(Closed) Is having a bartender really necessary?

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 3
5273 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

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
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

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
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • 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
1917 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Yes.  I think having a licensed bartender limits the liability of guests that overdrink. 

Post # 7
958 posts
Busy bee

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
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

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
2786 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

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
615 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

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
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

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 # 13
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

you need a bartender.

Post # 14
2589 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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
3375 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My county or state didn’t allow this. All alcohol had to be served by a bartender, which was annoying!

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