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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do I find a good bartender?

Put some time on your calendar to research and compare top-rated bartenders near you online. Start by looking at their ratings and services. For example, some bartending services will provide a waitstaff, glassware, ice, coolers, food and more.

Next, look at their photos of past events and read the customer reviews. Find feedback on the bartenders’ services. Did they offer fair pricing? Did they show up on time to set up? Did they bring all of the appropriate drinks, cups, supplies and decorations? Did they interact politely with the party guests and provide a pleasant overall experience? And did they do the agreed-upon cleanup afterward?

Narrow down your top choices, and start contacting the bartenders. Ask for cost estimates for your event, and tell them how many people will be attending, what type of event it is and what services you require. You should also ask them questions about their experience.

Bartenders may need a license in your state, county or city to work at a private party. Make sure they’re properly certified before you hire anyone.

How much does it cost to hire a bartender for a private party?

Hiring a bartender for a private party typically costs between $270 and $390 in total. On an hourly basis, expect to pay at least $40 to $60 per hour, as well as a flat fee. How much you’ll pay, however, depends on the time of year or day, the size of the party and other factors. Get in touch with a few bartenders near you and request a free estimate — it’s the only way to get an accurate idea of how much private bartending services will cost you.

Check out “How much does it cost to hire a bartender?” to learn more about the cost factors.

Do bartenders need to be licensed?

Certain counties, cities and states may require licensing. Check your local government’s regulations before starting your search.

In many cases, you might want to choose a bartender who has a license and/or certification. If you’re considering hiring a bartender for an upcoming event or a special occasional, check their online profiles to find out what credentials they have. If you can’t find the information online, don’t hesitate to ask them directly when requesting to receive free estimates.

How much should you tip wedding bartenders?

Sometimes, a gratuity is included in your final bill. If not, consider tipping your wedding bartenders between 10% and 15%. However, this is not a set-in-stone rule. You can always tip more, perhaps 20%-25%, for great service.

What do bartenders cost for a wedding?

It costs roughly between $270 and $390 to hire a bartender. However, if you need a wedding bartender, you should request cost estimates from bartenders near you. Depending on the drinks you plan to serve, the number of guests and other factors, your total cost will vary.

Reviews for Ashburn bartenders
Hayden T.
What a pleasure it was having Melanie bartend my wedding party. We were in somewhat of a bind and as soon as she walked in, she took control of the bar and got everyone their drinks with amazing quality! Couldn’t recommend her more. She’s extremely responsive, punctual and an amazing bartender!
Melanie Boodhwa-Bartending & Event StaffingMelanie Boodhwa-Bartending & Event Staffing
Thumbtack Customer
The nicest bartender we've ever hired. Always smiling and making sure everybody's cup was filled. Hoping to have him annually!
Michael Colestock Happy BartenderMichael Colestock Happy Bartender
Frank F.
Responsive. Amber made planning easy. Janet the bartender was on time and made great drinks. Great experience would definitely hire them again.
Party Services So CalParty Services So Cal
Thumbtack Customer
National Bar Staffing of Southern California team were professional, punctual, they provided our guests with great service, met our wedding reception night needs. Our requests were welcomed and addressed swiftly. This was a great investment and our guests were impressed with the bar. My wife and I were very satisfied! For the future we know who we are going to call for our bartending party needs. And our families also know who they can contact when they are looking for excellent bartender(s).
Paul Michaels Top Mixologists & Servers of SoCalPaul Michaels Top Mixologists & Servers of SoCal
Thumbtack Customer
Our bartender for the night - Jaqui - was great! All night she was super busy serving mixed drinks, wine, beer and jello shots - all with a pleasant smile on her face and with a great attitude. I would hire her again in a second for any event!
Paul Michaels Top Mixologists & Servers of SoCalPaul Michaels Top Mixologists & Servers of SoCal
Taylor M.
Firefly was amazing! The bartender came on time, brought and set up everything I requested, served delicious drinks for the entire party, all 70 people, and even stayed to help clean up at the end! They are a quality service, and I’ll definitely be recommending them to my friends!
Firefly BartendingFirefly Bartending
Mary b.
I have done many parties and hired a lot of bartenders and I can easily say no one could be compared to Stephanie. She was so professional, helped me find everything I needed on time and helped me save money on ingredients. Not only did my drinks look pretty 🤩 but they tasted amazing ! All my guests were happy.
Sunset Bartending ServicesSunset Bartending Services
Thumbtack Customer
Justine was hired as a bartender for my daughter's 14th birthday celebration. Justine was informed of the different age groups that would be attending the party and how it was important to keep control on who was consuming alcohol. Justine was great in providing the service needed to the adults and also was able to prepare really good virgin drinks to the teens. Justin was also helpful when determining the type of liquor that would be needed for the event. Justine responded to every text sent and made suggestions as needed. Justine provided his own garnishes for the event. Thank you Justine!
Justin Tydas LA Bartender and Mixologist ServicesJustin Tydas LA Bartender and Mixologist Services
Rob C.
Rob was an absolute pleasure to work with! He helped us out for an event we had last weekend and he absolutely killed it. His communication skills are really great and he is extremely professional. He was very helpful in the prep process leading up to the event and he exceeded everyone's expectations on the day of the event. All the guests had nothing but great things to say about him and many of them are wanting to hire him for their own upcoming events! If you ever need a bartender, look no further and hire Rob and his company 'Shaken Not Stirred', they'll most certainly impress you and your guests!
Shaken Not StirredShaken Not Stirred
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Why you should hire a bartender

Make your next event memorable by hiring a professional bartender. An expert bartender takes the pressure off of you and turns any celebration into a special affair. The right mixologist can go beyond simple bar service and offer a delightful experience for your guests — while you get to spend your time entertaining and mingling. Whether you’re throwing a wedding, birthday party, company party or any other type of event, search for bartenders near you today. Compare their rates and hire a local pro who fits your needs.

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