Crystal Stump (founder and CEO of ABC Consulting and former special ABC Agent from the Alcohol Beverage Control Authority) is interviewed by Virginia Bride Magazine!
Pour yourself a drink; you’re going to need it!
- What do we do? ABC Consulting is a full-service, licensing and consulting firm. We assist businesses as well as individuals with obtaining the proper licensing for their event (such as a wedding).
- Is a license needed for your reception/event? Absolutely! You must have the proper license for consumption and to serve alcohol. I am happy to get this question, as many people might not be aware of this, in Virginia.
- What if the reception only includes a champagne toast, do you still have to have a license? Yes, ma’am, the license is necessary, although there are exceptions (which we’ll discuss), but if there is any consumption of alcohol, you’ll need an alcohol license.
- Can alcohol be sold, at a cash bar, at a reception? The answer is no. An individual cannot set up a cash bar and sell alcoholic beverages.
- Who is responsible for obtaining the alcohol license? The venue? The catering company? The bartender? The couple? First of all, the short answer is that the person HAVING the event is responsible for the alcohol license and will be the license holder. The bartender, the venue or the catering company is NOT responsible for obtaining that license. All this means to say is that the person throwing the party is responsible for filling out the application, obtaining the license and holding the license.
- How long does it take you to obtain an alcohol license? How far out does the couple need to plan and to apply? ABC Consulting recommends that you apply, online, through our simplified, online form at our website, as soon as you have a date and venue. The questions narrow down the answers and provide us with the information to select the right license type. Based upon the answers on the form, we can figure out which of the 10 (one-day) license types you’ll need. These answers will narrow down the type of license that is appropriate for the person that is applying. If you do it sooner, than later, we can review your answers and submit the correct application and hear back – typically, you’ll get your license in 14 days. Then the alcohol license is in place. We can even mail your license to the venue or caterer so that they can post it. You have one less element and ToDo to worry about.
Now that you know that the couple is responsible for obtaining the license, let’s do your homework to find out IF you need a license.
- Are you having a reception in your backyard, in your home, in your community clubhouse that you pay dues to? You don’t need a license in this situation.
- What if your venue (a restaurant or event venue) has a license? If you are buying alcohol from the venue that has a license for the event, you don’t need a license. BUT…if you are having a reception at a winery and are serving beer, the winery’s license won’t cover beer or mixed drinks. Or if you are having a reception at a brewery, you’ll need to provide an alcohol license if you are serving wine or mixed drinks.
- Does your venue might have an alcohol license? If you are having your event at a restaurant, it is very likely that they already have a wine, beer and mixed beverage license)
- Does your caterer have an alcohol license? It is very rare for a caterer to have an alcohol license.
- Why use ABC Consulting? The good news about using ABC Consulting is that the bride can go to one place to find the answers, apply for the license, obtain the correct license, and can stop stressing about this confusing topic. When someone comes to our website and fill out the application and the forms and we find that they do NOT need a license, they get a full refund. If you apply through VA ABC Authority, and you don’t need the license, you will not get a full refund. Another big benefit of applying through us is that we stick with you – all the way through the process. And we will be there for you, through the whole process. We had a bride forget to print the license and she contacted us the day before the wedding and we emailed it over to her, again.
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Remember that it can take up to 14 days get your license approved, so apply as soon as you have a date and a venue. We’ll be happy to help you with all your licensing needs and we’ll be happy to support you for your special day.
Your wedding should contain the happiest memories of your life – don’t put off your ToDo’s! And please make sure that not only is it magical, but safe and legal, too. 800.785.0161
*Disclaimer: This article and its contents represent the opinions of the author only and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. ABC Consulting is a private consulting firm, in way do we represent the VA ABC Authority. You should not act upon any such information without seeking qualified professional advice based upon your situation.