At this point, you know planning a wedding is an emotional experience. Something that seems so small can be an important detail to your big day. Who knew selecting the best bar service for your wedding could take this much time? Whether or not you or your guests are big drinkers, you have to think about it. But did you know there are more options other than an open bar? We’re here to break down the different bar services and help you choose the best service for your wedding.
What You Should Consider
When choosing the best bar service for your wedding, you should consider the feel of your reception. Will the reception be formal, religious, casual, or the ultimate party? Are you anticipating a lot of younger guests or a mixed crowd? Consider the environment you’re in and the guests you’re inviting. Will they take advantage of an open bar?
Once you’ve surveyed your list and outlined your reception, you’re ready to choose your bar service.
Know Your Venue’s Rules
Sometimes, wedding venues will give you packages and bar service options through them—and only them. Although the bar is through the venue, it may be stocked through a third-party vendor. Ultimately, this will raise the cost of your service, gratuity fees, and labor fees. Before agreeing to a venue, ask about the bar requirements and packages included. Make sure that their requirements align with your plans and budget.
Different Types of Bar Service Options
We’ve covered you if you’re stuck wondering which bar option is best for you. Below are popular types of wedding bars that you can include in your wedding reception. These options include:
- Open bar
- Cash bar
- Signature cocktails
- Dry bar
Open bars conveniently allow guests to order their drinks without paying. The host will foot the bill for unlimited beverages of any kind. However, some venues or vendors offer a variety of tiers and packages for open bars. For example, a basic package may not provide premium wines and beers, but the gold package may offer popular alcoholic brands.
Open bars are best for couples hosting a large crowd that will take advantage of the bar. If you know your guests are big on drinking, you should opt for a smaller package or a different bar style. Nonetheless, if you offer unlimited drinks, someone will appreciate it, but if you see your guests getting too intoxicated, ask your bartender to start limiting drinks.
Your guests will pay for their drinks at the cash bar, just like at a restaurant. Guests will walk up, order their drinks, and then pay the bartender for their drinks. This bar method can save the newly wedded couple money, but this style is not necessarily recommended. Why? Suppose you invited your friend over for dinner but asked them to pay for the cooked food.
It’s seen as impolite because you’re hosting the event, and it can be a burden with longer lines and opened tabs. If you go this route, tell your guests beforehand to ensure they have cash and are prepared to pay for their cocktail. However, this may be the way to go if you’re having a more casual and smaller reception at a hotel.
What’s a cocktail that speaks to you and your partner? Signature wedding cocktails are a popular wedding trend that is here to stay. Find inspiration in your love story to concoct the different flavors into something beautiful and tasty! Some wedding couples serve their signature cocktails with a full open bar, while others opt for only signature cocktails.
Having two to four signature cocktails can help simplify the bar’s flow while cutting costs. To make it even more fun, think of snazzy cocktail names with loving or funny meanings.
If you and your partner aren’t big fans of alcoholic beverages, you can provide a dry bar. Some wedding couples choose to forgo alcoholic drinks for several reasons. Whether for cultural or religious purposes, you can offer mocktails, soft drinks, and teas instead. This is a major way to save money on your wedding reception while offering pretty drinks.
Offering a dry and wet bar is popular for couples with a large attendance. Having two separate bars for nonalcoholic and alcoholic beverages is a great way to keep everyone happy. At your dry bar, you can include pressed juices, mixed sodas, or nonalcoholic beer for those who don’t drink but don’t want to feel left out.