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Storybook Backyard Wedding in Valencia

27 Apr

The backyard wedding in Valencia last night couldn’t have been much better. If you were ask 100 brides where they would rather be married if cost was no concern – the Bel Aire Hotel, or their parents backyard, how many do you think would choose the backyard? I think in this case, the backyard wedding was as close to perfect as it could be. The setup was great, the food was fantastic, great music, super nice people, mild weather, and of course, excellent bartending provided by Shaken Not Stirred.

I may want to add that this was a typical backyard in Southern California, not some huge estate. This goes to show what is possible when planning a backyard wedding. The costs of the wedding have to be significantly cheaper, even after you hire the various vendors, including the DJ, the photo booth, the caterer, wedding planner, photographer, and bartender. I think the guests have a much better time than they would in some stuffy venue like a hotel.

There were at least 100 people in attendance and the bar was busy right from the beginning. The bride and groom had decided on the bar selection before they ever talked to me. They decided that they would offer one cocktail, beer and wine. The cocktail they chose and aptly named the “John Daly 

Backyard wedding setup

Backyard wedding setup

Bride and groom have first dance

Bride and groom have first dance

Shaken Not Stirred on the point

Shaken Not Stirred on the point

John Daly - I had to include this!

John Daly – I had to include this!

,” was made with Seagram’s Sweet Tea infused vodka and lemonade. It didn’t sound too good to me, but it was a huge hit! What do I know? We went through 4 handles of the infused vodka and one of the guests went out and bought four more. We served three separate flavors of Kona Beer: Longboard Lager, Big Wave Golden Ale, and the I.P.A. We ran out of everything but the I.P.A.

Sticking to the Southern theme, Dr.s Hogly Wogly’s Tyler Texas Barbecue of Van Nuys catered the event and the food was fantastic! Highly recommended. I want to mention the speeches given by the father of the bride and the father of the groom. The father of the bride (who hosted the wedding) was very funny and almost like a professional comedian. I later asked him if he was a comedian and he said he just does a lot of public speaking. The father of the groom had traveled from Virginia and was a down home southern gentleman. His speech was particularly poignant and touching. I even found my hard hearted self getting emotional! The bride and groom looked so happy together. It was truly a memorable event in my book and part of the reason I love doing this job.

I will mention that my crew did an excellent job! Tanner kept the tables cleared and the bar backed up and Kelly hustled behind the bar with me. I think the wedding planner and everyone was happy with us. Next week it is a birthday party in Sherman Oak, then on to Torrance the following week for as birthday party.

Spring Bartending in Southern California

10 Apr
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Jaques and Robert Davi at Redondo Beach

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Rob pouring the Cham-pag-nia…

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Cathedral City Wedding

During March I helped Jaques Grenier of Le Rive Gauche in Palos Verdes cater a VIP party that followed the concert, Davi Sings Sinatra at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. We served over 300 guests on the back patio of Performing Arts Center.  Guest dined on appetizers including, Cajon blacken shrimp, meatballs in a Bordelaise sauce, venison pate’, chicken salad puff pastries, smoked salmon, and brie cheese. The star of the show, Robert Davi, made an appearance, along with actor Levar Burton, and several other VIPS. The event was a huge success. Another event company handled the bar on that one.

Last weekend, Cathedral City, in the Coachella Valley, just east of Palm Springs was the scene of a beautiful wedding. This was my first gay wedding, and I hope to do many more. Over fifty people were in attendance to witness the marriage and celebrate afterward. I bartended by myself and was also asked to play the intro music and wedding song after the ceremony. I was nervous that I was going to blow it! I’m a bartender, not a music guy! Well, I pulled it off, and “All You Need is Love,” by the Beatles started playing just after the ceremony concluded.

I served the guests champagne and sparkling cider as they arrived and a full bar was provided by the hosts. The drink of the night was the Prickly Pear Margarita, which I had never made before, but it seemed to be a hit. Gin and tonics were also popular, as was Captain Morgan and Coke. Catering was provided by Soho Taco, and they put out a great spread of shrimp, steak, chicken, and veggie tacos – including tortillas that they made on the spot. Photography was done by Gina Marie Studios, and she did one of the great photos posted here. Both companies serve Southern California.

I have received several calls for weddings this summer and have booked a couple. Shaken Not Stirred is gearing up for the busy season and has several qualified people to handle parties of all sizes. Call today to book your graduation party, engagement party, wedding, anniversary, birthday, or any other kind of event today. Our rates are affordable and we aim to please. We serve the entire Los Angeles area and beyond.