All things drinks | arkansas bartenders

Wedding drinks are often overlooked in the grand scheme of wedding planning. Put some thought into what kinds of drinks you will serve! Not only do they need to be planned and organized, but you also need to make sure that you have enough for all of your guests. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your wedding drinks:

Are you wanting to serve alcoholic beverages? Non-alcoholic beverages? Or a mix of both? If you’re serving alcohol, what type of bar do you want? How much are you willing to spend on wedding drinks?

For this article I interviewed several mobile bar/ bartending vendors such as Toast in Tow, On the House Mobile Bar, Mint 2 Mix & Southern Sippery to get the expert answers to all things we need to know about wedding drinks!

Image from Toast in Tow Mobile Bar

What Drinks To Have At My Event?

Alcoholic: Champagne, Wine, Beer, Seltzers, Craft Cocktails
Non-Alcoholic: Mock-tails, Soda, Water, Tea, Coffee

If you’re serving alcohol, make sure you include a variety of drinks available. Typically, different types of beer, wine, and liquor. Also have a few non-alcoholic options available for those who don’t drink or are driving. Toast in Tow mentioned, “It is important to always offer popular beer and wine. We find that Michelob Ultra is always a safe beer option and a Pinot Grigio is a great wine option, especially for warmer outdoor events. If you are going to add a few custom cocktails, we love margaritas, mules, and anything with gin.”

f you have a large budget, you may want to go all out and have an open bar. If you’re working with a smaller budget, you may want to limit the number of alcoholic beverages or only provide a few signature cocktails of your choice.

As for what the experts are saying are the more popular drinks right now, this is what they had to say:

“Right now, we are seeing a lot of margaritas (custom flavors) and of course, mimosas. With our mobile bar, we offer a “specialty bar” option where hosts can customize their guests’ experience using our spigot system. Guests get their champagne from our serving window and then move to the self-serve spigots to add their favorite mimosa juice or juice combination!” (Toast in Tow)

“It’s not super fancy, but our whiskey sours are EXTREMELY popular. We use fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice and garnish with an orange slice and luxardo gourmet maraschino cherries.” (Southern Sippery)

“Some of our most popular beverages to serve are Old-Fashioneds, our Pineapple Coconut Margarita, the Charred Whiskey Sour, and Moscow Mules of all flavors.(On The House Mobile)

What Deserts Go Well With Drinks?

If you’re looking for something light and refreshing, a fruit tart or sorbet might be a good option. For those who enjoy something a little sweeter, chocolate with espresso martinis is always a winning combo.

Something that has become more popular lately is cotton candy in champagne, not only does it look amazing it tastes even better! We absolutely recommend ordering glitter bombs or cotton candy from Lemon and Puff! Look how cute Lemon and Puff pairs with specialty drinks from Mint 2 Mix, topping champagne glasses at Osage House or pairing with a delicious hot coffee from Mint 2 Mix

Alcohol vs. Non-Alcoholic

There are pros and cons to having both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. On one hand, having alcoholic drinks can help to create a more festive and celebratory atmosphere. On the other hand, non-alcoholic drinks can be a good option for those who don’t drink or are driving. Ultimately, it’s up to the person hosting to decide what’s best.

If you decide to serve alcoholic beverages at your event, be sure you have a variety of alternatives accessible.

Luckily for you, all the Arkansas Bar Tender vendors we interviewed offer both options!

Is it odd to serve mock-tails at my wedding?

Toast In Tow

Mock-tails are a great way to create a fun and festive atmosphere at your wedding or event without the alcohol. They are also a good option for those who don’t drink themselves or have a large crowd of guests who don’t. Mock-tails can be made with a variety of juices, sodas, and even pureed fruits. Personal fave: anything with La Croix in it

Don’t be afraid to ask your bartender vendors their mock-tail options.
When asked the question “is it odd to serve mock-tails?” this is what they had to say:

“Absolutely not! We love creating mocktails for guests to enjoy, and they are a common request at events like weddings. Recently, we have been experimenting with non-alcoholic spirits (Ritual is the brand we have been trying). We have even served Spiked Tea that was made with a non-alcoholic whiskey, and the guests loved it!” (Toast in Tow)

“It is not odd at all. We’ve served delicious mocktails with eye-catching appeal for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and more. In fact, our Berry Limeade Fizz was the talk of the party at NWA’s Women’s Expo. We had multiple people saying they were told to come purchase one and they had to try it; one woman came back three times.” (On The House Mobile Bar)

“Not at all! Many mocktails can taste similar or even better than the original.(Southern Sippery)

” WE LOVE creating delicious new mock-tails for our clients when they ask! We recently served at a wedding where there were ONLY mock tails and the guests LOVED it. It was such a fun way for guests to enjoy their experience at this couples wedding.’ Mint 2 mix

Open vs. Cash Bar

There are pros and cons to having an open bar at your wedding. An open bar can help to create a celebratory atmosphere. A cash bar can be a good option for those who want to save money. In the end, it is up to the couple to decide what is best for their wedding.

If you decide to have an open bar at your wedding, be sure you include a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. You should also have a plan for how long the open bar will be available. ALL of the bartenders we interviewed in Arkansas are WONDERFUL about giving you a plan for how long the bar is open and often offer advice too!

Open Bar Wedding:

An open bar is a bar at an event where guests are able to get drinks without having to pay for them. This is usually done by the host of the event. Open bars can be a great way to create an upbeat atmosphere. However, they can get expensive depending on the drinks you want served and the size of your guest list.

Toast in Tow said having an open bar “allows guest to have a cocktail hour style feel during the time between the end of your ceremony and the start of your reception,” this also allows you to show off your personality through any custom cocktails you might have chosen. To add to this idea of an open bar Southern Sippery prefers a set menu. This is not only “more affordable for the client but it can keep your lines moving faster.”

How much does an open bar typically cost at a wedding?

The cost of an open bar can vary depending on the drinks you want served and the size of your guest list.

According to Toast in Tow, the cost “truly depends on the size of the wedding” and often times couples tend to want to overspend when it comes to alcohol. Toast in Tow offers an alcohol order recommendation when booking, with this they help the couple build a menu and create a “shopping list” so clients know what exactly to buy and how much.

Cash Bar Wedding:

A cash bar is a bar at an event where guests are required to pay for their own drinks. This is usually done to save money on the overall cost of the event. Cash bars can be a good option for those who want to save money. However, they can also create a less festive atmosphere as often times guests aren’t wanting to pay for drinks on their own.

I think On The House Mobile Bar answers the topic of cash bars in the best way. Here’s what they had to say:

“Offering a cash bar can be controversial and is compared to as inviting your friends and family over for dinner and then charging them for the salt and pepper. We can work with our clients to decide what fits them best for their event.” (On The House Mobile Bar)

How Many Drinks To Have?

When planning an alcohol order for a wedding there are a few things to consider before purchasing. How many guests you have? What drinks are you offering? How long will you be serving? What do your guests prefer?

On the House Mobile Bar offers an “alcohol calculator” which “accounts for the number of guest and the hours of service.” They also ask ahead of time if your guests are “light, average or heavy drinkers.”

How To Stop Wedding Guests From Drinking Too Much

A super important factor that often goes over looked is the idea of safety when it comes to drinking at a wedding. We don’t always think about or even remember that that one guest you invited likes her have a really good time, which can cause some chaos.

All mobile bar services interviewed recommend, “this is why licensed bartenders are a must!” A well trained and certified bartender will be trained in “serving portions, identifying intoxication, evaluating how much is too much and special tactics to deter people from over drinking.” (Toast in Tow)

Southern Sippery mentioned “it is also helpful if the venue has event security” and if the venue doesn’t have it “you might consider hiring your own so that your wedding day goes off without a hitch.” Osage House in Cave Springs Arkansas is WONDERFUL for requiring a security guard on staff if the wedding has alcohol involved.

“When you choose On The House Mobile Bar, you are getting licensed and trained professionals. Our bartenders know how to recognize when to stop serving guests. If there is a specific person who tends to enjoy themselves too much, another tip to prevent your weddings guests from drinking too much is to tell the bartender in advanced.” (On The House Mobile Bar)

Why should I hire an arkansas mobile bar service over having a self-serve station?

It helps ‘bring the people together’ and celebrate a bit more. Mobile bar services also generally have a wider selection of drinks available, which can be helpful if you have guests with different drink preferences. Additionally, mobile bar services are often staffed by bartenders who are trained in responsible alcohol service, which can help to prevent guests from drinking too much.

“When talking about alcohol, self-serve can be a big liability. This is why many venues (and event or bartending insurance companies) actually do not allow alcohol to be self-served. It is always better to be safe!” (Toast in Tow)

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