I have been performing at weddings all over the UK for more than fifteen years and I’m currently planning my own wedding so I have become all too familiar with the problems most couples will face when organising their big day. Here are the four biggest problems you will have and how to solve them.
The Table Plan
Splitting all the people you’ve invited into nice little groups of eight or ten while keeping everyone happy sounds pretty straightforward but it is often the most complicated and brain-frying part of wedding planning. No matter what configuration you use there always seems to be someone who ends up sat with a bunch of people they don’t know which is going to make a big chunk of the wedding really awkward and unenjoyable for them.
One way around this is to have an ice-breaker, something that will get the whole table involved and talking to each other. You could have a caricaturist or singing/comedy waiters but guess what I’m going to suggest… no not table dancers on every table…. magic! Specifically table-hopping close-up magic. When done well this doesn’t just break the ice it obliterates it! Even people who aren’t fans of magic will be involved and having a laugh and they will all be talking about it long after the magician has gone (they will if you book me anyway!).
Guests Not Turning Up
According to Hitched Magazine almost 30% of wedding guests who say they are coming don’t turn up and the average cost per guest is £350-£500. That means that if 100 people say they are going to be there 30 people won’t be and you will waste on average £12,750 (to be honest that’s more than I’m spending on my entire wedding)!!
There are a few ways to combat this. The first is to have your wedding at a venue that is easily accessible (I once did a wedding in a marquee at the top of a remote hill in the lake district. It was beautiful but a pain in the backside to get to) and reasonably local to most of the people that you want to be there. The second solution is to send people reminders and updates about what you’ve got planned because, let’s face it, some people are really disorganised: they will RSVP then completely forget about it and plan something else on that date. Reminders can be sent as group email or using social media. Another idea is to make the wedding unmissable, something amazing that your invited guests will be looking forward to for months before the actual wedding. There are lots of ways to do this but the most common is giving the wedding a fun theme, I recently performed at a Harry Potter themed wedding which was AMAZING! You could also have it in an interesting venue or have different activities on.
If you are on a budget then the entertainment is what will separate your wedding from the rest. These days everyone has at least a DJ on and possibly a band and quite often there is a photo booth and a sweet cart. In my opinion these aren’t things that will get your guests really excited and after the wedding they will be forgotten quite quickly. For a similar price guess what you could have… no not a daredevil motorcycle stunt team… magic! If you tell people you’ve got an international magician who’s performed for sports stars and celebrities and has been on the telly in programmes for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 (that’s me by the way) this will probably help get them looking forward to your wedding and a lot of people remember it for the rest of their lives!
Kids eh, who’d have ‘em! But believe it or not people still do and they often want to (or have to) bring them to the wedding. A wedding can be a long day for kids and they need something to keep them entertained. At my brother’s wedding they had a fire engine with a disco inside and everyone got to have a go on the hose, it was pretty awesome! You could also have a bouncy castle, balloon bender or a face painter, or for a similar price guess what else you could have… no not a big child cage… magic! My kids’ show is a mix of magic, juggling, music, games, balloon modelling and a real- life bird that the kids get to meet at the end of the show. I offer shows of one hour, 90 mins or two hours. I also have close-up magic which is suitable for children and quite often at weddings I end up feeling like the pied piper as kids follow me from table to table. I can also provide family shows so the adults and children are equally entertained or a combination of any of the above.
During most weddings there are a couple of gaps when there’s nothing going on, such as between the ceremony and the breakfast or between the breakfast and the evening reception. During this time the atmosphere falls flat and people sometimes even go their separate ways for a while. If you want to keep everyone together and keep the celebratory spirit going this time needs to be filled with something.
Between the ceremony and the breakfast (usually while the bride and groom are having photos) you could have some activities. I recently went to a wedding where they had games such as croquet and hoopla and a coconut shy set up outside the venue. I’ve also seen an inflatable assault course at a wedding before now but I’m not sure how either of those would have worked if it had been raining. A good idea between the breakfast and the evening reception is to add a bit of Monte Carlo glamour by having a fun casino. But do you know what else would fit well into those gaps… no not a mud wrestling competition… magic! Close-up magic can be utilised while your guests are mingling and having a couple of drinks, it keeps the atmosphere alive with the sound of laughter and applause and I can add a short show at the end so everyone stays to ensure they don’t miss out.
Those are my solutions to the biggest problems you will have while planning your wedding. Have I missed any problems out? Can you suggest any other solutions? Please let me know in the comments. Also, if you would like more information about my wedding packages or you would like a no obligation quote please get in touch through my Contact page. As always please feel free to like and share and remember: worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.