The party shouldn't stop just because the cake was cut.
crowd watching fireworks patriotic party
Credit: Kate Headley

At many wedding receptions, guests celebrate the happy couple's new marriage by partying into the wee hours of the morning. Keep everyone entertained with one of these six creative late-night reception ideas-all of which are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Set Up a Snack Bar

After hours of dancing and socializing, your guests may develop a rumble in their stomachs. A late-night snack bar will ensure everyone stays energized and satisfied throughout the night. Consider offering an array of finger foods served buffet style, making sure to provide a mix of substantial choices (like chicken fingers or sliders) and tasty treats (like potato chips or cookies). Feel free to get creative as well; some couples rent a food truck for their reception while others order pizza!

Have a Bonfire

If your reception is outdoors, fight off the nighttime chill with a bonfire. Provide lawn chairs and blankets, so guests can rest comfortably no matter what the temperature might be. Also consider setting out the fixings for s'mores: graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate, and skewers. A bonfire will provide the perfect place to socialize away from the hustle of the dance floor and DJ.

Surprise Guests with a Firework Show

Fireworks aren't just for celebrating Independence Day. If you're getting married in a relatively remote space, think about coordinating a firework show for your reception. Guests will love the beautiful and awe-inspiring display. Make sure to get proper permission from local authorities before setting off a show, and always follow the necessary safety standards-you certainly don't want the police interrupting your big day!

Play Drinking Games

Ask all guests 21 and over to reminisce over their college years with fun (but tasteful!) drinking games. Everyone will be able to take full advantage of your open bar, and they're a fun activity for those who aren't keen on spending the night dancing. You can even have a beer pong or flip cup tournament with prizes awarded to the winners.

Stream a Movie

Looking for a low-key activity for your reception? Rent a projector and a screen, bring out bags of popcorn, and stream a movie for your guests! Choose any film you desire; romantic comedies or wedding-themed movies will be especially appropriate for the event. Not only will a film keep children entertained throughout the night while parents socialize, but it'll also serve as an escape for those who get tired of dancing.

Host an After-Party

Your big day doesn't have to end when the vendors head home. Invite some of your closest friends and family to a wedding after-party. Since you've already spent big bucks on your formal reception, try cutting costs by having your after-party someplace budget-friendly with no reservations required, like a local bar or the hotel pool. Guests can continue the party as long as they want, and you can sneak off to the honeymoon suite with your husband as the night draws to a close.


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