Tag Archives: wedding

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bar Catering for Two September Weddings

14 Sep
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Picturesque, but hot!

 

Last weekend Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering service for two fantastic weddings. Weddings like these take months of planning, and many different vendors are involved, including the wedding coordinator, the caterer, the bartending service, the DJ, insurance companies, the photographer, the florist, and the venue. I am happy to be part of that process, and spend much time writing emails back and forth, and on the phone with grooms, brides, and wedding planners. It is also always nice to see a wedding executed as planned.

When I arrived in Indio at the Desert Ridge Estate, I got out of my car and was surprised how blazing hot it was. I had done a wedding in Joshua Tree the weekend before and it was a pleasant 90F. I had not checked the weather report, and it was a sweltering 116F in Indio. The bar was set up outside in the direct sunlight. The DJ was rolling with sweat as he set up his equipment. I wondered how I was going to make it with several hours of sunlight left.

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The sun finally goes down

The guests and wedding party were just as shocked by the high temperatures. Almost all of the guests were from Canada and not used to such extreme hot weather. Well, we got through it somehow, and I have never been so happy to see the sun go down. I served one signature drink, a prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, and it is made with gin, lemon juice, and honey. The drink was a hit and I served completely out of it.

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Shots!

Bar Catering Tips

  • Hire a licensed bar caterer
  • Let the bar caterer make you a shopping list
  • Choose specialty drinks that can be served quickly
  • Hire more than one bartender for weddings over 100
  • Always make sure to buy plenty of ice

The next morning, I got up and prepared to drive from Indio to Palmdale for the second wedding of the weekend. The heat from the day before had taken a lot of out of me and I was dragging. I drove up the 15 and took the back road to Palmdale across the high desert. It is a scenic drive, and I was feeling much better by the time I arrived in Palmdale.

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Man and wife take their first walk together

The wedding was held at Hacienda Reyes, a very nice venue in the hills above Palmdale. I set up my portable bar in a small gazebo on the property. The weather was much nicer than the day before – a chilly 92F. I made simple drinks and served beer to approximately 75 guests. I think everyone was happy.

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Shots!

This weekend I will be returning to the Desert to the Cree Estate to do another wedding, then I have a Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar in the morning at Rancho Palos Verdes, and then that afternoon I am doing bar catering for a wedding reception in Irvine. Please follow us on Instagram.

Diamond Bar Center Wedding, 2018

14 Aug
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Notice Groomsmen in the Background

Saturday Night, Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the Diamond Bar Center to provide bartending service for the fifth time at the venue. Diamond Bar Center is maintained by the City of Diamond Bar and is an excellent venue with scenic views and smart landscaping. I am always happy to go back there and like working with the system they have there for vendors.

The bride and I had done much planning for this wedding, as we went back and forth on the drink menu and shopping list in the months prior to the wedding. It is always nice that after much planning, everything comes together and is over with in a few hours, just as planned. For this particular wedding, the lighting and color coordination in the ballroom looked especially nice. I credit the wedding planner, DreamsComeTrueWedding.

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Storybook Wedding at Diamond Bar Center

For this wedding we had a two bar setup, with one bar outside the dining room for the cocktail hour, and then we moved inside to another bar for the main reception. The Diamond Bar Center has two very nice portable bars, and the staff and security there helped us move everything. Within 15 minutes we were able to break down the first bar and move it into the second dining room bar.

Diamond Bar Center Venue

  • Dining Room can accommodate over 300 people
  • Bar service is limited from 6pm until 10pm
  • Scenic views of San Gabriel Valley
  • Large outdoor patio area
  • Two portable bars available

We made several different easy cocktails for the guests, including Jameson and Ginger, Cactus Coolers, and Cosmos. Many of the guests were not drinking alcohol, and we had plenty of options for them, including Mango juice, orange juice and sodas. Part of bartending wedding is making Shirley Temples for the kids, and we made plenty of those at this wedding. Another successful wedding for Shaken Not Stirred at the Diamond Bar Center.

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Large Dining Room at Diamond Bar Center

The next three weekends in a row I will be going to the Palm Springs area to bartend a couple of birthday parties, and a wedding. I also have a baby shower and a corporate event to do in Los Angeles, and a going away party in Lake Forest. There was a slight chill in the air this morning, which signals fall is coming. My favorite time a year for doing events. Please follow us on Instagram.

Shaken Not Stirred Provides Bartending Service at 8 Big Events

8 Aug
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The View from 17th Floor

Last week was one of the busiest weeks ever for Shaken Not Stirred – my staff and I provided bartending service at 8 great events. I started off the week doing two corporate events in Downtown LA and Venice, and then on Saturday we had a baby shower, a going away brunch, and two birthday parties. Sunday I drove to Palm Springs to bartend a bachelorette party, while another bartender did an anniversary party in Manhattan Beach.

I picked up a new corporate client and they say they will be doing as many as two events a month, all on the weekdays. I love these kind of events. I did the first one on thursday night in downtown Los Angeles, and it was held at the 17th floor pool area of a luxury condo building. I brought all the supplies, and hustled them up to the 17th floor. It is an extra service I provide for an extra fee, and many of my clients do not want the hassle of shopping for their supplies. I am glad to do it.

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New Favorite Mode of Transportation in Venice

On Friday, I once again traveled to Venice to do a mixer that coincides with the First Friday Food truck event on Abbot Kinney. This was my third time doing this event. Once again, I shopped for and brought all the supplies. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to 30 or so people. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Hire a Bartending Service

  • Craft cocktails and professional quality drinks
  • We can do the shopping for you
  • Professional consultation
  • Multiple bartenders available
  • ABC certified

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    Fullerton Baby Shower

Saturday was the big day that I was worried about because I had four different events staffed by four bartenders, plus myself. I had a baby shower to do with another bartender in Fullerton. One bartender did a daytime event in Sylmar, and then a birthday party later that night in Santa Clarita. Two other bartenders headed out to Pacoima to do a birthday party. Fortunately, everyone was on time and everything went great.

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Palm Springs Bachelorette Party

This weekend I have a wedding at the Diamond Bar Center on Saturday, and a birthday party in Studio City on Sunday. The month of august is flying by, and it won’t be too much longer that I will be booking Christmas parties. Like last year, I am saving all dates in December for my existing customers. Please follow us on Instagram.  

 

Two Bachelorette Parties, A Wedding, and a Birthday Party

31 Jul
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Bride Tribe

It was a busy weekend for Shaken Not Stirred and it spanned a large territory from Palm Springs, to downtown Los Angeles, to the San Fernando Valley. I started out on Friday bartending at two different bachelorette parties in Palm Springs, drove back to LA to bartend a 200 guest wedding on Saturday, and then bartended a large birthday party in Panorama City on Sunday night. Needless to say, I served a whole lot of drinks.

Palm Springs is usually pretty hot this time of year, and Friday it was a sweltering 118. When I pulled into town the sky was hazy from the fires burning near Idyllwild. I wondered if that would ruin the bachelorette parties I was scheduled to do. When I arrived at the first house, I could hear ladies hooting and hollering in the backyard.  Obviously they weren’t going to let a little smoke ruin their party. I set up my portable bar out by the pool and started serving drinks.

I served a Lavender cocktail that the host wanted, and it was a hit. Vodka, lavender syrup, and fresh pineapple juice. I also made jalapeno margaritas, and a vodka, grapefruit and basil cocktail. Part of the deal of doing bachelorette parties, is that the bartender also has to act as photographer. I don’t mind doing that, and I took many cool pictures with the host’s phone.

The second bachelorette party started at 6pm, and I setup the portable bar inside the house. I was glad because it was still well over 100 in Cathedral City. For this party, I was to do a presentation and make four drinks – a Lemon Drop Martini, an Old Fashioned, a Jalapeno Margarita, and a Watermelon Daiquiri. My phone died and I only got one grainy picture, but it seems the ladies had a good time and were dancing in the living room by the end.july27b

I drove back to LA the next morning and didn’t have much turnaround time and had to start setting up two bars for a 200 guest wedding at 802 Mateo Street in downtown LA. another bartender arrived to help me and we served Mojitos, and various vodka drinks. I was worried about this wedding, because we had been planning it for months, but everything came off without a hitch.

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Bride and Groom enter reception

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Group shots!

Sunday night I was back in the San Fernando Valley bartending a 100 person birthday party at the Palacio Banquet Hall on Van Nuys Blvd. I served margaritas and various vodka drinks. It was quite a party with live entertainment, costumed dancers, and lots of great food. I served completely out of liquor by the end of the night.

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Latin dancers at Palacio Banquet Hall

This coming week I have 8 parties scheduled and am sending out multiple bartenders. I have two corporate events, two birthday parties, a going away party, a baby shower, and another bachelorette party. I hope everything goes ok! Follow us on Instagram.

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Shots!

Reptacular Ranch Wedding and 50th Birthday Cocktail Party

19 Jun
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Tequila shots at cocktail party

Shaken Not Stirred provided bar service for two big events last week – a 50th birthday cocktail party, and a wedding at the Reptacular Ranch.  On Friday I went to the Carthay Circle neighborhood of Los Angeles, which is south of Hollywood and bartended for a two hour cocktail party to celebrate the host’s 50th birthday. Then, on Saturday, I drove up into the mountains above Sylmar to the Reptacular Ranch to bartend a wedding (my second time at the venue).

I always like doing intimate cocktail parties and the hosts and guests usually like having me. The hosts like having a bartender because they can enjoy themselves and not have to make the drinks. The guests like it because they can get a variety of professionally made drinks. For this party I set up my portable bar in the kitchen and served drinks to five couple before they departed for a nice dinner in West Hollywood.

 

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Salud!

I served Moscow Mules, Margaritas, and Lemon Drops made with fresh lemons from my backyard lemon tree. Unfortunately, I think I used the last of the good lemons from the tree, and most that are left are over ripe. I created a new Elderberry Lemon drop using a dash of St. Germain, agave nectar, and fresh lemon juice, with a sugar rim. The guests had a couple of cocktails and left for dinner. Everyone was happy.

Reptacular Ranch Weddings

  • Petting zoo with exotic animals
  • Rustic secluded location
  • Bar with refrigerators
  • “Honey Wagon” style restrooms
  • Beautiful area for ceremony

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    Reptacular Ranch Ceremony

Saturday was my second time working at the Reptacular Ranch. The first time was back in August and it was literally 110 degrees up there. All the ice melted within 2 hours, and I had to drive down to Sylmar and pick up more. They have since made improvements and have refrigerators and a ice cooler near their newly renovated bar area. They also have a very nice new area with seating for ceremonies. For this wedding, the groom works for an ice company, and the weather was unseasonably cool, so we did not have to worry about ice.

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Bar area at Reptacular Ranch

This coming week I have a cocktail party in Los Angeles on Friday night, a Summer Solstice party in Studio City on Saturday night, and then a birthday party in Beverly Hills, and a graduation party in Seal Beach on Sunday. That’s is the kind of week I like. Please follow us on Instagram.  

 

Manhattan Beach Celebration of Life

30 May
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Sailboats just off the coast

Sunday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service at a celebration of life in Manhattan Beach. I have done these events before working for other people, and this was the first time doing a “wake” as my own company. It was a very touching event, and I think much nicer than a standard memorial service. What a great tribute the family gave to their father who passed away.

The weather in Los Angeles has been gloomy for the past couple of weeks, but the weather was perfect on the day of this event. The house where the event was held was right on the strand, just a stones throw from the Manhattan Beach Pier. I have done parties there before and it is a wonderful place to throw a party. The hosts were expecting 50 to 75 people, but over 100 showed up, so I was busy.

I served a lot of beer, margaritas, a variety of vodka and whiskey drinks and was almost out of everything by the time we were through. The two sons of the departed gave very touching speeches about their father, as did some of his friends. I can only hope that my loved ones would do the same for me, once I am gone. It was emotional, but the overall mood was upbeat.

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Friends and Family listen to tribute

A Unique Celebration of Life

  • Much more upbeat than a funeral
  • Play the favorite music of departed
  • Hire a bartender
  • Closure for friends and family
  • Less expensive than traditional funeral

The owners of the house were friends of the family and they were nice enough to let them have celebration of life there. I used to live in Hermosa, and I always love returning there. I wish I had an event in the Southbay every weekend. Southbay people can usually drink, and the people at this event lived up to that reputation. Everybody held their liquor well though. It was a very nice event and the host commented that it could not have gone better, and I agree.

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Son gives tribute to his father

This upcoming week I have events scheduled in Venice, in Santa Clarita, and in Hidden Hills. A good start for the month of June. Later this month I have some weddings scheduled in Rancho Palos Verdes, Sylmar, and Silverlake later this month, as well as a pre 4th of July party in Villa Park. Please follow us on Instagram.

Three Day Wedding Event at the Galvan Estate

4 Apr
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Father walks bride to her wedding at the Galvan Estate

Last weekend I provided bartending services for three days at the Galvan Estate in Palm Springs. I arrived on Thursday night to bartend the rehearsal dinner, showed up again Friday for the wedding, and then wound up the weekend bartending the pool party on Saturday. It was my third time doing an event at the beautiful Galvan estate.

The hosts of the wedding were from Winnipeg, Canada, and most of the guests had either flown in or driven from there. They say it a 33 hour drive from Palm Springs to Winnipeg. Westjet offers direct flights to Palm Springs from various destinations in Canada. As I am learning, Palm Springs is a favorite destination for Canadians. One of the guests at this event flew all the way from Thailand.

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Guests mingle in bar area

The rehearsal dinner was a breeze and I served a lot of red and white wine, beer, and simple mixed drinks. The next day for the wedding, I brought in an extra helper. We made two signature drinks for the arriving wedding guests. So I made 40 drinks in about fifteen minutes before the ceremony. Later we prepared just as many glasses of champagne for the toast. Everything was smooth sailing from then on.

Galvan Estate Wedding

  • Heated pool
  • Large wet bar outside
  • Another bar inside
  • Large area for ceremony
  • Big outside dining area
  • Gas barbecue grill

For the pool party we had a keg, and I served blended margaritas. It was a very nice crowd to serve for three days, and everybody seemed to have a good time. I had another wedding going on in Lake View Terrace that night, and I send another bartender to do that one. Once the pool party was over I drove back to LA and stopped by that wedding to help out a bit.

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Groom and groomsmen share cigars

This weekend I am returning to Palm Springs to bartend an all day pool party. I have events coming up later this month in Westwood, Brentwood, and Stevenson Ranch. Please follow Shaken Not Stirred on Instagram.

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.

 

Fontana White Wedding

29 Nov
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Guests pose for a picture

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.