The Storybook Blog

Take a look behind the scenes and read through our advice and gain inspiration from our past weddings.  






BLog home


Wedding Trends: Leave Room for the After Party


Wedding Trends: Ending Your Wedding Early Leaves Room for the After Party

You heard it here first: the concept of ending wedding receptions “earlier” is slowly making waves! We have noticed that our couples are wanting to be more strategic with their spending and directing the funds towards planning an “After Party” versus a potentially unused open bar package and dance floor at their dinner reception.

Guests are Leaving the Wedding Early

Wedding Trends Ending Wedding Early Party

Wedding Trends Ending Wedding Early Party

Lately I have seen a range of 25-30% of weddings guests leave the reception soon after the dessert course and/or cake has been served, essentially after the first dances have occurred. Typically, once the fun, upbeat music begins, this is when the older guests tend to trickle off and head home.  As much as we appreciate photos of the grandparents out on the dance floor getting their groove on, realistically this only lasts for a couple of songs, perhaps thirty minutes maximum after the DJ or Band’s dance set has begun.  The same goes for parents who live within driving distance and have children.  The timing often lands around 10:00pm, with typically an hour or two of dance time and open bar remaining.

You know your friends and family best, so we always suggest taking some time to think about the demographic of your guests and how long they can (and want to) hang.  Not only does the age of your group need to be considered, but the location of your wedding and the amount of out-of-town guests that you have invited also strongly affects the percentage of people that choose to stay for the dancing portion of the evening.

The After Party

We feel that opting to relocate to another venue or another area/room of the venue can help switch things up and keep the energy of the evening going.  On the contrary, it can cause your guests to want to bow out and head home.

It may sound harsh, but we are sure that you can admit that sometimes you just can’t let loose around your older relatives as much as you can around friends that are your age!  And although they can be quite cute at times, having to place out sandals or flats as favors for your guests should be an obvious sign that it has been a long day for everyone.  Why not end the party on a high note!  No one wants to see the wedding guests walking around barefoot, it’s just not a good look… unless it’s beach wedding 😉

If you are looking for a casual local bar, we suggest calling as far in advance as possible to see if they can reserve an area for you and your wedding guests.  And if you are looking for a trendier or more upscale place to go to, hotels are a great option.  It’s especially worth looking into hosting an after party at one of the hotels that you have room blocks set up with, because often times they are willing to give you a discount on either the food and beverage costs, or possibly the room rental fee or spending minimum if there is one.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog about great After Party locations here in Chicago!

Have questions for us? Reach out by emailing us at or click HERE!

With Love,

Lindsay Gaeta

comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Not engaged yet but know it’s coming? Here's what you should start doing now.

a few favorites from

Planning Tips

5 Things to do Before You Get Engaged

Did COVID postpone you wedding from one season to another? Learn 5 tweaks you can make to accommodate for the new season.

Wedding Design

How to Tweak Your Wedding Design 

Wondering how Storybook began and how we got to where we are today? I’m sharing our story as we enter our seventh year. 

The Storybook Team

The Story Behind Storybook


At Storybook, we value timeless design. So much so that it makes up one of the four facets of our planning process. If you believe in timeless design too, we would love to share 20 beautiful color palettes, carefully curated, just for you.