How to Stock the Bar for Your Summer Wedding

Are you completely overwhelmed with wedding planning yet? More than 63% of brides say that they feel a ton of pressure to have the perfect wedding, according to WeddingWire’s 2017 Newlywed Report. You have so many options for your vendors, colors, and all the other details of your wedding. For example, there are more than 7,880 tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers across the United States, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a lot of options just for your dress and tux.

There are more than 44,230 weddings performed every weekend in America, and it’s not surprising that you want yours to stand out. If you want to be a unique bride and have a wedding unlike any other you’ve attended, then the way you stock your bar should be unique too. However, planning the bar for a wedding can be overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. Check out these tips to get you started.

What kind of bar do you want?

There are a few different types of bar packages you can choose from. First, you can choose from an open bar or a cash bar. With an open bar, the guests do not pay for their drinks. They can order anything at the bar, and you pick up the tab. A cash bar requires the guests to pay for all of their drinks. Second, you have to choose what kind of booze you want to serve. You can have either a full bar or a limited bar. A full bar means your guests can get anything, including top-shelf liquor. A limited bar only offers what you choose, but it’s typically beer, wine, champagne, and a signature cocktail.

Have enough bartenders

The number of bartenders you need will depend on who many guests you have. Having two will be optimal even if you have a smaller wedding of around 150. If you think you’ll have more than 250 guests, then you should have three bartenders. You want to make sure you stick with a staff that has been trained to tend bar. While most states require you to be over 18 to serve alcohol, most bartenders are 25 or older. They will be able to keep your guests from drinking too much, which is something you can’t really do when you implement the self-serve method.

How many guests are coming?

This is one of the biggest reasons you need to keep track of those RSVPs. You need to know how many people you will be serving so you can figure out how much booze you need. According to The Knot, you can estimate that every guest (over 21) will have one drink per person per hour. So if you have a five-hour reception, plan on five drinks per guest. When it comes to buying enough wine, one bottle of wine equals five servings. A case of wine comes with 12 bottles. When it comes to hard liquor, one 750ml bottle should serve 18 to 20 guests. Finally, one beer bottle will serve one person, obviously.

Know the crowd

Finally, you need to understand what kind of drinkers you’re dealing with. Does your family love wine? Are the liquor lovers? Or do they not really drink? On average, a full bar should consist of 50% wine, 20% beer, and 30% liquor. A limited bar of only beer and wine should be 75% wine and 25% beer. You can adjust all these numbers, though, once you know what your guests will actually drink.

When planning the bar at your wedding, try to follow these tips. You want your guests to have a good time, but you should be keeping safety in mind as well. So, you should keep plenty of non-alcoholic options stocked at the bar as well!

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