How to Pick Your Destination Wedding Bar Service!

No doubt, libations will be popular at your wedding so choosing the right bar option is top of the list!

Our sister company Let Us Toast Ja ( provides stylized bar service options, focuses on service, complements your decor AND curates your favorite libations! Here’s the scoop!

How much does wedding bar service cost?

You would’ve spent a great deal of time designing the décor, from welcome sign on arrival, ceremony décor, cocktail hour, reception look and feel. After the ceremony having the right hors d oeuvres and libations are key. Having the right bartending team with the right ratio of bartenders to guests to mix the perfect cocktails or assist with pairing your beverages with your menu is EVERYTHING.

Of course, depending on the number of guests, your selections and location, you may look to spend anywhere between $2,500-12,000 on your bar service.

What is the average cost of alcohol for a wedding?

Alcohol can comprise a major part of your total wedding bar service cost. In general, the average starting price for a standard bar package at a wedding is $8.50 per person per hour.

How should you choose your bar service?

This requires some serious thought as this can literally break your budget. Here are a few things to consider before deciding:

1.    Your Alcohol Consumption Head Count – this is literally where you ought to start. Doing an open bar for 50 people when only 30 are of the legal drink age or are on the elderly side is not practical nor cost effective.

2.    Your Guest Count – If you have a larger group of like 100 to 150 then a per hour bar may not be your best bet as this is billed per hour per person. An average cocktail to reception run time is 6-9 hours. Based on this, you maybe charged $8.50 ph (per hour) for a standard bar package. Therefore $8.50 x 9 hrs = $76.50 x 150 ppl = $11,475 would be your subtotal. Other charges will apply.

3.    Consider What You Want To Serve – Serving Hennessy which costs around $150 per bottle to a group of family and close friends who are avid beer and wine drinkers is not practical nor cost effective.

4.    Your Budget – If you have a tight budget then you may need consider serving lower end limited options throughout instead of a variety of higher end options.

What are the different wedding bar options?

Depending on your guests’ preferences and your budget, there are several different ways that you can serve alcohol at your wedding.

·         Full Open Bar: A  full open bar provides a variety of wines, beer, hard alcohol, and non-alcoholic beverages. The wedding hosts pay for the entire bar, and guests don’t have to shell out any money during the wedding. It can be charged as a flat fee or a per person per hour.

·         Limited open bar: If you’re on a tighter budget, a limited bar maybe a worthwhile option. This bar provides wine and beer (and perhaps a single type of hard alcohol, as well as non-alcoholic beverages. Again, the wedding hosts incur the charges for this style of bar but since there isn’t a ton of hard alcohol (which is more expensive), it will be cheaper than a full open bar.

·         Cash bar: Guests pay for their own alcohol. This is billed either per drink or a flat fee. If you think your guests will be imbibing a lot of alcohol during your wedding, the flat fee is likely the best option. But on the other hand, if your guests aren’t big drinkers, a per drink fee might be a safer bet.

·         Bring Your Own Alcohol: This option requires a bar service team who will bring the glassware, equipment, garnishes and staffing and they’ll serve the alcohol you buy. You get to control how much you pay for alcohol.

·         Consignment: This is usually a God send for couples as they are able to serve what they want and only billed for what their guests consumed. This is not available with every bar service provider though.

·         Dry Bar: This option has absolutely no alcohol! Items like sodas, juices, water, teas and nonalcoholic sparkling wine is served. This can be disappointing for your guests, so we definitely recommend letting this be known on your website, facebook group or invitation.

·         Soft Bar: This option only serves red and white wine, champagne and beer.

What is included in a wedding bar service package?

Your standard wedding service quote usually includes the following:

·         Alcohol: The alcohol cost is the most obvious part of a wedding bar package. You’re paying for the actual alcohol that your guests will drink during cocktail hour, dinner and party.

·         Staffing: Each bar service company will have a bar manager, mixologists, bartenders, cocktail servers and scullions there to ensure your guests get the perfect pour every single time.

·         Setup Fee: This covers garnishes, glassware, ice, straws, napkins, large and small equipment. It will also include a service bar for the wait staff to have access to in order to fill guest orders while the main bar only services your guests who choose to get their drinks themselves. Back of house setup like washstands will also be included.

·         Additional fees: Your bar service may charge additional fees which may include transportation, corkage fee, rental of bar bar counters and more.

How can you save money on your bar service?

You can save money by getting very creative with offerings at your wedding bar. You can offer like flavored water on arrival, a signature drink bar or wine and beer for cocktail hour. Cool items like coconuts will work here as well. For dinner you can extend the same libations from cocktail hour into dinner and do a limited open bar during the party. You can skip champagne for toasting and use Prosecco, wine or signature drink to toast.

What questions should I ask a wedding bar service before hiring?

To ensure a smooth experience with your wedding caterer, here are several questions you should ask  before hiring.

·         How much flexibility do we have in terms of our bar options?

·         What service styles do you offer?

·         Can you handle allergies and dietary restrictions?

·         Do you provide rentals?

.        What service styles do you offer?

. Can you tell me in details about the bar options that you offer?

. Will Bar staff buss tables?

Have questions or thinking about getting married in Jamaica? Click this link and fill out the contact form, we’d love to connect with you!

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About The Owner

Our Owner and Senior Event Planner, Franciene Foster, is a certified wedding consultant with a decade of experience in the business.