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Savvy September 2021

Alcohol question

Samantha, on May 21, 2021 at 10:02 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 22
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At our venue we bring our own alcohol to be served but it has to be served by a bartender. No problem at all we are inviting around 300 people and will have two bartenders. We won’t be charging for any of the alcohol but of course once it’s gone it’s gone. I can’t decide how I want to do the alcohol. I’m between two options, what do you guys think. Option 1: 2 different frozen drinks, 4 different kinds of beer, 4 signature drinks. Option 2: 2 different frozen drinks, 4 different kinds of beer, list the hard liquor vodka, rum, whiskey, tequila, and then list the mixers, sodas, juices, etc.
My thought was go with option 1 so ordering will be a little quicker but fiancé thinks option 2 would be easier. If we did the signature drinks we would pick each one with a different kind of hard alcohol. I’m not a big drinker so don’t feel like the best person to make the decision haha

22 Comments

Latest activity by Melody, on May 27, 2021 at 1:09 PM
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
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    We went through our guest list to figure out the beer drinkers vs mixed drinkers. You know your guests better then we do.
    Personally, I’d go with option 2- gives your guests their choice on mixed drinks.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
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    I would go with #2 because it gives you more options. Not everyone likes many signature drink choices because they are limiting, which does not work well with diverse groups. While you may like whatever mixed signature drink, a majority of your guests may not and if other drink choices are not available, you may run out of nonalcoholic options because they pick those instead.

    Make sure to offer a variety of non alcoholic beverages as well.

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  • S
    Savvy September 2021
    Samantha ·
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    So you are telling me I’m going to have to tell my fiancé he was right and option 2 is better hahaha
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  • S
    Savvy September 2021
    Samantha ·
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    We were thinking of only doing water and tea for non alcoholic beverages and those being not at the bar. Do you think we need to have more options?
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
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    Lol! Kind of stings sometimes huh??
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  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
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    I would go with option 2. Also, unless frozen drinks are a really big deal in your friend group, I would cut those too. They take awhile to make, so it would slow down the bar service by a lot. I had 2 bartenders for 115 people, so 2 bartenders for 300 is doable but you don't want super long lines. The frozen drinks will take way longer to make than it will take for guests to order a vodka soda or rum and coke.

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  • S
    Savvy September 2021
    Samantha ·
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    Oh the frozen drinks will already to prepared in this frozen drink machines. Our friend owns 4 of them. So it takes just as long to fill up a cup of the frozen drink as it will to fill up a cup with keg beer. It’s seems like Option 2 May be the best way to go. Thank you!
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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    I'd go with option 2 so that your guests have more choices

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
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    I would try to offer Coke and Sprite as well. Will the frozen drinks be alcoholic only?

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  • Natalie
    Super November 2020
    Natalie ·
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    I’d go with Option 2. While signature drinks may initially sound appealing, they tend to contain more ingredients and take more time to make than a simple rum and Coke, for example.
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  • L
    Lady ·
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    Are you having wine as well? You obviously know your guests, but it seems odd to me to have 4 beers, 4 liquor options, frozen drinks, and no wine! Just something to think about.

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  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    We are purchasing our own as well and are doing option 2 but with two wines as well (one red, one white). We aren't doing frozen drinks but that sounds fun! I think if you get enough mixers and some liquor, it will be pretty easy to make high ball drinks for guests, much easier than signature drinks.

    Also I would avoid "once it's gone, it's gone" for alcohol...running out mid-wedding is a real bummer. Literally Jesus's first miracle was making more wine at a wedding where they ran out so the bride and groom weren't embarrassed. I would get alcohol from a store that will let you return what you don't use.

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  • S
    Savvy September 2021
    Samantha ·
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    One of the frozen drinks is a frozen wine but we decide last night be better have some wine options as well. Thank you
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  • S
    Savvy September 2021
    Samantha ·
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    Haha I honestly don’t think we will run out completely of alcohol we are only serving for 5 hours. We are buying from Sam’s and I think you can return it there. If not we will just have enough for another party lol. I think we decided to add 2 wines as well. Thank you!
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  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
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    I don't have much input on the options because I feel like that's a bit more of a "know your crowd" thing. However, as a bartender, I would definitely recommend having at least one more bartender for that amount of people. If the majority of them are drinkers, I might even suggest adding 2 more bartenders. Lines get really long, people get antsy, and 2 bartenders just physically CAN'T keep an eye on all of the guests at the same time. I've had so many experiences where guests would try to reach over the bar to grab a beer or some garnish or whatever. Aside from just being plain rude, that's also a health a food safety issue that bartenders have to be vigilant about. Add to that the fact that they also need to be watching out for guests that have maybe had too much and you really do need at least another set of eyes.

    I definitely agree that having the non-alcoholic options away from the bar is a good plan. For 300 people, I'd suggest adding another option besides just water and tea. Maybe lemonade? If your bar is offering mixed drinks (like rum/coke, vodka/cranberry, 7&7, etc.) just be aware that non-drinkers may also go up to the bar to see if they can get a can of coke or a glass of orange juice.

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  • S
    Savvy September 2021
    Samantha ·
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    Thank you! I love hearing from bartenders it’s so helpful! We are inviting 300 people but 100 of those 300 are under the age of 16. So if all 300 people come only 200 would be old enough to drink so that’s why I was thinking 2 bartenders would be enough. I do get what you are saying about the bartenders also having watch so definitely something for us to think about. We were thinking of doing tea and water bottles with lots different flavor packets people can add to their water. The one thing we were not wanting was non-drinkers to go up to the bar for coke and sprite but I guess that’s something that will happen no matter what. I do have a question I haven’t had a chance to ask a bartender! We were thinking of doing two litter bottles of coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite for the mixers behind the bar so no one could ask for a can of soda. Is it harder for bartenders to use 2 litter bottles over cans?
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  • Natalie
    Super November 2020
    Natalie ·
    • Flag
    Non-drinkers are going to ask for pop/soda regardless if it is in a can or needs to be poured over ice. It should be available to them, too, and not solely for alcoholic beverages.
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  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
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    You're very welcome, and thanks for the guest age breakdown. I've never actually seen flavor packets with water at weddings, so that's a pretty cool idea! I don't know how much of them would actually be used, so you may end up going home with a lot of them. 2 litre bottles are a hassle for bartenders, and definitely make it take even longer to pour the drinks than just using cans does. Because of their size, and especially if the bartenders are working with minimal space, it's easy for someone knock into the bottle while someone is trying to pour and make a mess, possibly even spilling on a guest. And even if there aren't any cans, guests will likely still ask for a bartender to pour them a glass of soda. So I would definitely suggest cans for bartender use. You can also have sodas available at the non-alcoholic station so younger guests don't have to go up to the bar. One thing I've seen work pretty well is to get some of those large galvanized metal tubs and fill it with ice and sodas. If your event is casual enough, you could even just have them in coolers.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
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    For nonalcoholic drinks do you recommend someone on hand to pour drinks at a bar away from where the alcohol is served?

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  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
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    For me, that kind of comes down to the formality and size of the event and how the drinks are served. If it's a more casual or really small event or you have cans of sodas, bottles of water, and a dispenser for anything else it's generally not necessary to have someone pour those. If it's a more formal or larger event or the liquid is something that isn't a "single serving" (2 litre bottles of soda, gallon jugs of iced tea or water, etc.) then I would recommend having someone to pour non-alcoholic drinks as well. Whether you have that extra drink person or not, you should definitely make sure that someone other than the bartenders is in charge of keeping an eye on that station to restock it and make sure ice levels don't get too low. In the case of this wedding (300 guests, 100 of which are under 16), having another person to man that drink station would be a good idea, whether they're actually physically pouring the drinks or not.

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