Let’s be real. The part that everyone looks forward to at a wedding is cocktail hour. So, it’s important to have a great setup and equally great drinks. Not every venue will let you have your own cocktail bar setup, but if you get the go-ahead they’re a great conversation starter and fun way to keep the party going. If you’re hoping to have your own cocktail bar, keep on reading to find out all you need to know to set-up for own wedding cocktail bar.
Wedding Cocktail Bar Must-Haves
- A venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol/ or is to happy provide the service
- Drink dispensers
- 2 tables + or a hired bar
- A personalized cocktail menu
- Garnishes – lemons & limes
- Bartender (optional)
- Bottle openers and wine bottle keys
- Someone to keep watch on the table
- Décor & signage (optional, but recommended)
Photo Credit: J Wiley Photography
Wedding Cocktail Bar Tips
- To encourage mingling (and discourage waiting for a drink) locate your bar in an accessible spot.
- Keep it simple and stick with only 2 or 3 signature wedding cocktails.
- Select cocktails or drinks that is easy for an amateur or rushed bartender to make.
- Check Pinterest for endless amounts of recipes.
- If your guests prefer Champagne or Craft Beers , simply provide a choice of your favorite beers or champagne cocktails.
- Don’t forget to have a non-alcoholic options, especially if you’re having kids at the wedding. I didn’t want ugly pop bottles or cans showing up in our wedding photos so I ordered cases of Pop Shoppe for our reception. The glass bottles look great and were a huge hit for the pop drinkers.
- Keep your cocktails in a refrigerator or on ice until cocktail hour.
- Be sure to provide either a stirring spoon for your bartenders, or make sure that your storage vessels can be shaken without leaking.
Photo Credit: Lisa Rigby Photography
Wedding Cocktail Bar Style Advice
- Add style with some cute cocktail accessories- signage or a pretty table-cloth that matches your color palette are both good options.
- Mason (or jam) jars are inexpensive, yet pretty, cocktail glasses. Ask family and friends to collect these for you.
- Add a personal element by giving each cocktail a name with meaning and a corresponding label. Need some inspiration? Click here for your complete guide on creating your wedding signature drink.
How Much Will A Cocktail Bar Cost?
The cost of your wedding cocktail bar will vary greatly and will depend whether or not you hire staff, on the alcohol you serve and your guest list numbers. Costs to consider are:
- If you buy your own alcohol, your venue or caterer may charge a corkage fee for each bottle opened, or they may not let you bring in your own drinks at all (do check!).
- If your venue is providing the drinks check if they charge by consumption or flat fee per person.
- Replace wedding favors with your cocktail bar. This will make it more doable budget wise and guests won’t even notice.
- If you’re hiring a tent, your tent rental company can generally supply your bar supplies.
Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment). 🙂
DON’T FORGET IT: PIN IT!