(Closed) Self-Serve Bar? Yay or Nay?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Self Serve Bar?
    As a guest I'd love a self-serve bar! I can portion myself and not tip! : (21 votes)
    34 %
    As a guest I'd prefer to walk up to the bar and order from someone. : (31 votes)
    50 %
    As a guest I'd love self-serve, but it might be too much headache for the bride and groom : (10 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 3
    1935 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I think it really depends on the drinks offered. If it’s just wine, beer, and pre-made signature drinks then self-serve is fine. But if you are having a variety of liquor and mixes, then I think you def need a bartender.

    Post # 5
    458 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    Will there be other servers cleaning up the area? As in removing empty bottles, etc? I have a big house party for 75 every year and I always have a self serve bar, but it gets messy! I’m always straightening napkins and cleaning spills.

    Post # 6
    3063 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    I think it depends on what kind of feel your wedding has and of course how many guests you have.

    Personally I would prefer a bartender, but I wouldn’t be outraged or anything if there was a self serve bar. Especially if the wedding is pretty casual/rustic.

    Post # 7
    4192 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    I agree with BuffaloDots, that you’ll need at least one server to cover the bar area. Someone needs to get rid of the empties, and I’m guessing you’re not going to put ALL the beer bottles out at once. Plus putting out extra glasses, etc.

    Post # 8
    1116 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I say pass on the bartender!  I paid for a bartender and we had keg beer and wine.  Honestly, it was a waste of money to have the bartender.  By the end of the night the kegs were pulled out and everyone was self serving anyway.  However, that fit the “vibe” of our wedding.  It was laid back and relaxed.  If you are having a more black tie, fancey seated dinner then the bartender might be a better fit for you.

    Post # 9
    1935 posts
    Buzzing bee

    ok then ya, I’d pass on the bar tender. If guest don’t actually have to mix their own drinks then I think you’re good to go!!

    Post # 10
    2999 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I think I would prefer to have a bartender for a wedding, I feel self-serve would be better for a more casual event or party

    Post # 11
    209 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I voted to pass on the bartender, since your guests won’t have to mix drinks.  I prefer to pour my own wine, no need to pay someone to do that!

    Post # 12
    2390 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    I’d have the bartender – even if you had one for 6 hours with tip it would only be around $200.  It’s a nice touch for a very small amount of money.

    ETA:  I don’t know if you’ll be having anyone underage at your wedding, but I wouldn’t want to deal with that if you are.  Also, bartenders are trained to cut people off if they’re drinking too much – you don’t want to be liable if something happens to anyone who’s been drinking too much.

    Post # 13
    3267 posts
    Sugar bee

    You will need someone to refil the jugs, mop up spills, put out more glasses, put out more beers, etc. 

    Self serve gets messy very quickly.  People leave cups and bottles around, and spills happen often. 

    Post # 14
    993 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    As long as the alcohol is pre-portioned i think this is fine.

    Where I live this is illegal in a public venue – alcohol must be served by someone who has taken a serving course and if there are more than 25 people the door needs security.  You might want to just check the liquor licensing rules.

    Post # 15
    2295 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I’d love it as a guest but think it could be a headache. And I was just coming to comment on liability as well, which I see a previous poster mentioned. Make sure you check into that. Even if it is allowed, you may need to pick up some dram shop insurance.

    Post # 16
    5956 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2018

    ..once a bartender, always a bartender….I cannot tell you how many functions I have attended with a self serve bar, only to find myself behind the thing slinging drinks like the old days for everyone’s amusement and libation….not that I mind, it’s something I always loved doing…I would imagine someone will keep an eye on the thing for you, out of habit…I would.

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