Providing alcohol to your guests is strictly a decision for you and your fiance to make. Just because other couples allow alcohol at their weddings doesn't mean you must follow their lead. If you are uncomfortable with the extra expense, responsibility, and obligations that come with serving liquor, you should consider substituting champagne and wine with sparkling grape wine or a mixed punch. Many brides & grooms have chosen this simpler path.
Is Alcohol Allowed on the Premises?
Before considering serving alcohol you must first confirmif your reception site will allow it. If you plan on holding your wedding reception at a religious setting you may find that serving alcohol is prohibited.
Assigning Someone to Maintain the Bar
If your caterer will be responsible for providing and maintaining the alcohol for your reception he must have a liquor license. If he doesn't, then you must contact a liquor-licensed dealer.
A professional bartender should be available to tend the bar all evening. It's a bad idea for kitchen help or a waiter to tend bar, because they may not have the experience of a professional, licensed bartender. Maintaining a bar can be a full-time task which could consume the kitchen aid's time.
Hiring Enough Bartenders to Handle Your Guest Load
You should provide a guest estimate for your caterer or bartender to work with. He will supply you with a quote for the number of people that must attend bar and the quantity of ice, glasses, and mixers necessary.
The amount of bartenders on shift depends on the number of reception guests. Simply figure one bartender for 50 people served. Some bartenders can handle more than 50, but it certainly doesn't hurt to hire an extra hand to take up some of the slack.