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5 Tips To Consider When Hiring Bar Services For Your Wedding

Bar Services

Whether or not you have an inclusive bar will depend on your venue. Not all venues will have a bar, so you may need to hire one. This is especially important if you are hosting your wedding reception within your own marquee or hire marquee.

If your venue does not have a bar, then don’t worry, it may not be the end of the world. There are a few options that are available to you, including bringing in your own drink, hiring bar services, and asking your caters if they can help you with this.

1/ Check for corkage fees

You should check to see whether your venue or caterers charge a corkage fee. A corkage fee is a fee that is charged per bottle of wine/champagne opened, if you’re bringing in your own bottles. We’ve also heard of a per pint fee too so be wary of this!

Whilst venues that do not have a bar do not generally tend to charge a corkage fee, you may find that your caterers do. Or, if they do not charge corkage there may be a charge for serving or glass hire.

If there is not a corkage fee, or it is a small charge, then you could be on to a winner when it comes to the welcome drinks, drinks with the meal and a glass for the toasts.

2/ Shop for bargains

By buying your own alcohol this allows you to shop around and hunt out the bargains. You can also make further savings by saving up supermarket vouchers, such as your Tesco Clubcard vouchers, or by asking friends and family if they fancy donating their own vouchers.

You will often find that supermarkets will have good deals on wine around holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, and bank holiday weekends too.

If you want to be extra organised, set aside your full budget for alcohol and drinks so that when it comes to one of the above holidays, you can take full advantage and stock up. So keep your eyes peeled and plan ahead to gain huge savings!

If you would rather not have the hassle of buying your own alcohol or don't want to pay corkage fees, then you still have options.

You may find that your caterer will offer a drinks package, along with the food, that would include your welcome drinks, wine with the meal, and some bubbles for the toast.

They should then also serve and provide glass wear for you. Ensure you know what you're getting for the prices quoted, and confirm that you have everything covered to avoid disappointment and stress on the day.

3/ Are you having a cash bar or free bar?

When it comes to the evening reception, many couples opt to have a cash bar, free bar, or a mix of both.

Several companies, including some caterers, offer bar services. You can normally hire these services for very little, or if you’re lucky, for free, as they also make money from the drinks they sell.

The amount you pay for these services will often depend upon the number of adults at the event, how long their services are required for and whether they will be the only company serving drinks. You should check to see whether this includes your caterers, if they are providing drinks for the sit down meal.

4/ Check that the supplier has a mobile license

If you are hiring your bar services then you will need to check that the company have a mobile licence for serving alcohol. Companies that specifically run mobile bar services should already have this, but if you are using a local bar or pub to provide your bar services, then definitely check.

If they do not hold a mobile licence for serving alcohol then you will need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice in order to legally sell alcohol. This can be obtained from your local council and you will need to apply at least 10 working days before your event.

If you want to offer a free bar, or a mix of a free bar and a cash bar, then really hunt around when looking for bar services. Some companies will offer packages, which you pay for on a per person basis, for unlimited drinks all night. This could work out cheaper for you, but on the other hand it could work out to be more expensive depending upon how many drinks your guests will be consuming.

5/ Research

As with all suppliers, make sure you hunt around and know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

Remember to find out about corkage fees, any costs associated with serving drinks and the hire of glass wear. You should also check that any venue and companies you use have the appropriate licence to sell alcohol.