Do’s and Dont’s of serving drinks during wedding

Do’s and Don’ts of serving drinks during wedding

Wedding is one of those ceremonies that must be organised in a very special way. Bride and groom – both the parties plan it in a sensitive as well as unique manner to make their D-day memorable. Memorable can be of two types, by the way. One that brings good memories, one that makes you terrorized. So it is no doubt important to make it better than the good. When we talk about Indian weddings we know that they have lot of shapes and sizes that must be planned perfectly. There are a number of rituals that consume a bunch of days. If you are hosting an Indian wedding, you must prepare a lot of things during the function. Apart from the ceremonies, decorations and food, attending guests and making them comfortable is definitely a tough job to do even in a small, simple close knit wedding. While discussing about the hospitality and attending guests, we must talk about the snacks and drinks at a wedding party. There are several things that one must keep in mind while serving food and beverage, especially drinks, during wedding ceremonies.

Do's and Dont's of serving drinks during wedding


There are few things that you must plan before you serve the drinks in your wedding. You must follow these points while arranging the bar (in any) in your function so that guests can smile and appreciate your special day arrangements.

Liquor licence

First of all it is important to decide whether you want to serve hard drinks or not. If your answer is yes, then you must look for liquor licence. You must have a licence before serving hard drinks in your ceremony. You can have only Beer and Wine licence or licence for all other drinks. Whatever it is, but you must have legal permission before serving hard drinks on your wedding day. Also the venue you have selected be required to have liquor permission as well. If you have hired an open lawn attached to any religious place (mandir, Masjid, Gurudwara) then you may not get permit to serve hard drinks.


Appoint a professional bartender. You can also make it DIY, but it will be a wise plan to hire a couple of catering boys who can handle the drinks served. It somewhere makes you feel relax because the possibility of your guests to get drunk beyond limit will be less. Hire a professional bartender who will make a drink, serve it and will close the bar on time. This definitely costs less than DIY (Do It Yourself).

Open bar

If you are setting up a bar, make it open. Of course the word “budget” will start ringing in your ears as soon as you hear “open bar”. You should balance these two as guests will not appreciate paying cash for a small peg in a wedding party. Set up a bar, an open one and hire a bartender. He will take care of the amount of drinks he is serving. You can save money and remain in your budget by closing it during dinner or an hour before the wedding party ends. Another way to save money from an open bar is you can serve less expensive drinks. Avoid premium drinks and serve only basic and less pricey drinks. This is among those cost a planer forget to budget for.

Fancy drink

If you find 50% of your guests prefer hard drinks, then don’t forget the rests need something else, a soft drink or cold drink. Have some (in fact more than enough) fancy drinks for the non-alcoholic guests like aunties, kids, friends who don’t drink, aged uncles who have just gone through a heart surgery last year and such. There are a wide series of fancy virgin drinks and fruit punches available. You can go for them for your non-alcoholic guests. Virgin pina colada, Watermelon lemonade, Strawberry slush, iced soy latte and Kiwi punch are some of the fancy non-alcoholic drinks that can be served in your wedding. You can also add some sparkling water, cold drinks, soda and such along with these virgin fancy drinks.


Your bar must maintain a specific time. If you are offering an open bar or a limited bar, you must maintain an explicit time of serving drinks. Start the bar as soon as the starters and snacks are served and close it at least an hour before the party gets over. Also you can close the bar during the dinner time as people will get busy at dining area.

Bar set up

A proper bar setting up is another important thing to do. You can’t make your guests wait for a long time to get a piece of ice or refilling their glass. You must set up your bar at a place from where your bartender can easily take out the stocks and ice and other needful to serve drinks to the guests. Any corner of a banquet or a side of a lawn is a preferable place to set up your bar, but in either way set it up near your store.


You can have DIY as well. That will be much appreciated by the guests. If you are leaving the wine bottles and beer cans on the bar table for the guests to self serve, then make sure to uncork the wine bottles before guests mess up with it. In either case having a bartender will be a wise decision. Though it costs you more, but don’t forget free service does not always mean a good service. You just can’t let Chaddha uncle to be a bartender for a night and make things unbearable for all. This is possible if number of guest are less number.

Pleas follow the link to know how to decide the number of guest to send invites.


If you have a long list of Do’s, then you must have a longer list of Don’ts of serving drinks during wedding. Guests are sensitive and again Indian wedding guests are more than sensitive. They can point out such things in your wedding function that can easily make you black listed forever.

Over budget

Wedding is definitely an important and major event in your life. But don’t spend a fortune on your wedding beverages. You know your friends and family love to drink and they will definitely be pleased about it, but still you have to set a budget and spend consciously over the evening beverages. You should not go OTT for one evening that is more than special for you. Please follow the link to know how to plan a luxurious wedding with unexpectedly small budget.

Cash bar

The very first thing that you should not put in your wedding party is a cash bar. Paying cash for a drink will definitely leave a negative mark on your hospitality. However it will cost you less but it will make your guests frown at you. Of course you will not appreciate if you have to pay for a beverage you are having at your friend’s wedding, so a big no to the cash bar.

Champagne toast

Champagne toast is the oldest western culture that accepted by many Indians. A lot of people do that during reception parties. But it becomes older now and during an Indian wedding it does not go with the flow. As we all know that Indian weddings have different rituals from Barati ka swagat, jaymala, phere, ashirwad and then Vidaai, it is really hard to get any specific time to toast in between for the newly wed. As the champagne toast becomes little old, you can easily skip it while serving drinks during your wedding party.

Hard drink

Even if your friends and some of your family members love to drink and praise you for serving them hard drinks, but don’t forget that hard drinks can also destroy your special day as guests can get drunk. It is not possible for you to look after each invitee whether they are drinking more or less. It is wiser to play safe. Don’t serve hard core drinks like whisky, scotch, vodka or anything that can destroy your evening. Rather stick to flavoured breezers and beers or if you have big fat budget, go for premium wine and even champagne.

Enough drink

You should not run out of drinks at any point of time. Though you have fixed budget but never let your guests down by saying “we are out of stock”. It definitely makes a bad impression when you run out of food or drink. If your caterers are serving drinks then ask for more and if you are buying them personally, then have enough stock. You don’t need to worry as you can easily give the unopened bottles back to the seller. But make sure you have enough stock to refill your guests’ glass frequently.

Please follow the link to know how to make the perfect end of your wedding

As a whole

Do’s Don’ts
Get a liquor licence Don’t serve without legal permission
Make an open bar Don’t put a cash bar
Appoint a bartender
Have fancy soft drinks Don’t have hard drinks only
Have enough stock Don’t be out of stock
Don’t go over budget
Set up a specific time of serving drinks Don’t serve drinks for the whole night
Purchase your own drinks to save more
Don’t set up bar far away from the store
Uncork the bottles if there is DIY to avoid accidents
Close the bar during dinner

Other Links:
1. 10 Ways to keep your Guests Dancing All night at Your Wedding
2. What are the ways to choose right wedding planners?





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