So many different views on this subject – a free bar, a paid bar or a subsidised bar? It can get confusing so we thought we’d share some top tips to help you with your planning.
The vast majority of our couples provide drinks to their guests during the reception and with the meal. After this, a paid bar is in place for the evening.
The evening bar is the time when it gets complicated (and expensive) because there are a lot of variables involved. There are so many different spirits and mixers to choose from and that’s before you start venturing into the world of shots and cocktails. Trying to do this yourself will leave you with a headache and a whole load of leftover drinks. You are far better off getting a bar company such as The Swig & Filly or a caterer like Kingfishers who can run the bar on your behalf.
They will understand the quantities and types of drinks that will need to be supplied as well as the number of glasses that will need to be ordered ~ this is really important when you are on a dry site such as Brook Farm as you can’t simply wash a few up if you run out. Leave it to the professionals so you do not need to stress yourself out thinking about these things. They will have experienced staff who will be happy to serve your drinks in the reception and then add the finesse to the bar in the evening, meaning your guests are well looked after and have an amazing experience.
Sometimes couples want to provide a free bar and you can but please consider this. Whenever there is a free bar, people seem to put their drink down then forget where they have put it so they just go and get another one. This means you use a lot more drinks, a lot more glasses and it makes it impossible to keep the place tidy. It is very difficult for the waiting staff to know whether to clear the glasses that are all over the place – is someone still drinking it or has it been abandoned? Things get messy quickly which is a real shame after the work that has gone in to making everything look so good.
A few other little things to consider are:
- Don’t forget to supply water. Often steel buckets are filled with bottled water and then dotted around the place for guests to help themselves too. This is really important. It keeps everyone happy and hydrated.
- Please also remember that we need to have someone managing the bar who holds a Personal Licence. (As we are not physically managing the bar we need to have someone in place managing the bar who is aware of all the responsibilities around alcohol.) This cannot be a guest at the wedding.
- Finally, lets talk about serving your drinks nice and cold. Chillermatic have been providing refrigerated trailers to our couples here for years and we would certainly vouch for them. Your bar company may be able to provide a refrigerated trailer but if they don’t, we would definitely recommend getting in touch with Chillermatic because nobody wants to drink a warm beer.
Of course you can do things differently ~ we’re big believers of having your wedding your way ~ but this is by far the most popular option and it’s always nice to know what people normally do.