Simple Answer: 4-5 hours...but why?
1.Good times vs lost memories.
Elite has found the ideal total time for an open bar is about 4-5 Hours. As 4 hours of open bar is exceeded, things begin to get a little "sloppy" and the host liability increases significantly. Although not a requirement, this reason (among many others) is why Elite Private Bartenders offers a flat rate for 5 hours -it's what most clients need.
2. The "Wasted" Factor.
Open bars with long hours- guests are much more wasteful with beverages. For example: Guests are much more likely to leave their drinks (half full) and forget where they are, over-ordering drinks from the bartender ("I need 10 shots"- 5 left at bar) and simply ordering more than they need. Of course, that's what bartenders are there for; and they certainly don't mind. But for the host, this translates to real $ dollars out of the budget. The average waste is about 5-7% for any party or event. The percentage skyrockets to 20% wasted (pun intended) for the fifth, sixth, and seventh hour.
3. Shattering the Budget
All services will cost more as the total time is extended. Planners, DJ's, caterers, bartenders, servers, and event facilities will ALL need to be paid additional for their extra time servicing your guests.
Things you can do.
*Simple wedding tips*
Especially with weddings, it can be difficult to fit everything in your timeline. Here are some simple tips to avoid extended timelines on your special day.
Tip #1.Don't get married too early.
Typically, ceremony time should be between 5pm-7pm, not earlier. Sunday weddings are sometimes an exception. As a general guide, you'll want your ceremony to end about 15-30 mins before sunset. Great for pictures (ask your photographer for more details) and also puts you on track to conclude the night by 11pm. Of course there are more exceptions; but this will apply to most.
Tip#2. New Couple's Hard Truth: You won't have time to party, sorry.
This can be a difficult notion to accept. Understandably, because your longtime friends and family have come to see you on your special day. The truth: you are going to be scheduled down to the minute: flower tosses, cake cutting, first dance, speeches, and plenty more. Some couples wish to add extra time so they can hang out and party (I am personally guilty of this at my wedding). Even if you do, it's will not accomplish that goal-you'll end up getting pulled in many directions. So do Mom and Dad a favor, give their wallet a break and stick to the 4-5 hours of open bar. It'll (indirectly and directly) save them thousands overall. - See "everything costs more" above..
Tip#2-continued.- Consider this instead: Try planning a gathering within the night(s) before to visit with family and friends. This can get complicated I know, if the bride and groom can’t see each other. Alternatively, you can have something planned for the day after. This way, you’ll be able to visit your loved ones without the strict schedule on wedding day.
Tip #3. Relax and be a star.
It’s your special day so don’t forget to enjoy your ceremony. You’re the star of the show! But more importantly, it might be the only actual time to relax :)
A Typical Bartender-Hours Overview: Break down of how your Elite Private Bartender hours are best used.
Typical Scheduled Bartender Hours: 5 hours.
Set up: First hour of scheduled time.
This time is of greatest importance. Your bartender will expect to walk into a pile of supplies and a table or bar. They will open everything up, ice everything down, create a little display of what’s available for guests, and generally turn this area into a polished bar setup. This almost always take a full hour. I (half-jokingly) tell clients that if there's a bar and a bartender, we are like a black hole of fun:) Guests will naturally gravitate to this area for waters, drinks, questions, etc... If guests are there during set up, it sometimes creates delays in bar opening and a disorganized start. It may even take longer if the bartender needs to move supplies from another area (like a refrigerator or freezer in another room)
1.You don't have to do it. You'll have other things to do that day, so it's one thing you won’t have to worry about. 2.We set it up in the most efficient way to service your guests. There are many little tricks we do during set up that allow us to serve your guests effectively.
Breakdown: Last 1/2 hour of the bartender's scheduled time.
During this time the bar is still open; but typically, it's not as busy. So, the bartender will begin to consolidate obvious leftovers to make it easy for client to transport. Our goal: to leave it the way we found it (most things boxed up). Why are you telling me this Jeremy? --- Because we leave promptly after our scheduled end time; so please make sure you are comfortable with the bar closing at the end of your scheduled time.