Beginner August 2020 Ontario

Bar Stock & Ice

Brianne, on 19/August/2019 at 15:10 Posted in Wedding reception
Hi everyone!

My fiancé and I hired a bartending service outside of our caterer, as it’s way cheaper, but we’re having a little trouble working out the details. Our venue allows us the whole Friday for setup, so we will be able to get in and organize tables and chairs and the bar. This is a huge plus for such a Type A person like me, but I’m worried about how to get the bar stocked and most importantly, how to store the ice.

The bartending service we hired is providing two bartenders, the glassware, and rustic “coolers,” leaving my fiancé and I to supply the booze, bar stock, and ice. Since we are only going to be having beer and wine at the reception, with two His and Hers signature cocktails, we don’t need to do a whole lot in terms of bar stock - just the standard soft drinks and juices for those not planning on drinking (it’s a 19+ event).

My question for all of you is, if the bartenders are not showing up to the venue until 2:30 to set up (our ceremony is at 3:00 and cocktail hour starts at 3:30), how the heck are we going to get ice to the venue and keep it frozen until they get there?! We contemplated buying a cheap chest freezer and stocking it at the venue on the Friday, but this seems unnecessary. Has anyone else had a problem like this? The last thing I need to be worrying about as I’m *literally* walking down the aisle is, “Did the bartenders get ice?”


  • Brianne
    Beginner August 2020 Ontario
    Brianne ·
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    Hey Sinéad!

    The venue for ceremony and reception are the same, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to coordinate. I asked my bartender if they could possibly pick up ice on their way if we sent them the money for it... She said she sees no problem with that, but it’s just a matter of storing it for the entirety of the cocktail hour and the rest of the evening. The coolers they’re providing don’t have lids, they’re like big galvanized tubs that will fit in with our rustic theme in the barn. Hopefully no one complains about warm beer!
  • Sinéad
    WeddingWire Admin January 2025 Galway
    Sinéad ·

    Hey Brianne! Have you figured this out yet?

    Are your ceremony and reception venue close to each other? Would it be possible to have someone drop off the ice at the venue before the ceremony starts?

  • Brianne
    Beginner August 2020 Ontario
    Brianne ·
    View quoted message

    They said that because the coolers are galvanized pails with no lids, there’s no way for them to store it properly. I’m not sure if the caterer would allow us to use their freezers since we booked with someone else. It’s a barn, so there aren’t any appliances there or anything like that. I guess I will try to work something out with the bartender and ask them to get ice on their way there for an added cost...

  • Brianne
    Beginner August 2020 Ontario
    Brianne ·
    View quoted message

    She told me that because the coolers are like metal buckets, there’s no way for them to store the ice. It’s a really weird situation! We are lucky enough that we have two day-of coordinators (the caterer and the venue owner) so if anything we could have them store it for us and make sure the bartenders get it... but still. Annoying, right?

  • Tori
    Featured October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·

    Is there a freezer at the venue?

    I am doing the same thing and going with outside bar services to keep costs down but mine will supply the mix/garnishes, cups, ice, etc. and I just need to provide the actual alcohol.

    Or like Kelsie said, maybe you could pay them to bring ice with them if they normally don't do that.

  • Kelsie
    Featured July 2020 Ontario
    Kelsie Online ·
    Hmm, I’ve never heard this before. My FH was a bartender for a long, long time and they always had to bring ice or it was supplied by the venue.

    Can you somehow meet up with the bartenders and give the ice to them in advance. Or, alternatively, give them a little extra to pick up some ice for you and bring it to the venue?

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