The Ultimate Guide to Your Wedding Bar

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare; your guests have drunk the bar dry and the reception is only partway through! We, Perfectly Planned 4 You, have put together a foolproof guide to stocking the bar at your wedding.

Photo by Ibrahim Boran / Unsplash

Free Bar or Welcome Drink?

Your first big decision is to decide whether you want to offer a free bar all night, or if you would like to offer one or two welcome drinks at the beginning of the evening.

This decision will often be based on your budget as a free bar can really increase the price of your reception, depending on how much you think your friends and family will drink throughout the evening! Providing one or two drinks is a perfectly acceptable way to get the party started and many guests will be expecting to pay their way throughout the night anyway.

Photo by Oscar Söderlund / Unsplash

Dry Hire Wedding

A dry hire wedding means that you will need to provide all of the drinks yourself. This is often the case if you have opted for a really unique location rather than hiring a venue that has its own bar ready and waiting.

It’s likely that if your wedding reception is being held somewhere that you have selected for its special location or unique appeal, then you won’t mind being in charge in sorting out the beverages for the evening. This gives you the option of providing a really personal evening with drinks that are tailored to you and your guests.

The magic formula for purchasing drinks will vary per person per wedding so it is sensible to take some professional advice on this issue. If you have a wedding planner making these arrangements then the process will be even easier – let them know what your guests enjoy or choose a theme and see what they come up with! A dry hire wedding is a great way of building a truly unique evening.

Photo by Louis Hansel / Unsplash

Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Whether you are planning and sourcing the drinks for yourself, you have a wedding planner to do the leg work, or your venue has a bar available, you will need to consider the requirements of your guests.

You are likely to have some guests who won’t be drinking alcohol and so it’s important not to forget to cater for these. If the location of your reception means that a high number of your guests will be driving, you will need to ensure that the amount of non-alcoholic drinks available will be enough and make sure you have a range of non-alcoholic drinks available so that your guests have a variety to choose from.

Equally, if you know your guests will be putting away a large number of alcoholic drinks, make sure you get enough in as a bar that has run dry can be a real downer on the party atmosphere!

Photo by Omar Lopez / Unsplash

Now that you’ve got the rundown of wedding bars, please email if you have any questions.

HI, I'm Cherelle

Welcome to the Perfectly Planned 4 You blog, home to my best wedding tips and inspiration.



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