Industry Insight – Mobile Caravans

Couples today are wanting something really unique and special and one way that vintage loving couples can add something of interest is a mobile bar set up in a re-purposed vintage caravan.  Retro Events have a few quaint and quirky vintage vans and are the perfect addition to create an almost festival style vibe at a reception.  Imagine an acoustic duo in the background, amber festoon lights strung from tree to tree and a couple of friendly characters serving champagne and craft beer for all of your guests from their old school caravan….. if that doesn’t say lets celebrate I don’t know what does!

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Retro Events are the perfect host for any event, this includes your wedding, engagement, proposal, high tea, birthday, hens or bucks or any other reason to celebrate!

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How did the idea for a mobile caravan bar come about?

We love retro caravans so the idea of transforming them into something where they could be appreciated and used regularly really appealed to us. We think it’s important to update our caravans look or props to stay on trend with the latest popular wedding ideas, we recently created our Bar of Gold which has stemless gold glasses and a giant chandelier and has been a huge hit. We now have three caravans available to hire.

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Why is it perfect for backyard weddings?

A caravan bars create a wonderful gathering point for guests and is a real conversation starter for guests that have never met before and can really set the whole theme at a wedding.

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Why is a mobile bar so much easier/cheaper/better than doing it yourself?

Being mobile means if the weather turns bad the caravan can be easily pushed by hand to another location or even bought inside if doors allow. The caravans can run on their own batteries and have their own water supply which works great in remote locations. We have often had to squeeze into tiny spots on front lawns or even right on the beachfront.

It’s great to have bar staff that can pre-pour for that first drink rush or during Wedding toasts and really helps to have staff keeping an eye on glasses and empty bottles that gather in dangerous places often underfoot!

Being able to purchase your own wholesale alcohol saves a lot of money, there is no corkage charge per person and you can choose your own favourite drinks, even kegs. We provide wine, champagne and water glasses which to hire would be well over $200.

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What is the experience you try and create?

We like our clients to feel they don’t have to worry about a thing. We are very flexible and try to arrange the delivery of our caravans well in advance to avoid any last minute stress and then our staff arrive later to look after the guests. Our friendly staff genuinely enjoy being part of the celebration and do everything they can to make the special day run smoothly. We also provide a DIY service with our bars, where you can use family or friends to serve in the bar if your trying to keep costs to a minimum.

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What other services do you/can you provide?

Our staff are happy to circulate amongst guests to provide top ups if required or set up bottles on tables. We have several drink dispensers that can be filled with fruit infused water or alcoholic mixers, which we can prepare beforehand. We also have an ever expanding range of props that are available to hire, including log ceremony bench seating and a cool mobile bohemian lounge set up.

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How do couples know how much alcohol to purchase?

There are several sites online that advise alcohol purchase, we recommend this guide from NZ Bride and Groom magazine it’s quantities are generous but safer than running out:

DRINK TYPE  GUESTS QUANTITY
Bubbly 100 48 to 60 bottles
Still table wine 100 100 bottles
white to red
ratio = 2:1
Beer 100 200 – 300 bottles
Allow four to six beers for every male guest present.
Non-alcoholic 100 50 litres
500ml per person.

 

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Top tips

Go through your guest book, making notes about the drinking habits of your family and friends – if they like to indulge or aren’t really into alcohol, then adjust the quantities accordingly. If they’re predominantly wine drinkers, deduct from your beer allowance or vice versa. Maybe some of your guests would like to stick to bubbly?

Shop around for specials in the months before your wedding and buy in bulk to save money. Some liquor retailers have a policy that allows you to return unused alcohol as long as the labels are intact and it can be resold (so don’t immerse the bottles in ice or water!).

Consider the time of day and length of your reception. Guests are likely to drink a little more if your reception is in the evening and on a weekend. Plan for your guests to drink around two drinks per hour (some will drink more and some less to even it out).

From our experience over the last few years we have found that the Rosé often runs out and you need to make sure you provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages as this is often underestimated especially with the low drink driving limits.

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What advice would you give to couples looking for a mobile bar?

It’s best to go with a company that have had a lot of experience with weddings and have great testimonials.  We have had many comments from guests that our smiley girls really helped to make the day. Every wedding throws us a little curve ball on the day, so after several years we feel we are prepared for just about anything, including digging out a tree to get the caravan in!

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Tell us about the most memorable wedding you worked with and why it was special.

The most memorable wedding was held in a beautiful field with a marque, the weather was miserable all day despite being February but all the guests, especially the bride decided to embrace the rain and make the day awesome! They danced in the rain under the festoon lights, the brides dress muddy right up to her thighs. Later the guests told us it was the best wedding they had ever been to!

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