Tip #1: Garbage Cans
Hosts sometimes express the need to hide garbage receptacles because they don't look very elegant...and they're right. BUT, here are a couple of things you should consider before providing a tiny garbage can for a party.
The mess looks far worse.
With trash in hand, a guest will look for a place to discard their disposable plate, beer, or plastic cup somewhere. Guests will look for about 5 seconds. If there's no obvious where to put trash, they will simply set it down on any flat surface. The result? Your venue or home ends up looking like last nights frat party. You could hire someone to bus tables, but the task doesn't typically warrant enough work to hire a person for this job.
Solution: Place a large garbage can in every area you expect the guests to congregate. Don't worry about what the guests are thinking. Guests will appreciate the obvious place to put their trash; instead of the embarrassmsent of leaving their dirty dishes on your piano. (Yes we have seen this).
More tips coming soon!
Tip #2: Close the Bar when the party is over; never before.
Should I close the bar during your presentation, meeting, or speech? No.
Here's why that's a bad idea:
I get it. You want to make sure everyone pays attention to the speech or show, and is not distracted at the bar or trying to get a drink. But here's something to think about: The only way you accomplish closing the bar is by removing the bartender. For an open bar, (which is usually the case) guests feel that regular bar rules no longer apply. What ends of happening: They circle like lions waiting for the bartender to return, (thinking it's any minute) the bar becomes crowded. Ever thrown a lion a a cube of meat while holding a steak? Then said: now watch this presentation before I give you the rest. Obviously a crazy analogy, but not far off the actual bar-psychology either.
Yes, the host and the bartender can both announce the bar is closed for 30 mins. However, what ends up happening instead is chaos. In every case, only about a 3rd of the party will hear this announcement (at best). The bartender then has to tell every individual that the bar is closed for 30 minutes. The rest of the party gets annoyed that they can't get a drink. It only takes the first person to "be funny" and grab a beer from the bin. After that, it's a free for all. The bar mess becomes an eye sore in a matter of seconds.
Solution: if you want to have an open bar. Have it open in a separate area after your show/presentation/speech. This allows a "reward" to your guests and 100% attention for your special day.
Other conversations with real clients:
Thanks again for choosing Elite. I've copied your questions below with answers to your questions underneath.
1) Since you have worked at the River Landing before, do you think the ice maker they have will provide enough ice for the bartenders as well as the caterers?
No. I would suggest bringing at least 50% of the recommended ice within you Elite calculations.
2) Can you recalculate to include vodka, bourbon, and rum (white and spiced)?
Use the same calculator amts provided, just add 2 bottles of white rum, and 2 bottles of spiced rum. All else will be the same. Note: any additional liquors you wish to provide should be considered an "add-on" to the base bar suggested. -Meaning: you'll still need the same amounts for the other stuff regardless.
3) We are looking to have 2 cocktails only for the cocktail hour - 1 bourbon and 1 vodka. For the bourbon cocktail I am looking for something along the lines of an old fashioned but not a traditional one. The vodka cocktail needs to have elderflower liqueur in it. Do you have any ideas?
Elite's General Advice: Guests are generally more simplistic than you think. 95% of people will drink Vodka, Whiskey (each with one mixer ie tonic or ginger ale)... beer or wine. It is suggested not to over-complicate the drinks ie special drinks requiring unique ingredients bc it can significantly increase your budget and stress (figuring out where to find specialty ingredients, etc..). I would also suggest having all options (beer wine other liquors) available during cocktail hour too. It might be unusual to the guests to only serve specific drinks for cocktail hour.
I have not made cocktails before with elderflower liqueur. So I (unfortunately) do not have any insight to provide. Whiskey drinks are a bit more difficult for "cocktails" bc most folks just drink it by itself... or with soda (being coke, gingleale, sodawater, water). However, my personal suggestion: The whiskey sour: Whiskey, sourmix. dash of sprite, and a cherry. Of course rename it what you'd like. This (in my opinion) is a forgotten cocktail that is still delicious.
Guest: "I would like one of those beers please"
Bartender: Right now we are only serving X-cocktail and Y-Cocktail. You'll have to wait an hour to get a beer"
... see what I mean? Just a thought. Again, it's your special day and we are happy to do anything you'd like.
As an alternative suggestion: I would have all options available during cocktail hour AND ALSO highlight 2 signature drinks...(via signage, chalkboard or something like that) ie bridal bliss and grooms delight. It does make it fun for guests to order a funny worded cocktail.
With that being said, its your special day.. If you want unique cocktails OR only serve 2 drinks during cocktail hour---- I say go for it !!! We are happy to serve any drink, in any way, that you'd like ... what we serve to guests doesn't makes NO difference to the bartenders. Thats what we are there for!