Why Hire a Magician for Your Wedding?
In the US, hiring a magician for a wedding is firmly in the camp of “we want to try something new.” Hiring a magician for a wedding in Britain is like having a cake at your wedding in the US. I can’t speak to the cultural history that makes this the case, but I thought I’d review the advantages magicians offer to wedding guests and hosts.
First, I don’t perform full-time as a wedding magician for hire; my bread and butter is as a magician for corporate events and private parties, but I do tend to perform at a couple of weddings every year. And when I do, I always leave thinking “This should be more common.” In general, a wedding magician is hired to perform Strolling Entertainment to break the ice during the cocktail/photo hour or reception. It’s a great way to bridge generations, introduce people who may not know each other well, and get everyone talking and having fun. This may sound trite, but there’s often considerable tension at the start of a wedding, and having a professional diffuse it in a lighthearted way is really valuable.
Here’s a tip. Most clients, if they do hire a magician for their wedding, think to only have them perform during the cocktail hour. But I recommend having the magician or mentalist take a break during dinner/toasts, and resume during the dancing portion of the night. Even if you have a young, boisterous group, there’s always a solid contingent who either don’t want to dance or want to take a break to rest their feet, and these guests are traditionally left to sit around doing nothing, feeling uncomfortable from the pressure to dance. If there’s a magician performing though, he/she can spot these guests and entertain them, drawing them into conversation with other guests and keeping the entertainment going throughout the evening.
Less common, but equally valuable, is having the magician or mentalist MC the evening. A professional MC is truly valuable as he/she is the one to maintain the pace of the evening, provide transitions, and be there if someone goes wrong. Additionally, when the MC is a magician or mentalist, he/she can be in the perfect position to offer one last effect to bring the toasts to an end before the dancing commences.
Not every magician is right for every wedding. Unless you’re on the zany side, you want a magician whose performance character, repertoire, and attire fit that of your wedding guests. If you hire a magician for your wedding, you don’t want someone corny or someone who’s drawing all the attention to them; after all, the couple should be the focus of the evening.