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  • Writer's pictureBottled Bronco

Professional Bar vs DIY Bar

Updated: Feb 21, 2021


You’re having a DIY Wedding, but does that mean you should have a DIY Bar?

In short, NO!

In fact, most venues will not allow a DIY self serve bar for liability reasons (its also illegal in some states & provinces), so before you go setting your plans in concrete make sure to reach out and know your options depending on your venue!

Let me start by telling you that I had the ultimate DIY wedding for 200 guests. The inlaws barn was cleaned, homemade meals were served, we arranged our own florals and we built everything from the farmhouse tables to the bands stage! We even had a BYOB self serve “BAR Table” and I gotta tell you the bar situation could have been MUCH better!

Let’s back track a little, the ONLY reason it was even possible for us to consider a DIY BAR is because both of our families, and friends included, are lovers not fighters. If you have a couple guests, and all I’m talking about is 2, that like to tussle. For the love of your guests and wedding night do NOT allow them to self serve. Nothing kills the mood faster then fists being thrown and someone having to step up to control the situation, imagine the police being called to your wedding?

Fast forward to us now owning a mobile bar and bartending service … we are not JUST bartenders but we are regulators and bouncers as well! You’re rowdy guests will not be overserved halting the chain of events that ultimately shut your wedding down early. (No one wants that!)

My biggest shock was the amount of alcohol wastage from guests spilling while pouring, you’d think we had a toddler pouring everyones drinks, in addition to drinks being left all over the place and some guests unsanitary pouring practices. YUCK.

So what’s the next best thing? Having a family member or friend serve for you? This can help with over served rowdy guests, or it might not, it really depends on who is serving. Unless you are having an intimate reception you will need multiple bartenders. 1 bartender for every 50 guests is required to prevent line ups and annoyed guests! You will also need to prep and supply everything yourself.


Wedding Bar Checklist:

Wine Liquor Beer Coolers Ice (3lbs per guest)

Mix (Cranberry & orange juice, coke, diet, ginger ale, sprite, club soda, tonic water, & water)

Garnishes (lemons & limes + anything for signature cocktails)

Bar Tools:

Cocktail glasses Beer Cups Wine Glasses Shot glasses Jiggers

Strainers Knives Shaker Corkscrew Garbage Recycling

Ice Scoops Coolers Ice Bucket Napkins Bottle Opener

Straws Tip Jar Menu Décor Recycling

Cleaning supplies & The Physical bar

It’s important to realize that not everything will go as planned and you, the bride and groom will be approached to problem solve any issues or missing tools at the bar.

Our personal recommendation is to hire a professional bartender even if you are opting for a DIY Bar.

They Will:

#1 prevent over serving #2 Prevent wastage #3 They will have their own tools

#4 They Trouble shoot #5 Handle set up & take down #6 They Acquire Liability

For those of you still concerned about your reception bar and the final cost see our next

Blog on Cutting Costs & Bar Budgeting


Photographer @Kristi Sneddon

Wedding Venue @Diamond in the Rough Venue

Wedding Planner @MoEvents

Wedding Decor @My Party Genie

Wedding Florals @House of Fiori

Stationery @Mountain Grove Studios

Wedding Cake @Black Dog Bakery

Makeup @Bijou & Beauty Make Up Artistry

Grooms Attire @Fari Hara

Wedding Dress @The Bridal Boutique

Jewlery/Boots/Blanket @Cody & Sioux

Wedding Videography @Cinema Captures

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