Tag Archives: wedding party

Maxwell House Wedding

12 Mar
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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.

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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

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    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.

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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.

 

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Diamond Bar Center Wedding, Part Four

22 Nov
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Outdoor Cocktail area at Diamond Bar Center

Last Friday Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending services at the Diamond Bar Center, and it was the fourth time I have been there. It is a great venue for weddings, or any other kind of large events. The extensive grounds around the Diamond Bar Center are also known as the Diamond Bar Kajukenbo, and it is an excellent place to walk dogs, take photos, or just enjoy nature. Since then, I booked another wedding at the center next summer.

Since the wedding party was held on the weekend before Thanksgiving the traffic in the LA area was horrible – way worse than usual. It took me two solid hours to get there, and it is only 35 miles from my home. The bride and groom were even late coming from the church, as were most of the guests. We were supposed to start serving at 5:30, but most of the guests didn’t arrive until six.

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Photo ops at the Diamond Bar Center

There were 200 guests in attendance, and that requires two bartenders. I brought a trainee with me who had no experience bartending with cocktails. She did fantastic. She picked it up very well, and once all the guests finally arrived we were busy for five solid hours. We served out of beer a half hour before last call, and when we were finished we had a half a bottle of vodka left and two bottles of tequila. That was it.

Diamond Bar Center Wedding Parties

  • Sweeping views of the San Gabriel Valley
  • Outdoor space for cocktail hour
  • Large space for wedding ceremonies
  • Large dining room can fit over 300 guests
  • Large kitchen and ice machine

The Diamond Bar Center has a strict protocol on how bartending service must be executed. It is no big deal, really. Basically the alcohol has to be locked up in the kitchen until one half hour before the cocktail hour. Security then unlocks everything and escorts the bartender to the bar. Alcohol service is limited to five hours, at which time security escorts the bartender back to the kitchen with remaining supplies. It’s a good policy I think and then gives some of the guests some time to sober up during the last hour or two of the reception.

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Shots!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m going to spend time with family, rather than do a bartending job. There were inquiries, but declined them. I have spent too many holidays away from my family over the years working. Next month will be extremely busy. I have another wedding party this coming weekend in Fontana, and then after that the December holiday parties start. Please follow us on Instagram.   

 

Southern California Event Business is Booming

8 Nov

The Southern California event business is really taking off as the economy heats up. There are actually more events than there are bartenders. When I first started doing this as my own business – the competition was fierce. I had to scrap for every event that I got. Now, it seems there are way more events coming up than there are bartenders to do them. 

I used to write a blog post about every event that I did. Now, I do so many events that it is hard to keep up with the blog posts. Shaken Not Stirred has provided bartending service recently at corporate events in West Hollywood recently, a fundraiser in Mid City LA, a huge Halloween party in San Bernardino, and a very nice wedding in Coachella. I will recap the bigger events here.

San Bernardino Halloween Party

Saturday, October 28th was probably the biggest party night of the whole year in Southern California. I had so many requests for Halloween parties, but this one I booked months in advance. The hosts of this party do it up big. They literally spend months decorating their workshop into a Halloween extravaganza. Guests come in from all over the country to attend.

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Shots!

This was the first year that the host hired professional bartenders, and I think he was quite pleased with us. We served all kinds of drinks and shots and managed the liquor inventory. Guests self served themselves beer and frozen margaritas, but we kept busy from 9pm until 4:30 am. Great party and I hope we are asked to return next year.

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Fellow bartender, Thomas

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More shots

Mid City LA Fundraiser

I was referred to the hosts of this event from another client, which is always nice. They wanted me to purchase all of the alcohol, and that is a service I provide in some cases. They were expecting 125 guests, so I recommended they have two bartenders, and I made a list of alcohol and supplies they would need.

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Live music at Gallery 38

The event was held at Gallery 38 on West Adams Boulevard, mid city. Gallery 38 is a somewhat small space and will not really accommodate 125 people. So, only about 75 showed up and that was just right. I felt bad that there was so much alcohol left over, but they can use that at another event.

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Friends gather for a drink

The fundraiser was to benefit Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit that helps former gang members transition back into society after serving time in prison. Artists donated art works to the cause and they were on display on the walls of Gallery 38. They also had poetry readings and live music. It was a fantastic event and I was happy to be present for it.

Coachella Wedding

This was my third wedding at the Corona Yacht Club in Coachella. It is a great venue on a secluded ranch just south of the ten freeway. This venue has everything a couple could want for a private wedding. The photo opportunities alone at the venue make it worthwhile.

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The wedding party

For this wedding, they had us set up a bar on the lawn near the ceremony for the cocktail hour. We served beer and wine to the guests for an hour or so, and then moved it to the main bar where we served cocktails for the rest of the night. I hired a bartender local to the area, and he worked out great helping me, and I will be sure to use him again.

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Newly married couple

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shots!

This weekend so far I have an eighties themed party in Studio City, and a birthday party in Porter Ranch scheduled. Please follow us on Instagram.

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.

Event Bartender Covers Wide Territory of Southern California

5 Mar
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Guests enjoy view in Hermosa Beach

Friday and Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles event bartender covered Southern California from the mountains to the sea. On Friday, I bartended a surprise birthday party on the rooftop of a Hermosa Beach office building with an amazing view and then on Saturday I traveled to Palm Springs to bartend another wedding at the Galvan Estate. I also dispatched another bartender to bartend a fundraiser in Tarzana.

I lived in Hermosa Beach for years and I always love to return there. I was hired to bartend this surprise party by a guest from another party I did recently. The 50th surprise birthday party was held on the rooftop of a new office complex on Pier Avenue just a block from my old apartment. It was a very nice day in Hermosa Beach for a rooftop party. I had limited time to set up, but with the help of the host, made it no problem.

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Hermosa Beach at dusk

Southern California Event Bartender

  • Covers all counties in Southern California
  • Provides bartending for weddings
  • Birthday parties and corporate events
  • Provides portable bar

I poured Cadillac Margaritas and Moscow Mules for approximately 30 guests. The birthday boy was surprised and pleased when he stepped onto the deck and saw his friends and family members waiting with a taco cart, bartender, and photo booth. Guac Taco provided the taco catering. It was a very nice evening and I think a memorable one for the guest of honor to mark his 50th birthday milestone.

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Father escorts bride at Galvan Estate wedding

On Saturday I drove out to Palm Springs to bartend a wedding reception. I was surprised at how green the area was after all the rain. I have never seen it that green before. I thought I recognized the address, and sure enough it was the Galvan Estate, where I have bartended before. It is a great place to throw a wedding. This particular wedding had about 100 guests and I made simple mixed drinks for the crowd and poured a lot of shots for the members of the wedding party.

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Staff from Fusion Flair prepares to serve first course

Fusion Flair of Palm Springs provided the catering, and they served up some excellent sea bass and filets. I will return to Palm Springs again next weekend to bartend a cocktail party, and then have events scheduled for the cities of Walnut, Brea, Oak Park, and Indian Wells later this month. As an event bartender I get to meet all kinds of great people and travel to some beautiful places in Southern California.

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Shots!

Agoura Hills Recreation Center Wedding

3 Oct
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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.

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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.

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Shots!

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.

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Shots 2!

Perris, California Wedding Party

15 May
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Amazing property in Perris, California

Shaken Not Stirred traveled all the way to Perris, California to bartend a wedding party on Saturday. This wedding was held at a house hidden high in the hills of Riverside County, miles away from any Starbucks or In and Out. If you are holding a party out there, you had better not forget to bring anything, because you will travel twenty miles of winding roads to get a bag of ice. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little.

It was a perfect Southern California day for a wedding – the weather was perfect, not too hot, and clear skies with a gentle breeze. 100 guests blew in to celebrate this wedding, which happened early at 3pm, and then the festivities began. Some friends of the family provided the catering and I provided bartending service. I kept pretty busy pouring vodka drinks and margaritas. Fireball and Patron were the shots of choice.

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Guests socialize at wedding party

Wedding Party Traditions

  • Hire a bartender
  • Bride and groom’s first dance
  • Tossing of the garter and bouquet
  • Celebratory shots!

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    Family portrait

The property was really quite amazing and the couple that owned it were in attendance. The man was a ship captain from England and had retired and built the rancho in Perris from scratch. The place was big enough to hold a party for 300 people and he said he had parties like that. I may bartend for him again when he throws a going away party in a few weeks. He has sold the house and is moving to Argentina.

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Shots!

I had two other bartenders doing graduation parties in Chino Hills, and Castaic as I was doing the one in Perris. I haven’t heard from the clients, but according to the bartenders the other parties went well. Maybe I should hire some “secret shoppers” to check up on those bartenders!

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More shots!

Today, I am bartending a baptism party in Granada Hills. Next weekend I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party in the daytime and formal cocktail party at night. I will have two other bartenders doing a large baptism party in La Canada.