begin? In December 2017, the team at Weddings by StarDust planned a swoon-worthy fairytale wedding for Alex and Taylor in Dripping Springs, Texas. It was a dream come true with all the sparkly, mysterious magic of an enchanted forest.

From the bouquets in the bridesmaids’ hands to the tall, elaborate arbor outside, the wedding’s theme transported guests as they breathed in the scents and feel of a romantic forest scene. That being said, greenery was a major part of the wedding planning. Even the bride’s dress featured intricate floral designs!

Varying shades of purple and white added touches of color to the greenery as well. And, of course, the ceremony took place under the stars! Trees overhead, creating a patchwork against the Texas sky, provided the ideal canopy. Then, Alex and Taylor shared a sweet kiss as husband and wife beneath the belfry.

At the reception, greenery sprouted from every nook and cranny in the ornate rafters. Pretty purple butterflies acted as escort cards and rested lightly on the place settings. But let’s hear from the busy bees behind the wedding planning!

Q: How did you get the inspiration for the wedding’s theme: an enchanted forest?

When I met the bride (Taylor), the first thing she told me was that she wanted an enchanted forest, but wasn’t sure how to pull that together. I wanted to run with the idea and bring in elements of what you might see in an enchanted forest. I knew greenery would be the highlight of the décor, with lots of candlelight. I also wanted to take the outside indoors, so to speak. Taylor let us really use our imagination on the décor of this wedding! She mentioned butterflies, too, so we had those hanging from a tree with each guest’s name on them. It added a small touch, but made a huge impact.

Candlelight and lighting were focal points for the wedding. Taylor loved the dripping lights in the trees for her ceremony—one of the biggest reasons this location was chosen! Whim did the florals for the wedding, and one of the details they orchestrated was to add hanging flowers around the greenery on the ceiling to mimic the dripping lights outside. To top it all off, the tables were decked out with candles in all different sizes, which made for such a romantic enchanted forest!

Q: Tell us about the unique ring boxes. How did they fit into the overall theme?

Everything down to the ring boxes fit in with the enchanted forest theme! Greenery was an easy addition to the different components of the wedding, so we included it in even the tiniest details. The bride, Taylor, had little glass ring boxes made, and we filled the boxes with moss to tie in the greenery and enchanted feel.

Q: Walk us through the set-up for the reception. What goes into the preparations?

There were lots of moving parts. Set-up actually began the night before with the florist beginning to hang the greenery on the ceiling and pillars. The next morning, all of the vendors arrived to finish setting up. The fabulous floral was added to the arch for the ceremony; lawn games were brought in for cocktail hour; and the lighting was set. Also, the flowers and tree-like centerpieces were brought in; the delicious cake was put on our moss-coated table; and all the small finishing touches were complete to make for a truly enchanted night.

Set-ups for weddings have so many different moving parts, and this one was just the same! We have a team of planners who work on smoothing out the set-up process as well as our dream team of vendors who all help with managing and working on getting everything just right.

Wedding Planning and Design: Weddings by StarDust | Photographer: Amy Herfurth | Wedding Gown: Ysa Makino, StarDust Celebrations  |  Videographer: Oak and Cypress | Lighting: Altared Weddings and Events | Bakery: Classic Cakes by Lori | Venue: Camp Lucy | Florist and Linens: Whim | DJ/Emcee: Marcus Rollins