Why and how to arrange a BYO wedding

BYO venues have become very popular in recent years and we see new venues popping up each week in South Australia offering their clients the option for BYO drinks and catering.

Clients who choose a BYO venue rather than a drinks package from a licensed venue, generally do so because they wish to personalise or customise their drinks menu to meet the preferences of their guests.  

For some it can be that they have a limited budget and wish to purchase their beverages when the liquor stores offer discounted promotions e.g prior to Christmas and New Year. For others, it can be they have a winemaker in the family who wishes to offer their wines as a gift or contribution or they have an association with a supplier. Either way the option to BYO has its own attraction.

Little Vintage Bar and Van at the Adelaide Museum
South Australian Museum

We operate our mobile bars on a BYO basis with either the client or the licensed venue supplying the drinks and having us serve them. It still requires decisions to be made towards your drinks menu which can throw some people into a panic, but that is where we assist, by offering advice on quantities to purchase and varieties that are on trend with guests.

Questions to ask

Every venue is different and so it's important to research what the venue offers in the hire and what you need to hire or provide for your event. Ask the Functions Manager or Owner if they have a cool room or fridges available on site. If these are provided, then enquire when you can have access to stock your drinks to have them adequately chilled in time for your celebration.

If you need to hire a cool room, ask where it will need to be located as some venues have designated areas for power access. 

This is hugely important as you don’t want your guests walking a mile to get a drink and bars need to be located as close as possible to the cool room to operate an efficient bar service!

Also enquire if the venue disposes of bottles and cans or if that is the responsibility of the hirer. Some venues have strict recycling policies and you don’t want to be finding out on the day that you needed to provide bins to keep wine bottles separate from 10c refundable bottles and cans.

If you choose a BYO bar service like Little Vintage Bar and Van, you will be relieved of the time involved in hiring glassware, tubs, organising ice, staff and the onerous task of cleaning up the next day! 

The setting up and cleaning aspect of a bar at an event is something few people take into consideration. All venues have policies relating to leaving the venue in a tidy state. 

If you choose to have your guests self-serve then ask the venue what their T&C’s are, as from experience its a drag having to clean up empty bottles and glassware and bottle tops if the venue expects you to do it! Even worse if you are required to clean up at the end of the night!

If you are hiring staff to serve your drinks then the same applies. Ask if the vendor is clearing tables of bottles and glassware to ensure the celebration looks tidy. Nothing spoils a photo more that a wine barrel loaded up with empty beer bottles.

It is now common place to have hospitality staff serving alcohol at venues properly trained with RSA’s (Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificates) Ask what the venues requirements are if you are hiring a mobile bar or hospitality bar staff. This is particularly important with the current Covid-19 restrictions if marshalls are required at venues serving alcohol. 

Adelaide Hills Mobile Bar Van Service
Uraidla Showhall

Semi BYO

These are venues which have a Liquor Licence to serve alcohol but may only be licensed to serve their own wines. They may not be able to serve spirits or beers but allow you to BYO varieties that are not covered by their Licence.  It also applies to venues that offer drinks packages where they allow you to BYO at an added cost.

Check with the venue if there is an option to substitute drinks on their packages so that you can meet the needs of your guests.

What time must the service of alcohol cease at the venue? This is important for you planning your event to ensure you do not breach the conditions of your hire. If the venue has a Liquor Licence they will not compromise it if you have an idea of partying until 2am! 

Choosing a BYO venue offers you the freedom to turn your bar service into a unique experience for your guests. Guests really appreciate having familiar drink options on the menu along with the latest craft beers and healthier options like Kombucha.  You can be as creative as you like offering a signature cocktail or gin bar "happy hour" to kick off the party. 

Mobile bar van service at Carclew House North Adelaide
Carclew House

We have attended many BYO and Semi BYO venues in South Australia and are very proud to recommend the following. We are adding more to the list so stay tuned!

South Australian Museum

Marybank Weddings

Uraidla Show Hall

Aldinga Secret Gardens

Nether Hill Farm White Hill Estate

Brin Farm Mandalay House and Garden

Bremer Farm Waverley Estate

Cobbs Hill Farm Woodhouse Manor

Magpie Springs Paxton Winery

Stangate House Kuitpo Hall

Carclew House Aldinga Bay Bungalows

Clean Slate Events Burbrook Forest

Adelaide Botanic Gardens