Wedding ceremony Bar Information and Etiquette

For many individuals, the bar at their wedding ceremony reception is crucial. At this time, we clarify bar terminology and etiquette, whereas additionally offering ballpark details so you can also make knowledgeable choices. Many {couples} allocate no less than 20% of their whole wedding ceremony price range to verify visitors and the marriage get together have loads of their favourite drinks all through their occasion. 

As you propose your wedding ceremony reception, chances are you’ll hear the phrases “hosted bar” or “non-hosted bar.” We get numerous questions on this and all issues bar-related! The phrases and language can appear complicated and deceptive, so we determined it might be additional useful to create a ‘Bar and Beverage 101’ and offer you every little thing it is advisable find out about bars in a single place.

This important bar information contains all frequent bar terminology whether or not it pertains to our method to bar service or not. For extra particulars in regards to the particular ranges of bar service we provide at our occasion venues – try our wedding ceremony packages


What’s a ‘Hosted Bar’?

Put merely, the time period “hosted bar” signifies that the individual paying for the marriage is choosing up the tab for all of the drinks. You might be primarily “internet hosting” your visitors with bar service. Prices for this will depend on the venue, variety of visitors, and kinds of alcohol.

BUDGET TIP: The period of bar service can improve or lower prices. In case your occasion is because of finish at 11pm, you’ll be able to halt the hosted bar at 10pm or earlier.


What’s an ‘Open Bar’? 

At Wedgewood Weddings, we view an open bar as the identical as a hosted bar. In business phrases, you pay forward of time-based on an estimate of how a lot your visitors will drink. That is calculated primarily based on variety of visitors and time of occasion. Normally, it is a particularly cost-effective choice. You may determine if the open bar will probably be restricted to wine and beer, or if you wish to embody spirits. In case you do determine so as to add spirits, you’ll be able to often select a stage from ‘home’ by means of to ‘prime shelf’. You may also nominate that solely folks within the wedding ceremony get together have entry to spirits or perhaps a sure favourite liquor if that fits your fashion!


What’s a ‘No-Host Bar’?

A no-host bar means your visitors are paying for their very own alcoholic drinks. You aren’t internet hosting them with bar service.

BUDGET TIP:  That is essentially the most budget-friendly choice if you’re trying to save on this space. With the cash you’re saving, you’ll be able to put it in the direction of upgrading different providers!


What’s a ‘money bar’? 

Precisely the identical as a no-host bar. ‘Money bar’ is one other identify for a similar service. Mainly, your visitors will probably be charged every time they buy a drink. They’ll select to open a tab or pay per drink. A money bar is strictly what you get if you happen to’re at any public bar. All of your visitors will perceive the money bar or no-host bar idea.

Refreshing Glass of Beer - Wedding Bar Etiquette - Wedgewood Weddings


What’s a ‘timed open bar’? 

Precisely because it sounds. Some {couples} – or their beneficiant financers/buddies – select to pay for all of the drinks for a restricted period of time. That is often Cocktail Hour or for 2 hours after the ceremony. This can be a nice choice if you happen to’re making an attempt to save cash, or your visitors aren’t huge drinkers.

One other concept is so as to add an indication in your bar space saying:

“Thanks for celebrating our huge day, first drink is on us!”


What’s a ‘Money Bar with Tickets’?

Some occasion venues let you give drink tickets to visitors. You pay for these drinks primarily based on what number of tickets you’ll give out, then something past these first two drinks is roofed by the visitors. This can be a frequent choice for vacation events the place the organizing firm could present two drinks per visitor, after which visitors can select to buy additional drinks if they want.


Inform Me About A ‘Restricted Bar’?

Relying in your visitors, you may need to make issues actually easy. One pink wine, one white wine, a bottled beer, and the same old comfortable drinks. This can be a quite common selection for folks at smaller occasions or weddings at non-event venues. In case you’re buying all of the exhausting drinks prematurely (bear in mind to verify if you happen to can return something unconsumed!) you then need to be cheap about what number of choices you are giving your visitors. Some {couples} select to solely present drinks they like 😀


What about comfortable drinks?

At Wedgewood Weddings, we at all times embody comfortable drinks like iced water and sodas. We’ll additionally present an iced tea and scorching espresso station in order that visitors might help themselves throughout your occasion.


How are bar Charges Incurred?

Some venues will cost you an additional payment for hosted and/or no-host bar service. This payment covers the prices of the bartenders. Not all venues cost for these providers, however it’s good to ask.

Some places do a per-person cost, others cost charges primarily based on consumption: which means that you pay for the whole quantity of alcohol consumed throughout your reception.


What’s a ‘Corkage Price’?

This payment is often charged if a visitor needs to convey their very own alcohol. At our venues, we don’t cost a corkage payment. As a regulation of our licensing agreements, no exterior alcohol is allowed to be consumed on the premises. 

If there’s a specific kind of craft beer or liquor that you simply favor, inform the venue crew and so they’ll do all they will to verify it’s stocked only for you.

Bar Terminology Explained - Wedgewood Weddings


What’s a ‘Bar Minimal’?

A bar minimal signifies that the venue will routinely cost you a minimal quantity for bar service. In case your visitors eat lower than that quantity, they are going to nonetheless cost you their minimal quantity. In case your visitors eat extra, then you’ll pay the distinction. 

Occasion venues typically apply this to cowl the price of bar employees, procurement, and overheads. In case you select to supply full bar service however solely two visitors determine to make the most of the bar, then the venue nonetheless must cowl this expense. That’s the reason they set a minimal. In virtually all circumstances, visitors at an occasion will simply meet the minimal beverage consumption because it’s primarily based on cheap expectations garnered from visitor habits at many, many occasions.


Can visitors get cocktails at our wedding ceremony?

Sure. For easy combined drinks like ‘rum and coke’, gin and tonic’, or ‘vodka and soda’ that is typically included with any hosted/open bar if you happen to included spirits at any tier. 

If you’d like formal cocktails, then communicate together with your occasion crew beforehand. They’ll make it occur however have to have every little thing readily available. As an illustration, they want cherries and recent oranges for an Outdated Common or mint for a Mojito. 


Can We’ve got a Signature Cocktail?

Definitely! A signature cocktail is the right choice for a number of causes. You may showcase a taste you’re keen on! It helps the bar employees plan forward in your occasion. It additionally helps visitors determine what to drink. In the event that they see a signature cocktail on the menu that includes a cute identify that speaks to your relationship, then they’re sure to order it! For you, it additionally helps you determine prematurely if you need visitors to typically be ingesting one thing that is refreshing whereas mild on booze, or one thing heavier. 

Some cocktails may be batched prematurely which is why they’re excellent for big group occasions. Batched cocktails or pre-prepared cocktails imply no lengthy strains on the bar! 

In case you e-book with Wedgewood Weddings and need a signature cocktail, then our crew will work with you to create one thing that matches your bar service stage and style preferences. 


Can You Give Us Scrumptious Signature Cocktail Concepts? 

After all! These three wedding ceremony cocktails are classics for good cause. 


  • Components: 1 1/2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, 1 Sugar Dice, Few dashes plain water

  • Preparation: Place sugar dice in old school glass and saturate with bitters, add a touch of plain water. Muddle till dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Garnish with orange slice, and a cocktail cherry

  • Served: On the rocks; poured over ice



  • Components: 2 oz Champagne, 1/2 oz Lemon Juice, 1 oz Gin, 2 dashes Easy Syrup

  • Preparation: Mix gin, syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker stuffed with ice. Shake vigorously and pressure into an iced champagne flute. Prime up with Champagne. Stir gently

  • Served: Straight up; with out ice



  • Components: 4 oz Ginger Beer, 1 1/2 oz Vodka, 1/6 oz Lime Juice

  • Preparation: Mix vodka and ginger beer in a copper mug or highball glass stuffed with ice. Add lime juice. Stir gently and garnish with a lime slice

  • Served: On the rocks; poured over ice


What are Cocktail Stations? 

This can be a pretty trendy concept in order that visitors can construct their excellent drink. Nice examples can be a Bloody Mary bar the place visitors can add their very own garnishes and spice stage. If Marjorie needs additional fiery spiciness with olives, celery, and Worcestershire sauce however Lisa needs delicate with a bacon stir stick, then they will each construct their very own at a Bloody Mary bar. 

Various cocktail stations to contemplate are:

  • Spiked scorching chocolate bar with choices like rum or whiskey, plus marshmallows or grated chocolate

  • Construct your personal sangrias with fruit garnishes and a selection of wine or low-alcohol punch

  • Margarita station with salt and liqueur choices

  • Mojito bar with a selection of rums and garnishes


What’s ‘cocktail hour’?

This superb retro time period refers back to the time earlier than a banquet is served. The cocktail hour is when visitors take pleasure in an aperitif – a Latin-based phrase that refers to a drink that opens one’s urge for food. 

At weddings and enormous occasions, a cocktail hour gathers visitors collectively earlier than the eating space is opened and ensures that everybody will probably be able to be seated and eat when the meals is prepared. Extra particularly, visitors often mingle collectively in a cocktail space whereas wedding ceremony portraits are coordinated. The cocktail hour offers them one thing to do whereas the couple and their wedding ceremony get together could also be absent.

To stability cocktail hour drinks, H’ors D’oeuvres are sometimes served. These could also be at a ‘station’ which implies visitors might help themselves or ‘handed’ which signifies that wait employees will carry platters of appetizers and provide them to every visitor as they move. (The time period H’ors D’oeuvres comes from the French and is pronounced or-durr-ves. It means ‘exterior of labor’ so that you eat them earlier than the massive work of a meal!)


Is it okay for the bride or groom to drink one thing particular?

Completely! The couple celebrating, and typically their wedding ceremony get together too, usually share a particular drink earlier than or after the ceremony. And, if you wish to drink champagne all night time, go forward. If in case you have a particular selection of whiskey, then that is an choice too. 

In case you e-book with Wedgewood Weddings, then inform your wedding ceremony crew what you need to drink, and so they’ll ensure you have a recent glass at hand all through your occasion. 


Clarify ‘Bar Hours’

This query often refers to what a bar will probably be serving at specific factors in an occasion. As an illustration, solely providing signature cocktails throughout cocktail hour. Closing for drink orders throughout dinner service when there could also be wine positioned on the desk. You may also select to supply a full bar after dinner, solely a restricted drink choice inside the final two hours of your occasion, or change to comfortable drinks solely. 


Do bar employees should be tipped per drink?

No. Your visitors could need to, however there isn’t a want. If a service payment or gratuity isn’t included in your occasion or wedding ceremony venue contract, the final steerage is to tip your bartender 15-20% of the ultimate bar tab. If a service payment is included, there’s no have to tip additional, though you’ll be able to if you want.


What’s a ‘toast’?

Sometimes, at massive occasions, toasts will probably be made to have a good time the visitors of honor or wedding ceremony couple. These may be personalised anecdotes or ritualized sayings. On the conclusion of a speech, a toast will probably be made, and everybody current will increase their glasses and repeat the sentiment. 

We will present wonderful champagne or high-quality cider to every visitor to be used throughout the toasting. In some cultures, it’s poor type to toast with water or an empty glass. If you don’t take pleasure in champagne, deciding on prosecco or cava is a superb selection or you’ll be able to toast together with your favourite beverage.

Instance toasts: 

“Could you reside so long as you want and have all you want so long as you reside.”

“My coronary heart is as full as my glass, after I drink with you, pricey buddies!”

“There are good ships, and there are wooden ships. The ships that sail the ocean. However one of the best ships, are friendships, and should they at all times be.”


What’s ‘Wine For the Desk’?

Frequent at many large-scale occasions, bottles of pink and white wine will probably be positioned on the tables earlier than visitors enter the eating space. Friends can then assist themselves as wanted or the wait employees will preserve glasses topped up as they move. ‘Wine for the desk’ is supplied in order that visitors can take pleasure in their meal with out ready on the bar.

‘Wine for the desk’ is just not synonymous with ‘desk wine’ – which is usually the home wine and bought in quantity because it matches the tastes of most visitors.


How A lot do Individuals Sometimes Drink?

Nice query! A rule of thumb is one drink per individual per hour plus a drink they will toast with throughout speeches. You already know your crowd and might determine if this sounds cheap.


What’s a ‘dry bar’?

At some occasions, alcohol is just not applicable, and people events name for a dry bar – which means all of the obtainable drinks are non-alcoholic (aka 0% alcohol). The requirement for a dry bar may be as a consequence of many elements like faith, native laws, or visitor age. 


Deciding on bar choices could really feel overwhelming, however our crew at Wedgewood Weddings is right here to assist. Based mostly in your visitor depend and options, they will find a way that will help you make a great determination that’s respectful of your price range and your visitors’ wants. Until your visitors are all non-drinkers, most visitors anticipate a bar setup with a collection of wine, beer, and spirits. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to select to exceed or confound expectations and etiquette by doing what feels best for you – at your occasion, nobody will decide as they will be having a good time no matter your bar selection. 


Signature Wedding Cocktail - Wedgewood Weddings


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Written by Amber Bridal

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