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 brides and grooms that stop to chat (and to see some close up magic) the usual question is ‘so how does this work at a wedding’? Good question!
Close up magic is quite simply 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 live music (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)? The answer to that is, quite simply, “whenever you decide it best fits into your day”. However, from experience I can tell them that there are three clear sections of the wedding day when this can work best.
Firstly (and to be honest, my favourite) is the drinks reception immediately after the wedding ceremony and prior to the wedding breakfast. This period is usually one to two hours long. Very often the bride and groom, ushers, bridesmaids and close family members are all heavily involved in official photographs and their guests are usually enjoying a drinks reception. At this point guests often stick in small groups 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 and everybody gets to see some magic. It provides something memorable and creates a talking point.
The second option is to have some magical at the tables during the wedding breakfast. At first this sounds 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 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 in order to avoid a lull. 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.
My offer is very flexible. For small wedding (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 bride and groom get exactly what they want – and when they want it.
There are a few other things which I always do. 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.
Magic is not everyone’s cup of tea but, in my experience, it is always very well received at weddings. It creates an atmosphere of fun and amazement and helps to make the day even more memorable for brides, grooms, family & guests.