How To Serve Alcohol At A Wedding Without A Bartender

Many people choose to serve alcohol at their wedding. If you choose to, you will want to know how to serve alcohol at a wedding without a bartender. This will help you decide if you want to use a bartender or do it all on your own.

It can be stressful trying to plan all the details of your wedding. Fortunately, you can save some stress by preparing ahead of time and planning how you will serve alcohol. With the right steps, you can serve alcohol at your wedding without a bartender without any stress.

Self-Serve Bar at Wedding

Having a self-serve bar at your wedding can be a practical option. It can save you money from having to hire a bartender, which can get expensive.

Though a DIY wedding bar might not be for everyone, it is a great choice if you are on a budget or are having a small wedding. In addition, it allows you to pick out the exact drinks that you want. It will help reduce waste and any leftover drinks you can keep.

Stick With Beer, Wine, Champagne, and Canned Cocktails

To keep things simple, it is best to stick with beer, wine, champagne, and canned cocktails. These drinks are all self-serve, so you don’t have to worry about people making their own drinks or having to find someone to make drinks all night.

Canned cocktails are a great alternative to mixed drinks. They require no mixing as they are already made. Though you can opt for someone to make mixed drinks, it will be much easier to just stick with canned cocktails.

Make sure that you have plenty of glasses available for people to pour the wine and champagne. It is often a good idea to stick with plastic cups since that will make for a much simpler clean-up. You can even provide markers so people can write their names on their glasses.

self serve bar at wedding

If you are planning to serve wine with corks, make sure to provide wine openers. You may want to opt for screw-off tops if you are worried about people having to take off corks. In addition, make sure you have bottle openers if your beer bottles are not twist-offs.

Ideally, you will want to have a small variety of options. Try to have at least one selection of red wine and one selection of white wine. For beers, having two to four different types offers good variety. You can serve different selections such as IPAs and lagers.

For canned cocktails, you can stick with the classics such as margaritas, vodka sodas, sparkling seltzers, and Moscow Mules. There are plenty of different canned cocktails you can serve based on your taste.

Place a Couple Bottles of Wine at Each Table

For serving wine, you can place a couple of bottles at each table along with glasses. This makes it easy for the guest so they have the wine available right at the table. If needed, be sure to provide a wine opener as well.

You can place the wine in holders or in small buckets on the table. This will make it look neat and give it a lovely appearance.

Place Alcohol in a Large Trough With Ice

For your beer and canned cocktails, you can place them in a large trough filled with ice. This allows for convenience and will keep the drinks cold all night.

You can even get decorative troughs that will look nicer than having just a normal cooler. Depending on the weather, you may need to have someone replace the ice if it begins to melt. You can do one large trough or a couple of small ones.

Buying Alcohol in Bulk

wedding bar setup

If you are planning to serve alcohol at your wedding without a bartender, buying in bulk is a great option. It can save you money, as some places offer discounts for bulk sales. In addition, it allows you to get the exact type of alcohol that you want.

You can buy in bulk at nationwide chains such as Total Wine, Sam’s Club, and Costco. In addition, you can check with your local liquor store to see if they have any specials for buying in bulk.

Before buying, be certain to figure out how much alcohol you need. For casual drinking, plan for two drinks per person for the entire night. For more of a party atmosphere, plan for two drinks an hour at your reception per guest.

Check Your State and Venue’s Liquor Laws

Before you plan your wedding bar setup, be sure to check your state’s laws on serving alcohol. The laws vary by state, so it is important you meet your state’s laws so you don’t end up in any legal trouble. Depending on where you live, you may even have to get a liquor permit for the day.

In addition, be certain to check with your venue on their rules regarding alcohol. Some venues will only allow alcohol to be served by someone with a liquor license. Some places may require a professional bartender to be used due to liability issues and some venues have their own bartenders that must be used if serving alcohol.

Before you get planning on your DIY bar at your wedding, be sure to verify the state laws and venue rules. You don’t want to purchase a bulk amount of alcohol only to find out your venue will not permit outside alcohol.

Self-Serve Alcohol at Your Wedding

diy wedding bar

Having self-serve alcohol at your wedding can be a great option if you are on a budget or have a small guest list. To keep things simple, you want to stick with wine, beer, champagne, and canned cocktails.

Serving the wine and champagne at the tables and the beer and cocktails in a trough with ice will allow for convenience. Be sure to provide glasses as needed, as well as wine and bottle openers.

Do you have any questions on how to serve alcohol at a wedding without a bartender? If so, please don’t hesitate to ask any alcohol-related questions down below.

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