When you start out as a radio personality who would occasionally moonlight as a wedding planner, there’s some things you just can’t shake. Lucky for Fresh Johnson with Elle R. Jae Events, being a party girl is totally okay in the wedding industry. Her “love fest only” rule has proven to be a winner and she says that helping couples curate their big day helps her sleep great at night. No two couples are alike and she strives for her work to reflect that. As a New Orleans Native, Fresh feels like she has to take responsibility in creating the most charming and exciting weddings known to mankind. Fresh is taking over the blog today to share with us to make your wedding bar pop!

A wise woman once told me that Bar is the most important B-word after Bride; and she was absolutely correct. There’s lots of layers involved when creating an amazing wedding, but let’s be honest, no great story ever began with a salad. When identifying the epicenter of your wedding, all roads lead to the bar. That said, I’d like to share some tips on how to identify and execute ways to make it pop.

Know Your Numbers
Though rare, I love when my clients pick venues that allow you to bring in your own alcohol. It’s an instant money saver. Having enough of both beverages and staff is of the essence. All things considered, if you aren’t bringing in a bar service to handle all the details, you must know your numbers to be efficient. Here are some things to remember:

You should have 1 bartender for every 50 guests for a full open bar.
You should have 1 bartender for every 75 guests for a beer/soda/wine bar.
Guests will typically have 2-3 drinks during cocktail hour and 1 additional drink each hour thereafter.

Dry Weddings Are Cool Too
First of y’all, yes, they happen. Dry weddings occur for cultural reasons, religious preferences and also for safety concerns. Spice it up with mocktails to still give your guests the bar experience. Mix and match your favorite non-alcoholic beverages to create a cool menu for guests to explore throughout the night.

Wow Factors
Make the bar a part of your decor! Incorporate a champagne wall for guests to grab and go upon entry. You can also have an ice sculpture that pours a signature mix for guests to mix an mingle around during cocktail hour.

Mix It Up
More and more couples are starting to get the hang of making their bar a thing. Hop on some cool trends and liven it up! Some ideas: Self-serve beer stations, signature cocktails, personalized coasters and napkins, fun signage and frames, and/or tall pieces at ends of the bars to tie in wedding decor!

Tips to Save
+If you must have the hotel provide your bar, pick your own brands, a lot of times, they’ll go for the upper upper lines for that markup and hit your pockets hard.
+Local brands are also a win when you’re building your own bar. They’re more accessible and maybe more likely to cut a deal for bulk orders.
+The toast can get expensive either way, venues will charge you at least $5 per head while a mobile bar service will have to have extra staff on deck… let people toast with what they have in their hands already. They most likely won’t know the difference anyway

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