Image from Beer and Co - pop up bar provider
Sometimes when guests leave a wedding you will hear them say "what a beautiful wedding"...sounds great hey, but I think beautiful is a given when your have wedding professionals involved. I would much rather hear them say "that was so them". That is when I know I have done my job, as a wedding planner, properly. I have got to know my couple and what makes them tick and their big day has been a reflection of who they are and a much more intimate experience for their guests. It is all about personalisation and making sure your wedding reflects your style.
That is why I am obsessed with marquee and tipi weddings and the freedom that comes with them. Couples are rarely tied to using specific suppliers. It opens up the chance to bring personal elements to every aspect of your wedding.
One of the ways you can inject your character and theme is the bar.
Image of the Fizzy Tipi Prosecco Bar. Image by Two-d Photography
Run your own Bar
By far the most economical option (depending on where you are getting married) is to set up your own bar. You can keep an eye out for offers and bargains on your drinks of your choice. You can often hire bars from prop companies which look great. For example, we LOVE the copper bar owned by Cambridge Tipi Company.
Copper Bar from Cambridge Tipi Company
If you do decide to run your own bar a couple of things to think about are:
1. Staff - You will need to staff the bar. Speak to your caterer as they may be able to provide bar staff. Alternatively, you could think about hiring a Mixologist who will be able to make up cocktails and drinks for your guests. We would always recommend designing a drinks menu and we love the idea of having a drink of the night or cocktail designed for you.
2. How are you going to keep the drinks cool? You will need ice and lots of it and it will need to be topped up throughout the night. So, you will need access to a freezer. You can hire in freezers but this can get expensive and make the Mobile bars discussed below a much better option financially. If, however, you are getting married at home and have a deep freezer then this can work well.
3. Make sure you have power run to the bar so you can have a fridge.
4. If you have kegs of beer, they will need to be put in place 24 hours before so they have time to settle. If you are hiring a bar that means you will need to arrange for the hire person to deliver it the day before so you can get the beer in place and leave it.
Mobile bars are one of the simplest options for your outdoor wedding. They bring a wide variety of drinks and all of the equipment to keep them cool and serve them well. This is definitely a much less stressful option than running the bar yourself. Most mobile bars charge a set fee for coming (approx. £250 - 350 and then they charge for drinks). You can either put an amount behind the bar and after that it becomes a cash bar or it can be a cash bar all night. This horse box bar from Duck and Pheasant is one of my favourites and looks perfect against a tipi.
With the Gin craze that is sweeping the nation more and more couples are opting for speciality bars such as gin tasting bars or pimp my prosecco stations. These bars can serve a specialised wedding menu throughout the night or they can just serve your welcome drinks. Personally, we love a pimp my procecco station. It is interactive which make it a form of entertainment but also gets your guests talking.
Other Bar ideas:
An idea I heard of that i think is genius is to make these personalised mason jar glasses for each of your guests, which they can then take to the bar to receive a pimms (or other speciality drink). The guest who attended this wedding said it was a brilliant gift to take home and instantly made everyone ditch the more expensive Proseco as everyone wanted to use their special glass! Win Win! The super talented bride at this wedding made them all herself with her guests names on them but you can get personalised glassed from crafts people on Not on the Hight Street and Easy.
If you wanted a tipi at your wedding but for whatever reason you could do it, this bar from The Fizzy Tipi is an excellent way to bring that tipi vibe to your wedding day. It looks amazing as it is but could be styled into a great chill out area for your guests. I also love an outdoor bar as it stops there being a traffic jam issue by the bar.
Lets me honest WHO doesn't love Prosecco. And this amazing Prosecco Bar in an italian 3 wheeled Piaggio Classic Ape van from Salute! Bubbles and Bira is a great solution. It is tiny which means it can easily be brought inside if the weather isn't great without it taking up too much room. Infact, at the Rustic Wedding Show in September we had as a centre piece in the middle of our Marquee and it was great!
For more bar ideas, check out our Directory for all drinks providers :-)