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"It's only 5 hours..."

Updated: Mar 27


You might be curious about the contents of a company's bartending package. While some may question the cost, saying, "you're only there for 5 hours," it's important to recognize that our work extends far beyond those 5 hours of bartending service. There's a whole realm of behind-the-scenes preparations and post-closure tasks that you may not be aware of, which every bartending company diligently undertakes before that first drink is served during the cocktail hour and after the bar closes!


So lets break this down.



First, let's consider the time involved. Many bartending companies are on-site

  • 2-2.5 hours before your guests arrive, diligently setting up to ensure everything is ready for the cocktail service.

  • 5 hours of bar service serving your guests

  • 1-1.5 post-bar closure for packing and thorough cleanup

  • Then there is the travel to/from your wedding.

On average, your bartenders are actually working 8-12 hours on the day of your event, and when you factor in two bartenders, that time doubles!


In the days leading up to your event, bartending teams invest hours in inventory management and creating comprehensive shopping lists for equipment, mixers, garnishes, and plasticware. They then embark on shopping trips to procure everything needed, packing and unpacking multiple times, and washing all equipment after the event. This preparation and cleanup process can amount to an additional 2-4 hours of time spent on pre-prep and post-prep for your wedding.


Let's not overlook the substantial time they invest in communication with you through phone calls, emails, in-person meeting in the weeks and months leading up to your event, meticulously planning every detail. On average, we dedicate between 20-26 hours to each bartending event, from start to finish.


Furthermore, there are behind-the-scenes elements that may not be immediately apparent but contribute to the overall cost of providing quality services. This includes expenses like

  • The cost of all the mixers, garnishes, drinkware, straws, napkins, ice that your guests will consume during the course of the evening.

  • Supplying bar equipment, tables, linens, physical bars, coolers, and decor, including mobile trailers or carts. The upkeep and maintenance of these items to ensure they look impeccable for your special day.

  • General Liability and Liquor Liability Insurance.

  • Software programs for scheduling and keeping track of event details and invoicing/contracts. For those that have a team of bartenders, scheduling software to make sure your day is staffed.

  • Rent for storage space for equipment and products and a location for washing all the equipment.

  • Vehicle payments or rentals to transport staff and equipment. Also fuel, and vehicle insurance.

  • Online presence and advertising on platforms like Websites, Showcases, The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Zola are essential for connecting with couples and maintaining a positive reputation through reviews.

  • Licenses depending on your state.

  • Workman's Comp Insurance.

  • Dry cleaning so bartenders attire is uniform and presentable.


All these elements are critical parts of your day and contribute to the costs incurred by companies to provide you with high-quality services. These expenses are factored into their pricing to ensure they can continue to deliver top-notch service.


So, when questions arise about the higher pricing of a specific bartending company compared to others, it's vital to recognize the extensive services and unwavering commitment dedicated to creating a remarkable and stress-free event experience. Full-Service Bartending companies excel in providing more than just bartenders with bottle openers; they are dedicated to ensuring a smooth and trouble-free event, going the extra mile to deliver a memorable experience for you and your clients.


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