Ideas For Setting Up A Bar For Parties, Weddings, Baby Showers and Bachelorette Parties

You might be wondering how to set up a self-service bar that not only looks fantastic (after all, it must be social media worthy), but also ensures guest flow is smooth and drinks are easily served. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to set up your party bar. Of course, if you don’t want want to mess around with setting up your own bar, contact the Chesapeake Bartenders team, and we’ll take care of the set-up and clean up, so you don’t have to lift a finger!

How To Set Up A Beautiful Cocktail Bar For Your Party

  1. Is there a party or wedding theme? If so, you want to include the theme, colors, etc. This can easily be done through selecting cocktail napkins, straws and decor that matches the color and theme.
  2. Where will the bar be? Will it be outside on the patio? Or inside in the living room?
  3. Bar Supplies: Don’t forget to set out the bartending gear. Wine keys? Beer Openers? Ice Buckets? Ice Scoops?
  4. Tables and Bar Surface: Be sure to use tables that are STURDY. The items on the bar can weigh a lot, so you want to ensure the table(s) used are sturdy and level. Also, be sure to use table clothes to prevent water damage if you are setting up the bar on a nice table or surface.
  5. Drink Menu: Create a menu ahead of time to determine what libations you want to serve. Are you sticking to wine? Craft beer bottles? Mimosas? Or setting up a full bar?
  6. Setting up Alcohol: Be sure to set up wine bottles, beer, etc. in easy to reach places. For wine, chill whites and bubbles in large tubs with ice. If you set up a full bar, be sure to allow space between bottles, so people can easily pick them up and put them back without knocking over other bottles. Place mixers in one place, so guests can grab a glass, fill it with ice, pour liquor and then top it off with a mixer.
  7. Don’t forget the garnishes! Slice lemons, limes, olives, fruit, etc and put them in bowls or containers. Ensure there are toothpicks or serving utensils.
  8. Ice: One of the things we often see, is that those hosting parties and events make the same mistake. They underestimate the need for ice! Grab ice in bulk ahead of time, and keep excess ice in coolers, the freezer, or outside if the weather is below freezing.
  9. Picking up the booze: Call your local liquor store ahead of time. Often, they will offer discounts if you are purchasing a large order. Also, be sure to ask if the store will take back unopened bottles of wine, beer cases and alcohol so you can get a refund for leftover booze. Check your local state laws, as they may vary.
  10. Water: Don’t forget that people who are drinking, want access to water. Whether you choose individual water bottles, or filtered water in self serve pitchers, be sure to add water to the menu.

What Kind Of Bar Should You Set Up? Wine Bar? Sangria Bar? Bubbles Bar?

If you want to keep things simple yet festive, we highly recommend going with a wine bar, bubbles bar or sangria bar. These types of party bars are not only easy to set up, by easy to replenish and look beautiful. For a wine bar, just grab your favorite wines, some ice buckets for chilling, glassware or cups, supplies and boom! You have a wine bar. You can do the same set up to create a bubbles bar. A sangria bar is one of the most popular party bars, and for good reason. You can pre-make batches or red sangria, white sangria, sparkling sangria and holiday sangrias like apple cider sangrias. Guests can select their own fruit garnishes, which also double as beautiful decor elements on the sangria bar.

DIY Sangria Bar

Are you hosting a party or event in Maryland, DC, Delaware or Northern Virginia and want help setting up your bar?

Chesapeake Bartenders has you covered! We’ll come to the site of your event, party or wedding, and set up a beautiful bar display (sangria, wine, full bar, champagne bar, mimosa bar, etc.), with all the necessary supplies. This includes creating a beautiful display, easy to serve drinks (alcoholic, mixers, and non-alcoholic), straws, cups, beverage napkins, ice scoops, ice, coolers and more! We’ll even stay on call, to replenish supplies should you need us. Then, when your party is done, we’ll show up, clean up and whisk the bar away. Contact us for details or a free quote.

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