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Maxwell House Wedding

12 Mar

Historic Maxwell House in Pasadena

Last month I provided bartending service at a Maxwell House wedding in Pasadena. I am delayed in writing this blog post, but thought that I should because it is such a nice venue. The Maxwell House is a historic building in an old neighborhood in Pasadena, and you couldn’t find a more picturesque setting for a wedding. I hope to return to the Maxwell House many more times in the future.

The groom who hired me was the brother of another client we provided bartending services for. It is always nice to get repeat business.  My son actually bartended the first wedding party, so this was my first time meeting the brothers and the family. I spoke to the groom many times by email and phone planning the bar menu and shopping list.


Bride and Groom enter reception

I served a variety of drinks including a cucumber gin and tonic, the classic, Fleur di Paradis cocktail, and a rum hot toddy. Surprisingly, the Maxwell House does not have a fixed bar in place, so I set up my portable bar and table in the library of the historic home.

Maxwell House Wedding Pluses

  • Close to the 210 and 134 freeways
  • Picturesque and private setting
  • Large kitchen and dining room
  • Beautiful main room for ceremony
  • Nice courtyard


    Bride and bridesmaids

I usually like to give props to the caterers, but I misplaced the caterers card and can’t recall their name, but they did a fantastic job. The Maxwell House has a great kitchen and two large dining room areas. They also have a great courtyard, which I’m sure gets utilized more in the summer.


Maxwell House dining room

I have been remiss in updating this blog, but I have done many events recently including weddings, birthday parties, and rehearsal dinners.  It is the season for many events in the Palm Springs area, and I am doing several weddings out there in the coming weeks. Late this week I am doing a large corporate event in Culver City, a cocktail party in Huntington Beach, and a cocktail party in Palm Desert. Please follow us on Instagram.



Fontana White Wedding

29 Nov

DJ dancing with kids

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a White Wedding in Fontana. I did much planning with the bride over the past few weeks about the drink menu and the shopping list. This is all a part of my service, and weddings go much smoother when the hosts take advantage of this. Saturday’s wedding went well because it was well planned, and well executed.

The wedding in Fontana was the first “white wedding” I have participated in and the bride requested that I wear all white also. All the guests were dressed in white and the decor was mostly white. This creates a very nice atmosphere, and the bride’s mother said that it represented purity. The bride and groom were of Nigerian heritage, so the customs that apply to that culture were in place.


Guests dressed in white

I served Margaritas and simple mixed drinks to approximately 60 guests. The DJ played a lot of African music and it was a nice departure from the usual played out tunes that are played at almost every wedding. I swear, I do not want to ever hear “YMCA” played again, but I’m sure I will probably hear it again at the next wedding I do.


Bride and groom at white wedding

White Wedding Characteristics

  • Bride and groom dress in white
  • Groomsmen and bridesmaids dress in white
  • Guests and vendors are suggested to dress in white
  • Flowers, linens, and decor in white

I do many events in the Inland Empire and this is the fourth time I have been out there in two months. I like going out to the IE and the people are always super friendly. November is almost over and the busiest month of the year for a bartending service is December. So far I have 22 events scheduled for the month of December, and I’m sure I will pick up a few more. I saved the month for my repeat clients, and most of the jobs I have scheduled are for repeat clients and referrals, which make me feel very good.  New Year’s Eve is still available. Please follow us on Instagram, if you haven’t already.


Guests pose for a picture

Newport Beach Post Wedding Reception

25 Oct

View from Newport Beach Clubhouse

Last Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to Newport Beach to bartend a post wedding reception at a condo association club house. The couple was married earlier in Hawaii and most of their family and friends couldn’t be there, so they held a reception in Newport Beach for that reason.


8 year old bar flies

Many of these condo communities and apartment complexes have club houses where the residents can hold parties. This particular club house was very nice and it overlooked Newport Beach with an ocean view. It had a kitchen and a built in bar. The reception was Hawaiian themed and I served Pina Coladas and Mai Tais. They catered in Hawaiian food.  

Like any wedding reception, family member and friends made speeches. One of the groom’s sons made a memorable speech when he said something to the effect that “his dad seems much happier since he met his new wife.” I talked to the groom and he said he had been single for 15 years since his last divorce, and never thought he would be married again. I guess there is hope for me too. I think everyone had fun at the reception and I served a bunch of shots.



Corporate Events

I have done a bunch of corporate events recently. I did a grand opening at a warehouse in Santa Fe Springs where they demonstrated new new products. I served beer and they hired a caterer to grill steaks. I talked quite a bit to the caterer and hope to work with him again. He has lived and worked all over the world and is a master at many different cuisines. I hope to work with him again. He is Christopher at First Place Cuisine.

Tomorrow I will be doing two corporate events at retail stores on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, and then again on Friday. On Saturday I will be bartending an all night Halloween party in San Bernardino. Next week I have events scheduled in mid city Los Angeles, Westlake Village, and Coachella. Follow us on Instagram.

July is Wedding Season for Shaken Not Stirred

10 Jul

Wedding ceremony on backyard deck

Shaken Not Stirred started the July Wedding season with two memorable weddings last weekend. On Friday I traveled to San Diego and did a fantastic backyard wedding at a private home in the University Heights neighborhood. On Saturday I returned to Los Angeles and bartended a wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in the hills above Sylmar. It was a very hot weekend temperature wise, so I had my challenges.


Groom and groomsmen waiting to proceed..

I don’t do many events in San Diego, but I do a few a year when they are worthwhile, and the University Heights wedding was one of those. The house where the wedding was held sits on quiet street that overlooks Mission Valley and the 8 freeway. They had the backyard decorated very nicely and chairs set up on a deck for the ceremony. I setup my portable bar in a corner of the yard and the hosts were kind enough to provide me with an umbrella. It was pretty hot for San Diego, but there was an ocean breeze.


Kicks Band perform at wedding

After the ceremony ended, the guests and wedding participants filed up to the bar and I served a variety of mixed drinks – the most popular being the Long Island Ice Tea. Long Island Ice Teas are a labor intensive drink when you are making them one at a time, so I always make big batches of them when people are drinking them. Old Town Catering provided the food and they did a very good job. Kicks Band provided live music, and they were very good. The hosts asked me to stay two extra hours and I was happy to do so.

Wedding Season in Southern California

  • April Until October
  • Hire a bartender
  • Book early
  • Consider a backyard wedding
  • Make it memorable


    Wedding party at Reptacular Ranch

I had a quick turnaround time and to hustle back to LA to do the wedding at Reptacular Ranch. The ranch is in the hills above Sylmar and is quite isolated from everything. You have to drive a good ten minutes off any main road up a winding canyon road to reach the ranch. The temperature was well over 100 and I brought 200 lbs of ice to last the night – it only lasted an hour and a half. I had another bartender, Matt, with me, so I drove back down the hill and got another 140 lbs of ice, which ended up being just enough to finish the night out.


Bouquet toss

There were 125 guests at the wedding, so Matt and I stayed pretty busy slinging drinks until 11 pm. I didn’t have a chance to get the caterer’s info, but the food was pretty good, and DJ did a great job. This week I am in Montana visiting family, but have another wedding scheduled in Eagle rock when I return, and a corporate event in Burbank. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.




Event Bartender Covers a Wedding Party and an Anniversary Party

27 Mar

Backyard wedding in Indian Wells

Last weekend, Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartender service made drinks at a wedding reception in Indian Wells, and then bartended an anniversary party in Oak Park the next day. That’s a lot of driving in one weekend but totally worth it. I met a bunch of really nice people, and imagine this – no awful ones. It was a great weekend for parties, and bartenders.

On Saturday I drove to Indian Wells, and I must say this is one of the most beautiful times to go for a drive in California. Wildflowers of purple, yellow, and orange are sprouting up everywhere, and the hills are greener than I have seen them in years. Even the mountains and hillsides around banning, look more like Montana, than arid California. I know it won’t last long – a couple of dry months and everything will be brown again, so Californians should enjoy it while it lasts.


Backyard wedding ceremony

Indian Wells is particularly beautiful right now and a perfect spot to host a backyard wedding. The hosts of the wedding party set up a very nice backyard wedding outside their condo in a gated community at Indian Wells. The hosts purchased a nice little bar at the thrift store and that is where I set up. I made Old Fashioneds and various simple mixed drinks for approximately 80 guests. Whole Lotta Love BBQ and Catering of La Quinta provided the food and they put out some excellent grub.

It was a very nice ceremony and a friend of the bride and groom was the officiant. I think backyard weddings are the way to go if you can find a good spot to put one on. This was the perfect spot and the weather was just right. The bride and groom were impressed that I was bussing tables when I wasn’t busy making drinks. I have a lot of restaurant experience and I was trained to keep tables clear. It is no big deal for me and I will do it if I am not busy making drinks. Sometimes I can’t leave the bar from start to finish, but I am happy to help out any way I can.



Hire an Event Bartender

  • Get help with your drink menu and shopping list
  • Impress Your guests
  • Enjoy your own party
  • Get professional quality cocktails
  • Ultimately save money

I drove back to LA the next day and made my way to Oak Park in Ventura County to bartend an anniversary party at a synagogue. This was a kosher event so we had to follow the rules of the synagogue. I have now done this a few times so I have some understanding of it. My son went with me to help and we served over 100 people for a quick three hour event.


Anniversary party at Oak Park Synagogue

Elan Adivi, one of La’s top private chef’s provide the catering, and just by coincidence it was his engagement party. He is only 24, engaged to by married, and a successful business owner.  I’m sure  his parents are very proud. I had another bartender help him with a City of Hope fundraiser event Saturday night.

This coming weekend I will be doing a wedding rehearsal party at Dana Point in southern Orange County on Friday night, and then a birthday party in Laguna Niguel the next day. That will finish off the month of March and bring us into April, which is a big month for weddings.

December Backyard Wedding Party in Northridge

20 Dec

Bride and her companion


Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for a backyard wedding party in Northridge. This was my only December wedding this year. It is of course, risky to have a backyard party in December in Los Angeles, because there is always a chance of rain, but luckily that didn’t happen this time. On the same day, there was a terrible freak accident at an outdoor wedding in Whittier – the mother of the bride was killed when a tree fell over and a toddler was severely injured. You just don’t know what is going to happen when you wake up in the morning.

The Northridge wedding party went off very well. I served Palomas, margaritas, and a few other simple drinks. Cafe N’ Stuff Catering provided the food, and they had some very good beef and mushroom chicken. The DJ was a family friend and he spun some really good old school and latin favorites. The only problem I saw all night was that one of the patio heaters didn’t work. There is always one of those that cause problems.


Backyard wedding party in Northridge

Backyard Wedding Party Advantages

  • Save lot’s of money
  • Avoid insurance, security and related costs
  • Create an interesting space
  • More intimate setting
  • Hire your own vendors

It was kind of nice to bartend a wedding right in the middle of Christmas party season. I did many holiday parties this season, and will be bartending at a company holiday party in La Canada tomorrow. Then I have a New Year’s Eve party in downtown Los Angeles, and a New Year’s day party in Manhattan Beach scheduled.



Next month is looking kind of light for the bar catering business, and it usually is. I will probably bartend a few birthday parties and a corporate event or two. It has been awhile since I have been out to Palm Springs, so I will probably try to get some parties out there. Please follow us on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.


More shots!

Agoura Hills Recreation Center Wedding

3 Oct

Back view of the Agoura Hills Recreation Center

On Friday night Shaken Not Stirred visited the Agoura Hills Recreation Center to provide bartending service for a wedding reception. The newlyweds were married a week or two prior in a small ceremony, but they wanted to throw a party for their family and friends. The recreation center at Agoura Hills is a very new venue and is great for these types of events.

This wedding party had about 100 guests and I handled the crowd by myself. This is about the limit for one bartender. I once did a wedding of 160 people and that was the absolute limit. The guests just don’t get very good service when there is only one bartender and that many people. On Friday I think I handled 100 people pretty well, but it was intense at times, because there is no break and the people just keep coming in waves.


Dining room at the Agoura Hills Rec Center

I served some easy cocktails that the bride and groom had decided on. I served completely out of vodka by the end of the night and served a lot of red and white wine. It is now the season that wine becomes more popular as the temps start to cool down. The weather was perfect on Friday for this party.



Agoura Recreation Center Event Space

  • Large seating capacity
  • Ample free parking
  • Large dance floor
  • Friendly staff and security
  • Nice hilltop views

The Agoura Hills Recreation Center is a great venue and I hope to return there again. I had a quick turnaround after the wedding party because I had to get up the next morning and drive to Indian Wells to bartend a daytime two day pool party.  Next weekend I have nothing scheduled, but will surely be going somewhere. The fun is in not knowing exactly where in Southern California I will end up.


Shots 2!