Bartender hire

Hire a Bartender for a wedding – A Guide for 2023

Hire a Bartender for a Wedding, how do I go about it? 

To be able to hire a bartender for a Wedding in 2020 is the same process as hiring a Bartender for any other event. As long as you know the date, the amount of guests you have & hours you require for the Bartender services, you can get a quote from pretty much any company. 

Reaching out to find a company for hiring a cocktail bartender for your wedding? 

So, you’ve placed your search into google. Page one is filled with plenty of options for hiring a bartender, none are specific on weddings though. Page 2 is pretty much the same thing. They all appear to offer the exact same product, but apart from flashy or not so flashy Website design, how do you know which Bartender company is the best to hire in for your wedding? 

Very simply, you don’t know. 

Ordering a service is very different from ordering a product. Getting a blu-ray from Amazon, or ordering some clothes from Asos is a completely different story to ordering a service that will be vital to such a big & important day. 

Call or email as many as you have the patience for (including ours of course) Just this action alone will immediately help you decipher the difference between a lot of companies hiring out barmen. 

Most will just email you back a quote. 

Some will call you to find out exactly what you need for your event. 

From what we hear out & about, one company will even demand a deposit before speaking to you. 

Lets look a little deeper into each of these kinds of company & what kind of styles they perform business in. 

Cocktail Bartender

hiring a cocktail bartender in 2020

Hiring a Bartender for a wedding & just getting an emailed quote: 

For a huge number of people, they just accept this. You’ve emailed off an enquiry form, Mentioned how many guests you have, How many hours your day goes on for & got back a quote based on the total hours you’ve mentioned. Some people may not understand the pricing or concept behind how this works & just pay said invoice immediately & consider the matter sorted. 

Before I launched my company, I did so many weddings for other Agencies. I lost count of the amount of times, we would turn up for an event at 1pm. To discover that the wedding ceremony has only just begun in a different location. Then photos, lunch, a few hours break for everyone to go do their own thing for a bit & even sometimes change locations to where we had been all day. 

Then at 6pm, a drinks reception begins where the bartenders are then actually required.

Thats FIVE HOURS of wasted money on your part. You’ve paid for these bartenders to sit around waiting, playing with their phones & being bored, but earning an hourly rate from you for it.

What should you do with these email companies for hiring bartenders for your wedding?

You need your event company to take the time to CALL you to hear about the event, be it from the amazing ideas you have for it, to the work you’ve put in on choosing the decor or venue, a real events company loves to hear about these things. 

But more to the point & the main purpose of a physical conversation with the company you would be hiring a bartender from for your wedding. Is so that they can find out just what hours you really NEED. Imagine if just one phone-call, you could have HALVED your spend on Cocktail Makers?

All from avoiding a company that just fires out a quote template to you without finding out what you really need. 

Speaking to an actual person to hire a cocktail bartender for your wedding:

As mentioned above, its critical to do this stage. 

In our business, we absolutely ADORE this stage of the process, hearing all about the plans. Some people even tell us all about the Stag & Hens parties planned, its a great conversation to have & it helps you to understand the Bartender hire company that you’re booking. 

Do you like them as a person? do you trust them? Is your event in great hands to be set up right & the person on the phone giving you the confidence to know that they’ve quoted you the right amount of bartenders? The correct shopping list for the ingredients. 

You cant get this from an email. No matter how comprehensive the emails become, you’ll never know if that company is right for you unless you speak to them. 

Wedding or any other event Cocktail Bartender Hire Companies that won’t speak to you until a deposit is paid: 

The only word I can suggest for this that would be appropriate is AVOID. 

Now, we have only heard this from clients that have told us at events the dealings of a certain company. We can say that over the last 3 years, this company name, process & method has been mentioned over 10 times from completely different sources. For obvious reasons, we cannot mention which company this is, but I’m sure you will come across them if you’ve reached out to shop around. We do actively encourage shopping around. Its the only way to know which company to trust. 

But if you come across this particular company that send you a quote, then demand a deposit payment before they surrender any of their time, or information on your booking. Just move on & speak to a real company that cares about your event. 

Cocktail Bartenders on Event Bar

Hire a Cocktail Bartender

Look up reviews for Bartender hire companies for weddings: 

This is so easy to do nowadays. If google has not already placed a review for a company right on your search page, its extremely easy to type in the wedding hire company for your bartenders into google directly & the reviews appear right there on the side of the search. 


This is so important when trying to hire a bartender for a wedding, as well as any other occasion.

You cannot as a company modify these reviews, you cannot control what people say & companies cannot delete those reviews. So they can be a fantastic way to understand what kind of company you’re dealing with. Transparency is the key in this industry & the companies that are posting or reflecting the most clear, concise & transparent reviews, photos or dealings within their business are usually the great tell tale sign that you’ve found a great company that will actually care about your event & want the best evening for you. 

The price of hiring my bartenders just went up because I mentioned its for a wedding?

Much like we advised before about the company demanding deposits before speaking to you, AVOID. 

These are opportunists, Bartender Hire companies that don’t get many weddings, just seizing an opportunity because they know people have reserved much larger budgets for their parties. 

We hear about this constantly with couples hiring Marquees, Musicians, Caterers, anything involved in a Wedding, as soon as they discover “Wedding” the prices hike up. 

Don’t accept this, it should be the same price if it was a birthday at home, or if it was a huge gala. 

Of course the only factor that should change is scale. 

If your bartender is £300 for 5 hours, for a house party of 30 guests, then you have a wedding of 200, you will need 4 of those bartenders. 

But they should still remain an approx £300 each. 

Some companies will suddenly up the price to £500 per bartender, then still send you 4 of them & most likely convince you that you need a Bar Manager & Bar Back  also. 

Nonsense. Avoid any companies that start hiking these prices up like this. Also that begin demanding additional staff that you do not require. 

So ive hired the bartenders for my wedding. Now the company is telling me I need Managers & Bar Backs?

We also see this all the time too. We suggest that you require 1 bartender per 50 guests (per 40 guests if you have hired a Flair Bartender) If the company has quality bartenders that have worked events full time & long term. They are more than capable of not only managing themselves, but managing stock levels, managing sources of glassware supply for the bar when it runs out, or ingredients. They have done it a thousand times. 

Chances are, you have already paid for a Wedding planner. This IS the Bar manager, along with the catering manager & every other task you have paid a premium to receive from them. If a separate Manager is required, the Wedding planner would have factored it into their costs. So Don’t accept a bar company trying to also charge you for the very same thing. 

Bar Backs for your wedding:

The sole job of a Bar Back, is to keep the bartenders on the bar serving your guests. 

Whatever that entails, from getting them glasses, to ingredients, to preparing more fresh ingredients or just simply stocking up fridges, cool boxes or buckets of ice filled with beers. 

These can sometimes be essential depending on the involvement of the caterers. Its best to check. If the caterers will be providing waiting staff, which included in their fulfilment is collecting Glassware & providing backup to the cocktail bartenders you’ve hired for this wedding, then no, you do not need a Bar Back. 

If the caterers are only happy to be involved with their food, clearing tables & then be leaving the event once their purpose is fulfilled, then YES, you will need a bar back. After a back operation.

Glassware Hire for Weddings when hiring our bartenders: 

Glassware is important, Some caterers will supply this as part of their service. Great news, but from our extensive experience, Caterers will only have the cheap “banqueting” glassware in their arsenal. Little half pint glasses you would expect to find in a cheap pub. If they claim they can cater cocktail glassware, keep an eye on said costs. What happens too many times, is they then outsource cocktail glass hire from an external company. 

You not only pay a whole other cost, you also pay for a separate delivery & collection service. Along with a commission for the event company sourcing this for you. 

If they don’t have the glasses as part of their internal stocking. Do not accept the outsourced supply. 

Row of champagne flutes on shelf

Glassware hire, hire glassware for party

When your caterer doesn’t have their own glasses for your wedding, you have 2 options.

1 – Find your own supply. If you are outsourcing it anyways, might as well save on the commission to the caterers right? 

2 – Use us. Cocktailhire supply glassware, specifically Cocktail Glassware for weddings, or any other occasion. Cocktailhire also only supply glassware to events we are bartending at. We are certainly not a Glassware supply company as an independent business. But it is an extremely handy service when already using one company for a supply that they can take care of another related area of the event. 

This allows us to pass on a saving for delivery or collection, because the bartenders are already on site & we have already factored Travel into their presence. 

But we also charge £1 per person on glassware, whatever is required. 

We do this for 2 reasons. 

Firstly – It takes the hassle away from you completely about what glasses you need, how many of each you need & googling the matching glassware to the cocktails you have chosen. 

Secondly – It absorbs the cost of a Bar Back when the numbers reach levels where one would be required. If numbers exceed 150, a Bar back is required & this is already factored into the £1 per person costs. So you don’t actually have to pay for an additional member of staff for the event. 

Where do I source Mobile Bars for our Wedding now that we’ve hired the bartenders & the glassware.? 

We also have those too. 

Mobile bars are a huge part of our business of hiring Bartenders for weddings or any other event or function. 

Like with the glassware, the excellent incentive to use us for this is that if our bartenders & glassware are at the event already, then there are no additional delivery or collection costs. Because very much like the glassware, you’ve already paid for us to be there. 

We have a whole separate guide for hiring a mobile bar for a wedding here: 

Fill out the booking form below to find out more & speak to someone in the office about hiring our bartenders for your wedding. 



Stu Hoyland, Director – Cocktailhire

About Stu 



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