How To Successfully Organise A DIY Bar For Your Wedding Day

Typically DIY bars are popular with couples who are hosting their wedding within a temporary structure such as a marquee or a dry hire venue.  Such weddings require additional planning hours, so, for many organising the bar is a step too far and instead choose to hand the reigns over to the professionals aka a mobile bar company.

However, for some this is not an option and instead take the plunge and choose to organise a DIY bar for their guests to enjoy.

Image Credit: Joseph Kinerman Photography

Fuelling your guests with their preferred tipple is key to ensuring  that a fun time is had by all.  So organising a DIY bar is a task not to be taken lightly.  With so many things to remember whilst in the midst of planning what is probably the biggest day of your life it’s easy to see how key factors which are essential in ensuring the beverages flow freely are often overlooked.

To help you along the way and to hopefully keep any mishaps to a minimum I have compiled a list of points to remember and my top tips which will help ensure your DIY bar is remembered for all the right reasons.

Image Credit: Joseph Kinerman Photography

Points to Remember:

  • It’s often wrongly assumed that a DIY bar will run itself, which is definitely not the case.  If your budget allows, hiring professional bar staff via a bar company or your caterers will ensure that your bar runs smoothly.  If this is not an option then you will need to allocate someone to be in charge of replenishing the bar, collecting empty bottles and glasses as well as washing glasses once they have been used.
  • Missing items such as fruit to garnish the drinks, knifes and chopping boards needed to prepare the fruit, bottle openers, corkscrews, optics and paper straws.  All of which are essential items needed to run a successful DIY bar.  However, these items are often missed off the packing list.
  • A shortage of ice is probably the most common DIY bar disaster.  Never underestimate the amount of ice you need to ensure your guests drinks are served chilled.  Taking special care to take into account any ice you may require to fill ice buckets if you intend to offer bottles of alcohol to your guests from a beer bucket or similar.
  • Lack of refrigeration is another common error associated with a DIY bar.  Ideally you should have fridges within your bar unit which can be replenished as and when required with bottles taken from a fridge hidden away in a storage area. This will ensure that you have a constant flow of cold beverages available for your guests.
  • Running dry is a big no no.  Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to ensure this doesn’t happen.  However, I normally advise couples to expect their guests to each have 4-6 drinks (based on a 4 hour evening reception), and always round up your estimation rather than rounding down.
  • Water and lots of it.  It’s often under estimated how many bottles of water your guests will request.  Always ensure that there is an abundance of chilled water available for your guests throughout the evening.

Image Credit: Joseph Kinerman Photography

Top Tips:

Hopefully now you have read my points to remember your DIY bar will be a roaring success, but before I go I have listed a small selection of my top tips which will further ensure all runs smoothly.

  • If your guests are helping themselves to bottles from a beer bucket attach a bottle opener to the bucket via a long piece of string.  This will ensure the bottle opener does not go missing half way through the evening.
  • Offer iced water and a further soft drink alternative to guests via a kilner jar positioned on the bar.  Guests can then help themselves rather than having to wait to be served by your bartender.
  • Try and position the bar area as close as possible to the storage area where the additional drinks are being refrigerated.  This saves valuable time for the person in charge of re-stocking the bar.

Image Credit: Joseph Kinerman Photography

I really hope you have found the above information useful.  Should you require further advice on how to plan any element of your wedding or party please contact me via my website.





Leave a Comment

Welcome to my Blog
Essex wedding planner Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events in garden

Contact info

Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events
Brentwood, Essex

01277 226785
07889 171453

About Hayley

With a keen eye for detail, organisational skills that are second to none and the love of a “to do” list it was inevitable that Hayley would become an events planner. She started her career within the legal profession and was a Personal Assistant for 14 years before training with the UKAWP to become a professional wedding and events planner and then going on to launch “Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events”.

Connect with us

Trained with the UKAWP

Trained with Planning Redefined

As featured on hitched