Wedding Bar Services & Beverages Near Me
There are so many wedding day moments that deserve a toast, and not only that, your guests are going to expect a little something boozy before they hit the dance floor. Stocking a bar with beverages, and making sure there is something sparkling always on the go, is a wedding planning must-have.
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Whether you intend to hire professional wedding bar services, or you’d prefer to DIY the beverages for your celebration. It pays to work with an experienced vendor. There are so many variables involved in setting up a successful bar, meaning it’s all too easy to get it wrong if you go it alone.
A typical wedding budget should have 10-20% allocated towards the bar and its beverages. Which should include the servers, hire fees and any other additions such as garnishes that some drinks require. This may seem like a large slice of your wedding budget, but you’d be amazed at how everything adds up.
If your budget is tight, there are alternatives to the traditional open bar, consumption, or DIY set-up. Such as a cash bar, which is obviously not the most popular choice with guests, but will save you from worrying about keeping to such a strict budget. Just make sure to let your loved ones know before the big day.
You could also opt for a dry bar, and not serve any alcohol at all. This will raise a few eyebrows, but if you would rather your wedding day was booze free, then that’s totally your prerogative. If you’ve put together a delicious selection of juices and virgin cocktails, most guests will be more than happy.
A fun way to make your wedding feel unique, is to create a signature cocktail for the occasion. Something that fits with your overall theme, in both taste and color. And that can be made in large quantities, either in jugs or individual glasses. Having your own cocktail will not only create a bit of a buzz, but it’ll also help you keep the budget under control. As guests will be less likely to head to the bar if they’ve already got a drink in their hand.
During a typical wedding day, long lines waiting at the bar are a common complaint, and a bit of a buzzkill when celebration time is limited. Counteract this by having two bars at your wedding, either in different locations/rooms, or at either ends of your reception space. Obviously, this is budget dependent, but it will significantly improve the overall experience for your guests. Especially if you’re planning a large wedding.
If you’re not celebrating at a traditional wedding venue, with a set bar area. Be sure to locate your bar within a space large enough to allow loved ones to congregate, chat and wait for their drinks, without causing a bottleneck for other guests.
In general, it’s good to apply the ‘more is best’ principle to wedding bar services and the beverages you purchase. When it comes to bartenders, it’s wise to have 1 for every 50 or so guests, if you’re serving a range of drinks. For just beer and wine, you can get away with 1 server per 75 guests. But you’ll also need attendants floating around collecting, and washing glasses.
When it comes to beverages, if you’re stocking the bar yourself, try to predict what your guests will be into on the night. Whether that’s craft beer, wine, spirits. Whatever it is, order more of what you know they’ll like, and you’ll save yourself from any embarrassment. You could even add drinks preferences to your wedding website or RSVP, that way you’ll really get an understanding for what everyone is into.
For those stocking their own bar at a venue, be sure to inquire about corkage fees. Some establishments will charge you per bottle, or per person to bring in alcohol from the outside, which can soon add up. You may be able to do some negotiation on the final cost, but be sure to get that in writing.
When figuring out the total cost of wedding bar services, keep in mind that tips may not be included in the contract. On average, tips can work out to be around 20% of the total bar spend. A serious amount that could come as a shock if not considered.