If we are going to talk about the tradition, the bride and the groom will be the first one to leave the reception as their family and friends gather to see them drove away. But let us put ourselves on the present generation when drinking and dancing on the dance floor is longer than it was used to be.
If you are not a fan of after parties or you are not a part of that crowd, the best time to leave the reception is when the first dance of the couple, the cutting of the cake, the giving of the toast and the mealtime is done. This shows respect and proper etiquette. The couple invited you to witness their most memorable day so you better stay for a while and say goodbye to them after all the important events are done. In this way, too, you don’t get to miss any unforgettable scene!
On the other hand, if the couple will be throwing an after-party (for others this is just the start of the party!). They will be the last one to leave the place. They are going to mingle with the guests who drove for an hour or two just to celebrate with them and to have some fun, too! So you don’t have to worry if you are going to go home first before them.