Uncategorized, Wedding Bartender

Wedding at McCormick Home Ranch

Before the ceremony

Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a storybook wedding at McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo. This was the first Spring wedding of the season, and the flowers were in full bloom at the ranch and the day was absolutely perfect. The sun was bright during the 4:30 ceremony, but a cool breeze blew in from the ocean. April is a beautiful month to have a wedding in Ventura County.

The bride and groom came all the way from Japan to get married. My initial consultation and interview with them was done via Facebook video chat. The bride grew up in Simi Valley, so she came back home to get married. The groom is from England, and many of his friends and family came from there to attend the wedding. There were guests from all over the country, and the four corners of the world at the McCormick Home Ranch wedding. This was my third time bartending at the ranch and it is one of my favorite venues.

McCormick Home Ranch Weddings

  • Historic estate
  • Beautiful gardens and front yard
  • Secluded location
  • Huge parking area
  • Multiple areas for ceremony

Catering was provided by Green Acres Farm Market and Catering of Simi Valley. They put up an excellent spread of appetizers during the cocktail hour, and then barbecue goodies for the dinner.  DJ services and photo booth were provided by Vox Dj’s of Manhattan Beach. One Sweet Day Events did the wedding planning, and they were great to work with. The groom said during his speech that everything had materialized just as they had hoped for and better. The bride and groom looked impeccable and they could have been placed upon top of a giant wedding cake to show everyone else how it’s done.

Storybook wedding at McCormick Home Ranch

I made a specialty drink out of fresh grapefruit juice I had squeezed. We made Palomas with tequila, simple syrup, fresh grapefruit juice, and club soda. I also made Sangria, which was a hit. I have made Sangria in the past and there were few takers, but this time it seemed to be popular. My son, Willie, helped me and will soon be going out on jobs by himself. He has worked with me at several weddings and is ready.

Hurry sundown!

I am currently doing corporate events at the LA Mart in downtown Los Angeles through tomorrow, and then I am out to La Quinta on Friday to bartend a wedding, and then another one on Saturday night. I love bartending weddings, and the wedding at McCormick Home Ranch was a good one to kick off the season with.

Birthday Party Bartender

40th Birthday Party in the City of Orange

Friends and family enjoy a toast
Friends and family enjoy a toast

Saturday night Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the City of Orange to bartend a 4oth birthday party. They requested a server and I took one of my best with me. We arrived on time, but no thanks to my GPS, which took me on some convoluted route that potentially cost us 30 minutes on the road. I hate being late, and always leave plenty early – I would rather arrive way early and hang out in the area, than be stressing in heavy traffic with only minutes to go. In Los Angeles, traffic on Saturdays is murder.

The drink special of the night was the Vodka Collins. I make the drink with vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. The drink seemed to be a hit because many people kept returning for another. I also made some Old Fashioneds, and we served Victoria beer, which seems to be the popular new Mexican beer on the scene. Moet Chandon was the champagne of choice, and we also served Nero D’Avola, the red wine from Sicily.

Makeshift dance floor
Makeshift dance floor

The party took place in a condo and we set up the portable bar in the kitchen. We used real glassware, which was always nice. They did not hire a caterer, but instead got empanadas and finger sandwiches. My server kept replenishing the food and helped me with glassware etc. We both kept pretty busy the entire party.


I was hired to do this party from another party I had bartended at in Orange County. I was booked to do another party in October, at this one. It is always nice when I don’t have work so hard to generate new business. I am constantly bidding on Thumbtack, Gig Salad, and leads that come from Yelp and this blog. My phone skills are much better than they were in the beginning, and if I can get new clients on the phone, I can usually close the deal.

Shaken Not Stirred has been in business for over two years and I have bartended at over 150 events.  This week I have three events scheduled, including a wedding at the McCormick Ranch Home in Camarillo, a Vegas themed cocktail party in Manhattan Beach, and a champagne tasting in Santa Monica on Sunday.

Wedding Bartender

Shaken Not Stirred Provided Bartending Service at Camarillo Wedding

Last night, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a wedding at the McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo. I brought along another bartender to serve wine and beer to around 150 guests at this very nice venue. I hope to bartend many more events at this location in Ventura County. The weather was perfect for a wedding and a nice ocean breeze blowing in from the coast provided natural air conditioning.

Forever Young Brewery,  provided some kegs and he had a keg cooler with Co2 bottles, which makes it very easy for the bartenders. This is really the best way to serve beer from kegs – and I dread the pump up taps that slow service way down and the beer is often way too foamy. We had six different beers to serve, from a light ale, an IPA, two different porters, a stout, and Coors Light. We served completely out of the Ale and IPA, but there was plenty of the other beers left over. We also served Chardonnay, a Moscato, Merlot, and Cabernet. We ran out of white wine, which is always the biggest seller at weddings.

After the initial rush directly after the wedding ceremony, I probably could have handled this party by myself, but I usually recommend that people book two bartenders for parties over one hundred people. I have several great people who work with me, and the service is much quicker, especially when a big line to the bar forms. We usually try to pick up empty glasses and keep the tables and area clean when we aren’t busy. Good bartending service is about providing all around service, not just serving drinks.

Bruce Barrios provided the DJ services and he says that Ventura County is his territory. He says he does several events a year at the McCormick Home Ranch, and I hope to work with him again. Wood Ranch Barbecue

McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo
McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo
Future bride with her daddy
Future bride with her daddy
Action shot bartending
Action shot bartending
The sparkler gauntlet
The sparkler gauntlet

provided the catering and their food is always excellent. My son has worked for them for years and they are a very good company that is growing in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange counties.

Tonight I have another wedding in El Monte, and then tomorrow am doing a backyard pre Labor Day party in Redondo Beach. This marks the official end of the summer, but not the wedding season, as I still have several wedding coming up in Westlake Village, Temecula, Palm Springs, and I just booked one in Santa Ynez.  I am flying to Montana on Monday for a week long vacation, and then am providing bartending service for a cocktail party on my first day back in Beverly Hills.