Best Tips & Practices for Serving Alcohol at Your Wedding

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Everybody loves an open bar but those costs can add up quickly! So how do you make sure your guests enjoy your bar options without breaking the bank or resulting in everyone being hungover at your post wedding brunch! 

Open Bars

We understand that some people prefer to host an open bar wedding in order to keep guests happy. One of the reasons we do not recommend this option is because it can become very wasteful, very fast as well as very problematic. When the option is there, many people grab a drink and walk around with it and eventually set it down and just go grab another one instead of finishing the one they started with. Because of this we recommend that if you choose to do an open bar, to only host it for a part of the night whether it is only through cocktail hour, or through dinner then turn it into a cash bar. It’s important to let guests know when that cut off will happen, luckily even if they are not prepared, we have an ATM onsite!

Hosted Beer & Wine

One of the best and most cost effective practices is to host a certain amount of beer and wine. This can be done by the amount of kegs and wine bottles. This is a great option because you can pick a small variation that can pay tribute to you as the couple or to certain people in your family! Whether it’s your fiance’s or your dad’s favorite beer, if it’s free, it will likely go by fast! For wine, Moscato is always a safe choice! We’ve also had many brides special request their favorite wine and have bottles assigned specifically for them and their wedding party only. This option gives you a lot more control about what you can offer and how much money you’re looking to put into it! Once it’s all out, it can switch over to a cash bar and is always open for cash options if your guests prefer other selections!

His & Hers Drinks

This trend has taken Pinterest by storm. You can either create a drink from scratch to embrace the couple’s quirks or pick their go-to favorite drink and name it after them! 

This is a great alternative to an open bar because you can serve this all night and then have a cash bar for any other options! It saves a lot of money and doesn’t leave your guests feeling shortened because they were offered a free option!

Outdoor Bar

Our friends at A’Britain own a Hitch and Sip that they can serve alcohol out of, right outside the barn! It’s a hit at weddings because it keeps the bar line down and it keeps your guests outside happy! Not to mention it keeps the traffic by the door down so that the venue stays nice and cool throughout the night! Might be worth the extra cost if you are looking to host an outdoor cocktail hour or have games and activities places outside and inside!

If this is used, we don’t recommend keeping it staffed later then dinner because once everyone is inside very few go back outside and it leaves the bartender out in the heat! 

Champagne Toast

These make for great photo ops but do create a lot of waste! A majority of people do not enjoy champagne and prefer to stick to whatever they ordered at the bar prior to the toast so they most likely will take a small sip for the toast or skip it altogether. Apart from that, you also have to spend extra money for more waiters to pour and serve these at the correct time. Because of this we recommend that you skip it or just get champagne bottles for the wedding party and the couple’s parents!

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Don’t forget about your guests who don’t drink alcohol or have been assigned the designated driver! Make sure you offer a variety of sodas, juices, or water for them to enjoy. 

A’Britain catering has great drink recipes like their lavender lemonade that can be spiked or served as is! 

Don’t Forget to Drink Water!

Especially if you’re having a part of your wedding outdoors, staying hydrated is crucial! You don’t want bridesmaids or guests to succumb to heat injuries or become faint. It’s also important to offer water early in the day to your wedding party and guests to prepare them for the cocktail consumption that follows the ceremony.

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