Find out how mobile bars can keep loved ones suitably refreshed with a personalised drinks menu
Every time we talk to engaged couples and newlyweds, food is cited as one of the most important elements of any wedding day. They know their guests will be getting a flavour of ‘them’ with every bite. Food is such a personal thing that it’s now second nature for caterers to tailor each dish and nibble precisely to the couple’s tastes.
Which got us wondering: when everything else for your big day can be bespoke, why would you leave the liquid refreshments up to chance? Why are we only now waking up to the joy of bar hire?
One man who is probably wondering the same is John Hannay, director of Badaboom Bars, which has served the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Kardashian and Kate Moss. “The biggest benefit of a mobile bar is the flexibility it offers,” he says. “You have the freedom to choose the location, the timings and the look both of the bar and of the drinks being served. This level of choice is important for an event as personal as a wedding.”
If you like the sound of that, the first thing to do is establish whether a mobile bar is compatible with your venue. “Some places have licensing restrictions over timings or where alcohol can be served,” says Nikki Mathieson of Daisy Fay’s Weddings + Events, which has provided bar services across the country.
“If I get an enquiry for a place I’ve not worked in previously, I try to schedule a meeting with the couple at the location in question to double-check details with the venue. This ensures that everyone is on the same page.”
Happily, the responsibility doesn’t lie with you in this instance, but it’s still useful for you to know what is expected of your venue and supplier. “At the very least if you’re thinking about hiring a mobile bar company you should ask for proof of public and employers’ liability cover,” John advises.
“Some venues, especially historic ones, may require risk assessments, method statements and training records from the supplier.”
So, you’ve done your research and found out that you can bring your chosen bar business to your wedding in a 400-year-old castle – now the fun can begin.
Got a favourite gin or wine? Most bar companies will do all they can to ensure you get the experience you want. “We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor our services to our clients’ needs,” says Michael Mackenzie of Pure Bartending, which has a team of fully trained mixologists and flair bartenders. “We can provide all the ingredients and take away as much of the hassle and stress as possible, or you can do this yourself to keep costs down.”
And don’t worry about having to do a mad dash to Tesco for paper cups. “I supply all equipment, including glassware, garnishes and ice, all of which is of the highest quality,” Nikki promises.
“We use all-copper barware – measures, pourers, bar blades and the like. Additionally, our drinks are always garnished with edible flowers, fresh fruits, botanicals and herbs. Aesthetics are almost as important as taste!”
This isn’t true only for the cocktails: Badaboom has a range of bars and frontages, such as vintage wooden palette fronts, buttoned leather styles and even mirrored bars, to suit the vibe you’re after.
So you’ve got the bar looking the way you want it; what about the drinks selection? Going bespoke is part of the personalised experience mobile bars offer. “Our couples can choose any cocktail they wish,” Michael reveals.
“It might be their favourite holiday tipple, something a little different, or just their usual order. We’ll then adapt the names of the drinks, and customise the menu. We can even make banners and signs for the bar.”
All of this leaves just one rather tricky question: who’s paying? The experts have a solution. “We offer three options – hire-only, a package, or a cash bar,” says Michael.
“The hire-only option is where you, the client, provide all of the ingredients and we take care of everything else, making the bar free for guests.
“We also offer packages where the client pays for a certain number of drinks (we will keep a tally), so no cash needs to be handed over by guests, to start with at least. Or you could simply go for a classic cash bar.”
It’s the morning after the night before, and you and your new spouse are feeling a little… fragile. The thought of tidying up might make you feel nauseous, but thankfully you have nothing to fear (except ‘the fear’ itself). “The service doesn’t end when the last tipple is served, as we make sure the space is left just as it was when we arrived,” says John reassuringly.
“We want couples to enjoy their first day as newlyweds, knowing that everything is taken care of, including the collection of any rubbish. The only thing we’ve been known to leave behind is a Bloody Mary care package to ease you into married life!” That’s your hanxiety sorted, then.
There’s no substitute for the expertise that comes with a mobile bar hire, so take the plunge and rope in the help of the drinks-shaking pros – besides, what better way to guarantee a packed dancefloor?