As pretty much everyone knows, wedding guests come to the wedding to celebrate a couple's union, but they stay for—and hopefully rave about—the food and drinks. (Mostly the drinks.) Whether you had a cash bar or open bar, whether you had top shelf liquor or the stuff in plastic bottles, whether your signature drinks were poorly named and made with too much mixer—you get the idea. So you've really got to wow them in this department. If not with a fancy bartender and a menu of delicious drinks, try spicing things up with a mobile bar.
Or, as with most of our picks below, you can spring for all three!
A mobile bar is exactly what it sounds like: A stocked bar (bartender usually included) that brings the party wherever you are. This is especially important if you're getting married in a space not made expressly for large events, like a park or the backyard at your childhood home. Your caterer might be equipped to handle this for you, but for couples who take the drinks very seriously, having a separate vendor just for the bartending is something you should at least explore.
Some perks of adding a mobile bar to your day-of plans: festive structures (as opposed to a simple bar top and or table), music, and even photo booths! In this way, a mobile bar can handle some of the fun little details that will make your wedding stand out for you and your guests. Even if it's just to drive home the overall aesthetic you're going for (see converted vintage trailers from Road Soda and Silvercloud), a mobile bar is a great addition to the reception, whether your wedding is booze-forward or not.
Survey data shows that millennial guests specifically consider the bar situation to be a top-10 most important reception detail. Perhaps more importantly, one of their top-10 wedding pet peeves is an underwhelming drink situation (like dry weddings and cash bars). With mobile bars, you avoid all of these potential pitfalls. Check out some of our favorites around the country:
New England and the Tri-State area
If you're looking to elevate the cocktails at your tri-state area wedding, The Cup Bearer (TCB) has you covered. The beautiful bars they can set up in literally any venue are just the tip of the iceberg—their service is really what sets them apart. Your team of bartenders will show you that crafting a cocktail is truly an art form, and every additional flourish confirms it. From hand-cut ice cubes to stunning barware (they have a thing for copper) to outfits that blend beautifully with the aesthetic of your celebration, the TCB team has thought of every detail.
They offer setups of 6, 12, and 18 feet, in both straight and u-shaped formats. The Cup Bearer's standard package comes with three signature cocktails, beer and wine service, a wide variety of mixers, as well as videography and photography of the bar area throughout the reception.
Oregon and Washington
Because every bride is looking for something a bit different—and at different price points—owners of The Swig Rig have a few rental options. Their top-shelf package includes the trailer, bartending staff, and all the alcohol you'll need for the night. A mid-tier option provides the trailer and bartenders, but leaves you responsible for coordinating alcohol. If you plan to have something a bit different like a bubbly bar or lots of locally brewed beers, this could be a good option for you. If you've got a mixologist in mind and have the alcohol covered, you can also rent Swiggy (the bar truck) or Ritzy (the bar trailer) for the night.
Texas and California (available in other states upon request)
With a fleet of old-school Airstream trailers—they all date back to the 1950's and 1960's—the vintage aesthetic is unmistakable with Silvercloud's mobile bar service. But they've upped the ante with photo booth trailers that will pull up alongside the mobile bar. They also have a signature drink called the Lemontini Drop. It's a refreshing blend of fresh lemon juice and CHELLO!, a small-batch lemon-infused vodka made in Austin, Texas.
Silvercloud mostly operate in Texas and California, but have done events in Georgia and Florida. If you've fallen in love with Silvercloud's trailers and services (which is understandable), reach out and see if they can accommodate your wedding.
Right now, these renovated 1960s-era Shasta campers are only making their rounds within the boundaries of Connecticut, but they may be expanding to other states soon. And it's a good thing too, because the bar is outfitted with keggerators and a flat screen that can display photos or video of your choice (think: the lost files from that wild super-fun bachelorette weekend).
It may seem too good to be true that this trailer will travel for events in all 48 contiguous U.S. states, but they've already made tracks all across the country! They tend to gravitate to big states like New York and California, but are down to hit the road whenever necessary.
Road Soda has always been known for the fresh, seasonal produce they use in their cocktails, but lately they've been working with recipes that have no added sugar. So if you want to shave off some calories without sacrificing flavor, check out Road Soda's Instagram, swoon sufficiently, then book them for your reception.
Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Orlando and surrounding areas
One of the best things about uDream Events is the variety of mobile bar setups they can provide. They have over 40 different styles to choose from, and they run the gamut: one made entirely of ice (this comes custom-made, so you can get creative); another that has a tiki bar aesthetic; and, our favorite, Fiona, a vintage Volkswagen van that opens its doors to reveal a fully functioning bar.
This company's mobile bars might be small—especially their mini, Whinny—but they're made mightier by add-ons from partner companies. They work with Rustic Romance Rentals, which can create a lounge area with seating around the truck. If you're piecing together vendors for a detached venue (i.e. that park or backyard we mentioned before), The Pour Horse collaborates with The Boxed Street Social food truck to help your reception food dreams come true.
As for the drinks themselves, The Pour Horse's leadership (with over a decade of experience in the industry) is committed to creating signature cocktails with only fresh juices and ingredients. You'll never see pre-made mixers or syrups on their shelves, and you'll taste that difference in every glass.