Post # 1
Our venue’s alcohol policy is basically BYOB. We’re not allowed to have kegs. I figured we could set a table up with those pretty glass containers like these pictured below for one or two types of mixed drinks and then nonalcoholic drinks, as well. We would label them, of course, so there’s no mix up. And have the drinks pre-mixed in gallon jugs or something so that we can just refill when needed (I think I’m going to have a hard time not doing everything – I’m not good at just sitting and whatnot and that’s apparently what a bride is expected to do – arg). Wine could be chilled, also, and guests could pour their own drinks. Our venue requires we hire security for the hours of the ceremony/reception (same location). He would basically make sure people who aren’t invited stay out (the park we’re having the wedding at stays open, so we don’t want party crashers wandering in, eatin’ m’food, drinkin’ m’booze :P). He’s will also check people as they leave to make sure they’re not drinking & driving. I plan on renting a shuttle back to the hotel anyway to help cut down on people getting half-in-the-bag and driving off. My reception is pretty laid back, rustic theme, so I’m not very concerned about appearing formal.
Did anyone here opt to not have a bartender? Did it work out? 😀
Post # 3
While we had a bartender, I don’t think you need one unless you are serving mixed drinks (to order.)
You will be find with using jars like you have pictured & since its rustic, how about giant barrells or bucket for the beer, i like this rustic sign too.
Post # 4
Unlimited access to alcohol sounds like dangerous territory to me! It would be good to have a bartender who can judge when someone has had too much.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I think your plan is fine. I’d probably skip wine in this case, because I think having guests pour their own wine from bottles is weird for some reason (unless the bottles are placed on the dinner tables). I’m probably crazy. I would have giant ice buckets (maybe galvanized ones) with beer too. Question, though, who will be responsible for refilling the jugs? Your venue might require that the only people who handle alcohol in any way are lincensed bartenders.
Post # 6
Yes. I think having a licensed bartender limits the liability of guests that overdrink.
Post # 7
I don’t know what your theme is but I’ve seen a lot of canoes filled with ice and beer floating around the web… Super fun if it’s by a lake or something.
I’d honestly prefer those pitchers. I never carry cash so it’s nice not to have those bartenders to tip a few bucks per drink to.
Post # 8
If all you’re having are pre-mixed drinks, beer and wine, I don’t see a problem with no bartender, but before you decide to go that route, you may want to look into any legal liability issues/liquor laws. You may be required to have a bartender by law. Also, who will be refilling the jug when they are empty?
Post # 9
I would make sure you can legally not have a bartender if you’re serving liquor…pretty sure you can’t do that in Canada……
Post # 10
You might check with your local county clerk’s office if they have any permits/regulations for serving alcohol. In my state, we were required to have a licensed bartender and the bartender was required to card everyone who was served alcohol.
Post # 11
mrsSonthebeach: and louisianablue: make very valid points.
We were originally going to do a self-serve bar/beverage station, but with all the wine we wanted to serve and beer kegs to swap out, it seemed a better investment to hire a few bartenders to be in charge of uncorking all of the wine bottles and tending to the kegs (as well as the all of the soft drinks). It was a solid choice because at the end of the day it was so nice not to have to worry about any legal issues (liquor handling, over serving, etc.) or designate someone to be in charge of serving, re-filling, cleaning up, and the like. It wasn’t even expensive to hire two bartenders for 4-6 hours – it was a super reasonable hourly rate per each bartender and we paid a flat 20% gratuity so that our guests didn’t have to worry about tipping.
Post # 12
I too say that if you aren’t having mixed drinks to order, you’re fine with a bartender. Fiance’s cousin had a super laid bad rustic wedding in the mountains last year and it was all grab your own drinks and enjoy. It worked really well for her. Love the idea of the pretty glass pitcher type things, really charming!
Post # 14
Unless its in your backyard or another private property, I don’t think its legal in most places to serve alcohol unless you have a bartender.
Post # 15
My county or state didn’t allow this. All alcohol had to be served by a bartender, which was annoying!
Post # 16
Thanks for all the replies! Hm, I’m going to have to check on those liability laws. They vary by state, right? I’m in Pennsylvania if anyone knows off the top of their head, otherwise, I’ll go check that out downtown tomorrow and find out. Better safe than sorry 🙂
@AnnieAAA: I love those pictured ideas!
@mrsSonthebeach: I have that conception about wine, too – I have no idea why, but it does seem odd, doesn’t it? haha.
@vmec: Could you elaborate on why you think that? Thanks! 🙂