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After party planning pointers

Nowadays, many wedding guests are not ready to call it a night after the deejay plays the last dance at the reception. After parties have grown increasingly popular, but planning an after party is not necessarily as simple as pointing guests to a nearby watering hole.

After parties can be anything a couple wants them to be. They can be a bunch of friends toasting marshmallows over a fire pit or a night of dancing at a club. But it pays for couples to heed a few after party pointers.

• Choose a place within walking distance or close by to the reception hall or hotel. Guests have likely been indulging in alcohol during the wedding, and safety should always be a priority. If only a few people are going out, you may be able to pile into a cab, but if your affair will be attended by more than a handful of guests, choose a venue close by so it's easy for guests to get there and get home.

• Limit the food and drink choices. Ask servers to bring a few pitchers of beer or sangria and finger foods. This will help avoid disagreements over trying to tally up and split the bill afterward.

• Go comfortably. If you're ready to get out of wedding finery, by all means change into something more comfortable. You probably will enjoy yourself more at the after party if you can mingle in more comfortable attire.

• Take advantage of hotel services. Many hotels have conference rooms or attached bars and restaurants that make perfect gathering places for an after party. Make arrangements with the hotel concierge or the front desk in advance.

• Delegate responsibilities. A busy bride and groom may not have the time or the inclination to plan another party. If guests want to continue celebrating, put the task in the hands of a third party or volunteer.

• Leave whenever you want. Partygoers will eventually need some sleep. Feel free to leave the after party whenever you want. Usually once a few people begin to disperse, the rest of the group will call it a night.

After parties are growing in popularity. Those planning on celebrating into the early hours of the morning can start thinking creatively.

Maryland Pennysaver