Tips and Advice

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Bar

There are plenty of things to think about when choosing your bar selection for your wedding, and there are no right or wrong ways to go about it! To help make it easier, here is a roundup of everything you need to consider before making your wedding bar decisions.

Budget First, decide on a set number to spend on drinks. That way, the rest of your decisions can stem from that amount. If you are fine with a basic bar that is one thing. But if your vision includes a higher level bar “experience” that consists of unique creations that incorporate local ingredients…and are perhaps served out of a cool mobile bar set up…you will want to set aside the budget to accommodate that. Your guests will be amazed by the quality (of both the cocktails and the experience) created by some of our favorite Portland mobile bar caterers! Click to check out their websites:

Public Provisions

Mint and Mirth

Silver Julep

Merit Badge

Booze Trucks

The Draft Horse

Tiddly Trailer Bar Co.

Guests’ Drinking Habits You know your crowd best. What do they like to drink? Do they drink a lot or not so much? Is the majority younger or older? Do religious and cultural norms play a role? All of these factors will help you decide what to serve. 

What To Serve This is all up to you – decide if you want to try and please everyone, or just go with a set drinks list. There are generally 3 options for a wedding bar: a full bar, a beer and wine only bar, or a combination of the two. Regardless of what you pick, you’ll need to select which type of beer, wine, and liquor you want available. It’s typical to have 2 options of beer and wine – both a light and dark. If you’re stocking a full bar, you’ll also need to choose what brand of vodka, gin, whiskey, and any other liquors to serve. Your, mobile bar caterer, bartender (or venue if you’re choosing one with full service catering), will be able to help with that if you’re unsure! 

How Much To Purchase Calculating how much alcohol you’ll need can be tricky. Luckily, your venue and bartending service have done plenty of weddings and can help you estimate. Wedding planners are experts at this too! 

What To Toast With When it’s time for toasts, you’ll need to decide what you want your guests to toast with – do you want to give everybody a glass of champagne, or do you want them to toast with whatever beverage they have in hand? Enough bottles of champagne for everyone will add up, so if you want to toast with it, make sure to include it in your budget. 

Signature Cocktail? This option is completely up to you! For inspiration, check out our post on tips for choosing signature cocktails

Plan for Running Out Most of the time, this doesn’t end up happening, but in the event that you do run out of alcohol, you’ll have to come up with a contingency plan with your bartender or venue. Many times, they will already have extra liquor and serve it, then charge the additional amount to your credit card on file. If you want to stop at a certain number, let them know to shut down the bar!

Photos used in this post of Booze Trucks shot by Jenn Bryne Creative.

This Tips & Advice piece was submitted by Dana Barbar, a trusted local wedding professional and talented writer.