Today's featured photo is from a wedding after-party at the bride and groom's neighborhood bar. It makes us think of the great wisdom of Homer Simpson: "here's to alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems."
So how do you stock a great wedding bar? Here are five questions to ask yourself to help you get started:
1. What style of wedding you are planning? The libations should be appropriate for the event. A black tie affair deserves campaign toasts. A casual summer beach party will thrive with your favorite beer brews. You get the idea.
2. Who is attending your wedding? You know your family and friends best, and while you won't be able to please the tates of everyone, a general focus on having options that will appeal to the majority of age groups and general tone that you want to set at your reception can be carried with your alcohol selections.
3. Who is driving home? Keep in mind that there will be guests that will be designated drivers, or simply don't consume alcohol, so be sure to have plenty non-alcoholic options too. Soft drinks, flavored sparkling waters, cranberry and other fruit juices are standard beverages to have on hand.
4. Do you want to keep to essentials or have a wide range of options for guests? Sticking to beer, wine and soft drinks can reduce costs, but for some couples that may be too limited for their preferences. You could add one signature drink to add personality and a little more variety, or go with a basic full bar to have more selections, but still keep choices within reason for a wedding reception.
5. Is the bar an area where you want to splurge or keep costs down? Either way we think hiring a professional bar tender is a good idea if you don't already have one provided by your catering company, and is really the best way to plan and stick to the wedding bar budget no matter how you decide to stock it.
A.) pros will make consistently great drinks, and quickly, because it is second-nature to them.
B.) if you really want to save money, a professional will be able to advise on the right amounts to stock up on for the number of guests you are having, so you can avoid buying too much or too little of any supplies. You don't want to run out of anything significant in the middle of your reception.
C.) during the reception a pro will know how to handle portion control to correctly pace your supplies throughout the evening, and can also be careful with over-serving any guests.
We think hiring a professional bartender is one of those areas that really pays for itself, and goes a long way in making beverage service all that more enjoyable for you and your guests.