Tag Archives: weddings

Two Weddings and a Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

17 Oct
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San Clemente State Beach

 

Last week Shaken Not Stirred provided bar catering for two big weddings and a Brazilian themed birthday party. Thursday I traveled to San Clemente to bartend a wedding at the Historic Cottage located at the San Clemente State Park. On Friday I bartended a birthday party with a Brazilian theme in the Venice Beach area, and then on Saturday drove to Palm Springs to provide bartending service at the Palm Springs air museum. It was a very successful week for Shaken Not Stirred.

The Historic Cottage

The Historic Cottage at the San Clemente State Park overlooks the ocean and is a fantastic venue for a wedding. This venue reminded me very much of The Pointe Vicente Interperative Center in Rancho Palos Verdes. The Historic Cottage only allows wine and beer service, and drink service stops at 10pm.

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Guests mingle during cocktail hour

For this wedding, the ceremony was held on the bluff overlooking the ocean, and then the guests came for the cocktail hour held in the front yard of the Historic Cottage. I had my portable bar setup there and a had a barback from Orange County helping me there. We served approximately 150 guests. After the cocktail hour, the guests moved to the backyard area of the cottage for dinner and dancing.

Brazilian Themed Birthday Party

A chef that I know, Ella Freyinger, referred me to bartend for one of her friend’s birthday party. The client and her husband were very British, but they wanted to do a Brazilian themed birthday party. I would be serving Caipirinhas, the Brazilian cocktails and they would be serving food popular in Brazil. Caipirinhas are made with Brazilian cane liquor, Cachaca, brown sugar, and lime. They are somewhat labor intensive drinks that require much muddling, so I kept busy making them for four hours for 30 guests.

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Cachaca and Brazilian soda

 

At first, I didn’t think the guests liked them, because they were drinking them slowly, but that changed quickly. Guests brought more bottles of different brands of Cachaca, and I was making drinks with at least four different brands, including Pitu, Cachaca 51, Novo Fogo, and Avua. The owner of the Avua brand was actually at the party, and provided a lot of insight about the various types. I must mention that Caipirinhas are deadly drinks that go down smooth, but can bite like a rattlesnake.

Palm Springs Air Museum

I have done weddings and parties at venues all over the Coachella Valley, but this was my first wedding at the Palm Springs Air Museum. It is a truly fantastic museum located in a hangar at the Palm Springs airport. It is full of vintage planes and displays, which I didn’t really have time to look out because I had to hustle and prepare for a 230 guest wedding party. I had another bartender and barback there to help me. Unlike many wedding parties I do the ceremony for this one was done somewhere else, so the guests trickled in, rather than arriving in a line all at once. It can be daunting to serve a line a 230 people.

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Myself, barback Teresa, and bartender Thomas

We served margaritas, and mojitos, and various other drinks. The highlight is when they opened the hangar door and we could see a dramatic sunset over the mountains of Palm Springs, as well as vintage planes outside the hangar and commercial jets taking off nearby. It was a great event and hope to return there soon.

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Shots!

 

Bartending Service Kicks off Summer with Three June Events

5 Jun
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First Friday Event 

Shaken Not Stirred, the Los Angeles based bartending service started off June with three big events last weekend. Friday I was in Venice to bartend a first Friday networking event at a law office near Abbot Kinney.  On Saturday, I drove to Santa Clarita to bartend a 40th birthday party, and then finished off the weekend in Hidden Hills for another birthday party. A busy weekend, just like I like it.

Abbot Kinney Blvd. is a thriving area in Los Angeles and on the First Friday of every month dozens of exciting food trucks converge on the area to offer a dazzling array of cuisine. It is a happening event that brings in a lot of people from out of the area, and young professionals in the area. So, the law firm that hired me has a monthly cocktail hour in conjunction with the First Friday event. I served wine, beer, and soft drinks to approximately 50 young professionals. It was a fun event, and hopefully they will call me again. I did all the shopping and delivered the supplies, which is an extra service I provide.

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Backyard 40th Birthday Party Setup

On Saturday, I went to Santa Clarita to do bartending service for a 40th birthday party. The hosts had a very nice backyard where I set up my portable bar on the patio. The husband had set up a very nice birthday party for his wife’s 40th birthday party. He even bought a whole DJ equipment package and was the DJ for the evening. It was his first time as a DJ, but I must say he did better than some professional DJ’s I have seen. I think it was definitely a memorable milestone birthday party for the birthday girl.

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DJ and Dancing in Santa Clarita

Advantages of Hiring a Bartending Service

  • Bartender keeps bar area clean and organized
  • Can provide shopping and delivery of supplies
  • Bartender creates specialty drinks
  • Guests are impressed
  • Hosts can enjoy themselves

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    My Son Behind Portable Bar in Hidden Hills

On Sunday I did a second annual birthday party in Hidden Hills. I remember last year I did it and it was blazing hot. The ice melted quickly. This year it was one of the first hot days of summer, but wasn’t that bad. They had over 100 guests, so I took my son with me to help out. We served a lot of margaritas, including my special jalapeno margarita, that is always a hit. The hosts had an important announcement to make – they are having a baby girl. The announcement was met with huge applause from the guests. The host told me I will be coming back to bartend the baby shower. I am blessed to have such great clients.

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Host Makes Big Announcement

I must mention that the weekend started with a bit of sadness. On Friday I lost my cat, Batman, who has been with me for 21 years. I am glad I was busy, so my mind was not focused on that. I was kind of expecting it, but it is always a shock with you lose a pet. This weekend I will be providing bartending service for a wedding in Rancho Palos Verdes, then have a another wedding at the Reptacular Ranch in Sylmar, and have other SFV and Orange County events later this month. Follow us on Instagram.

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RIP Batman 1997-2018

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.

 

Mission Hills 40th Birthday Party

21 Feb
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A Bay Breeze waits to go out

Saturday night I bartended a 40th birthday party in Mission Hills. This was the third party I have provided bartending service for this large family. It is always nice to have repeat business and referrals. This was just the kind of party I love to do – around 60 guests in the backyard.

I set up my portable bar and table next to the garage. I served Margaritas, Palomas, and the Bay Breeze, and Moscow Mules. We had a good selection of beers, also, including Blue Moon, 805, Stella, Corona, and Pacifico. I think 805 won the battle of the beers at this party. It is always nice to have two or three beer choices.

I didn’t get the name of the taco vendors, but they had a great selection of tacos, tortas, and burritos. Many taco vendors don’t offer the option of tortas, and burritos, so that is always nice. The weather was perfect for a backyard 40th birthday party, and it was the last nice night before this current cold snap.

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Birthday girl and family at 40th Birthday Party

40th Birthday Party Ideas:

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Make a photo backdrop
  • Play great music
  • Invite a cross section of people

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    Shots!

February has been somewhat slow for Shaken Not Stirred, as it usually is, so I am glad that March is looking to be very busy. Wedding season kicks into high gear and I already have three weddings scheduled in March. This weekend I’m going to Palm Springs on Friday for a cocktail party, return to Redondo Beach on Saturday for a birthday party, and then to Tarzana on Sunday for another birthday party. If you haven’t already followed us on Instagram, please do.

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Sisters and friends

 

Two June Birthday Parties

5 Jun
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Van Nuys poolside bar

 

Saturday and Sunday stayed within the borders of the San Fernando Valley and bartended two birthday parties. On Saturday I only had to drive five minutes from my house to bartend a birthday party in Van Nuys, and then on Sunday I drove out to Hidden Hills on the western edge of the valley to do another one. Two incredible parties and I me some great people and I think gained some new customers.

Two weeks ago I thought I was out for the count for at least a month with a broken rib. My recovery was much speedier than I anticipated. My rib still hurts, but I am able to work on my own again now. I just need to get the momentum back that I had before I went to New Orleans. I did five events in the week prior to my trip.

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“Shaken Not Stirred”

For the Saturday birthday party, the host has a nice little bar setup in his backyard by the pool. I made blended drinks including Pina Colladas and Margaritas. The host and many of his guests are musicians, and they had quite a jam session going on in Van Nuys. They had tacos catered in. Van Nuys gets a bad rap for a variety of reasons, but the host had quite a nice little oasis in his backyard. There are nice neighborhoods and houses in Van Nuys, believe it or not! I know, because I live in Van Nuys too, even though they are trying to call it “Valley Glen,” it is Van Nuys.

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Shots!

Ideas for Birthday Parties

  • Hire a bartender
  • Choose a theme
  • Play great music
  • Serve great food
  • Invite a mix of people

Hidden Hills is a world away from Van Nuys, but only a 25 minute drive. Hidden Hills is where people go when they have arrived. Self actualization is right around the corner. The hosts of the Hidden Hills birthday party have a great spot up on a hill with great views of the surrounding hills and properties. I set up my portable bar and once again served blended drinks to about 60 guests. The hostess made some incredible appetizers and they also had a taco cart on hand.

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Paradise on the hill

Two more successful parties under my belt – I have done over 400 since I started Shaken Not Stirred. I was afraid to book too many parties this month because of my rib, so I only have one event scheduled for this weekend in Rolling Hills Estates – another beautiful Southern California location. It is a graduation party and this is the season for those, along with weddings, and of course birthday parties.

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Shots waiting for drinkers

La Bartender in Orange County for Two Parties

31 Oct
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Metropolis themed Halloween party in Orange

Shaken Not Stirred, the LA bartender service was in Orange County last weekend to service two big parties. This was Halloween weekend for most people in Southern California and most of the Halloween parties were held Saturday night. I can’t tell you how many calls I had from people wanting bartenders at the last moment. My client was smart and booked me months ago.

The Halloween party in the city of Orange I guess is an annual event, but this was my first time doing it. They had the house decorated very nicely with a Metropolis, speakeasy type theme. I was nervous and arrived plenty early to get things set up. My motto for bartending is be prepared. I was nervous because the bartender who was supposed o work with me on this party dropped out at the last minute. I had to use a bartender I had never used before and I was afraid he was going to suck. I got a barback too that I had never used before.

The extra bartender showed up early which was a good sign and he brought a big cooler with him. I think he did a good job, but don’t know for sure because once the party started we were so busy at our seperate bars we didn’t have a moment to spare. At most times during the night I had a line of people leading up to the bar. The barback showed on time and helped us alot. We served out of almost everything by the end of the night. We used almost 300lbs of ice.

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Shots!

LA Bartender Service

  • Birthday parties and anniversaries
  • Corporate events
  • Weddings
  • Holiday parties
  • Openings
  • Reunions

One thing I want to mention was the entertainment, Phil Shane. He was just incredible and I guess he is kind of an Orange County legend. He can sing Elvis better than Elvis, and did a whole range of Elvis songs, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, and many other classics. The guy did not singing the entire five hours I was there. He was a genuine human juke box. At the end of the party he came up to me and tipped me, because I kept sending him drinks. I told him, that it was me that should be tipping him.

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Some of the ladies at Laguna Beach Reunion

I stayed at a motel in OC Saturday night because on Sunday I had to do a reunion at the Laguna Beach Women’s Club. The reunion was for a group of ladies that went to a Catholic high school in Tehran, Iran in the seventies. Their families had to leave the country after the Iranian revolution in 1979. So, many of the ladies traveled from far and wide to attend this event.

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Vintage photo at Laguna Beach Women’s Club

They had a great time and danced to traditional Persian music and ate traditional Persian food. I served Mojitos and margaritas, and I helped clear the plates from the dinner. I drove back to LA after the party and was dog tired. I was supposed to do another event tonight (Halloween), but they cancelled this morning. I was just as glad. The LA bartender had a full weekend. This week I am bartending an event I have done twice previously – the Gingerbread Boutique in Westlake Village. Then on Friday I am returning to Silver Lake to bartend a birthday party that I also did last year.

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Laguna Beach after the rain

Rancho Yeguado Trujillo Wedding

6 Sep
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Stone wedding arch at Rancho Yeguado Trujillo

On Saturday Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the outer limits of Southern California to provide bartending service at Rancho Yeguado Trullio wedding. To get there, you drive north on the 5 Freeway over the grapevine, then you take a left turn on Highway 166. You drive through a lot of farm land, through beautiful Maricopa, and then over some barren hills to the town of New Cuyama, population 161. In California, this is about as the close to the middle of nowhere you can get. Just when you think you are lost, you see this fantastic structure off the road next to many horse stables.

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Fountain behind stadium

You turn onto a cobble stone road and drive past many horse stables and beautiful horses, a stone stadium and fantastic fountain. I was unprepared for this – and was thinking – what is this, Pablo Escobar’s California home? It is the Rancho Yeguado Trujillo. It has a quite a history, which you can read about here. The information about it online as a wedding venue is a little hard to come by, but it is a fantastic place. I have been to many spectacular wedding venues around California, but the Rancho Yeguado Trujillo wins the prize for grandeur.  The stone platform where the bride and groom sit looks like it was built for a Roman emperor.

Rancho Yeguado Trujillo Wedding Venue

  • Secluded, scenic location
  • Beautiful stone structures
  • Adjacent chapel
  • Ample parking and room for vendors
  • Band shell

 

The wedding had 300 guests in attendance, mostly coming from Bakersfield, which is the closest population center. My son came with me and we set up my two portable bars side by side. The caterer, Victor’s Mexican Grill of Bakersfield set up adjacent to us on the stone walkways that surround the property. We didn’t get hit all at once like we usually do when wedding ceremonies end, but we did get and served hundreds if not thousands of drinks during the night. We kept running out of ice and somebody would go fetch more – I don’t know where they were going for it, because there aren’t exactly many stores around there.

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Mariachis serenade guests

It was a busy wedding and I think everyone had a good time. We went through a case of tequilla, and nearly a case of Buchanon’s. They had Mariachis and another Mexican band providing the entertainment. After the wedding, my son and I loaded up and stayed at a motel in nearby Maricopa. On Sunday, I had to get up and drive to Acton to bartend another party.

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Shots!

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.

Executive Retreat & 2 4th of July Parties

5 Jul
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Executive Retreat in Palm Desert

Fourth of July weekend was busy for Shaken Not Stirred as I put over 500 miles on my car and bartended an executive retreat in Palm Desert and two July Fourth parties in Orange County. The Fourth of July fell on a Monday this year, so many people celebrated on Saturday instead, and I provided bartending services for a fantastic second of July party in Villa Park. Then on the actual Fourth of July, I returned to Lake Forest in Orange County to bartend a daytime party before the fireworks started.

The executive retreat in Palm Desert was arranged for members of a law firm from Vancouver, Canada. It was very hot in the desert that day and was 105 in the shade. I made a variety of blended drinks, as well as some mojitos. The heat was oppressive and when I got back to my hotel the swimming pool was as hot as bath water and it took my hotel room three hours to cool down. Usually the desert slows down during the summer, but their seemed to be a lot of people in Palm Springs.

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The Statue of Liberty visits Villa Park

The next day I drove directly to Villa Park in Orange County to bartend the Second of July party. This was my third time working for these clients, and they have a fantastic back yard, pool and bar. They throw great parties and this time they had the whole front and backyard decorated for the Fourth of July. They had a mock Independence Hall, a Statue of Liberty, and many other great party props provided by RWB Party Props of Anaheim. Spectacular Catering of Irvine provided the food and they did a spectacular job. I was busy the entire time making drinks for 100 people. We went through two kegs of beer, and lots of vodka and tequila.

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Fantastic back yard bar in Villa Park

Executive Retreat in the Desert

  • Hire a bartender
  • Create a theme
  • Great resort rentals
  • Team building

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    Magician, Georges Robert at Lake Forest party

On Monday I returned to Orange County to a home in Lake Forest to bartend the Fourth of July party. This was a unique party and I have never heard of anybody doing it before. The host invited the entire staff of his favorite restaurant, Javier’s to a pool party at his house. This was such a nice gesture, and he even brought in a taco cart provided by Tacos Zapata, and magician, Georges Robert. The magician was fantastic, a real entertainer and the guests were enthralled. No doubt the host will be a VIP at Javier’s for years to come.

Next weekend I will traveling to San Diego to bartend a company party. Later this month I will be doing a wedding in Solvang, a wedding at the Diamond Bar Center, and hopefully one in Thousand Oaks.  

Owl Creek Farm Wedding

27 Jun
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My bar setup with rustic barn in the background

On Saturday, Shaken Not Stirred provided bartending service for a wedding at the Owl Creek Farm south of Hemet. This was my first time working at the venue, and I hope to go back there again. I talked to the manager, Tommy, and he said that they do weddings there every weekend. The Owl Creek Farm is very rustic and is basically in the middle of nowhere, so you don’t have to worry about making too much noise.

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Unique photo ops at Owl Creek Farm

The bride booked me over a year ago. I normally don’t try to get events that far in advance, but I bid on the wedding thinking it was in 2015, but it was actually 2016. So we had been emailing back and forth for a long time planning this wedding. When the event date finally approached, I was nervous, thinking that I was going to forget something important. Everything worked out just fine.

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Rockabilly theme at Owl Creek Farm wedding

The bride wanted a Blood Orange Mojito as the signature drink. She gave me the recipe and I stuck to it. Mojitos are labor intensive to make for large crowds, but I know how to make large batches of them. That is what I did here, and I premade a few during the wedding ceremony, so that people could just grab them as soon as the ceremony was over. The bride and the groom made home brews for the wedding. They had four different kinds, and their IPA kept exploding when you opened them. I guess that is something to think about when working with home brews in the bottle.

Events at Owl Creek Farm

  • Rustic setting
  • Great privacy
  • Plenty of parking
  • Great photo backdrops
  • Hire a bartender

The DJ was a very nice guy and he was also hired over one year prior. He was out of Temecula and also has a classic rock cover band. You can contact him at highland-flashoverband.com. The wedding had a Rockabilly theme and all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen were dressed accordingly, as were many of the guests.  

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Shots!

This coming weekend I will travel to Palm Springs to bartend a pool party, and then a Second of July party in Orange County, and am negotiations to do  third of July and Fourth of July parties. I am also negotiating to do a large wedding in Solvang later in July, and have found a company to buy one day event insurance from, so I hope that works out.