A Guide to the Different Types of Bars for Wedding Receptions

It's estimated that each year there are nearly two million marriages. The weddings for these marriages vary widely. Some can be legal affairs taking place at a courthouse.

Others can be massive events involving a wide array of family, friends, and acquaintances. If you're having a more traditional wedding, guests will likely expect drink service at the wedding reception.

Unfortunately, choosing the right type of bar for your wedding can be easier said than done. That's because the different types of bars for wedding receptions all come with their pros and cons in terms of convenience and cost.

In this guide, we'll be discussing some of the popular bar options so you can begin thinking about which one is right for your event.

Open Bar

Open bars tend to be the most popular option when couples are event planning. With this type of bar, guests don't have to pay for individual drinks. All they need to do is order.

The host handles the bill at the end of the night. One of the reasons this option is so popular is that it lets all of the guests enjoy the night instead of having to worry about how much their drink count is costing them.

That being said, it can be quite costly for couples and their families. One way you can save money is by carefully selecting the brands of liquor, beer, and wine that you offer.

As you can guess, if you choose the high-shelf options it's going to get quite expensive very quickly.

Cash Bar

Cash bars put the onus on the guests to pay for the drinks. For this reason, they tend to not be as popular for many wedding receptions. So why do people do it?

Most of the time it comes down to cost. Weddings are already incredibly expensive. It's estimated that the average cost for the ceremony and the reception will usually come out to $30,000.

Depending on the bar you choose, alcohol can make up a fairly significant portion of that cost. So couples who don't have a lot of financial support might choose this more affordable option.

It's also a good choice for families who don't drink a lot of alcohol, but still want to accommodate the guests that do.

Signature Cocktail Bars

If you want to impress your guests, you might want to consider a wedding reception bar that offers personalized signature cocktails. This is a great option for creative couples who want to add some personal flair to the drink selection.

You'll work with the bartender to come up with one or more cocktails that fit your drink preferences. In many cases, you can even match it to the theme and color of the wedding.

However, unless you want long lines at the bar, make sure that you can pre-make the cocktail as best as possible. You'll also want to include wine and beer options for people who might not like the cocktail flavors as much as you.

Self-Service Bar

Most wedding bars will typically require a professional bartender to operate. However, not all of them fall into this category. If you're having a small wedding with intimate family and friends, you could consider going with a self-service bar.

This is exactly what it sounds like. You'll usually lay out an assortment of beers and wines, then your guests can serve themselves. This option can make cocktails a bit challenging, but it's not impossible to accommodate.

One idea is to make batch cocktails that can be enjoyed throughout the evening. Just keep in mind that depending on your reception location self-service bars might not be an option.

Some public and private locations will want a bartender onsite who's properly insured. However, if you're having your reception at a private home it is something you might want to consider.

Dry Wedding

If you and your family don't drink, whether for cultural, personal, or religious reasons, you might want to consider a dry wedding. This option doesn't have any alcohol at the event, which can also save you a lot of money.

However, it's important to remember that just because there isn't any alcohol doesn't mean you can't still have fun.

The rise of mocktails means that many bartenders can still make fun and inventive drinks for your guests to enjoy. Just make sure you find a drink service that can cater to these non-alcoholic types of drinks.

How to Find the Right Bartender for Your Wedding Reception

It's important to not just hire any bartender off the street for your event. You want one that specializes in wedding receptions. This is important for two main reasons.

First, they need to be able to work quickly to accommodate the many guests for the event. Second, they need to be insured. Why is insurance necessary for bartenders?

Because unfortunately, intoxicated guests do have the potential to become rowdy. In some cases, this might result in property damage or even injuries. Insurance ensures that they're covered just in case something like this happens.

When planning your reception make sure to go with a drink service that offers a wide variety of wedding packages to choose from. No two weddings are alike. They should be able to cater specifically to your budget, guest count, bar preference, and any other considerations you might have.

This personalization is important because if you choose a company that offers a general service, you can often end up overpaying.

Make sure to check the reviews before you hire a bartender. This will give you a better idea of how they've handled other types of wedding events.

Want Access to All the Different Types of Bars? Contact Mr. Barrtenderr

We hope this guide helped you learn more about the different types of bars for wedding receptions. Here at Mr. Barrtenderr, we know that different couples are going to have different bar preferences.

That's why our mobile bartenders can help cater to them all. Want some custom cocktails? No problem!

Or need some tasty mocktails for a dry wedding? We can help you. So if you're ready to check one more thing off your wedding planning list, get in touch with us today.

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