Madison Asked – I Answered

I’m planning the bridal shower. The place it’s being held at can hold 50 people. The thing that’s irritating me is that she keeps adding all these people from FH’s side of the family that HAVE to be invited. Like an aunt’s sister or something, just because “that’s what you do.” I don’t even know these people! She’s saying that some of them might not come anyway, but they should be sent an invitation. Is that how it works?

And speaking of inviting people, I have a few questions on wedding guests.

  • What was your policy on +1’s for single guests?
  • Did you send invites to Great Uncle So-and-So’s Sister in Law, even though she most likely won’t come?

My guest list is getting out of control. We planned to invite 150 people or fewer (we need 125 minimum). I have a box of 100 invites (a score for $4 from the thrift store that was a lot better price than we had found elsewhere. Though I have to say these aren’t the chicest ones that we found. There are a lot of bridal shower invitations out there that have a lot trendier look.!). I don’t want to send out more than 100 invitations, but I’m afraid I might have to, with all these people I’m being told to add by both my parents and FH’s parents. I mean, I guess part of it is my fault, because I wanted this to be a big, fun party, and I did tell my parents to give me a list of some friends they wanted to invite, and it’s larger than I expected. I also don’t even know some of them. Also, FH’s mom is telling me to add this person and this person and this person, just to send them an invitation, even though they likely won’t come. WHAT IF THEY ALL COME ANYWAY?!

Hi Madison,

It sounds like you have done a lot to get things under control which is a big step forward in getting your bridal shower plans met. The worst thing that could happen is that you go even higher, trying to entertain more people. From the way it sounds you have already planned for a big bridal shower with 50 people. This is actually very big for a shower and it sounds like you haven’t got a lot of experience planning parties.

You mentioned that the guest list might double. And unless you are hosting a couples bridal shower I don’t see how that can happen. It isn’t common for a guest list to balloon that much and you already seem like you are looking for cheap alternatives.

That being said if you are already having problems with a guest list of 50 you will quickly run into trouble if you try to stretch the budget to cover twice as many people.

Unless the guests will be coming and going entertaining that many people in one sitting is enough to make even experienced hostesses cry. And Madison, I say this with all honesty I don’t want to think of you in tears.

Your best chance for success is if you get the bridal shower guest list back under control. You didn’t mention why it got like that but I can assume you have run afoul with some backseat planners telling you who needs to come. If you can’t handle it, tell them. They may try to guilt you, but you have it in your power to get things under control.

Best of luck!

Find a Qualified DJ

A great DJ for your event is hard to find but luckily there are a couple of good was to find one. I recently interviewed a local DJ about what to look for and this is what he had to say. Here are the 10 important questions that people should ask a DJ before hiring them and here are his answers:

Q. What should clients look for when hiring a DJ?

A. There are the obvious things such as references and years of experience and knowledgeability, but the single most important thing is to look for a personality match. The DJ is one of the most visible vendors at your event and will represent you before your family, friends and coworkers, so it’s vital that you ‘click’ with your DJ. They should demonstrate a deep commitment to understanding exactly what you want for your event and should exemplify the type of personality you’d best like in your event’s host.

Q. What type of music do you play?

A. Since most of our events include groups of wide and varying groups, we provide music from all genres and eras, including big band, oldies, classic and current rock, disco, 80s, 90s and contemporary hits, country (including Texas country), Tejano and Latin, as well as some local and independent selections.


Q. How do you handle requests from guests at the event?

A. Taking requests is a great way of learning your audience and we often encourage it. We do however make sure to gently decline to play anything offensive or that our clients have put on their ‘don’t play’ list or that wouldn’t serve the function well.


Q. Can you talk a little about how you emcee events. How does it work for weddings vs. non weddings?

A. How we emcee is first determined by our clients’ tastes and preferences. Some prefer minimal hosting while others like the emcee to take the spotlight a lot. Most commonly, for both weddings and non-weddings, clients opt for something in-between those two extremes. As a company, we specialize in very natural hosting; that is, for events that want someone to host and guide and engage the guests but without the more extreme ‘comedian’ or clownlike aspects. A lot of people are concerned about making sure their emcee isn’t obnoxious or loud and we’re very good at keeping our performances stylish.

The main difference between weddings and non-weddings is usually in the number of announcements. Weddings typically have the most announcements as they have more traditions to include. Non-weddings, like company parties or anniversaries or reunions, generally require fewer announcements. But again, it all depends on what the goals for each event are.


Q. What do you wear when you DJ?

A. Traditionally we wear a tuxedo. Other events may call for a suit-and-tie or ‘cocktail formal’.


Q. How many breaks do you take and is music played during those breaks?

A. Typically, for 4 or 5 hour performances, we don’t take any breaks unless we’re working with a band, in which case obviously we play durin g each other’s breaks.


Q. How much time do you need to set up your equipment?

A. It takes only about 30-40 minutes for a standard set-up, though we arrive 2-3 hours prior to each event to be sure there’s plenty of time for sound check or any unforeseen circumstances.


Q. How long have you been a DJ?

A. Personally, I’ve been DJing for 25 years, professionally for 16. The other Penguin DJs have from 1 year to 13 years of experience.


Q. How much do you charge for events?

A. A standard 4 hour event for up to 250 guests runs between $995-$1495, depending on the emcee you select.