11 Things You MUST Know About Having An Open Bar Wedding Reception

Having an open bar

Having an open bar is a great idea…

So, we’re covering everything you need to know about having one. 

Are you planning a Florida wedding? We’ll toast to that! Of course, you probably already have toasting on your mind if you’re trying to piece together all of the elements that must intertwine to create an amazing, unforgettable wedding experience for guests. Details like great music and gorgeous table centerpieces are fun. However, nothing is going to get your guests quite as excited as the sight of an open bar.

Take a look at 11 things to know if you’re planning an open bar for your upcoming wedding reception.

  1. It’s Easy to Create Variety: Variety is great when it comes to an open bar. However, a good variety doesn’t necessarily mean an endless variety. You can keep things simple by offering three solid beer choices. Two or three wine choices will also round things out nicely. The big variety is going to come from mixed drinks. Make sure that all of the basic liquors, mixers, and garnishes are there to guarantee that guests will have hundreds of cocktail combinations to choose from.
  2. You Can Build a Signature Cocktail Just for Your Wedding: You can actually invent a cocktail that reflects your wedding. Will you be honeymooning on a tropical island? Make a tropical-themed drink the signature item on the open-bar menu. You can also choose a drink that simply says something about who you and your fiancé are as a couple. Guests will love getting to know more about you before toasting to your honor with a yummy, unique drink.
  3. You Can Add a “Mocktail”: People who don’t drink alcohol don’t necessarily have to be excluded from the fun of enjoying the signature or seasonal cocktail you offer at the open bar. Ask the venue you’ll be working with to create a “mocktail” version of the “drink of the night” that will be made without any alcohol. You may also want to arrange for “mocktail” versions of your signature or seasonal drink to be served with an umbrella or special stir stick that indicates and confirms that alcohol has not been added!
  4. A Professional Bartender Is Important: It is so important to have someone behind the bar who knows how to make and serve a drink. A trained bartender simply creates a better experience by being capable of making requested drinks and providing impeccable presentations. What’s more, having someone who knows what they’re doing means your guests won’t be stuck waiting in line for a long time when they should be on the dance floor.
  5. A Bartender Should Know When Enough Is Enough: Serving drinks responsibly is important any time alcohol is involved. You will be too busy during your wedding reception to keep track of how much guests are drinking. The bartender at your event should be trained and knowledgeable when it comes to calculating when to cut off service to guests who have consumed too much alcohol.
  6. Your Guests Really Want an Open Bar: The truth is that your future wedding guests are crossing their fingers in the hopes that you’ll have an open bar at your reception. In fact, a wedding with an open bar is simply one of the joys of adult life. An open bar is a great way to keep spirits high during a highly social occasion.
  7. Choosing a Venue That Takes Care of the Open Bar Really Is the Best Option: Some couples try to pull off do-it-yourself open bars. The truth is that trying to purchase alcohol from local liquor stores, setting everything up and getting someone to stand by the bar all night to serve drinks can be hard work. This is exactly what you don’t need to be worrying about in the busy days leading up to your wedding. What’s more, a do-it-yourself bar can come across as sloppy. Trying to figure out how much alcohol to buy in anticipation of how much wedding guests will drink is also very complicated.
  8. Someone in Your Bridal Party Needs to Know Your Favorite Drink: Don’t forget to actually enjoy your own open bar at your wedding! Far too many brides and grooms never actually get to enjoy their own open bars because they are simply too busy to ever get to the bar. Make sure at least one person at your wedding party knows about your favorite drink. You should task that person with delivering your preferred wine, beer, or cocktail to your table every time they notice that your cup is empty.
  9. Open Bars Are Appropriate for Daytime Weddings: Some couples might wonder if an open bar is appropriate for a daytime reception. The answer is that afternoon cocktails can be downright delightful following a ceremony. In fact, many brides and grooms choose to offer daytime-appropriate drinks like mimosas for receptions that fall on the earlier side of the day.
  10. Open Bars Are Appropriate at Family-Friendly Weddings: Some brides and grooms are unsure if open bars are appropriate at family-friendly weddings that will be attended by kids. Open bars aren’t only meant for adults-only weddings. It is perfectly acceptable to have an open bar if kids will be attending your wedding. Having a professional bartender running your open bar will ensure that everything is handled appropriately.
  11. You Can Designate a Sober-Driving Advocate: Are you concerned about guests getting home safely from your wedding? You can ask one friend or family member to be a sober-driving advocate at your reception. This person could be in charge of simply keeping an eye on guests to ensure that nobody is getting behind the wheel of a car when they shouldn’t be driving. What’s more, this person can show guests how to download and use a service like Uber to get a ride home if they aren’t in good shape for driving. ​

Raise the Bar With an Open Bar at Your Wedding

Do you want to keep guests mingling, dancing, and enjoying your wedding for as long as possible? An open bar is a secret to making your reception a hit! Work with the Millenia Catering Group to design the perfect bar experience for your event. Our treasured staff and venues make it easy to take care of planning an open bar while you also design a menu for your wedding. Schedule a tour of one of our beautiful venues in Orlando, Auburndale, or Bartow today!