On the tenth day of planning, my planners found for me…
It’s day ten of our “12 Days of Planning,” and today, we are discussing BARS and BARTENDING! Now-a-days, there’s an endless list of bar possibilities to offer at your event. Whether you will be supplying beverage options or a selection of food and desserts, bars are a great way to liven up any event. In addition, guests are likely to stick around longer, as they will be lining up to get a taste of your bar selections.
For starters, let’s discuss the different factors to consider when hosting a bar at your event.
- Budget: When it comes to offering bar service for your unique event, we encourage you to set a limit on how much you would like to spend on the overall product. With that being said, here are some elements to consider when setting a budget: 1) Cost of Supply; 2) Bartending Services; 3) Bartender Gratuity, and 4) Trash Removal. As planners, we are here to assist in helping manage your budget, as well as prioritizing the most important elements of your event.
- What to Serve: Having an idea of what to offer at your event can aid in finding the perfect selection for you. Whether it’s beer and wine, hot cocoa, or dessert choices, there are a multitude of options to choose from.
- Venue Limitations: Depending on your venue location, they may have set guidelines on what you are and are not allowed to serve on property (i.e. canned vs. glass-ware products or wine and beer vs. liquor), as well as who’s allowed to serve it. Whatever bar service you are looking to offer at your event, we advise speaking to your venue to learn more about those limitations.
- Guest Count: Determining a head count for your event can tell you how much product you will need to supply. Whether you will be supplying alcohol, coffee, or even hot tea, it’s important to get an idea of your guest count to ensure you have enough for everyone.
- Self-Serve Vs. Professional Help: Depending on the type of bar you choose to have at your event, you may or may not require bartending services. While hiring a bartender will allow you to enjoy your unique event to the fullest, it will also ensure responsible service, making sure not to over-serve anyone. Nevertheless, we suggest speaking to your venue to see what they require, in terms of bar service.
With all things considered, let’s dive into a variety of bar options to choose from for your event.
- Dry Bar: What a wonderful option for all ages! With a wide selection of non-alcoholic possibilities-from hot cocoa to ice cream-you’re bound to find something everyone will love.
- Signature Cocktails: This is a perfect option for those looking to offer popular cocktails at their event or create their own customized beverages, unique to them. Whatever you choose, we encourage speaking with your venue to see if they allow liquor on property.
- Beer & Wine: Depending on your preference, as well as your venue’s required limitations, a beer & wine bar may be the best option for your “of-age” guests. While it can be a more budget-friendly option, compared to a cocktail bar, there are also an infinite amount of beer and wine options to choose from. So, let your decisions run wild! Well…maybe not too wild.
- Open Bar: While whatever you choose to supply at your event is bound to be a great one, you may be wondering, whose job is it to foot the bill? If it’s an open bar your offering, it would be up to the event host to pay for consumption of all drinks. Depending on your guests and how much they’re likely to drink, you may have the option to either pay for the total amount of drinks consumed by the end of the event, or pay a fixed price per consumer, prior to the occasion. Both have their pros and cons.
- Cash Bar: In comparison to an open bar, a cash bar requires guests to pay for their own drinks. This can be an optimal choice, as it allows the person hosting the event to save some money, as well as promotes safer consumption. While guests are given the option to enjoy the bar as much as they please, some may decide to limit their cash flow on drinks, finding other ways to celebrate the event.
No matter what you have in mind for your event, we encourage speaking to your venue about what is and is not allowed on property. But, whatever you choose, it’s basically guaranteed to be triumphant!