He's been tending bar off and on since he was 21, and now, he'll be tending ours. What cinched this deal was a combination of Bill the Bartender's experience and his overt desire to please and work within our budget. (Never, ever hesitate to ask for a discount; more vendors are willing to do it than you might expect.)
We found Bill's business card at the venue the first time we toured it. The venue has a bar, and the ability to bring in our own alcohol was attractive (it helps keep costs down). But we definitely wanted someone behind the bar, keeping things sane, clean and, well, did I mention sane?
When Bill offered to stay within our budget and emailed us information about how much alcohol he'd suggest we buy for the number of guests we expect, he established himself not only as flexible but as a resource, too.
"I never truly liked the corporate world of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.," Bill wrote to me. "Bill the Bartender was officially created during a shift at a restaurant. A regular asked me for recipes to ‘umbrella drinks.' I told her she needed a bartender. And as they say, the rest is history."
That was October 2004. Today, those who hire Bill can expect him to show up with his portable bar, garnishes and mixers and a canopy, in case an outdoor bar is desired. He also has a staff of part-timers upon whom he calls when second and third bartenders are needed.
"Your guests should not have to wait for drink service," he said. "Understand that the first ‘slam’ at the bar is always stressful, but leave it up to me to keep the line moving."
Will do, Bill. If you, too, desire a bartender who comes across as incredibly eager to please and helpful, click here.
And now, an unrelated story:
I received my first "gifted" glass jar from a coworker last week. Then, I went and bought pasta sauce, a different brand than ever before because I liked the jar.
Then, using whole wheat pasta (see previous blog), I whipped up a turkey sausage pasta dish for me and Handsome.
And then, there were two!
We're going to be grocery shopping a bit differently from now on.
A former reporter colleague of mine recently wrote me and suggested something over which my frugal husband-to-be squealed with delight. (OK, that may be an embellishment.)
"This might be weird info to share," she began, "but I keep our spaghetti sauce jars for vases and such... some of them are kinda 'decor-y' under the label."
And with that, plans to buy Mason jars flew out the proverbial window and plans to buy lots of jarred groceries flew in. In fact, I'm regretting throwing out that expired jar of uneaten grapefruit, especially since the HTB says I'm never allowed to buy $5 jars of grapefruit again since I forgot that one existed and let $5 go to waste. (I told you he is frugal.)
Naturally, all of the jar talk has me obsessing over what we will do with the jars we collect. So, I turned to the one place a bride can't live with and can't live without: Pinterest.
We could fill some jars with water, wrap them with lace or twine and float candles in them like this:
What I like about the candle concept is in our dark log cabin venue, I think candles would lend a supremely romantic ambiance as dusk falls.
Of course, we could place flowers in some:
And I literally gasped when I saw this:
All images, Pinterest
I love, love, love the lace, and without giving too much away (because the aforementioned frugal one may read this blog entry, too), lace anything would complement the dress waiting for me at David's Bridal. (Yes, it's in!)
In other wedding planning progress, today I mailed our deposit and contract for another vendor, with whom I won't be bartering but did strike a bargain. More on him later. And, I've agreed (though contracts still need written and signed) to barter my services, specifically a Story of Your Life, with two wedding planners so I can have both a day-of wedding coordinator (who will handle the vendors and details on the Big Day) and a planner to help conceive and execute the centerpieces and general decorating. More on both of them later, too!
The HTB and I likely still will look at thrift stores for jars (since they are super cheap), but we'll keep our eyes peeled for the most attractive spaghetti sauce and pickle jars the grocery aisle has to offer. For one, it means free. For two, as my glass jar informant noted, it's better for the environment than recycling or tossing jars to the landfills.
"If you tell people what you're looking for, they'd probably help out, too," she suggested. "I have some friends that pass along brown glass to me."
Looking to pass along glass jars yourself, or willing to now that you know a certain bartering bride you know wants them? Write me!