Tag Archives: backyard wedding

July is Wedding Season for Shaken Not Stirred

10 Jul
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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.

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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.

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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

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    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.

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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.

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Shots!

 

Event Bartender Covers a Wedding Party and an Anniversary Party

27 Mar
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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.

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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.

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Shots!

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.

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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.

Calabasas Wedding

22 Aug
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Backyard ceremony at Calabasas wedding

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a Calabasas wedding at a beautiful backyard ceremony and reception. This was the third wedding related party I bartended of a three part series – three different couples out of a group of friends within a year and a half. I bartended the first engagement party at a home in Valencia, and then I bartended a rehearsal party at a venue in Temecula, and then finally I did this wedding reception in Calabasas.

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Toddler learns to dance

This wedding was held at a beautiful home in Calabasas that sits against a hillside and it was perfect for hosting a large wedding party. There were approximately 100 guests in attendance. The weather was just perfect – not too hot as it can be in Calabasas in August. Backyard weddings are always nice, especially at a property like this. Stonefire Grill of Thousand Oaks provided the catering and they did an excellent job. I have worked at several events where they have been present.

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Shots!

There was a granite countertop by the barbecue that I used as the bar. I usually recommend having two bartenders for groups of 100 people or more, but I have done it by myself several times and I can handle it. I brought my drink dispenser to pour regular and jalapeno margaritas. I premix them and this makes service a lot faster for large groups. The initial hit is always right after the ceremony and then comes in a couple more waves as people come through for their second and third drinks, and then it usually evens out after that. The Calabasas wedding was another success for Shaken Not Stirred.

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More Shots!

Last week I had a lull in bookings due to some kind of computer error with the website where I get many of jobs, but that has changed as of yesterday and I have booked four jobs in a row. I have booked a Halloween Party in Orange County, a couple more birthday parties, and a wedding in San Diego. Now is the time to book for fall and the holidays, so don’t wait.

La Quinta Backyard Wedding

11 Apr
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A threat of rain for a backyard wedding

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred was in La Quinta to provide bartending service for a backyard wedding and reception. The whole Coachella Valley is full of rental houses that are perfect for doing these kinds of events. This particular property where the wedding was held is called the Mountain View Retreat, and it was perfect for a wedding of this size. The ceremony was held in one section of the backyard, and the dinner and reception was held on another part of the property.

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Backyard wedding ceremony

I worked with the bride through emails planning the drink menu and shopping list. We came up with one drink, which we called the “Ziggy Stardust”, that had mescal, fresh grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. I also did the Sazerac cocktail, which we called the “Major Tom”. A third cocktail was champagne with St. Germain. Approximately 50 guests enjoyed the wedding and reception at the Mountain View retreat. Once again, there was a threat of rain, which would have really caused problems, but it didn’t materialize.

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Bar menu for backyard wedding

F10 Catering of Palm Springs provided the catering for the backyard wedding. They served a gourmet 4 course meal to the guests who were seated at tables on the lawn. F10 Catering is connected to the restaurant, Cheeky’s in Palm Springs. If you have not eaten at Cheeky’s I urge you to try it – it is that restaurant on Palm Canyon where you always see a line of people standing on the sidewalk, waiting to get in. One indication of how good the food was. Kris Holmes provided DJ Service, and I must say he had a unique playlist, which was very good, and he didn’t play the standard clichés that all Dj’s insist on playing.

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Absinthe for Sazerac Cocktail

Backyard Wedding Advantages

  • Save money compared to a hotel
  • Hire your own vendors
  • Provide your own alcohol and supplies
  • More privacy and freedom
  • Unique settings

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    The bride and friends

Next weekend I will stay in the Los Angeles area for two birthday parties. On Friday I will return to the South Bay to bartend a birthday party in Torrance, and then on Saturday I will bartend a Southern themed party in Encino. I just booked an art fair in Venice later this month, and will return to Eagle Rock for a repeat client party.

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Shots!