Archive for the Weddings! Category

Internet Wisdom

Posted in DJ Stuff, Professionalism, Weddings! on January 14, 2016 by djscottshirley

There are more than 80 DJ Chat boards on social media, and some of them tend to deteriorate into Ford vs. Chevy arguments about equipment or formal wear.

But once in a while a real gem comes from the DJ Chats. This comes from Carl Naples of DJ By Design – Wedding Arts & Entertainment of Syracuse, New York. Thanks, Carl!

#0 Traits of a Solid DJ

Things To Release At A Wedding Ceremony

Posted in Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2012 by djscottshirley

Found this on the Interwebs and had to share it!

Make your wedding memorable!

Wedding Savings Tip: Don’t Rule Out Private Clubs

Posted in Professionalism, Weddings! with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2012 by djscottshirley

I am often asked about how to save money on weddings. I will be posting a series of money-saving tips for brides in the coming weeks, so be sure to bookmark this site.

We have already addressed one of the best ways to cut costs: hold the wedding on a less popular date, and have it in the daytime. Prime Saturdays in April, May, June, and October always cost more than a weekday in January. Your family and friends will show up no matter when you have it – “If you host it, they will come.”

One idea that many people don’t consider is choosing a private club for your reception venue. It seems counter-intuitive – private clubs evoke an image of being expensive – but many of my wedding clients have saved hundreds and even thousands of dollars by holding their reception at a Country Club.

Image

Unlike hotels and stand-alone banquet halls, private clubs are often not-for-profit organizations. Banquet rooms are available to members free of charge, and the only cost is for food and drink service. Furniture and even linens are often included.

Compare this to the breakdown of costs from a typical hotel. Hotels charge for room rental, food service on a per-person basis, and beverage service. Some will charge for outside furniture or linen rentals, and for security guards, charges that are often included at the private clubs.

The bottom line total is often less at the private club!

But I’m not a member!

Some are intimidated by the “private” image of private clubs. The truth is that many of them welcome the general public as banquet customers, and even advertise their availability. It is not uncommon to see a Country Club, Yacht Club or downtown City Club advertise in wedding magazines and bridal shows these days.

Some clubs, mainly the older established ones, will require a Member-Sponsor. Many get around this by having a list of members who are willing to sponsor non-member banquets. If a club makes money from an outside banquet, it helps them keep lower dues and fees for their members.

Another consideration is the fact that most major private clubs have “Reciprocity.” If you have a family member who belongs to the local Yacht Club, for instance, he would be granted member privileges at many of the Country Clubs in the area.

Private clubs are generally well-staffed with experienced food and beverage people. Many have a reputation for outstanding food, a great view, or a magnificent staircase for a bouquet toss.

At Party Machine Celebrations, we have worked with major clubs for years, know the facilities well, and can always help save you money.

“And They Will Throw Rice at Your Wedding”

Posted in Texas Aggie Weddings, Weddings! with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by djscottshirley

I write a lot about traditions. I have posted about ethnic traditions, school traditions, family traditions, yachting traditions, and weird traditions.

At Texas A & M University, the big joke is that if you do it twice, it’s a tradition. Their Traditions Council has recorded the origins of some of their long-standing traditions. But the origin of many traditions is often lost to the mists of time.

Do you remember the last time anyone threw rice at a wedding?

Newlyweds were once pelted with rice when they left. Now birdseed seems to be the weapon of choice.


It was the tradition for many years for guests to throw rice as the Bride and Groom made their honeymoon getaway. The origin for this is vague, but it is supposed to symbolize wishing prosperity and fertility to the newlywed couple. In other cultures, guests might throw dates or figs.

In America we stopped throwing rice, in favor of birdseed, due to fear of harming birds. Seems the birds would eat the dry grains of rice, which would expand in their stomachs, ultimately causing the poor bird to explode. Everyone now “knows” this, and it is simply not PC to throw rice any longer.

Turns out it’s all nonsense.

Why aren’t there stories about exploding birds? Because it doesn’t happen.

Pigeon shrapnel!

I always suspected this. I recall driving through the rice fields of south Louisiana and seeing that they were filled with birds. Some were eating the crawfish and other critters in the flooded rice paddies, but many birds were eating rice. And we never once saw a bird explode.

Our culture is so pre-programmed to believe that any story that gets repeated enough must be true. So it became universal practice to use birdseed instead of rice. The past few decades have seen couples running through bubbles, rose petals, and sparklers as well.

There are some practical reasons to favor birdseed. Rice can be hazardous to walk on, and a bear to clean up. Many venues banned rice for these reasons…but it had nothing to do with exploding pigeons. And so far no one has exposed a conspiracy by bird seed companies to promote their product this way.

I recently heard of a hazardous birdseed story. Someone purchased birdseed for a wedding that was specially treated to keep squirrels from eating it. After showering the bride and groom with it, they developed a painful burning and itching, as did many guests who came in contact with the seeds. Turns out the active ingredient was capsaicin, extracted from chili peppers. That was a hot wedding!

So now that the truth is out, will we see a return to the rice throwing tradition?

We now have special "Designer Wedding Rice"

There are new, improved rice products being marketed for weddings that are supposed to be safer and easy to clean. Some is even heart-shaped! And it won’t make birds explode – just as regular rice won’t.

How to Make The Longhorn Groom’s Cake

Posted in College Traditions, Let them eat cake!, Weddings! on January 9, 2011 by djscottshirley

There have been many kinds of groom’s cakes to honor the University of Texas, most of them simple flat cakes with a longhorn on them.

But the three-dimensional cake is pretty impressive!

You expect it to "Moo!"

I had seen several such cakes, and had been scratching my head wondering how they are made, and how much of the statuary is truly edible.

Let Them Eat Cake, Inc.” tells how this one was made on their blog. Enjoy!

Another Aggie Fan’s Cake

Posted in College Traditions, Let them eat cake!, Texas Aggie Weddings, Weddings! on January 9, 2011 by djscottshirley

This one is not like the classic Aggie Bonfire cake, but it captures the sentiments that many Aggies have for The University of Texas, while at the same time dissing rival Texas Tech:

Bevo with sawn-off horns and a side of Red Raider.

This was the groom’s cake at Jay and Morgan Behrens’ wedding, where my friend Tommy Evans of Specialty Sound was the DJ and MC. Bevo is branded with Jay’s initials and wearing an Aggie banner. For those outside the loop of Texas sports traditions, “Bevo” is the nickname for the UT Longhorns’ mascot, an actual longhorn steer. Many Texas A & M fans have T-shirts and bumper stickers that threaten to “Saw ’em Off,” referring to Bevo’s horns.

In fact, the mascot’s name was born of this rivalry. Many years ago when the Aggies beat the Longhorns, a group of Aggies branded the UT mascot with the game’s humbling score: 13-0. When Longhorn fans discovered the offending brand, the poor bovine suffered another branding that changed the “13-0” lettering to read “BEVO.”

College mascots now have bodyguards to prevent such shenanigans, but they can’t do much about cake bakers.

The Hollywood Groom’s Cake

Posted in Let them eat cake!, Weddings! on January 2, 2011 by djscottshirley

For the New Year’s Day wedding of Irma and Javier Ayala, they had a unique groom’s cake to reflect Javier’s interest in filmmaking.

Hollywood Javier's cake, prior to "editing"

Photo courtesy of my old friend, master photographer Paul Knudsen.

In honor of their marriage, the hometown college team won the Rose Bowl, and there was much rejoicing. They had a wonderful fun celebration with friends and family that lasted every bit of six hours, with a Party Machine photo montage and ceremony highlight reel that got “two thumbs up” from Javier.

Expect a sequel.