While we’re totally on-board for making your wedding yours – the one thing that’s almost universally necessary is an open bar. Think of it like Field of Dreams – if you open bar it, they will come…and have a good time.
There are several things to take into account when creating your Wedding Bar plan. Everyone’s friends and family are a little different so this should be taken as a baseline barometer since you know your guests best!
Step 1: Create a Budget
Similar to any other decision for the wedding, the first thing you’ll need to do is set your budget. A general rule of thumb is one serving per guest per hour. So based on a wedding of about 100 that runs about five hours you’ll need 500 servings. Now what those servings are made up of will dramatically affect your wallet based on the below aspects.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Does your family generally polish off a bottle of Scotch after Thanksgiving? Or are they more on the conservative side sticking to one glass of Chardonnay during hors d’oeuvres? These are big clues to consider what makes the most sense for your guests. In some instances a full bar may not be needed while for other groups it would be a cardinal sin to not have whiskey within a bridal bouquet throw.
Step 3: Decide Where & When
Your venue and season are huge factors in deciding on the makeup of your bar. For example, outdoor Summer weddings generally call for more refreshing styles of drinks such as Rose and Spritzers. An indoor Winter wedding should stock some bold red wines and Old Fashioned cocktail ingredients. Lastly would be the actual time of day. If your wedding is in the evening, people tend to drink more once the sun goes down.
Step 4: Your Booze Breakdown
Once you’ve decided on all of the above factors you can look into the components of the type of bar you’d like to create. We’ve put together three general options using some fancy booze-math – which is way more fun than regular math. Feel free to to tweak and alter to fit your crowd and style. Our breakdowns are based on 100 Guests at a 5 Hour Wedding on a Summer evening.
And if you’re more of a visual person, check out this graphic of our recommendation via our friends at Bridechilla from the ThirstyNest episode:
No matter which option you go with everyone’s going to have an amazing time so don’t stress!