Wedding Bar: How To DIY The Right Way Tips From The Pros

Hands Up If You’re Planning A DIY Wedding Bar!  Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know To Do It Right

The DIY trend is still going strong so it’s no wonder you are looking for ways to jump on board.  Planning a wedding should be personal and fun! But, let’s be real, it’s also a lot of work. From invitations to decorations the ways you could get hands on with your wedding planning are endless. One place a lot of couples are choosing to go DIY is the bar!No matter what kind of experience you want to create for your guests, your wedding bar is definitely going to be important. You want your guests to have fun without getting too drunk for your sake, and theirs. Setting up a DIY bar is a great idea but here are a few tips from the professionals at Ottawa Mobile Bartenders to make sure you do it right.

Make Sure You Have The Tools For The Job

Not everyone is a beer-straight-out-of-the-bottle kind of person! You want to wow your guests. Let them get fancy! For that you’re going to need garnishes, a prep station and proper bar supplies. Here’s a quick list to get you started: 

  • A place to chill drinks (and lots of ice!)
  • A shaker for the cocktail & martini drinkers
  • Garnishes like lemons, limes, cherries, and olives
  • Some fancy bar tools like a funnel and strainer (check out the mixology set from William Sanoma

Don’t Run Out Of Booze Or Mix

Did you know that there is a formula to estimate how many drinks your average guest will enjoy at your wedding? Here it is: 2 drinks per person in the first hour and then 1 drink an hour per guest. So, when you do the math… that’s a lot of drinks! Make sure you have enough liquor, beer, wine, and mix to go around. 

P.S. That little formula doesn’t include table wine with dinner, so make sure to add that in!

Don’t Forget To Get A Permit

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) requires you to purchase a special occasions permit to be able to sell or serve alcohol anywhere that isn’t a licensed establishment. So, if you are doing a DIY wedding bar make sure you get the thumbs up from your venue and don’t forget to get your permit! 

Remember: Your bar, your responsibility. Take some time to think about how you will make sure no one is overserved or driving home drunk. Even though your bar is DIY, someone has to be in charge.

Choose cans or bottles instead of kegs

Kegs of beer are a great option and can save you some money but they need time to chill and settle. Chances are if you are setting up a DIY bar you won’t be able to have your keg delivered the night before. If you go with a keg you chance having foamy, warm beer and nobody wants that! Instead, stock your bar with cans or bottles of beer. 

Have A Well Stocked Hydration Station

Make sure that you have lots of water, juice and pop easily available. It encourages people to take a break from the booze and caters to those guests who don’t want to drink. If you want to go the extra mile, have a little mocktail station available as part of your bar! The designated drivers in the room will thank you. One last thing; get pop and mixes in cans. 2L bottles are big and awkward and primed for creating spills (plus they don’t look as good).

Put A Lock On Your Cash Box

If you’re running a cash bar, have a proper float for the night and get a lockbox for the cash. It may seem overly cautious but even at private events and backyard weddings, you never know who might be feeling tipsy and want to snag a few extra dollars from the bar jar. Better safe than sorry!

So, Are You Going To Go DIY?

Creating an amazing DIY wedding bar can be a really nice touch. Use these tips to do it right! Stock up, get help, and have fun.  Still on the fence about whether to go DIY or hire a bartender? Make sure to read my post about the 5 reasons to hire a bartender for you wedding. It’s loaded with great information to help you make the right choice for your special day. 


About me

I am a margarita-loving photographer based out of Canada’s capital. I have an obsession for adventure and an appreciation for the small things in life. I’m known for my love of strong margaritas, big curly hair, and notorious sailor’s mouth.⁠