5 Tips to Stocking the Perfect Bar for Your Wedding Day

What to do when there is no bar at your venue and you have to provide your own??


How much booze do you need? 

How you stock the bar for your wedding reception depends on several factors, obviously, if money is no object, you can just stock the amount you will need for the number of guests, but few have a limitless budget! For every 100 guests you might need six cases of beer, a liter each of whiskey, bourbon, rum and tequila, a couple of liters each of scotch and gin, several liters of vodka, half a dozen cases of wine, a case or two of champagne and perhaps some vermouth.

Consider ‘mixing it up’ & remember your non-drinking guests! 

You will also need some bottles of juices, liqueurs and flavorings if you plan to offer mixed drinks. You can speak to your bartender ahead of time to determine the most popular drink additives and also for better estimates on drink amounts. In addition to the alcohol, you should provide plenty of nonalcoholic options for children and any nondrinkers in the party. A few cases of regular cola, one of diet and two of a lemon lime variety with no caffeine should please most people.

How to keep it simple. 

If budget is a concern, you should definitely stick to a few popular items rather than trying to please all your guests with the availability of their favorite drink. This is your wedding reception after all, not the local pub. Provide beer and wine along with one or two less expensive, versatile spirits like vodka or light rum, with “on the rocks” or “with soda” the only options for a mixed drink. Another less expensive option is to provide only one type of mixed drink, such as margaritas or daiquiris.

How to manage consumption! 

Even if money is no object, you don’t want your guests drinking themselves into a stupper, you do, after-all want them to remember your big day!  While it is nice to give everyone options, limiting each person to a certain number of drinks will not only help your budget, but also help guests not to overdo the drinking. Let each guest know upfront that there is a bar limit of two to three drinks to avoid any misunderstandings. Post signs around the bar itself in large print, especially if you would rather avoid making an announcement.

What to do when there is no budget at all? 

If the drink budget is very small, consider offering only non-alcoholic drinks and a few bottles of cheap champagne for use during toasts. To appease your drinking guests, you can tell them that your venue’s bar-tending restrictions mean the reception will be “BYOB.” { Provided this option is approved by your venue}

Jennie is a criminal attorney in San Diego and assists her colleagues in numerous Vista CA DUI cases.


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1 Comment

  1. by Lissahn {Wrapped Couture) on November 2, 2012  1:33 am Reply

    These are great tips and I especially love the tip about the non-drinking guests. I'm a non-drinker and we're often forgotten about.

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