When my now-husband and I were planning our wedding, we had two big goals: save as much money as possible, and still throw a kick-ass party that didn’t feel cheap or chintzy. (So original, right?) With those things in mind, we decided early on what was worth splurging on (like the food and the reception space) and what wasn’t (like paying someone else to stock our bar).
After booking our amazing caterer and our trendy Brooklyn venue, we were given a few different options for providing alcohol to our guests. We could buy a full-service bar package from the venue, pay our caterer to take care of everything, or buy the booze ourselves.
Eager to cut costs anywhere we could — and, if I’m being honest, to micromanage yet another aspect of our special day — we jumped at the chance to stock the bar ourselves. Our caterer would provide bartenders and take care of most of the logistics, but purchasing the drinks was up to us.
It was a great decision — we personalized our drink menu, served everything we wanted (and nothing we didn’t), and saved a ton on markup and fees — but it wasn’t without challenges.
Here’s what we learned along the way, and in hindsight, about DIY-ing our own wedding bar.