Wedding Reception Forum

Bartending vs Alcohol Catering

Hi all! I am planning a wedding for next May and my fiancé and I are having a hard time deciding whether or not to buy our own alcohol and hiring someone to bartend it (venue requirement) or have an alcohol caterer who prices it per person. We’re having around 175 people and I know for a fact at least 40-50 won’t be drinking. Any advice out there/ what you found worked best? Thanks!

Re: Bartending vs Alcohol Catering

  • ei34ei34 member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi all! I am planning a wedding for next May and my fiancé and I are having a hard time deciding whether or not to buy our own alcohol and hiring someone to bartend it (venue requirement) or have an alcohol caterer who prices it per person. We’re having around 175 people and I know for a fact at least 40-50 won’t be drinking. Any advice out there/ what you found worked best? Thanks!

    I'd go to a liquor outlet and talk to a salesperson about prices when buying in bulk and their return policy on unopened bottles.  And then compare those prices to what the alcohol caterer is charging.  Then weigh in convenience (do either deliver day of?  If neither do, that's another person you'll have to hire to get all of the alcohol to your venue, unless you and FI are going to do it). 
    My only "what worked best" is two major thumbs up to your venue for requiring a bartender to serve it.  Oh and semi-helpful advice (depending on your location, lol) is if you're anywhere near New Hampshire, they have a terrific liquor outlet right on the I-93 (forgetting the exact exit but it's in the southern part of the state) that has amazing prices and doesn't tax anything.
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It varies by location, but generally retail prices for alcohol are going to be much cheaper than what you'd pay a caterer. Verify that bringing your own is permitted with your venue, but even with a couple hundred dollars for a bartender, you'll still probably come out ahead. Typically with catering, you pay the per person price for everyone over 21, regardless of whether they're drinking or not, but with buying your own you can account for people that don't drink. 
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • I answered you in the other forum.
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