Tips and Tricks to a DIY Wedding Bar

The DIY Wedding Bar Option When planning an outdoor or tipi wedding, one of the attractions can be that...

The DIY Wedding Bar Option

When planning an outdoor or tipi wedding, one of the attractions can be that you can provide the drinks for your guests all day long. This is the more challenging of the three options (ie having it done for you), simply as you will have so much to do for your big day, this adds a whole new layer to it.

However with some initial planning and hired help the hard work can really pay off for you.

Here are the main points to consider when doing it yourself

The Alcohol

Where are you going to buy this from? Will this be a trip to France or purchased on a sale or return basis which is offered by some high street merchants? Do you want kegs?  Or will it be a supermarket purchase when drinks are on special offer?

These are all perfectly viable options, it is just planning and working out which is right for you. There are lots of microbreweries popping up, which means you can offer a local craft beer if of course, this is important to you. They may even be able to hire you any equipment needed too. If you explain that you are looking to have an outdoor wedding, they will advise what would be the right drinks for you as some will require settling days before serving – take the time to investigate what will be the right craft beer for you and your event style.

Storing and Chilling the Drinks

You may want to consider hiring in a refrigerated trailer to help keep all your drinks stored and chilled. This will need to be on-site the day before your wedding so it can be plugged in and chilling drinks. They come with a lock for added security. Having a trailer allows you to have the drinks ready the day before.

If you choose to just use fridges you may want to consider filling these on the morning of your wedding – who can do this for you? Would it be a family friend? Groomsman? Or would your Catering Staff be happy to do this for you?

Consider investing in an igloo, by having a couple of the igloo boxes behind the bar, it can make it easier for staff not having to go to the fridges or chilled trailer all the time.


Ice can be ordered from a supermarket delivery service if your location is easy enough to find! This cannot be a normal online order, trust me I know from experience. Instead, you will need to call customer services to ensure that you get the number of ice bags you want, as 80 bags will not come from a store without a special order.

Fridge/Freezer Hire

There are a number of companies that offer this service, you may also want to bring the spare freezer you have in the garage.


Even though this is a DIY option, it may still require some hired help. The BIG “Who’s going to serve all those drinks for you?” Options could be hiring in additional staff from your caterers, hiring bar staff from a local bartender company or pub or have you got friends (or friends of friends) that are not involved with the wedding that would be happy to assist?

As a guide, a bartender would provide 1 member of staff for every 50 people, you will need your hired help to not only run the bar but also collect empty glassware to stop your celebration space being overrun by empty drinks.


Wine merchants may offer a free glassware hire service if you purchase your wine from them, this includes major supermarkets too. Ikea sells glassware at a very reasonable price, which could be an option for your wine and toast glasses. Glassware can also be hired in from either an event company, bar hire company or your caterers.

Top Tip Have plastic as a backup – this way you will not be worried if you run out.

We have even had couples provide just one glass that is your glass for the day. A lovely idea as a wedding favour is an engraved tanker that is then their drink container for the duration.


Remember a wedding is a long day and with so much free drink, keeping your guests hydrated is also very important. Trays of bottled water is a nice touch for your guests, especially as there might not be access to drinking water.


Have a bin behind the bar for rubbish and invest in quality black bags.

Top Tip create some recycling stations out of view from the main celebration to make it easier to dispose of the next day when the cleanup operation begins.

Final Tip If you do decide to do your own drinks service, have fun with it.

Find Out More

If you are interested in finding out more about hosting your own Sami Tipi wedding or event we would love to hear from you. Complete this simple form and a member of the team will be in touch to find out more about your ideas and plans.

Supplier Credits

Big Bouquet Wedding Photography | Mary Costa Weddings | Matt Brown Photography | Andrea Paradowski Photography | Bill Haddon Photography | M+J Photography