Tag Archives: wedding reception

Newport Beach Post Wedding Reception

25 Oct
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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.

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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.

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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.

Vista Wedding Reception and Baby Shower at Shady Canyon

21 Aug
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Thibodo Park Wedding Venue

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred went on the road and provided bartending service at a Vista wedding reception and then at a Shady Canyon baby shower the next day. I also had one of my other bartenders do a wedding reception in Tujunga on Saturday night. It is getting to the point where I have much repeat business and am having to send multiple bartenders out each week.

The wedding reception in Vista was held at Thibodo Park , a beautiful little out of the way location operated by the City of Vista Recreation Department. Chef Shawna of Best Mobile Catering of Oceanside hired me and L&S Productions of San Diego did the wedding coordination. It was a pleasure working with both of them, and they obviously are very good at what they do. We were of service to over 100 guests and I think everybody went away happy.  

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Toasts at Vista Wedding Reception

The groom was a decorated member of the Marine Corps and was in full uniform and so were some of the guests. I am always reminded when in San Diego that it is a military town. I once did a wedding reception on the beach at Camp Pendleton, where they have a resort for military members. I served wine and beer at the Vista reception and we used a punch card system, where the guests were limited to three drinks each. That worked well, and nobody got out of control.

The next day I drove up to Irvine to the Shady Canyon Golf Club Golf Club to bartend a baby shower. It was the second party I have done at that location. They have a very nice clubhouse for the residents (apart from golf club house). The host put a lot of work into decorating the event and it looked fabulous.

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Fruit tray at Irvine Baby Shower

I set up my portable bar in the corner of courtyard. There were about 100 ladies in attendance and I served mimosas and beer. There were two servers that distributed drinks to ladies as I poured them. I kept pretty busy pouring for at least four hours and emptied over a case of champagne.

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Elegant table setup at Shady Canyon

This coming weekend I have events in Hidden Hills, Hawthorne, and Mission Viejo, and I am happy to report that is all repeat business. I just got a call this morning from a past customer for two more events – a movie premier and a baby shower. I am not bidding on any jobs in December and believe I will keep busy with repeat business only. The whole December calendar is open at this point, but that is going to change quickly after September 1. Follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

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!

Diamond Bar Center Wedding III

20 Jul
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A bride’s final moments as a single woman

On Sunday, Shaken Not Stirred returned to the Diamond Bar Center for the third time to provide bartending services for a wedding reception. I believe the bride found me through this blog when I wrote about a previous wedding I had done at the venue. They have a very efficient system setup there for the vendors, and I have the system down.

I had done a big wedding in Solvang the night before, so I was tired after the long drive and everything, but this is wedding season in Southern California. I always like doing Sunday weddings. I had planned the bar service with the bride for several months, and made a shopping list for her. Everything was there when I arrived.

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Bride and groom at the Diamond Bar Center

They have two very nice portable bars at the Diamond Bar Center, and they are easy to setup, and move them if you have to. The plan for this wedding was to have a cocktail hour in the reception area just after the wedding ceremony, and then move the bar into the dining room while the guests were eating dinner. I was able to do that no problem and it took me less than fifteen minutes, thanks to the bar on wheels.

Diamond Bar Center Weddings

  • Nice hilltop location with scenic views
  • Large dining room can seat up to 300 guests
  • Reception area and back patio
  • Great yard for ceremonies
  • Portable bars

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    Shots!

Approximately 80 guests were in attendance and I served out of vodka fifteen minutes before the party ended. I made simple drinks and served wine and beer. Chris Christopher provided DJ services, and Belladonna Catering did the food. Another great Diamond Bar Center wedding completed.

This coming weekend I will be traveling across the San Fernando Valley to Woodland Hills to bartend a birthday party for a client I did a wedding for previously. It is always nice to get repeat business. Later this month I will be bartending an anniversary party in Beverly Hills for a couple that I have done many business cocktail parties.

Temecula and Desert Hot Springs Events

21 Sep
Guests at Que Syrah rehearsal dinner

Guests at Que Syrah rehearsal dinner

Shaken Not Stirred mobile bartending service had another busy weekend and covered events in Temecula and Desert Hot Springs. Friday night I bartended a wedding rehearsal dinner in Temecula’s wine country, and then on Saturday, I drove out to Desert Hot Springs to bartend a wedding costume party. It was a very hot September weekend and I served a lot of drinks.

I thought I recognized the address to the event in Temecula, and as it turns out I had done an event at that location before. It is a very nice estate Que Syrah,  in Temecula’s wine country sitting on top a hill with nice views of the valley.  I was already familiar with the layout of the place that made it very easy for me. There were around 90 guests and I kept busy making blended Margaritas, Old Fashioneds, and various other drinks.

The couple who were getting married met me at another event I did and hired me, and I saw many of the same people from the first event. It is always nice to get jobs this way and I love referrals. I was pretty busy and didn’t have time to get many good pictures from the event.

Sunset in Temecula

Sunset in Temecula

Saturday, I traveled to Areola’s Spa and Resort in Desert Hot Springs to bartend a wedding party. This is a clothing optional resort, so I didn’t know what to expect. The wedding party had booked the whole resort for the weekend. The couple were actually married on Friday and were having their wedding/costume party on Saturday. This was a gay couple, and my second gay wedding event. I hope to do many more.

Nobody was nude at the party and there were many kids and family members there, so it wasn’t that kind of event. There were some pretty outrageous and colorful costumes however, and it was quite a party. I had another bartender helping me, Mia, and we do many events together. We served Cucumber margaritas, Mai Tais, Dirty Shirleys, and different variations thereof. El Portal of Cathedral City provided the catering and they had some excellent ceviche and appetizers, as well as great tacos.

Areola's Spa and Resort

Areola’s Spa and Resort

Next weekend I am staying close to home and have two events right here in the San Fernando Valley. Friday night I will be doing a birthday party in Sherman Oaks, and then on Saturday, I have another birthday party to do in Northridge. Summer is almost over and the Holiday season arrives in record speed. Book you holiday parties today.

Bartender, Rob

Bartender, Rob

Fellow bartender, Mia

Fellow bartender, Mia

Married couple in costume

Married couple in costume

Two Vegas Style Parties Back to Back

3 May
Outdoor bar at La Canada home

Outdoor bar at La Canada home

This was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred – Friday night I bartended at a fundraiser/poker tournament at a private home in La Canada, and then on Saturday night was the hired mixologist at a Vegas themed birthday party in Porter Ranch. Two nights, two very fun and successful events.  The event industry is thriving in Los Angeles, and there are so many great services that make parties really spectacular.

The Friday night poker tournament in La Canada was hosted by one of my best client’s at his fantastic home.  Casinos in Motion had at least ten poker tables there and dealers. The money that was raised benefitted a private school. The tournament didn’t end until one am. We served completely out of Grey Goose, Patron, and Johnny Walker Black.

Saturday night, the party was a birthday party/fight night event. It was a joint 40th birthday party bash for the husband and wife who were hosting the party and it just happened to fall on the Mayweather/Paciao fight night. I must say, they did an excellent job preparing for this party. They had red carpets, velvet ropes, and elaborate lighting set up in the backyard overlooking the San Fernando Valley.  Aces N Eights provided the Blackjack Table and dealer for the event.

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

Blackjack table in Porter Ranch

I was bartending by myself for approximately ninety guests and was very busy. I made my special Jalapeno Margaritas that were a big hit, Mai Tais, Moscow Mules, Dark and Stormys, and Lemon Drops.  I also served Stella Artois and Modelo Especial, prosseco, and wine. It seems that Modelo is becoming the most popular beer in LA, overtaking Corona. I think all the Mexican beers are made by the same company, and beer is one of Mexico’s number one export products.

Next weekend will be busy also, as I have a company party scheduled in Mission Viejo for Friday, and then a wedding reception in Santa Clarita the following night. I was bartending in my sleep last night I have poured so many drinks this week. I still have a couple of open dates later this month, which I’m sure I will fill quickly. It is the season for graduation parties, and I have seen  many inquiries for such parties this month.

Shots!

Shots!

Valentine’s Day Wedding in West Hills

15 Feb

westhills1Saturday was Valentine’s Day and Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service and servers for a wedding in West Hills. This was my first time bartending an Ethiopian wedding, and it was quite an incredible experience. This is what I love about doing event bartending. I am exposed to so many different cultural customs and traditions at landmark events in people’s lives. I have bartended at Mexican weddings, Armenian Christenings, Qinceaneras,  Vietnamese engagement parties, Persian weddings, traditional Jewish weddings, military weddings,  and all kinds of birthday parties.

This Valentine’s Day wedding was held at a house in West Hills, on the far North west edge of the San Fernando Valley that overlooks the entire valley. The weather could not have been nicer. When you are planning weddings in Southern California, the odds are pretty good that there is a ninety percent chance of no rain. This particular house is available for weddings and other events, and I did not get the name of it, but it was an incredible venue.

Traditional Ethiopian wedding dance

Traditional Ethiopian wedding dance

I brought two servers with me and three of us were busy the entire time. I had spoken with the bride several times leading up to the event and I helped her plan a shopping menu.  Unfortunately, we had plenty of alcohol, but everybody seemed to only want one choice – Grey Goose. We ran out of Grey Goose vodka two hours into the reception and I sent one of my girls out to buy more.  Then a couple hours later we ran out again! I left the reception leaving the girls to hold down the fort and went and bought more. I am not a big believer in Grey Goose and think that it is way overpriced, but it was what the hosts wanted.

We served the champagne toast and we helped serve the wedding cake and then the party started winding down. I am bartending a 60th birthday party in Northridge on the 28th and am still available for the 21st, so who knows where that will take me. In March I have three events in Palm Springs, all on weekdays, so I still have three Saturdays open. The final Saturday of March I have a big wedding in Santa Ynez, where I will provide bartending service. And winter is almost over.

February in Southern California

February in Southern California

Mobile Bartending from Beverly Hills to Quartz Hill

4 Aug

Shaken Not Stirred mobile bartending service did three events last week starting with a Beverly Hills cocktail party on Thursday, then a post wedding reception in quartz Hill, and finishing the weekend off with a company pool party in the hills of Burbank. The actual bartending is only part of the story, because each of these events required planning, including the shopping lists and drink menus, and in the case of the Burbank party I did the actual shopping for alcohol and beverages. I’m glad I did that because it was a great learning experience for me and I came in $47 under budget.

I did a little research and chose Smart and Final for 95 percent of the items I needed. They had everything from cups, to straws, good prices on soda, and most of the alcoholic beverages I needed. There were only a couple of specialty items I needed which I found at a very nice liquor store, Mission Wine and Spirits on Burbank Blvd. If you are in the San Fernando Valley I highly recommend this place. If you are planning a party and need help with the shopping list I have many lists already made for various numbers of people. I can also do the shopping for you for a fee, of course.

The Beverly Hills cocktail party was repeat business for me and I was glad to have it on the Thursday night. The host told me she would be using me a lot, because I am dependable and not priced out of sight. I am a good bartender and am worth the going rate and more, but I also realize that bartending is not brain surgery, and price my service accordingly. Each crowd that I service is different, and in Beverly Hills it seems it is all about business. They want somebody who comes in, does the job, is tactful and discreet, and then cleans up and gets out of there without a lot of fanfare and I can do that.

Saturday, I was off to Quartz Hill, outside of Lancaster to bartend a post wedding reception. The wedding took place in the Bahamas and the hosts wanted a reception for their family friends back home. I served many blended drinks there including Pina Colladas, Cadillac Margaritas, and Strawberry Margaritas. Shaken Not Stirred is a mobile bartending service that serves most of Southern California, including the far ends of Los Angeles County

Beverly Hills backyard

Beverly Hills backyard

Native flora of Quartz Hill

Native flora of Quartz Hill

Bar menu at wedding reception

Bar menu at wedding reception

Burbank pool party

Burbank pool party

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The company pool party on Sunday was held at the host’s home in the hills above Burbank. There are some incredible houses up there, and this was one of them. It was spitting rain all day, but that didn’t keep the guests from drinking delicious Mai Tais, Cadillac Margaritas, and Blue Hawaiians in and out of the pool. No lightning scares. You will notice that I serve Cadillac Margaritas at almost every party I do because people love them! They are by far the most popular drink I serve. Next week I do at wedding at CBS Studios in Studio City. So far August 16th is still open, though I have some inquiries floating out there.  

Santa Barbara Wedding Reception

13 Jul

Saturday Shaken Not Stirred was at the Santa Barbara Art Foundry to bartend a wedding reception. The Santa Barbara Art Foundry is an art gallery with an actual foundry on the premises, which also doubles as a very cool event venue. I took my son with me to help and we served a nice crowd of 150 people right up until one AM. We were slammed most of that time and we ran out of several things – but we always had options, including Bulleit

Santa Barbara Art Foundry

Santa Barbara Art Foundry

Willie pours a drink

Willie pours a drink

"Are they related?"

“Are they related?”

Shots!

Shots!

Rye Whiskey, Bulleit Bourbon, Knob Creek Bourbon, Stoli Vodka, and several different brands of top shelf tequila.

The Art Foundry is on Santa Barbara Street just a few blocks from the pier. It’s been years since I’ve been down to that area and it has transformed into a really cool area populated by hip restaurants, wine bars, and art galleries. I wish I would have taken some pictures because it really is picturesque. It was unusually hot for a beach community and must have been in the high eighties with no breeze at all when we arrived. It was sweltering inside the art gallery for most of the time we were bartending and we barely came up for air from the time we arrived until the last call.

There were some nice people helping us when we arrived, bringing us supplies, etc. I wondered where the bride and groom were and assumed that they were getting married at another location and would arrive later in full wedding regalia with the rest of the wedding procession. Well, it turns out the people helping us set up were the bride and groom. They had gotten married at a small ceremony at an earlier date and were having the reception for friends. I felt like fool – “Yeah, just put those boxes over there, I told them dismissively,”….

My son did a great job and I definitely needed him. He makes up in personality where I am lacking., and I admit I can get grouchy when the heat is on. He made some martinis and jumped right in there making Cadillac Margaritas, Manhattans, Vodka Tonics, and Dirty Shirleys. We had to keep stocking beer and white wine and finally ran completely out of white wine and almost out of red. We had just enough ice to make through the night, and when it is hot ice goes fast, as does beer. The days will likely get hotter and hotter in Southern California all the way until October. Next weekend I am traveling to Palm Springs for a birthday party, and then the following weekend I will stay close to home doing an anniversary party in Encino.

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.