Archive for the Texas Aggie Weddings Category

Not Only Big, But Talented!

Posted in Texas Aggie Weddings, Weddings!, Weird Things at Parties with tags , , , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by djscottshirley

One of my favorite events in recent memory was Bill and DeeDee Whittle’s wedding at the Petroleum Club of Fort Worth. Loyal Blog readers may remember DeeDee for being child number 18 out of 20 siblings in the Jack Joachim family.

Not only was this family big, but there was plenty of talent to go around on both sides, and the wedding guests were the beneficiaries.

I introduced Bill and DeeDee as they made their Grand Entrance to thunderous applause, and walked onto the dance floor. But instead of beginning their first dance, DeeDee grabbed a microphone and sang “Wedding Bell Blues” with custom lyrics to her new husband Bill.

We specialize in doing unique Grand Entrances when we introduce the wedding party, but it’s rare to have a singing bride. And there was an issue with the song, because the woman singing is sad that Bill refuses to marry her. DeeDee re-wrote the lyrics to say, “So Glad You Married Me, Bill,” and I made her an edited background track with vocals removed. This bit of showbiz prep was well worth the effort. DeeDee (whose given name is Mary, but she says she didn’t find out until she was 12) has a magnificent voice, and belted it out with style and grace.

The reception events continued as planned, and after dinner it was Bill’s turn to entertain. He sings in the Sentimental Journey quartet, and the other three singers were all present, so…

Rocky Willett, H J Schmidt, Doug Williamson, and Bill Whittle

Bill jokingly refers to the quartet as “The Four Stages of Male Pattern Baldness,” and they sang the old doo-wop hit Blue Moon, also with modified lyrics. The harmony of barbershop singing required two men to keep repeating the two-note background chorus, which came out, “DeeDee, DeeDee, DeeDee.” The result was hilarious.

As their performance ended, a young boy came up to them with a request written on a napkin. H J said he wasn’t sure if they knew “Low” by Flo-Rida, but I did, so we kicked off the dancing and Shawty got low, low, low, low…and DeeDee showed ’em how it’s done.

But we’re still not done with this talented family, and the next generation got to strut their stuff when DeeDee’s son Jos├ęph showed his Michael Jackson impression. You just have to see it:

That is DeeDee’s other son Mathias who tries to swipe the credit card. The two brothers are roommates at Texas A & M, and avoided discussing football after the Aggies got whooped earlier on the wedding day, but they seemed to enjoy themselves anyway. Special thanks to “Video Keith” Mathis for this footage, who also produced their photo montage.

I look forward to more fun events with this family!

Murphy’s Law Gets a Texas Aggie Whoopin’!

Posted in Professionalism, Texas Aggie Weddings, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by djscottshirley

“It’s a nice day for White Wedding!” – Billy Idol

It was a dark and stormy night – but it didn’t start out that way.

It was a bright sunny day when we left. All was ready as the Party Machine crew headed out for Monica and Rick Anderson’s Texas Aggie wedding. Playlists were saved and backed up on two computers. Scripts for introductions and timelines were printed and copied. Tuxedo pressed, backup sound system, spare computer, backup tux…as always, we were prepared for any contingency. We were ready, come hell or high water.

Little did we know we would experience both.

Halfway there it started getting dark. The temperature dropped 10 degrees, a welcome blessing in August, but then it started raining sideways. No problem, we had checked out the Waxahachie Civic Center, and knew they had a nice indoor loading dock.

When we arrived at the ballroom, three sad-looking people were waiting. They asked if we brought a wedding cake with us. Seemed like a rather odd question.

“No, we’re the entertainment. We brought sound and lighting equipment,” was my quick answer. Then they told me they were from the bakery, and the wedding cake had just fallen on the floor and collapsed. Total destruction. They were not happy.

Murphy’s Law, strike one.

With three hours until guests arrive, there was plenty of time to get another cake. But I had to ask, “How did this happen?”

The baker answered, “While the power was off, after the lightning struck.”

Some storm! Murphy’s Law was attacking with full force.

During set up it got steadily warmer. By the time we finished setting up a large sound system, satellite speakers and two lighting towers, we were dripping sweat. After toweling off and changing into formalwear, the manager informed us that the air conditioning was out from the lightning strike – but they were working on it.

A team of experts on Golden Overtime were working to get the place cool again.

Ol’ Murphy was working overtime today!

Then we waited. And waited. Forty-five minutes after time for the reception, and still nobody had arrived.

After an hour, the catering crew covered the food on the buffet. We began to wonder what else could go wrong.

The first guest to arrive told us the ceremony started late, because the priest was late! Then the service ran overtime, and so did the picture taking.

The caterers un-covered the food as the guests poured in from the storm, and the temperature continued to climb. The manager opened all the doors to the building to get a little breeze blowing, but that just increased the humidity. People were sweating buckets. The buffet line looked like sharks in a feeding frenzy.

At 9:30 p.m., there was still no wedding party, but the building manager shared the good news that the Air Conditioning was fixed. Hooray! Then came the bad news that we only had the ballroom until 11:00, not midnight as originally planned.

The manager informed us we had to quit an hour earlier than originally planned, even though the reception started late.

We had a big agenda, and only an hour and a half for the whole event!

Not only that, but by now all the food was gone – the buffet had been picked clean.

I welcomed the guests and announced the good news that we would be cool soon. This got a big cheer from the sweaty, starving guests.

We finally got the wedding party assembled at 9:45 for the Grand Entrance. Rick and Monica went straight to their first dance, a choreographed routine that brought down the house with cheers, applause and laughter. Thanks to Scott Schuster of One on One Productions for this clip:

That got the party started, and I got the dance floor packed right away, and kept the energy level high with icebreakers and hot dance tunes. Soon the guests forgot that all the food was gone and the air conditioning was out when they arrived.

In the end, great entertainment and laughter saved the day.

Murphy’s Law is no match for the Party Machine and a bunch of Texas Aggies!

My Favorite Father and Daughter Dance

Posted in Texas Aggie Weddings, Weddings! with tags on December 29, 2009 by djscottshirley

When Shalane Bellinghausen was planning her wedding to Tom Hammerle, she knew she wanted their celebration to be different. At Party Machine Celebrations we have always believed “Different is Good.” These Texas Aggies understood the importance of tradition, and also about celebrating with style, wit and humor.

It’s been trendy in recent years to stage a choreographed first dance with a romantic song, that is interrupted by “technical difficulties” (carefully staged, of course) and then breaks into a medley of fast popular song and dance. The couple pulls off some flashy dance moves, and it’s obvious that it was planned.

By the time Interrupted First Dances flashed onto YouTube and the Today Show, we had been creating them for years.

And as trends become the norm, their uniqueness starts to wear off. What was once different is now the same as the other non-conformists.

Shalane and Tom witnessed some Party Machine showbiz at the wedding of Lauren and Drew Ray, when Lauren and her father, Scott Shaw, broke into “Stayin’ Alive” from Saturday Night Fever during their Father-Daughter dance. It’s funnier when it’s unexpected, especially if Dad can act a little in addition to his terpsichorean skills.

Shalane knew this would be hilarious with her father, Chuck Bellinghausen, who is nearly two feet taller than she is. And she had the perfect song in mind.

Here is Shalane’s Father-Daughter Dance at City Club of Fort Worth:

Since Tom was a soldier soon to be deployed, this was in keeping with their theme. The entire routine was pre-recorded, and they got a rehearsal copy and practiced it a few times.

Simple! And despite the frivolity, they made it look rather elegant.