Alcohol, Restrictions – Couples who are set on having alcohol at their reception need to be sure to clarify and confirm the restrictions of the facility. Certain non-secular or church reception halls have clear policies prohibiting alcohol. An often overlooked question at other facilities is the detail of who will provide and serve alcohol and how it will be financed. Many hotel and wedding specific venues offer a mixed drink bar but require that it be stocked and served by their own bartenders. In this situation, drinks are billed by the pour, leaving the reception hosts with an unknown [and possibly unexpected) expense.
Nontraditional and garden settings, are less likely to have bars as integral parts of their offerings. In these situations the couple (or a hired bartender or bartending service) supplies the alcohol and the service. They may or may not have physical bars, so the couple may have to rent one for the occasion. Bartending services sometimes charge by the drink, but more often by the bottle of spirits opened.
Finally, the last option is to purchase the spirits yourself, rent a bar, or use an alternative, then hire a professional bartender to do the serving, or enlist a willing friend. If you are serving wine and beer only, the bar table can be left unattended, for self-service by the guests.