When planning your bar for cocktail hour and wedding reception, you will usually have two main options: “a bar package” or “a consumption bar with a by-the-drink tab”.
The bar package includes an open bar for a number of hours, making it a good option for weddings filled with enthusiastic drinkers. The consumption bar, on the other hand, charges per drink or per bottle.
Before you deciding on your bar package, ask these key questions first:
- How much time will the staff need for turnover? Note: this affects the duration of your cocktail hour.
- How many hours will the bar be open? What time will the bar be closed?
- How many bars and bartenders will be present? What is the cost to hire an extra bartender?
- What is the typical bar setup? Can I see samples of the glassware? How will the ice be housed, if stored in view?
- What are the various packages that you offer? Do you charge by a set fee per person or by the amount of alcohol consumed?
- What are the rates for sodas, bottled water, and juices?
- How will I be charged for opened bottles of liquor?
- How will bartenders handle intoxicated guests?
- How will gratuity for the bartenders be handled? Note: tip jars should be avoided as guests should not feel pressured to tip for every drink they get.
- If the caterer or venue is providing alcohol, can you provide proof of a liquor license and liability insurance?
- How will the bartenders be dressed for the event?
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