Ball Conference Center is one of the few places in Kansas City where you can bring in your own alcohol – potentially saving you hundreds – if not thousands – on your budget. But where to start? Here are our top tips on where and how much to buy, plus setting up your bar station. 

1. Start with the guest list. Some couples are quick to calculate needed alcohol off the total guest count, but we’re pretty sure you won’t need to buy booze for the toddlers that will be in attendance. You also won’t need to buy for anyone under 21, for that matter – or your super conservative aunt. Only tally up for those who will actually be drinking.

2. Do the math. The average number of drinks per person can vary depending on whether or not the guest is a light, moderate or heavy drinker. Check out this free calculator from Evite to make sure your numbers are spot on. It’s also safe to assume that your drinkers will have two to five drinks during the evening, making 3.5 a safe vet. 

3. When to head to the store. There’s no need to rush to the liquor store until you’re about eight weeks out. You want to make sure you have beverages that are still within drinking expiration dates for beer, and you definitely don’t want wine sitting around in the trunk of your car. 

4. Where to buy. Your local Costco is typically the number one pick for most couples for two reasons: 1) The price is right and 2) Anything unopened can be returned! You read that right – they’re happy to accept returns with a full refund, so no need to worry about buying too much. If you don’t have a Costco nearby, contact local liquor stores to see if you can work out any kind of discount.

5. What to buy. No, you are not required to have a full bar at your wedding. You can easily just offer beer and wine and everyone will find something they like. If you do offer a full service bar, don’t forget the mixers! Some experts would suggest not offering shots as your guests could potentially get out of control, but it’s your wedding! Lastly, it can be fun to have a signature drink!

6. Don’t forget the essentials. Depending on your service ware (disposable or China), you’ll need to pick up some bar necessities:

  • Disposable cups – 12 – 16 oz. for beer, tumblers for wine and cocktails, and shot cups (if you want them).
  • Beverage napkins – don’t go crazy on these. Some people won’t even use them.
  • Ice – and lots of it! If your venue doesn’t have an ice machine, consider buying or borrowing large coolers from friends. 
  • An ice bowl and scoop – so your bartenders don’t have to stoop down all night.
  • Beer and wine openers – At least two.
  • Bar towels – for spills and cleanup.
  • Water and soda – if needed.

Now all you need is some muscle power to carry it all in and a couple of good bartenders to make your bar station a hit!

Looking for a Kansas City wedding venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol? Contact Ball Conference today!