You might not think a ton about your wedding bar, but you should! We sat down with MIM Family Member, Over The Moon Bartending, to discuss what makes the most successful and well-run bars at weddings and wanted to pass this info on to all the #MKECouples out there.
We’d like to thank Over The Moon Bartending for sponsoring this article and Happy Gnome Photography for the amazing photos. Now read on to learn how to plan for and set up your wedding bar!
1. Hire Professionals Who Know Weddings
Yeah, you probably know a bartender or two, but does that make them qualified to bartend your wedding? It seems like a fun idea to have your friends bartend your wedding – but you don’t want them to miss your wedding, right? If they are working all night behind the bar they will.
Also, your friends might not have a ton of experience bartending a large event. Even if they are experienced bartenders – getting hit with 250+ wedding guests at one time is a much different experience.
Our friends at Over The Moon Bartending say that you should stick with a bartending service that’s experienced with serving in the unique environment that weddings are. In particular, you should look to hire a wedding bartending service that:
- Is Licensed and Insured
- Has Experience with Weddings
- Has Familiarity and/or a Relationship with Your Venue
- Has Great Reviews
2. How Much Alcohol Should You Buy?
If your wedding is at a venue without bar services, you’ll probably need to hire a bartending service and buy your own alcohol. This may sound like a overwhelming task, so let the pros help! According Over the Moon Bartending, there are a lot of factors to consider. You’ll need to think about your guest list, age group, what they like to drink, how much, event location and temperature.
One of the most important things is not running out of drinks mid-way through your wedding. Over The Moon can consult with you and help you figure out just how much to buy. Other than the alcohol, your bartending service should provide everything else you’ll need to run a fully functioning bar, such as one you would see in a hotel or restaurant.
3. Keep Guests Happy with a Quick Turnaround
We’ve all been to a wedding where you spend more time waiting in line for drinks than you do on the dance floor. It’s no fun for anyone, so make sure it doesn’t happen at your wedding.
Hire an experienced wedding bartending service and you won’t have these problems. You’ll want a bartending service that’s experienced working weddings with hundreds of guests. There are a few other ways to speed up service at your wedding, such as mastering popular cocktails, creating menus, and prepping garnishes in advance. You can read more about these below.
4. Create Your Wedding Drink Menu in Advance
Do you and your guests love Old Fashions? Maybe you want a signature cocktail created just for your event? With Over the Moon Bartending, you get to select two custom cocktails. Selecting two custom cocktails allows Over the Moon to hand craft the cocktails beforehand, ensuring drink consistency and elimination of lines at the bar.
Do you have your cocktail hour in a separate barn, or floor of your venue? Don’t want the bar to be shut down for too long during that transfer? Maybe it is a better idea to provide bottles of beer, then kegs. Your bartending service should provide you with expert advice on to how customize your bar menu, in order to provide the best service to your guests.
5. Think About Your Budget – And How Your Guests Drink
Budgeting for a your open bar can be hard task, which is why it’s great to work with experts to help you out. They can give you advice on how much alcohol to buy and what types of drinks to offer based on how you anticipate your guests will drink.
Some ways to save money on your wedding open bar would be to use disposable cups instead of glass and/or skipping hard alcohol and just serve wine and beer. You’ll also save money by purchasing the alcohol yourself – and bonus, you get to take the leftovers home!
Your bartender should have enough variety in their supplies that they can still offer your guests a wide variety of drinks, while only needing to purchase a select type of spirits.
6. Pick Fun Bartenders with Personality
Out of all the vendors at your wedding, the bartenders are the only vendor that will interact with every single one of your guests all night. For that reason, you want to ensure you have fun, personable bartenders, who can still keep up proper speed of service – it will add to the enjoyment of your wedding and make you and your guests happy.
According to Over The Moon Bartending, they hand-pick all of the bartenders and make sure they have the right personality (and that they are great bartenders) for your wedding. Maybe this is why they’ve only received perfect five star reviews from happy couples, over 100 in fact!
7. Use Bartenders Experienced with Weddings
Weddings are unique events where hundreds of people gather to celebrate – and at most weddings, the bar becomes a focal point. If you hire a bartending service that isn’t experienced with this type of event, things probably won’t turn out well.
Over The Moon Bartending is an award-winning bartending service that has tons of experience with weddings and has worked the majority of popular venues in the greater Milwaukee area. Hiring an experienced bartending service, you can rest assured that your wedding bar will be quick, professional and fun the entire night.
Thanks to These Vendors
We did a photo shoot for this article and want to give a HUGE shout out to the vendors involved! Please check them out and consider them for your wedding. And special shout out to our models and newlyweds Amanda & Jordan! They got married last year and were so awesome to work with.
- Photos: Happy Gnome Photography
- Flowers: Alfa Flower Shop
- Signs: EP Home Decor
- Venue: The Black Swan
- Bartenders: Over The Moon Bartending
- Alcohol: Central Standard Craft Distillery
- Bride & Groom Models: Amanda & Jordan