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How to Coordinate your Wedding Bar. Signature Drinks. Wedding Bars. The Wedding Bar is the most complex of the Cocktail Hour series. There are a lot of things to consider here including the actual beverages to be served, what they will be served in, and who will be serving them. My main piece of advice for this Project Block: You do need licensed bartenders and servers to dispense alcohol from your Wedding Bar. 

How to Coordinate the Wedding Bar

Whatever you are going to serve, beer and wine, Open bar, Dry Wedding? All are acceptable; all are their own animal to wrangle…. No matter what you choose, there are definitely 3 problems that I always see with the Wedding Bar which I want you to plan for and avoid:

  1. Provide enough water
  2. Have enough cups
  3. Plan for disposal
  4. Cover your bases

Provide enough Water

Your Wedding Bar may provide spirits, but it also provides water. You need about 3 bottles of water per guest for the ceremony/cocktail hour, then another 2 for the reception, which makes 5 bottles of water per person on your wedding day. Some people stop at that number, however where they forget is the setup and the vendors. We need water too.  Often times there is a crew of your family and friends there before the ceremony including the wedding party, the photographer, etc. there can be upwards of 20 people sometimes needing water before the wedding even begins. Calculate and extra water bottle per person, per 2 hours they’re on site before the ceremony. Costco is the most affordable place to purchase bottled water.

Have enough Cups

Those adorable beverage dispensers filled with lemonade or tea are wonderful if you have the manpower to continually refill them. You must also prepare for enough cups to use them. Unfortunately, people will not reuse a plastic/paper cup. They will set it down {un-finished no less} and forget it was theirs, then go fill another cup. You will be astounded the next morning how many half-drank cups there are looming around your reception, likely an entire 3-gallon beverage dispenser’s worth left divided among abandoned cups…. Sad but true. So when buying cups calculate at least 5 per person for the night. On a hot day, I have witnessed 500 cups disappear within a 1- Hour cocktail hour! My assistant had to run to the store to buy more and more garbage bags!

I love it when couples use mason jars with the Wedding Bar and have guests write their names on them for the night! They can even keep them as a favor!

Plan for Disposal

This leads me to the next topic: garbage bags. Make sure you have a clearly designated area for guests to dispose of their empty cups as well as other refuse. Please recycle where you can and check your VENUE CONTRACT for who is responsible for hauling the garbage away the next morning or who will be emptying garbage cans and restocking a bag throughout the night as they fill up.

Cover your Bases

The one thing I must tell you is to hire professional bartenders and set up your wedding bar where it can be monitored efficiently. Your bartenders must be licensed and liable at all times. Do not ask a friend to supervise your bar while also being a guest. That does not work.

Insurance– All venues will require you to obtain a Liability Rider. This is additional insurance that covers alcohol consumption during your wedding. This is extremely important and does need to be obtained somehow. You can call your home owner’s insurance and add it to your policy or there are separate companies who provide the coverage for a weekend such as WedSafe. If you are serving alcohol on your wedding day, you need insurance. Period.

Post Image Credit(s) ~Roman Studios

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