I attend many wedding fairs and venue open days to promote my services as a wedding magician. When I meet people at these events I get a number of different comments and observations. Some people have no idea why I’m there and can’t see any connection between weddings and magicians. After all, it’s not like I’m offering a cake, a dress, a vintage car or flowers, or any of the other “wedding essentials”.
For those couples that stop to chat (and to experience some close up magic) their interest is often sparked. This leads to the inevitable question which is “so how does this work at a wedding”?
Close up magic is quite simply fun and interactive entertainment for guests. Most couples have it in mind that they will provide some entertainment for their guests on their wedding day and may have considered something musical (guitarist, pianist, harpist, singing waiters) or something more personal like a caricaturist.
The next question is usually ‘so when do you do this’ (on a wedding day)? Once I have an understanding of timings and guest numbers I can always direct people to the most suitable part of the day. This will always be in one of three parts of the day.
Firstly (and to be honest, my favourite) is the drinks reception. This is immediately after the wedding ceremony finishes and prior to being seated for the wedding breakfast. This period is usually one to two hours long. Very often the couple, ushers, bridesmaids and close family members are all heavily involved in official photographs and their guests are having their first drink of the day. At this point guests often stick in small groups either as a couple, or with the few people they know best. I move around the groups, often bringing small groups together, and provide six or seven minutes of fun, humour and amazement. I always try to include some magic with objects that I borrow from members of the group such as bank notes, coins & rings. As a guide I can usually cover 120 guests in 2 hours. It provides something memorable and creates a talking point. Couples should be aware that this part of the day is very busy for them. They are required for official and unofficial photographs and everyone wants to greet them and offer their congratulations. As a result, couples often see little or no magic themselves but they can rest assured that their guests are being thoroughly entertained.
The second option is to have some magical at the tables during the wedding breakfast. At first this may sound potentially intrusive but, when done properly, it can be a brilliant addition to a wedding day. As an experienced magician I will start by speaking to the catering team & serving staff and get an understanding of the order in which tables will be served food. That way I can establish which tables have some waiting time to fill with some entertainment and I avoid bumping into the serving staff. I don’t approach a table when they are eating and I’m sensitive to breaks for speeches and presentations. The reaction from the tables creates an atmosphere of fun and anticipation. A special performance is reserved for the couple and for the most important people for the top table.
The final section to consider is immediately after the wedding breakfast. Guests usually vacate the room of the wedding breakfast to enable a room turnaround and once again have some time on their hands. Some wedding days are quite long and at this point some guests may be in need of some entertainment & injection of some energy. Magic at this point keeps the party going and can often drift into the time of day when evening guests are arriving and they too will get to see some magic. Just be aware that once the party gets in full swing, usually after the couples first dance, it’s time for close up magic to end due to the volume of the music, low lighting and filling the dance floor.
My offer is very flexible. For a small wedding (up to 50 guests) I offer as little as one hour. For larger numbers of guests I need more time. Sometimes this can be split into a couple of different parts of the day, for example an hour at the drinks reception and an hour in the evening. I keep things really flexible so that the couple get exactly what they want – and when they want it.
I always arrive half an hour ahead of the agreed start time in order to check out the venue and to prepare. I always dress as though I am a wedding guest. I prefer to blend into the crowd rather than seek to stand out from it. I also get the official photographer (or videographer) to get a few shots of the audience enjoying themselves and reacting to the magic. These are always happy smiling photographs which create good memories.