How Much Do You Pay A Bartender For A Wedding

If you’re unsure how much do you pay a bartender for a wedding, it can start at $35 per hour. We will discuss the different factors that affect the cost of having a wedding bartender in this article. 

But if you think that you don’t need one, we also wrote a useful guide on how to serve alcohol at a wedding without a bartender. Feel free to read that as well in case you change your mind. 

how much do you pay a bartender for a wedding how much do you pay a bartender for a wedding


How Much To Pay A Bartender For A Wedding?

A good starting point or expectation on how much do you pay a bartender for a wedding is $35 per hour. But, of course, this amount can increase or decrease, depending on the bar offerings. 

Will you want your bartender to make signature cocktails, or do you only need them to pour wine and beer around your wedding bar? Furthermore, you may be paying multiple bartenders, and their work hours spent at the wedding do not stop to just pouring drinks. 

For example, your wedding bar will still need some time to be set up. Therefore, even if the reception is only for a couple of hours, you may need to add one to three more hours on what you’ll pay for the bartender. 


Why are wedding bartenders so expensive?

Bartenders are professionals that undergo expensive courses and have the experience to prove their skill. That being said, then it’s only reasonable to pay according to the service quality you expect. 

While the average payment for a wedding bartender is $35 per hour, the price range can be as affordable as $15 to as expensive as $300 an hour. If you’re unsure if you can afford to hire one for your wedding, multiply the bartender’s hourly rate by five, as it’s the usual length of a wedding reception. 

Do you know when the drinks are typically served at a wedding? Here is what is a cocktail hour at a wedding


Do You Tip Bartenders At A Wedding?

Much like other wedding vendors, it is customary to tip your bartender. However, the gratuity might already be included in the bill, especially if the bartending service is part of the package you got. 

But what if you hired your wedding bartender separately? A tip amounting to at least 10% of the bartender’s fee should be appropriate, and it’s also the amount to be split if there are multiple bartenders. 

Should you have a tip jar in your wedding bar? A tip jar is not needed, but guests can always tip the bartender if they feel the need to. 

However, weddings often have an open bar, so having a tip jar is not needed. What you’ll do instead is to tip the bartender after the reception once you confirm that gratuity is not included in the bill. 


How Many Bartenders Do You Need For 100 Guests?

If you’re having a 100-guest wedding, hiring two bartenders would be ideal. This follows the rule that you should have one bartender for every 50 guests. 

So if you’re having a bigger wedding, expect that you should hire three or more bartenders for efficiency. You don’t want a busy bar where the lines can take too long, especially at the reception where everybody should be having fun. 

Keep these numbers in mind since you should plan the budget for the wedding bar. It might also not be a good idea financially to have an open bar if your guests are over a hundred. 

Another helpful tip when hiring multiple bartenders is to make sure they vary in their specialization. This way, you’ll get the best professionals for different drinks, unlike having one or two that can’t keep up with experienced professionals. 


How Much Is An Open Bar At A Wedding For 100 Guests?

Expect to spend $1,500 or potentially higher for an open bar at a 100-guest wedding. Of course, this is assuming that you’re allocating $15 for every person since it can get higher at $20 per guest. 

If budget is an issue, you may consider reading what is a cash bar at a wedding. The difference is that the cash bar has your guests paying for their own drinks, unlike the open bar where only the host pays for the drinks. 


Do You Pay For Drinks At A Wedding?

As a wedding guest, you don’t usually pay for the drinks since the couple includes them in the catering package they get. However, some weddings have a cash bar than an open bar. 

You should still bring some cash with you when attending a wedding to pay for your drinks just in case. If you also only convinced the couple that you’re bringing a plus one, assume that you must also pay for their drinks. 


Is It Weird To Not Have Alcohol At A Wedding?

It’s not weird not to serve alcohol at a wedding. Some couples nowadays choose to have a dry wedding, but it’s essential to give your guests a heads-up. 

After all, alcohol is expected at weddings. If budget is an issue, you can consider a cash bar instead. 



And that’s it! We’ve just discussed how much do you pay a bartender for a wedding: typically $35 per hour. 

When hiring multiple bartenders and if your reception will take several hours, keep this in mind. You can also consider serving the drinks yourself as long as you’re aware of the expectations for this task. 


Leave a Comment