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Hire A Bartender or Not??

For our meet & greet, I just want to put out coolers of beer, wine, and some staple spirits and mixers and let people help themselves. I'd guestimate that 60% of our guests will stick to beer and wine, 30% will drink hard liquor, and the remaining 10% do not drink. We will have 30-40 guests and the meet & greet will be about 3 hours. FI really wants a bartender though. I've received a few quotes and found a bartender that is available and in our budget. The bartender will provide the alcohol, so we would have a larger selection which is nice, but considering most people will stick to beer/wine or simple drinks like rum and coke, I don't know if it's worth the extra money. Thoughts? Save a couple hundred and let people serve themselves, or hire the bartender? I just feel like that few hundred would be better spent on the honeymoon, but FI think it would "look nicer" to have a bartender. It would, but is it $300 nicer? meh

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Engaged: June 16, 2011 @ Bellagio fountains
Ceremony: Planet Hollywood
Reception: Margaritaville
May 26, 2013

Re: Hire A Bartender or Not??

  • Hmm, that is a tough call.  But it sounds like having the bartender is something that is important to your FI, so I say go for it.  Also, there is something pretty special about having a bartender at your meet & greet, which will make it stand out and it will keep the bar area clean.

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  • Not sure how much it costs to have them bring the booze, but you can just hire the bartender (w/o the booze) from a place like Culinary Pros.  We are doing that for our wedding and they are only charging $30/hour.
  • I second Culinary Pros.  They're only $30/hour, but they do have a 5 hour minimum.  Even if you only use them for a couple hours, it would probably be worth it.
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  • i say hire the bartender! i hired one for a party one night and he was 100.00! plus i let him put out a tip cup,he did very well :) put an ad in the local paper or go to your local bar and get a bartender who is off looking for extra money.

    Good Luck!
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  • We hired a bartender through Absolute and provided our own alcohol, etc. They were only $35/hour. I tipped them on top of that because I didn't want my guests paying for anything. It is a little classier. I say go with the bartender.
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