Do I need a liquor license for my wedding or event if I’m having an open bar?

Nope, you don’t need a liquor license for your wedding or private event.

ABC Regulation # 23399.1:

“When license or permit not required for serving and otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages. No license or permit shall be required for the serving and otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages where all of the following conditions prevail:

1. That there is no sale of an alcoholic beverage.

2. That the premises are not open to the general public during the time alcoholic beverages are served, consumed or otherwise disposed of.

3. That the premises are not maintained for the purpose of keeping, serving, consuming or otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages.”

So, as long as you aren’t selling drinks or serving the public and are at a private event venue, you’re all set!

How many bartenders do we need?

Here is what we recommend:

1 - 75 guests: one bartender:

76 - 150 guests: two bartenders

151- 225 guests: three bartenders

226 - 300 guests: four bartenders

301 - 375 guests: five bartenders

And so on for every additional 75 guests…

Our goal is to make sure you and your guests have a great experience with a quick line, friendly smile, and delicious drink! These numbers may vary a bit based on your menu, complexity of custom cocktails, venue layout, and other factors, but we feel like they’re a good place to start.

Why can’t we just use our friends to serve us?

Bottles & Ice is a professional, full-time private event bar service. As such, we carry the legal liquor liability insurance required by most local venues for bar staff. Our experienced bartenders are LEAD-certified, which means that they’ve passed the state of California’s requirements for legal and responsible alcohol service. We have years of experience in serving crowds large and small over long events, and doing so in a way that maximizes the event experience while still complying with the law. In other words, with Bottle & Ice, you can let your friends enjoy the day and leave the work to us!

Do you have a package that includes both bartending and coordinating?

Yes! We have an event coordinating & bartending package. Prices are based on guest count and bar details.


Do I supply the alcohol or does Bottles & Ice?

You, as the client, supply all the alcohol, mixers, glassware, and ice. However, we CAN provide you with the mixers, glassware, and ice you’ll need!  Just send us an email, and we’d be happy to add those items to your bar quote.

Part of our services includes a shopping list, so while we don’t provide the alcohol, we give you a customized list to stock the bar!

Why hire Bottles & Ice as opposed to just going through our caterer?

While we understand adding bar tending to your catering contract can be convenient, there are several benefits to booking Bottles & Ice!  Bottles & Ice is certified through ABC to serve alcohol at private events and holds specific liquor liability insurance, both things required by local venues.  Before your event, we will work with you to create custom cocktails based on your tastes, menu, color scheme, inspirations, etc… We’ll also get you a custom shopping list to make sure everything you’ll need will be on hand. Also, bar tending is our only job! The bar tends to be the most popular spot at the wedding and with Bottles & Ice, you’ll have bartenders that are experienced and focused solely on the bar and your guests! In addition to that, our bartenders are trained, professional, and knowledgeable, with years of experience. We also provide all our own tools, tubs, back bars, and garnishes (think bar mats, mixers, shakers, etc… — which saves you on your rental order). We will also take care of all the set-up, chilling product, garnish prep, and making sure your bar looks gorgeous, and we take care of all the clean-up, including organizing any leftover alcohol, trash, and glassware.

When considering going through your caterer for bar tending, ask these questions first:

#1 - Is their staff certified through ABC to serve drinks?*

#2 - Do they have liquor liability insurance?*

#3 - Are their bartenders knowledgeable and trained specifically to tend bar?

#4 - Do they fully set-up and clean-up the bar areas and provide their own bar tools, accessories, and chilling tubs?

*Both are required by local venues

If the answer is no to any of those questions, email us for a quote.  We’d be honored to bar tend your event!

Do you help us create custom cocktails for our event?

Yes! We have a questionnaire that we send out that helps us get a feel for the type of cocktails you like and develop your custom cocktail from that information. We also offer tastings for booked clients in our office in downtown Atascadero.

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