Updated: Jan 14
Eat, drink, and be married! If you’re planning a wedding, you know that the food and drink you serve on your big day is so important to creating a memorable celebration. Booking a venue and a caterer is fairly straightforward, but hiring a bar service isn't always as easy. You need to ask a lot of questions when you plan to hire a bar service for your wedding. Who supplies the alcohol? How much will I need? How many bartenders are enough to serve my guests in a reasonable time? Is it cheaper to buy alcohol myself or should I purchase it through a beverage service company? Let us walk you through some of the most common questions about hiring bar service for your big day.
What options are available to supply beer, wine, and liquor for my wedding?
Ordering your beverages is actually a very simple process, but it can definitely get a little bit stressful at times. Many liquor and grocery stores can help coordinate your beverage supply, but sometimes it’s hard to know how much to order. When you’re checking out prospective suppliers, ask if they can help you figure this out. Most suppliers – including us – have calculated many different formulas over the years to find just the right quantities for customers. We’ll let you in on an industry secret: Some suppliers will let your bar services company pick up your order on your behalf to save you another trip.
Can a bar services company just sell me the beverages and service my wedding?
Yes, absolutely. A bar services company with a commercial location and valid licenses to sell beer, wine, and liquor offsite can absolutely sell you your beverages and service your needs. You’ll want to be careful, though! Packaging bar services and the sale of beverages isn't always as easy or as trustworthy as it sounds. You are legally required to purchase your beverages on the site of the business with the liquor license. Paying with a credit card via phone, fax, or email is technically breaking the law. The company offering you those services could get shut down before your big day, which would put your money, alcohol, and service in jeopardy.
What do we suggest? We believe the best way for you to save money and protect your investment is to acquire the beverages through a liquor or grocery store. Once you've paid for your beverages, see if the store will allow your beverage service to pick it up for you. Bonus points if they chill your beer and wine for you!
What about an open bar?
The idea of a cash bar is great, but if your venue doesn't offer this service, having an cash bar is illegal in Wisconsin. Selling alcohol requires a liquor license, and liquor licenses are not mobile in Wisconsin. If your venue has a liquor license, it likely already has a bartending service that you'll be required to use. There are alternative options, however.
Before you order your beverages, ask if the company will let you order a surplus and return any unopened bottles following your ceremony. This can be beneficial if you want to offer an open bar style without paying for an unlimited beverage count. (Legal in some states, but not all)
How much are bartenders for a wedding?
When you’re hiring bartenders for a wedding, don’t expect to pay only minimum wage plus tips. Bar service companies have high expectations to live up to. After all, this is one of the biggest days of your life, and you want it to be perfect. Advertising costs, insurance costs, staffing, supplies, travel, licensing and premium wedding dates can affect pricing from high hundreds to thousands of dollars. Yes, that’s just for bartenders. We're not just bartenders, though. We are high-performing professionals expected to provide the best client service in the market and prove our value.
If you’re planning a wedding, we've got you at Tavern Team! We can help you coordinate all of it. We have the right partners in the business, and we offer discounts where they matter. Most of all, you’ll have peace of mind when you book Wisconsin's premium bartending service. When you hire Tavern Team, you’re getting Wisconsin's best bartenders, and you can expect to receive the highest value with the most competitive service available!