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Planned to perfection
Q. My wife-to-be and I are thinking of hiring a mobile bar for our wedding. What questions should we ask before booking?
A. Chris Davies says: Hiring a mobile bar for your wedding is a great, cost-effective way to keep your guests refreshed, and if you choose the right one, it can add a real wow factor to the day. There's no shortage of choice out there, so you can afford to spend time asking the right questions to make sure you get what you want. Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect match:
- What is the hire cost? Most mobile bars will make their money from the drinks they sell. If you have enough guests, there's every chance you could negotiate the hire charge.
- How many people can they comfortably serve? There's nothing worse than having to wait forever to get a drink, so make sure you ask the vendor how they plan to keep the queues down, especially if you have a lot of friends and family attending. You'll also want to know how many staff they'll be providing.
- Do they offer wedding packages? Ask about any special packages they offer, particularly if you're interested in the vendor providing the drinks for the wedding breakfast.
- What type of drinks can they provide? Some mobile bars will be able to provide a full range of drinks, including draught beer, cider, cocktails and a wide selection of gins etc, whilst others may be more limited.
- Can I see some photos? There will likely be several mobile bars available in your area, so ask for some up-to-date photos and choose one that looks amazing. It's also worth asking what the vendor can do to fit in with any theme you might have.
- How much will drinks cost? You might have negotiated the hire of the bar, but don't forget about your guests! Make sure you ask for a price list before booking.
Chris Davies, Your Bar
Drink it all in
Q. How can we create the perfect drinks menu for our big day?
A. Christianne Hemming says: Creating the perfect drinks menu is not as daunting as it sounds. Here are the four key areas you should consider:
- Break down your day into sections to focus on what's needed, such as reception drinks, wedding breakfast, toasts and evening celebrations.
- Budget wisely, know your maximum spend and stick to it. Don't try to please everyone. Etiquette is to provide refreshments upon receiving guests at the reception and then with the food and for toasting. You could consider having a cash bar service running alongside for guests who don't want to drink what you're offering, and then you don't have to worry about trying to accommodate everyone.
- Consider your theme and how you can add a personal touch to the day. For instance, jugs of Pimms and homemade lemonade would be ideal at a garden-style wedding or opt for his and hers cocktails at a chic hotel celebration.
- Look at your guest list. Consider the drivers and non-drinkers as well as children invited to the day. Make sure you provide jugs of iced water and bottles of cordials on the table, especially if it's a hot day, and always offer a non-alcoholic alternative for reception drinks and toasting. Remember, it's your day so think about what you would like to be sipping as you celebrate!
Christianne Hemming, China Grey