By Lisa Nkala Susong

For any big event, particularly a wedding, bartending service is a must! Spend your special day focused on the most important things, not on keeping the alcohol stocked. When planning your Smoky Mountains ceremony, consider hiring a team of professionals to make sure you and your guests stay quenched and happy!

Vital Event Services

Vital Event Services offers excellent bartending service in the Smoky Mountains and surrounding areas.  Owner Nick Llado is a licensed and experienced bartender with a passion for entertaining. He and his highly qualified staff ensure that the party never ends! Not only will Vital Event Services provide exemplarily bartending services, but also pay close attention to guests’ behaviors while respecting federal guidelines.

How it Started

After working for Red Bull and the Smoky Mountain Wedding Association, Llado noticed that the bartending industry was in need of a upgrade. Having heard many complaints about bartending services, he decided to jump headfirst into the world of mixology. Leveraging his connections in the wedding industry, Llado started Vital Event Services in 2019 in order to service those in the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge, Knoxville, and Greenville areas. However, he and his team are happy to discuss events outside of their current frontier.

Surviving 2020 and the Challenges Brought by COVID

Vital Event Services was just getting started when the COVID pandemic hit the US in 2020. Unfortunately, this led to substantial impacts on the service industry nationwide. Thankfully, despite receiving many cancellation and/or rescheduling requests, Llado and his team were able to keep going. Sizes of ceremonies were scaled back greatly, but the party continued! With this trend of micro weddings still expanding, Llado looks forward to new opportunities to service quaint and intimate ceremonies.

Bartending Service and the Law

Bartenders follow certain regulations and rules while servicing guests set by the government. Before being allow to legally service guests, mixologists must complete a Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) class and pass their exam. Servers must be at least 18 years old to earn the server permit, which allows the holder to serve, not sell alcohol. Additionally, guidelines for associated venues are provided as well. Sites must possess a separate license to sell alcohol, provide food before bar setup. Moreover, bars must be shut down at least 30 minutes before the end of an event. Anyone under the age of 21 or who appears inebriated should be denied services.

A Bartending Service Worth Hiring

Vital Event Services promises to provide top-quality service at every event. They promise to abide by all regulations, while keeping guests entertained. They also make sure to follow rules set by your venue. For example, some spaces only allow cocktails or mixed drinks. A stellar bartending service provider will guarantee that your ceremony is compliant with both the law and your venue.

Advice from a Professional

Llado has a few words of advice for those seeking bartending services. To start, he explains that booking your servers last minute is always a bad idea. Providers’ schedules fill up fast, so don’t run the risk of not being able to book your top choice! Also, before choosing an event space online, be sure to do your research first. Some sites will falsely advertise their services or offerings, so being diligent is important. You get what you pay for–or worse, you might pay for something that doesn’t even exist! Check online for reviews and verify a venue’s insurance policy before reaching out.

Plan Ahead

Llado recommends reaching out to and booking Vital Event Services at least 60 days before your event. Scheduling can be flexible, but better to play it on the safe side when planning your ceremony! Vital Event Services requires payment at a month before your occasion and including a tip along with their fee is a wise idea. Sometimes guests don’t consider bringing extra money to tip servers; making sure to thank your bartenders ahead of time lets them know how much you appreciate their services! Most importantly, trust your bartender to make the best decisions for your wedding party. When it comes to mixers and specialty drinks, let them provide the expertise and experience.

Bartending Services Offerings

It’s important to remember that as the host, you supply the alcohol. Vital Event Services can recommend how much and what kind of alcohol to purchase based on your guest list and the glasses being used to serve. Services offered include mixers, ice, cooler space, and one trained bartender. For an additional cost, you can request another mixologist if your wedding party is especially large. Additionally, you can opt to rent a collection of their serving glasses!

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Bartending Service

  1. What alcohol do you plan on serving? Are you looking for a soft bar–beer, wine and champagne–or mixing/open bar? Maybe a mix of both? However, the more options you have for guests, the more extensive the final bill will be. Offer what you like and can afford.
  2. What cocktails, if any, do you want served? Obviously your bartender can’t bring their whole collection of mixers to your ceremony. Be sure to let your bartender know what your ideal menu is ahead of time. This way, they can plan accordingly and know exactly to bring.
  3. Do I need help? If you’re planning a ceremony on your own and struggling to stay on task, hiring a bartender is probably a good idea. Figuring out what mixers to buy, how much to buy, and what glasses to use may be out of your comfort zone. Save yourself a headache and reach out to Vital Event Services!

Expect the Best from Vital Event Services

While he does enjoy the business side of Vital Event Services, Llado explains that he still finds the most joy in seeing the happy faces of his clients. Watching a newly wed couple clink their drinks in celebration can’t be beat! He and his team promise that your expectations aren’t only met, but exceeded.

Impressed? Call/text Nick at 865-235-1867, or email him at to book the best bartending service in the Smoky Mountains area.



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