Friday, April 20, 2007

Your Event Bar

How much your guests drink depends on your crowd. Take into account what your friends and family like and whether or not they are Irish.
You do not need to offer every drink, nor do we suggest that you offer an open bar for more than 2 hours total. (Nothing says ‘classy’ like hurling off the balcony while dressed to the nines.)

We suggest that you do not open the bar until after the ceremony. Groomsmen are notorious for loading up and trying to get completely Kennedy’d. When you do open the bar make sure that appetizers are available. (Bread, crackers and other alcohol absorbent foods are always a good idea).
A convenient time to switch from an open bar is when your meal is served. Guests can be seated with their cocktails and then offered beer and wine with their meal. Close the bar while guests fill their tummies, guests are less likely to notice and if they do the wonderful taste that is free food will help alleviate their aggravation. If you wish to open the bar later make it clear that you will authorize the bartender to do so. Survey your crowd, some people are capable of governing themselves and some are not, those who are not will become blatantly obvious to you the longer you wait. Don’t jeopardize your event or your guest’s safety. It will take one hour for your liver to remove one unit of alcohol. That’s 4 hours if you had 4 drinks! It is wise to stop all alcohol 1-2 hours before your guests leave.

What about what to buy? Many sites allow or ask you to purchase your own alcohol.
As a helpful guide for a 3-5 hour event...
assume 3-4 drinks pp
50% beer
20% wine
20% liquor
10% will not drink
(This will vary depending on crowd)
We strongly suggest a no shot policy.

Bottle of wine = ~6 glasses Champagne toast (1/3 full) = 10glasses
1 Keg = ~140 servings
We suggest you purchase bottled beer in 6packs usually liquor stores will return unopened 6packs (as well as bottles of wine and liquor) as long as their labels are not wet.

Cash Bars: Really? If I invited you to my home and charged you $5 for your wine you’d never speak to me again. How badly do you need alcohol that you are not willing to pay for it? We have planned many classy non-alcoholic events. If you are very concerned about several of your guests (the marines, the Irish, your aunt slosh) consider limiting what’s available.

A note about tip jars: If you are paying for the alcohol you should also include gratuity and it is therefore not appropriate for the bartender to display a tip jar. It’s insulting to you. Confirm this beforehand with your licensed bartender.

Click here for a convenient online calc supply list.

(latter picture courtesy of Verge Photography)