(Closed) Bartender or to not Bartender??

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1514 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

What does your venue say?  Some places (like ours), to dispense alchohol, you have to have a licensed bartender on site, otherwise no alchohol.

Post # 4
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Hire a bartender! It will be worth it. Probably under $100 in total. It’s wonderful that you get to provide your own alcohol. Huge savings!

Post # 5
4001 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think I’d opt to have a bartender.  $17 an hour isn’t bad at ALL!  The presentation will be more formal and you won’t have to worry about how well the bartender can prepare drinks because they won’t be preparing too much anyway.  Besides, you’d be giving some work experience to a college kid, that’s a cause I’m down with ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 6
4485 posts
Honey bee

Most states do not allow alcohol to be distributed in any fashion without a licensed bartender, and having a random kid hired won’t cut it. Otherwise you can be held liable. Without a bartender, how do you plan to keep any underage guests from drinking? If you have a free for all as you are describing, then there is no way to monitor it. Check with the state liquor board in your area to see what the laws are.

Just curious, but will you have any non-alcoholic options for non-drinkers? Don’t assume that every adult will drink.


Post # 7
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Hiring a bartender helps out more than just pouring drinks. They are great at watching guests and serving people or not serving accordingly. Definitely worth it.

Post # 8
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I think you need to hire a bartender.  It will be well worth the $17 plus tip/hour.

Post # 9
4023 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

If you are just doing kegs, wine, and punch, i’d say no bartender. people can pour their own wine and get punch whenever, (same with kegs). If you wanted a full bar and mixed drinks and such, then i would say a bartender, but i think for those drink options, its not needed.

Post # 10
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

are you having a bigger wedding? and is it formal or casual? if there’s a lot of guests i’d probably want a bartender to keep the flow going. and if it’s formal, i think it would be better to have a bartender too.

Post # 11
809 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We’re doing the same sort of thing for alcohol and I’m debating too. My gut instinct says it’s a waste of money to do the bartender, but reading this post is swaying me towards bartender. It’s hard for me to justify the bartender cost when there will be no drink mixing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 12
1580 posts
Bumble bee

Since you aren’t mixing any drinks I don’t think you need a bartender. But if you have any crazy friends or relatives and you leave the alcohol unattended, you might end up with keg stands and people drinking straight from the wine bottles by the end of the night.

Post # 13
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

I would agree that you are probably required to have a bartender with insurance in order to serve alcohol. In that case just hiring a college kid won’t work. 

You can call around to beverage services to find someone that will provide just a server and the insurance. I don’t think it would be very expensive and you really need someone to monitor the amount of alcohol people are consuming. 

Remember if someone leaves your event and has an accident they can come back and sue you for it. Also you can be sued if anyone gets drunk and damages the reception location. I know its unlikely but you want to make sure you are covered. 


Post # 15
7 posts

I would definitely hire a bartender.  A professional service is less expensive than you think, and worth every penny to enjoy your own wedding party! Knowing the bar aspect of your event is all taken care of is well worth the cost!  Plus, you’ll have a professional that can make specialty shots, martinis, and fun drinks for your guests!

Just my thoughts, of course I’m a little biased… For more tips, I have created a page just for these questions at 


Of you can just go to the general website 


Hope this helps and good luck on your special day.

Post # 16
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Our friend ended up being our bartender!

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