How to Rent a Mobile Bar Near You for Your Wedding

Drinks just hit different from an Airstream.
Heather Bien - The Knot Contributor.
Heather Bien
Heather Bien - The Knot Contributor.
Heather Bien
The Knot Contributor
  • Heather contributes wedding, honeymoon, travel and relationship content for The Knot and WeddingWire.
  • Heather also writes for publications including Apartment Therapy, StyleBlueprint, MyDomaine, HelloGiggles and The Everygirl.
  • She holds a degree in Art History and Architectural History from the University of Virginia.
Updated Apr 16, 2024

You've seen enough of those charming silver airstreams serving drinks on Instagram to know that renting a mobile bar for your wedding is at the top of your must-have list. Whether they're handing out craft beers or mixing up colorful cocktails, there's something about the allure of placing your order through a window rather than at a traditional bar that makes for a memorable occasion. Even if your guests are drinking the house white wine at the reception, they'll talk about that photo-worthy mobile bar for days.

And it's not just alcohol that can be served out of a retro pop-up bar! Mobile bars can serve everything from mocktails to coffee to even ice cream—if it can come out of a truck, it's fair game.

Ready to start exploring your on-the-go bar options? Take a look at The Knot Vendor Marketplace to filter mobile bars near you, then use these tips from mobile bar experts from Toastworthy in Washington, DC and The Watering Hole in Chesterfield, Virginia.

How to Find a Mobile Bar for Weddings Near You

Mobile bars have popped up all over the country, and you can make it super easy on yourself by searching on The Knot Vendor Marketplace to find a mobile bar for weddings near you. Filter by "Bar & Drinks," and you'll find a bevy of bars with all different styles, themes and types of mobile vehicles. If you want the silver Airstream look, you can find it. Prefer a nostalgic woody van? You've got it!

Mobile Bar for Weddings Cost

Pricing for a mobile bar will vary by location but, typically, you can expect to pay a $1,000 to $2,000 initial fee to rent the mobile bar for your big day.

Beyond that, it will depend on multiple factors. Sophie Stitch, Founder of Toastworthy, explains a few of the pieces that make up their pricing structure, "The type of rental bar you select, number of guests, location of event and duration of event. We also have additional services like furniture rentals, custom signage, specialty ice that are available for an additional charge."

How Long to Book a Mobile Bar for a Wedding?

"We recommend booking your bar for the duration of the event plus 1 extra hour. Tell your bartending service you need them 30 minutes earlier and 30 minutes later than the actual event," recommends Stitch.

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While this may cost you a little more, it sets the tone for your wedding. If your guests show up early and they can already get a drink, they're going to immediately feel like you had their experience in mind.

"At the end of the evening when guests don't want the party to end, they can have a little extra time enjoying their last drink," adds Stitch.

8 Tips for Having a Mobile Bar at Your Wedding

If you're going to spring for a mobile bar, you want the experience to be top notch, start to finish. From the cocktails to the contracts, here's how to get the most of your pop-up beverage experience.

Book in Advance

Don't wait to book if you have your eyes on a specific mobile bar. "For our peak months, we usually book a year or a year and a half prior. For those months that are not peak, usually 6-9 months prior," says Ana Cordic of The Watering Hole.

Understand the Nuances Between Caterer and Bartender

No one wants to double pay for anything on their wedding day, even drinks. Stitch recommends, "When booking it is helpful to work alongside a caterer. I would recommend signing the contracts together so that way there is no overlapping of services or confusion."

Make a Cocktail Inspiration Board

While you may have Pinterest boards for dress, flowers and decor, you can also make one for your mobile bar experience. Cordic explains, "We try to make every event unique so we have quite a lot of decor the couples can pick from. I have them send me their Pinterest or images they have for inspiration."

You can also work with the mobile bartender to set a menu. "We can do just about any cocktail. We've done a smoked old fashioned which was a huge hit!," says Cordic.

Consider a Themed Mobile Bar

If you have a regular bar and the mobile bar is an add-on, consider having fun with it by incorporating a theme. "We love a Margarita Bar with all different types of margaritas. These custom stations are great for larger weddings that are looking to add a unique experience for guests," says Stitch.

Think Outside the Cocktail Box

Whether you decide to go with a coffee bar rental for your wedding, mocktails or even desserts or ice cream, it doesn't have to be alcohol being served from a retro van. You can get creative, and there are probably companies that specialize in any niche you can dream up.

Make Sure They're Not Skimping on Ingredients

Bartenders should be focusing on the best ingredients for your celebration, regardless of whether they're in a mobile bar or a full interior bar. "Make sure that your bartending service is fresh-squeezing their own juices. This makes for the best cocktails. Many caterers and bar services buy pre-juiced mixes from a grocery store or distributor, and trust us you'll be able to taste the difference," explains Stitch.

Ask How Many Bartenders They'll Have

While there may not be a ton of room in the mobile bar, you still need to follow the magic bartender formula (unless there's an additional bar inside!). "Make sure you have enough bartenders to get drinks out quickly, so guests aren't waiting for drinks. It's one of the number one complaints that can ruin a party. At Toastworthy, we recommend one to two bartenders for every 50 people," says Stitch.

Look For a That Offers Tray Service

If your only bar is the mobile bar, then you may want passed tray service to keep the drinks moving around the room. Stitch explains, "This is a nice touch to keep drinks flowing without having guests need to go to the bar. It also adds a nice customer experience for the guests."

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