Each month we delve deeper into subjects to find out more and bring you some useful snippets of advice!
So how do you keep children and adults entertained on your big day, and at what part of the day is it needed? This month we're looking at entertainment and asked a few of our trusted suppliers for their hints, advice and experience of entertaining both big and little people at a wedding.
First up, the grown ups!
We are incredibly proud to have not one, but two magic circle members on our directory, and we can totally vouch for them-they are incredible! Magic is an amazing form of entertainment and magicians take little or no set up time, they don't require a special stage or performance area and they are great at reading the room, ensuring the guests are kept entertained during the usual lull. They will ensure your guests are kept busy so you can relax and socialise without feeling the pressure to make sure everyone is happy!
First up is Andy Cole, of Andy Cole Magic, a professional magician and magic circle member based in the Cotswolds who covers the South West and abroad.
How long do you usually stay at a wedding?
This really depends on the number of guests and when they want the magic to happen I have performed at some lovely small intimate weddings with only 10 guests to weddings so grand with 300 guests where two magicians are required to get around all of the guests to ensure they get to see the magic. As a rule of thumb, I stay 1.5 to 2 hours although each wedding is different, my job is not only to entertaining guests but to work with the bride / wedding planner to ensure the magic happens at the right time, it’s their day after all and I want to make sure I add that something a little extra.
What part of the day do you think entertainment works best?
From experience as mentioned above entertainment / magic during the Drinks Reception works the best, it’s always seen as the ‘low part’ of the day, people get a little bored….. give them something to remember and talk about forever, look after your family and friends as they may have travelled a long way to be a part of you day, and they will remember the magic far more than the flavour of your wedding cake.
Funny things you’ve seen at a wedding.
I love how every wedding is different it’s always exciting to see the venue, the set up and the meet the guests, I can now work out the level of ‘Banter’ as soon as I walk in the room.
I have seen a groom try to the classic pull the table cloth off a well-dressed table and fail with glasses and flowers smashing everywhere.
The bit you love the most about a wedding day.
Easy – seeing the guests reaction to the magic and knowing they have just witnessed the impossible, for me magic isn’t about being the big man or making people look silly, that isn’t magic it’s about seeing people smile and knowing that for that split-second magic is real and I know it will be remembered and talked about for years to come.
‘Do something you love, and you’ll never work again’ That’s me!
Next up is the other magic circle member, Richard Parsons Gloucestershire Magician who also covers the South West (he's even been flown to Spain before to perform at a wedding!)
What are the main reasons couples book you?
Couples book me to entertain their guests and bring some energy and fun into their wedding day, particularly during those times when they are busy having their photographs taken, or in the afternoon lull after the meal.
What feedback have you had from couples who have booked you?
I’m very fortunate to get amazing feedback and I take a great pride in performing at each and every wedding. I’m always conscious that it is their special day and I do my best to ensure that the couple and their guests see some magic that is unforgettable. The words used most frequently in my testimonials are ‘Mind Blowing’ – that’s good enough for me!
Why should couples hire a magician or book any entertainment for their guests?
There are several good reasons:
-Weddings in this country are usually quite long days. Most people get married somewhere between 12 and 2pm and the wedding doesn’t usually finish till about 1am the next day so SOME kind of entertainment, even if it isn’t magic, is really essential. It’s about the experience...in a year’s time, most of your guests will not remember what they ate at the meal, or what colour the chair covers were, but they WILL remember the entertainment, how they felt, and the music (DJ or band). So by providing entertainment for your guests you are ensuring that they have a great experience and enjoy themselves.
-Magic can also help provide your photographer with some great guest and reaction shots....many people do not like their photograph being taken but if your photographer captures these magical moments taking place you will have some amazing photographs of your guests enjoying themselves. I remember one of my brides at Manor by the Lake in Cheltenham recently saying that her elderly relative was very ill, and seeing the photo of him enjoying my magic really meant something to her. She could see he was happy.
-Icebreaker: The bride and groom will almost certainly know everyone at the wedding, however that doesn’t mean their guests know each other. I always look for the guests that are standing on their own and ask them to join in with a group to watch some close up magic. This way close up magic brings strangers together and gives them a talking point even after I’ve left the group to entertain elsewhere in the reception.
-Magic also tends to suit ALL AGES and must be one of the few forms of entertainment that does. There can’t be many things that will captivate a 7 year old and a 70 year old at exactly the same time!
What part of the day do you think entertainment works best?
I have been a full time professional magician for a few years and perform at nearly a hundred weddings a year so I have a vast amount of experience. For me the two best times for close up magic is either the drinks reception or early evening after the meal.
So what about the children? All of us at Whitewed HQ have children, and taking them to a wedding is lovely, but we have to admit, given the choice we'd quite like a bit if time to relax and not worry about keeping our little ones in check. We're all for entertaining children at weddings. Not only does it keep them happy away from boredom, it means their parents can have some time out and relax catching up with family and friends, which is one the best parts of wedding!
Amy Watts runs Big Day Little People and ensures the young ones are kept happy.
What age of children do you entertain at weddings?
Our packages will entertain children from as young as 1 up to around 11 years old. The dinky children will enjoy sittting inside a Teepee on the padded floor mat whilst playing with toys. Preschool and primary school age children will enjoy a range of activities such as dressing up, pretend tea parties, puzzles and games. They can let their imagination run wild with our masks, fairy wings, wands, capes, dinosaur tails and more! Not forgetting our colouring sheets and activity books when they are ready for some quiet time. Although teenagers may be ‘too cool’ to join in the fun, I know they secretly enjoy helping the little ones dress up!
What do children enjoy the most about your service?
They love having a little space that’s just for them. Somewhere where it’s ok for them to be noisy, take their shoes off and run round! Then later in the day when the party is in full swing and they’re starting to get tired, it’s somewhere they can sit or lay down quietly with a book and a blanket.
Why should couples hire a creche/child entertainment service?
As a parent at a wedding it can be quite stressful keeping your child/ren entertained and trying to prevent any tantrums or meltdowns. There’s usually a few hours in between the ceremony until the wedding breakfast and then until the reception. Adults love this time to mingle, catch up with relatives and enjoy the surroundings. But for children these gaps can be a little boring.... and when children are bored they look for mischief. Therefore, if children are occupied and having fun, their parents will relax and enjoy themselves more!
The bit you love the most about a wedding day?
I love everything about a wedding! It’s hard to choose just one thing......! As a bride, I loved seeing both sides of our families and friends being all together to share the day with us. As a guest, I love seeing how people put personal touches in to make it their own. From THE dress, welcome drinks, table names, colour scheme, entertainment, it all tells you so much about the bride and groom.
So there you have it, our professional guide on why and how you can keep everyone entertained at your wedding.
Love team Whitewed x