Bar Hire in Hertfordshire

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Bar Options for Your Party

For some, this is the biggest decision for their event!  Whether it’s a big birthday bash at home and you want to ensure as a host everybody is refreshed or ensuring your friends & family have a great day at your wedding – getting the bar set up right is crucial.

When it comes to bar hire in Hertfordshire – thankfully you have several options at your disposal.  The last of which I am going to mention could be very useful for you if you fancy having half of your party paid for!

It all depends on what you are preparing to pay for and what the event is.  If it’s a home based party chances are you’re not going to make your mates pay and are going to provide the drinks yourself. 

However at events such as weddings & corporate events you are putting on a lot on, your guests will almost expect themselves to pay for their drinks.  Some generous families have parts of the evening as a free bar or a completely free bar. 

Whatever option you choose we’re here to help and you can rely on our wealth of experience to ensure you have everything covered.

I’ve split the below for “Informal & House Parties/Events” and “Weddings & Corporate EventS” as the needs and demands are slightly different.

Informal & House Parties/Events

There is a high chance you will be providing the drinks for the event but you need a good way of delivering them.

Singlehandedly my biggest recommendation for all house/private parties (and weddings, anniversaries, family parties, corporate events…) I can make…EVER

They completely change your experience on your big night, they remove any last minute stress you’ve got and they give you an opportunity to really enjoy whatever you’re celebrating for.

Having bar trained waitresses gives you the freedom all evening to enjoy your friend’s company.

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How many gatherings have you had at home fetching everybody drinks and before you know it it’s time for everybody to go home and you’ve felt like you’ve not said hello to anybody?

You’re not being the “host” and making drinks for everybody who arrives.  Your guests’ expectation levels are raised when they see a proper bar area with trained people serving them drinks.  You get to experience your big night just like your friends and family are.

They give you the opportunity to catch up with friends & family you may not have seen for a while.  You get to have good fun with everybody whilst being looked after by the trained waitresses yourself.

They help prepare at the start of the night taking sure the bar is ready.  The ice is sorted, limes are all chopped up and glasses & bottles are where they should be.  During the event they help tidy glasses up and make the tidy up at the end of the evening that whole lot easier.

I’ve had customers tell me it’s the best £250 they’ve spent – it’s allowed them to enjoy their evening as if they were a guests of their own party.  I can’t recommend them enough!

You have choices of different bar styles to hire from us depending on your tastes and you can even hire fridges and ice machines from us too.  So again, it’s another job we have taken away from you and completely managed by us.

What Drinks to Buy…

This question is always quite a common one – how to know what and how much alcohol for everybody!

I had a big birthday bash a few years ago (in a marquee of course).  Planning what drinks to get and how much of it took me about an hour to work out – the simplest way to get this right is to make a spreadsheet of your guest list and to ‘second guess’ what they are going to drink for the night. 

Keep your bar options really tight and simple – offering too many options will end up costing you money in half-opened bottle of spirits you’ll never drink yourself afterwards.

I always suggest offering drinks in bottles for simplicity.  Most men are more than happy drinking straight out of a bottle (saves hiring so many glasses) and there’s no washing up after – just a trip to the bottle bank in the morning.

I would offer one bottle of lager, one red, and one white wine – perhaps some prosecco if your demographic on your spreadsheet is telling you you’ve got a load of prosecco drinkers.  Don’t forget not everybody will drink so you’ll need some soft drinks too such as Coke, lemonade, tonic, water & orange juice.

If you offer spirits it gets slightly more messy where you’ll need to arrange for ice and more glasses to be hired (we can arrange this for you).  If you want to offer spirits, again, be very tight on what you offer.  Perhaps a Vodka, Gin and something else.  Don’t forget to get more soft drinks for the mixers.  If you offer spirits I would almost DEFINITELY look at tip number one…waitresses!  It’s a time-consuming task making spirits and if it’s a free for all, your bar area is going to look like a bomb has hit it in no time.  Not to mention every possible surface is covered in that sticky film that makes you feel sick the morning after.  Waitresses take all of that hassle away. 

Having a proper bar set up with a commercial back back fridge alongside 2 bar trained waitresses is a sure-fire way you’ll have zero stress in getting your drinks sorted successfully.  The best bit is you can arrange the bar, fridge and waitresses all through us…easy 

Weddings & Corporate Events

You’ve got a couple of options depending on what you are planning to do in terms of providing the drinks for your guests or charging your guests as if you were at a venue (this is a perfectly accepting thing by the way!)

You’ve paid hundreds, probably thousands of pounds to make this day possible – your friends & family will expect to pay for drinks at a wedding!

There’s two ways in which you can make a bar work for these types of events.

An External Bar Hire in Hertfordshire Company


Some couples want to avoid the hassle out of organising a bar and bring in an external bar hire company in to do everything for them.  The upside to this is that they take care of everything for you and it’s another job off your to do list.

They will bring in all of the alcohol and you don’t have to lift a finger.  They arrange glasses, bar staff, ice machines the lot.  They are also licensed so you won’t need to worry about that either.

The downside to this is they will charge premium pub drinks prices.  £5 of a pint, and £6-£10 for a spirit & mixer.  So if you’re footing the bill be it will be like sending your wedding guests list down to your local and you paying there bill after!

There is a price to pay for convenience – it works if you want zero hassle however if its you or your guests paying, bring plenty of cash!

Do it Yourself

This is a much more cost effective way of making a bar work.  It does involve a lot more organising, and potential stress however this method is of particular interest to however is paying for the drinks!

It requires you to purchase all of the alcohol yourself, get a bar & fridges in, ice machine, bar staff, glasses and bar equipment in.

If you are charging for drinks you will also need to get a couple of tills in, possible a temporary card machine and a “float” of around £200 in notes and coins to run a till.

You’ll need to go to the local wholesale store (supermarkets these days are just as cheap to be honest) and ensure you have enough stock to last the evening.  Most supermarkets work on a sale or return basis so don’t be shy in over ordering.

You’ll also need to get a Temporary Events Notice from your local council  (Click Here to Apply).  It costs just £10 and is a simple form.  The council just want to know what the event is and some details.  I know you saw the word “council” and think its going to be a 20,000 word essay required but It’s actually really easy to do.

Despite the fact you need to hire the fridges, bars & staff etc this method is way cheaper than getting an external bar hire company in.  There is a bit more front end work to do however most reputable marquee hire companies will be able to help with with bars, staff, glasses and ensuring your bar setup will work.  Speak to me and we can have a chat to ensure you have everything covered!

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I want my Bar to work for me, to pay for half of my event…

This is the biggie!

I have a big birthday bash myself a few years ago.  I hired a piece of wedding land and put a marquee there.  I hired in external loo’s our BBC radio DJ, bar staff and our Hitchin based caterer to provide a BBQ for over 100 people.

The party cost quite a bit to set up.  But my bar paid for over 2/3 of the event.  I hired in some tills and charged guests for drinks.  It’s a totally acceptable thing to do given the right circumstances and location.

The prices were HALF the price of pub prices so they still felt they were getting a good deal and the profit made from the bar paid for my caterer, DJ and the loo’s.

There is a bit of organising to do but it was totally worth it.  I event sent back £700 worth of alcohol back to my local super marketing and they didn’t even bat an eyelid.  Hence why I say don’t worry about going mad and over ordering!

So if you fancy having a portion of your wedding paid for, I can organise this set up completely for you.  I’ve done it myself and it’s dead easy to do.  Want to have a chat to see how I can help you with your bar set up?

Making Bar Hire in Hertfordshire and Surrounding areas ensure all events are an amazing experience!

Call me on 01462 262012 I would love to see how I can help!


Mark Hammond


Abacus Marquee & Event Hire