WEDDING PLANNING TIPS
We're here to guide you through the process of planning your wedding to ensure you won't have to worry about a thing on your special day. These tips should help you along the way!
How To Avoid Those Dreaded Bar Lines
Have you ever been to a cocktail hour and instead of mingling, taking in all the beautiful decor, finding your table, and snacking on apps - you’re standing in a bar line that feels like it’s not moving? Not only is this a vibe-killer, it’s also frustrating for your guests who may end up leaving early due to the sheer fact that they weren't able to enjoy cocktails at a reasonable pace. So...how do you avoid this?
We’re wedding bartenders. All of your thirsty guests bellying up at the bar at one time after your ceremony isn’t a surprise to us. It’s expected. At Miss Mixology, we have trained bartenders ready to handle peak bar hours with speed, consistency, and professionalism. We are proud to offer a no-wait guarantee for you and your guests! It’s recommended to consult your service provider and find out what their procedures are to ensure your guests aren’t spending cocktail hour in line at the bar.
If you have a need for speed like we do, get in touch with us today to hear more about our no-wait guarantee.
The Miss Mix Way
A few things we do to ensure quick service:
Set the bar up with all of our items within an arms reach
Set up multiple bar stations within one bar
Prep multi-step cocktails ahead of time (Old Fashioned, Manhattan, etc)
Bring extra ice into the bar area
Properly place staff in positions where they shine and can move the quickest
Prepare trays of cocktails to greet guests with
Send a bar assistant into the "line" to take drink orders for beer and wine
Best of all - we remember guests' drink choices. We have their drinks ready and waiting when we see them heading to us!
Go Team Go!
Your bartending company should be prepared with a team of staff to execute 5 star service during all hours of bar service - but especially those peak hours. One or two bartenders aren’t going to prevent that long and dreadful line from forming at your wedding. Make sure you’re getting a solid team of professionals behind your bar along with defined processes in place to keep service moving. At Miss Mixology, our packages include the necessary amount of bartenders and bar assistants for each guest count.
Tray passed cocktails are a great touch to your wedding cocktail hour. Who doesn’t like being greeted with a tray full of booze? Hiring a couple cocktail servers is another great way to prevent a line from forming at your bar.
Servers for Your Wedding...Everything you Need to Know!
Servers are an essential piece to every wedding. They handle the jobs that keep the reception going. From emptying garbage cans to filling waters, servers are a must! If you plan on providing your own food or have a caterer that has partial or no service staffing, you’ll need some. It’s also highly recommended to book a bartending company that also provides service staff because there can be incentives when hiring two services from the same company, you’ll have one less vendor to communicate with, and you will have servers and bartenders that are familiar with each other allowing for perfect communication and consistency in training.
Here’s what Miss Mixology offers servers for:
Managing dinner service (buffet, plated, family style)
Dismissing tables for dinner
Bussing plates and drink cups
Keeping guest’s water glasses full
Managing appetizer service
Setting place settings
Taking out trash
Cleaning up venue prep areas
Securing rentals for pick up
Here are some tips when hiring service staff:
How many do I need?
There isn’t a standard answer for this because every wedding reception and task list is different. At Miss Mixology, we take the time during our initial consultation to discuss your service needs and determine how many servers your wedding reception will need. We consider your guest count, catering staff, venue logistics & requirements, and the tasks that need to be performed. You want to be able to depend on the experience and expertise of your wedding bartending & service company to guide you in the right direction.
How many hours do I need them for?
Keep in mind what you are hiring them for. Your service provider should know how many hours are needed based on the tasks given. They will need setup and prep hours, service hours, and extra time to clean up. At Miss Mixology, we have our service staff available in a package format instead of hourly rate to ensure all of your wedding reception tasks are covered, regardless of how long it takes! Careful with hourly rate, if they stay longer than the billed time - you may get a surprise bill the next day.
Who supplies the supplies?
Supplies are necessary to all service related tasks. Trays, tray stands, bus tubs, towels, disinfectant, backup napkins, cutlery, etc etc. Your service company should be providing all of this on your behalf. Make sure to ask them what they are supplying for you and if there’s anything extra you need to have for them.
Do they know my venue?
Each venue has their own set of rules and clean up protocols. Make sure your service staff knows them because you may not know all of them (and that’s perfectly ok). For instance, some venues require service staff to sweep and mop. Others, to take out all the trash. If these tasks aren’t handled in full, you may lose your security deposit. At Miss Mixology, we know all of our venues inside and out and have trusted relationships with the venue staff. If it’s a new venue for us, we make sure to give them a call and discuss their specific requirements prior to your wedding.
The 411 On Hiring A Bartending Service For Your Wedding
We know all about planning a wedding on a budget. Maybe you just bought your first house or are working on your student loans. We get it! Having a budget when planning a wedding is everything. While budget is everything, it’s still important to make sure the bartending company you are choosing not only fits your budget needs but also your demand for stellar service. When you are shopping for a bartending service, factor in what’s included with the prices you have been given. For example, with our pricing, we include everything you’re going to need from the service hours to the mixers. If something isn’t included in our services that you might need, you’ll know up-front in our initial email to you.
Licensing and Insurance
Make sure to find out if your bartending company is licensed and insured. It’s required by the State of Michigan. All of our bartenders and servers have the proper certifications, licensing, and insurance needed to provide a safe and responsible service . These courses also train our staff on health standards, bar cleanliness, proper ways to handle intoxicated guests, and much more. Contact us today to find out how our insurance and certifications are beneficial to both your wedding and wedding venue.
Ability to Answer Questions
Let us help you find the right questions to ask your bartending company.
Here are a few great questions you can ask:
“Will there be long bar lines?” “Will you set up and breakdown?”
“What happens if someone seems overserved?”
“What do you provide?”
It’s important that your bartending company can answer all of these quickly and
honestly with detail. It’s also important that they ask you questions back and provide
suggestions based on your conversation thus far. Here are some of the most important
questions your bartender should be asking you:
Is your ceremony located close to the bar area?
Is your caterer providing service staff?
Where will the bar be located?
What is your color palette or theme?
At Miss Mixology, we think that the most important thing to consider is transparency. You don't want to get stuck with hidden fees or additional costs so make sure you understand the following:
Fees: Your bartending company should be upfront with costs as well as any extra fees they have which could include taxes, gratuity, travel, and operational.
Service hours: Wedding receptions typically last 5-7 hours. So you will want to make sure you have bartending services for enough hours to cover your cocktail hour and reception. If you see a low package price accompanied by a 3 hour service window, know that the price you see will increase as you add on the necessary service hours through the bartending company. All of our packages cover 5-6 hours.
Surprise costs for necessities: There are things every wedding bar must have. These include: licensed and insured bartenders, physical bar, ice, cups, napkins, mixers, water, fruit garnishes, straws, cocktail napkins, bar tools & equipment, and bar assistants. Make sure these are included in your services. If they aren’t, you’ll want to find out what the extra costs will be.
Set up and breakdown: With Miss Mixology services, all of your setup and breakdown hours are automatically included in our bartending service options. Make sure the bartending company you choose includes all the necessary set up and clean up time needed. If it’s not included directly, find out what the extra costs will be to have someone set up and clean up the bar space.
You Get What You Pay For
Quality of service is critical for a successful wedding bar. Let’s face it, the bar is one of the most important pieces to a wedding reception so you want to make sure the company you hire is reputable and able to handle the tasks at hand. This might mean spending extra money in your budget to have that sense of comfort knowing your bar is handled appropriately. You should be offered at least (2) bartenders for every 100 guests- it’s not service savvy to have one bartender. Who will get ice? Who will stock? Who will cut more fruit? What happens if the bartender needs to step away to use the restroom?
Back to the point, if you have a love for cocktails and demand a great bar experience for your guests, work that into your budget and understand it may cost more for higher quality service.
Quality of Product
The perfect drink starts with two things - a knowledgeable bartender and good products. We all know that a Bulleit & Coke made with canned pop will taste a lot fresher than one made with 2 liter Coke. The cheaper the drink product, the cheaper the drink will taste. Ask your bartending company what products they use, where they get their garnishments, and how they keep everything fresh.
How To Pick the Perfect Signature Cocktail
Choosing the cocktails for your wedding can be an exciting task. It gives a personal touch to your bar while also giving your guests a chance to try a cocktail they normally wouldn't. Here are our favorite tips:
Begin With Your Favorite Spirits
You want to choose something that represents your palette. For example, if you prefer vodka and your fiance prefers bourbon, it’s ideal to choose those spirits for your cocktail. Keep in mind, a lot of signature drink recipes can be altered to your preferred spirit of choice. For instance, a cucumber gin gimlet can be replaced with Effen Cucumber Vodka and provide the same delicious experience.
Sweet, Sour, Bold, Bubbly?
We recommend mixing up the different styles of signature cocktails on your menu. It’s important
not to overwhelm your bar with sugary drinks so there’s an option for every palette.
Turn Your Wedding Signature Cocktails into Eye Candy
Garnishes are the most important part of a signature drink as they add an aesthetic element.
Planning your wedding on a budget but still want that special experience? Great -- throw a
lime wheel and a couple of sugared cranberries over a simple vodka cranberry and just like
that you have a beautiful drink for a fraction of the cost. Spruce up a Moscow Mule by adding
a sprig of mint. The visual experience of a signature drink is just as important as the drink itself
while also giving your guests a treat to eat at the end of their cocktail.
Tis’ The Season
It’s important to make sure you are keeping in mind the season when choosing those perfect signature drinks for your wedding or event. Give your guests the chance to embrace the season with every sip. Here are some examples from our wedding signature cocktail menu:
Summer: Watermelon Mojito, Blackberry Bourbon Smash
Fall: Cinnamon Apple Margarita, Apple of My Eye
Winter: Spiced Cranberry Old Fashioned, Blood Orange Sip
Signature Drinks as Beautiful as Your Wedding Reception
Tapping back into visual importance - it’s super important to make sure you’ve got a large, readable signature cocktail menu on display at your bar. It should be colorful, short, and include personal touches.
Name your signature drinks based on your and your fiance's experiences together. Where you met, your first date, etc. Have a beloved pet? I bet Rover would love a signature drink named after him. Yes, you should definitely include a photo of your pet too. Consult your bartender for help on this one!
For other tips on planning your signature drinks and wedding bar experience contact us today!