Recently, I have spoken to a handful of couples on the topic of having a magician for their wedding. They would usually ask if it is a good idea and how would having a magician for their wedding add to the wedding experience. Requests for magic has risen over the past years. Weddings in the past tend to be more “inward” and perfunctory, however nowadays they tend to be more “outward” in the sense that couples pay more attention to the experiences of their guests and how the joyous union can be celebrated together with their guests (instead of them simply being witnesses to the union).
Picture Credits: Bernadette (Thanks for the wonderful pictures!)
What type of magician should I engage?
What I would recommend is to have a magician that has a diverse experience in performance and well as communication skills. Weddings tend to have a wider demographics (ranging from young children to parents and grandparents), hence an experienced magician would be able to cater to the different groups of guests performing magic that is age appropriate. An experienced magician would perform visual magic for younger children and adjust to more intellectual material for more mature audience. There is nothing more painful to watch than a kid’s magician trying to entertain a group of adults with children show material. Also, being bilingual is a great asset for a wedding magician as this will enable him to converse and interact with the older generation who might not be able to understand English.
As weddings typically tend to have more waiting time (more pertinent to Chinese weddings where the couple would, out of respect, not begin until a senior member of the family arrives), having a magician to entertain the guests would reduce the restlessness of your guests as there is something exciting happening while they wait. The performance would also create a great talking point among your guests and this is particularly advantageous for tables which have guests that are not familiar with one another. This creates a familiarity effect making the wedding experience more pleasurable for your guests.
Stage Magic or Interactive Roving Magic? … Or both?
For weddings, the magician would add the most value during periods where there is nothing going on for the guests. This includes cocktail reception, the period between entering the ballroom and the first march in as well as the photo taking session. In these situations, having an Interactive Roving Magician would fill these waiting period with magic and interaction. This ensures that the guests feel attended to and not feel left out. Having an Interactive Roving Magician allows for personalized entertainment for the different tables, for instance, doing a special magic routine solely for the wedding couple.
Occasionally, I would have request for a stage performance and I handle this differently from other non-wedding enquiries. For weddings, I would at most performance a 15 minute set on stage, the magic routines I choose for weddings do not focus on me. They focus on the couple in their celebration of love and being together.
In one particular routine that I perform, I make a rose appear from thin air. A less experienced magician might hand the rose directly to the bride. While this small detail might be glazed over by a less sensitive audience, a more attuned audience might find this awkward due to the context of the performance. I, on the other hand, would hand the rose over to the bridegroom for him to present it to the bride. This is an example of how I steer the focus of the magic to the couple instead.
Apart from a 15 minute segment, I also get requests for a magical appearance of the wedding couple on stage (for the second march in) as well as request to make the champagne bottle appear magically.
However, till date, my strongest recommendation has been for Interactive Roving Magic as it offers the most value for weddings.
I personally can empathize how tedious a wedding can be to plan. Being a special night, it is natural to want to have a peace of mind in engaging professional services. My clients are always assured by prompt communication and the option for a physical discussion by request.
I hope this article would give you an insight to the reasons why having a magician for your wedding is a good idea. And if you’re reading this while in the midst of planning a wedding, I would be happy to discuss further with you, just drop me an email here.
Alexander Yuen ; )