when to cut your wedding guest off

And this is why you hire good bartenders and allow them to cut off your guests from drinking too much.

Thank you Kawania Wooten for the link.

dance on!



do not box in your wedding bartenders :: part five/finale

Part Five and the finale of our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

So far the series of “not boxing” in certain wedding vendors has probably made some sense to you, perhaps you it even made you think, aha?!

So I bet you’re wondering why we would talk about your bartenders and their needs? They just pour drinks, right?

You must recognize that a life-blood area at your reception is your bar. If service is slow due to the small ratio of bartenders to large quantity of guests or the setup is not correct, then your service will suffer. And your guests will be frustrated.

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding bartenders:

1. If you have a down-time between your ceremony and wedding reception (ceremony starts at 1:30pm and reception starts at 5:30pm) then be sure your venue will not open their doors to your guests until 5:30pm. Guests will always come in and may go to the bar for a drink. Your bartenders have to decline them and your guests will perceive they are being rude.

2. Try not to come up with a complicated, well-intentioned cost-savings idea for your bar. You can thank ill-advised websites for publishing these crazy concepts. Such as:

Open Bar for Pre-Dinner

Bar Closes for Dinner

Bar reopens for Dancing but only serves hosted Beer, Wine, & Signature Drink until 9pm

Cash bar for the remaining wedding reception

Huh? You need a time grid to remember all of this. How do you expect your guests to react to your bartenders and vice-versa?

3. Do not try to squeeze your bartenders into the corner of the room with limited space and light. Sure they are tucked away, but there isn’t enough room to turn around 3x.

4. Please do not skimp and only hire 2 bartenders for 300 wedding guests. The ratio to keep service at its optimum is as follows:

1 Bartender per 75 guests (and some say 100)

But DON’T forget you need a bar back for multiple bars. This is a person who runs back and forth for ice, restocking etc. A very necessary position.

Trust your bartenders.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!



love your wedding wait staff and bartenders

Our special series of “loving your wedding vendors” continues.

Today we are going to talk about your wedding wait staff and bartenders.

Often overlooked, these players in your wedding are CRITICAL to a successful event.

Think about it. There are three things that a guest will remember from your wedding: Food, Fun and Service. You really don’t know how important good service is until your receive, um, bad service.That is why a good wait staff that can serve your wedding meal proficiently and quickly is so important to help keep the overall flow of the evening.

Reasons why you should love your wedding wait staff and bartenders?

  1. They work really hard. Ever serve meals or clear tables? How about at a reception where the bride was sure she could squeeze 280 guests in a room that seats 250. And it is a plated/served meal.
  2. Often unappreciated and sometimes not treated kindly, they still work really hard.
  3. Your bartenders are on their feet, working tirelessly to quickly serve your guests.
  4. Often understaffed, they have to work twice as hard.
  5. Your bartenders have to deal with your drunk guests. Seriously.
  6. They are grossly under paid.
  7. Really, they should be paid more.
  8. Oh, did we mention, they are often under paid for the services they perform.

Behind the scenes:

We planned a beautiful backyard wedding a few years ago (see the photo above); which was a fete to pull off and a sheer volume of work. So when the hailstorm and sky to ground lightening made the guests rush in the home for cover, we had a small problem on how to serve the gourmet courses to the guests. The wait staff and bartenders under unbelievable time constraints, pressure, and tight preparation quarters…served the guests quickly and the guests response was that the food was unbelievable!

Here’s a thought on gratuities. We know that gratuities are almost always included in caterer’s contracts which covers the wait staff and bartenders. You are already paying 18-20% of your bill.

However, I contend that if your wait staff or bartenders did an exceptional job, really went ABOVE and BEYOND (the scenario above for instance), then it is perfectly acceptable for you to give them an additional tip. If you choose to do so, be sure to give cash and directly to the servers.

feature photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow: love your wedding florist !

plan on!