This article will tell you what you will need to consider when hiring a magician to entertain at your wedding. It helps you to consider when you can best use a magician in your order of events, and how to go about selecting a good magician for your wedding.
This information specifically relates to hiring a close-up magician to entertain the adult guests at your wedding. Some magicians specialise in entertaining children, and this can be a great way to keep children occupied throughout the speeches. However, these performers tend to be a lot more readily available, and a bit of asking around will help you source a good quality local childrens entertainer at a reasonable price. Similarly, some magicians specialise in stage presentations, but this sort of presentation is very rarely appropriate for a wedding, and the more ambient style of close-up magic is more generally suitable.
Booking a magician who specialises in entertaining adults is a very different proposition – there aren’t very many about who do it well, and it can be difficult to know where to start. The first thing to consider should be what you want to achieve by having a magician entertain at your wedding, and determine where this can best fit into your order of events.
When To Use A Wedding Magician
Close-up magicians are usually used to provide entertainment at two different points in the wedding day. The first is after the ceremony when the magician can mingling with guests while wedding photographs are being taken. The drinks reception is also usually held at this point, and having the magician perform at this stage acts as an excellent ice-breaker. This can then continue with the magician performing at the tables between the courses of the wedding breakfast up until the start of the speeches.
The other popular time slot is to have the magician perform during the evening. This means that day guests are entertained after the meal and speeches, and any evening guests are welcomed with a little entertainment to get them in the mood. One thing to bear in mind when using a magician at this stage is how the magic will fit with any music you may have planned. Usually most venues have a separate area away from the dance floor, such as a bar area, and the magician can be placed here to entertain any guests who aren’t interested in the dancing, and those who are just taking a break. Or, if there is no separate area, you can have the magician start following the wedding breakfast and perform up until the evening music starts. This helps the day guests to break with the formality of the days events and any evening guests are welcomed with a little entertainment to get them in the mood.
Of course there is a lot of flexibility here and a magician experienced in wedding entertainment will be able to work in with your plans for the day.
Things To Consider When Using Magicians At A Wedding:
Speeches and music are two key traditional aspects of a wedding which should be considered when using wedding magicians.
Speeches: No matter how carefully you brief the best man and the father of the bride to keep it brief, often as not speeches will overrun! Many people find it best to make the speeches a natural start or end point for the magic to avoid paying for the magician’s waiting time.
Music: You will need to consider how your magician will fit in with any music you have planned. Magicians rely on people being able to follow what is being said. Three things can help: having the music at a lower level, having a separate “quiet zone” for the magician to work in, or a large room where one end will be quieter. But if the DJ or Band is expected to be louder, you will get better value for money by changing the timing to avoid a clash.
Where To Find A Magician:
Avoid using a local Yellow Pages or a similar directory to find a magician for your party. Magicians who perform for adult audiences are a rare breed, and while you may get lucky and find that you have a very good magician in your area, the chances are that you will wind up interviewing magicians who are part time and have very little actual performing experience, or magicians who specialise in performing for children and have very little experience in entertaining adult audiences.
Instead, use a web search, or look to find a national directory of entertainers, and cast your net over a good sized geographic base – experienced performers are more than happy to travel to a booking.
Choosing The Right Magician For Your Wedding:
Once you’ve drawn up a shortlist, here’s what to look at before you finalise your choice.
References, References, References!
Cast a careful eye over any quotes from previous clients. Are they from recognised and reputable UK companies and identifiable individuals, or could they just have been gathered from friends and family?
The ability to astonish should come as standard, but you also need to make sure the references show that the magician you book also has the personality to interact with your guests. Look for someone who is more than just astonishing – hire a magician who is entertaining and, moreover, enjoyable to be around.
Plenty of positive references show that you’re looking at a magician with broad experience. It can be a good idea to hire a magician who has worked UK-wide and, ideally, internationally because this usually shows a depth of experience.
You may also want to consider whether the magician is a full time performer. While there are a number of very good part-timers in the UK who shouldn’t be overlooked, the fact that a magician is a full-time performer will generally act as a good indicator of experience and ability. You can’t always glean this from a website so it’s a good idea to ask.
Look to hire a magician with experience with weddings. For example, some specialise in close up magic for adult audiences in hospitality situations. Others have a more general approach, performing at children’s parties, as a corporate speaker, on stage, etc. Each of these different performing situations requires different skills and abilities, especially when it comes to audience interaction. Be sure that the references that you rely on relate to events and functions similar to your wedding.
Style and manner:
Consider what will work well for you. Some acts are based on poking fun at the audience, but, for a day of celebration like a wedding, consider whether it may be more appropriate to look for someone who creates fun for your guests and maintains a more relaxed atmosphere.
If you are expecting a wide variety of guests at your event, look for someone with references that indicate a breadth of appeal. Conversely, if your guests are quite similar, for example in age group or background, you may want to hire a magician with references that relate to that particular type of guest.
It is a good idea to hire a magician who is a member of a recognised international magical organisation such as the UK’s The Magic Circle. The Magic Circle, in particular, insists on members being tested by examination before being allowed to join. However, don’t make membership of such an organisation the sole basis of your decision – this simply indicates a basic level of technical ability. The above information shows how to look at experience, personality and performance style.