How a Wedding flows in Sacramento & The Bay Area
Hi Brides and interested visitors,
This blog is my perspective on all the weddings I have bartended in my 5 years and what you should know prior to booking your next bartender and bar. I hope this finds you well and you're able to use this guide at your wedding!
We receive our clients Submission Form instantly and return a Quote via a link through email.
Client places 50% deposit or pays in full to secure package.
Once client secures, client receives our Drinks List to help with cocktail ideas sent via email.
Client sends us (Bartenders 2U) their selection of cocktails. Don't over due it with too many cocktails (6-15) lol. Yes, we have bartended a 15 drink wedding quite a few times and it is not recommended. Too many options are rarely a good thing most times. Simplicity and easy to digest visually speaking cocktail menus are ideal for guests.
Normal weddings have 2-4 cocktails in addition a white wine (chardonnay) and a red wine (cabernet sauvignon) pairs well and is most popular due to its strengths like pairing it with a formal dinner which has beef, chicken, or fish on a nice summer evening. Lastly a light beer and somewhat of a dark beer offering.
Normal Bar Menu for A Wedding:
2 Hers & His signature cocktails
1-2 additional cocktails
2 Wines (white wine chardonnay & red wine cabernet sauvignon most popular
Champagne (for toast)
2 Beers (somewhat dark of a beer ipa & a light beer lager or pale ale)
Not too dark though because you have to keep in mind most guests don't prefer heavy dark beers for example porters and stouts. They are too heavy to drink for a five hour wedding that serves a full course dinner. Also, try to avoid buying kegs in general. Kegs are very temperamental and require a bunch of work to load, unload, pour, load, & unload. Kegs sound cool but they don't transport well. They also have a harder time pouring in the summer. If the keg reaches above 32 degrees all do exceed this temperature btw at weddings half of it will turn into foam from hot temperature swings or from tumbling in the back of your trunk/bed of the truck. Pumping kegs while at the wedding takes a long time and add additional minutes to your guests wait times. Kegs are also more expensive once factoring all the costs see: (KEGS VS BOTTLED BEER BLOG to find out why) compared to popping a bottle off in a split of a second. Bottles are great because not only are they easier to serve and chill faster than kegs but they also store away and transport easier without you blowing out your back and knees. Kegs have to be returned to their owners eventually and plus who wants to bring back a full keg of beer to their house and constantly have to buy ice for it everyday to keep it chilled while it sits in your garage Monday - Friday which we know you won't do. Just don't. The wasting of beer at weddings is sad because you have to bleed the keg initially if it will even bleed fully out which makes me cringe inside.
At the Wedding:
We arrive with all of our stuff one hour or more prior to your cocktail hour begins.
We setup the bar with all of our bar tools, menu, fruit tray, cooler & napkin/straw holder.
We immediately chill the white wine & beer. (nobody likes warm beer and wine)
We put on our food safe gloves and pull out our chopping board and knife to begin cutting the fruit into our decorative garnish styles.
We then place toppers (pour spouts) onto all bottles.
We open two red wine bottles and allow them to air out (aerate).
At weddings, surprisingly to our hosts wine & beer are always leftover in large amounts. Guests can open a bottle of beer or a bottle of wine at their house any day of the week (not a sought after beverage). Guests cannot typically open a hand crafted cocktail at home. Guests love cocktails over anything else it really is the star of the night so don't go overboard buying wine and beer.
Also, don't buy too much champagne. Most people have their cocktails in hand for the toasts. On average, only 25% of the champagne gets used for the toasts and won't be touched for the rest of the night (a money waster). Go ahead and buy a lot anyways though just in case. Lets be honest, most people want cocktails and most people have cocktails in their hand while toasting. Maybe serving champagne at the beginning of the cocktail hour and during toast is the ideal situation. Surprisingly, I've only bartended one wedding out of 5 years where champagne was passed out by servers during cocktail hour. I think thats a great touch to elevate your wedding and wow your guests by making them feel welcomed with a flute of champagne.
Plus it helps the introverts loosen up easier lol.
We typically account for five to 5-10 ten cocktails consumed in a five hour period (average reception time).
Taking those figures into consideration we will make anywhere from 740 - 1500 cocktails in one night on average.
Having 7 years of experience in the nightclubs helped us to have speed paired with high volume.
Not many other bartenders have nightclub experience which is a totally different experience and really prepares you for the after the ceremony rush when everyone and their momma rushes to the bar for a cocktail like their lives are dependent on it. After that initial rush of guests gets processed quickly the flow slows down a little and stays constant throughout the night.
Most of the time we will shut the bar down during speeches
End of the Wedding:
We typically like to stop serving guests for a sober up period (30 min) prior to the end by passing out waters, sodas, coffee, or tea.
Once the sobering up period begins we will typically start packing up the unused item back into the boxes they came in while still keeping the non-alcoholic beverages out for guests.
Once the reception has ended we clean up, break down, and pack up and thank your guests for the opportunity to serve them.
Cheers & Congrats!
Bartenders 2 U