So you’re planning your big day – you’re probably worried about what kind of cake you should have, a three tier or a four? Should you have the speeches before or after the breakfast? Pink Champagne? To be honest I envy you – what an exciting time, planning the first ever party you will throw for your closet friends and family as a married couple. So let me help take a little of the strain off by giving you these 7 great entertainment ideas.
Why do I need entertainment at my wedding?
I’ve been to 100’s of weddings, objectively too, no influence or bias because it was a close friend whom I hold dear. Therefore I have no shame in being completely honest with you.
Weddings have the potential to be extremely boring.
Scary right? I’ve performed at weddings before and everyone sits in silence for a good hour during the breakfast. No music, no interaction, no laughter – if I wasn’t there you could of mistaken it for a board meeting.
Why are weddings boring?
There are quite a few points in the day that have major low points. The first one is a real threat to the day – after the main ceremony guest will head to the champagne reception. You’ll be sorting out a few photos but almost always arriving after the other guests.
It’s important to note that you’ll have other guests arriving who didn’t attend the ceremony.
At this point, guests are left to drink champagne and eat canapés while they await your arrival.
This is a key point of the day because you want to set the tone for the breakfast. It’s a weekend, guests have travelled far and near to come and celebrate your marriage and the least you can do is throw them an incredible party. You want some entertainment to get them going, fuelling the latter and smiles.
At this point guests are getting a little tipsy, you’ve managed to group friends onto the right tables and hide those distant relatives away somehow but the fact remains. Not all tables will be the life of the party. This is the perfect reason for having entertainment, give people a topic of conversation.
Breaking The Ice
This is my number one reason for booking entertainment at your wedding. The old polar bear.
This isn’t to be confused, you’re not breaking the ice with guests in the sense that they’re quite, and you want to get the smiling and laughing.
You’re breaking the ice for them so that they can talk to one another. It’s easy to forget that a lot of your friends and family have never met before – there’s nothing worse than going to a party where you don’t know anyone. By hiring entertainment you immediately give guests an easy talking point. “Did you see the magician do that trick”, “OMG your caricature is hilarious” etc. They can easily create conversations with one another using the entertainment as an easy topic of conversation.
My list of roaming wedding entertainment ideas for all budgets
1. Silhouette Cutter
If caricatures don’t fit into your wedding theme then look no further. This dying art is perhaps one of the most elegant and least thought of entertainment ideas on the market. I rarely come across these guys purely because people don’t understand how incredible they really are. They sit down with your guests, or stand in the group, and use a tiny pair of scissors to cut out the silhouette of the guest on black card. All before sliding it into a beautifully personalised card for them to treasure forever. If you’re lucky they will create a bespoke piece which contains the silhouettes of all your top table guests. It’s scary how much your silhouette looks like you, I highly recommend them for any wedding that wants a chic, understated entertainer.
How much does a Silhouette Cutter charge?
As of 2017, you can get them from £300+ for 2-3 hours of roaming entertainment.
Tom London’s Personal Recommendations
I’ve been working with Mark for years – not only is he a fantastically well dressed gentlemen, he has REAL entertainment value. He’ll get stuck in with your guests and explain to them his process, how he picks out features to use in his silhouette. I can’t recommend him enough. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Charles a few times, another fantastic artist.
Of all the roaming artists, I bump into these most often. Caricaturists are highly skilled artists that can churn out incredible portraits in under 5 minutes. They all vary tremendously in style and approach so you really have the opportunity to pick one that fits your personal taste.
They tend to roam around the party and draw from afar, however the best caricaturists will join small groups of people and talk with them, explain what they’re doing. This is great because your guests get an insight into how they work and how they use their artistic eye to exaggerate the subjects features to make either a flattering or rather comical drawing.
I always see guests waving their caricatures around, laughing at one another as to whom has the biggest nose or the least flattering chin.
With a rise in technology we also have Digital Caricaturists, who can draw on an iPad and then tweet/email the image to your guests. This is great for sharing on Facebook and Instagram if you’re having a wedding that is very tech friendly!
How much does a caricaturist charge?
As of 2017, you can get them from £300+ the best tend to sit around the £400 for 2-3 hours.
Tom London’s Personal Recommendations
I’ve worked with Chrissy and Louisa on events all over the world. They are by far the top in the game. If I have a large corporate event overseas, I can expect to bump into them without a doubt.
Chrissy – http://www.sensiblepencil.com
Louisa – http://wickedcaricatures.com
3. Singing Waiters
If budget isn’t an issue for you, you’ve reached the pinnacle. Singing waiters in my opinion are at the top of my list when it comes to high impact table entertainment. In just 10-15 minutes they will give your guests something to laugh, cry and scream about.
Let’s set the scene, guests have just finished the starter and in comes the chef, he’s screaming at one of the waiters. Some of the guests have noticed and are shocked at what’s happening. Before long a full blown fight is kicking off between the head chef and the table manager, guests are screaming, phones are out filming the whole ordeal. Then in a thick French accent the chef begins to emit this incredible sound. It’s all a hoax. The chef and table manager begin singing a famous opera number and guests are left bewildered at what on earth is going on. 2 minutes later a rendition of Bruno Mars begins and Richard, the lovely chap you’ve spent the first half of the meal talking with, stands up on his chair and joins in with his X-Factor finalist worthy voice. You’re shocked, he’s in on the gag!
These guys blend in with staff and guests to perform a surprise, live singing experience unlike any other. I’ve never seen these guys go down badly, they ALWAYS have the room erupting for their entire set.
How much do Singing Waiters charge?
As of 2017, they start from £1250+ however they can get a lot more pricey if you want 6 of them!
Tom London’s Personal Singing Waiter Recommendation
I’ve been at hundreds of weddings but these guys stuck in my mind more than ever. Young, fearless and undeniably comical, they play on modern themes and include recent numbers – perfect for a young wedding. They’re lovely chaps too and will no doubt spend at least one of their songs flirting with the bridesmaids ha!
These guys are expensive, but for a reason. They’ve been long in the game and have performed all over the world for a wide range of events. I’ve bumped into them a few times at weddings in Kent and they’re the best for a reason.
4. Close Up Wedding Magician
The most popular form of wedding entertainment is a magician. In fact, it’s the first form of entertainment couples consider for their wedding and let me explain why.
Wedding magicians aren’t there just to perform magic, they’re so much more. They’re trained professionals, heavily refined socialites who will befriend your guests in seconds. That’s their job. What this allows them to do is set the pace and tone for the day. If you hire a great magician they will get your guests in the right mood for the day. Remember it’s likely that your guests will travel far and near for your wedding day. They come to see you but you won’t actually speak to them until you arrive at the drinks reception and even then, you’ll be busy with photographs and all sorts.
This is where the magician really gets to work – from the get go, as soon as guests arrive they’re in fits of laughter, joy and amazement. It immediately creates the atmosphere, people are here to have fun and let their hair down, celebrating your marriage in the best possible way. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your wedding to a crowd of bored, tired and unexpired friends and family.
Not only are they going to mix and mingle with guests and get the mood going, they will also give guests an easy talking point. It’s the ultimate ice breaker, especially if you’re having a wedding full of friends and family from different parts of your life and are worried about putting them all in the same room.
It’s also important to mention that when you’re having wedding photographs there will be at least 50-80 guests who, for at least an hour or two, have nothing to do but mingle and chat. Sometimes people are a little cold at this time of day so it’s great to have a magician come along and help entertain guests during this time and ensure they’re kept entertained whilst also being introduced to other guests through the small magic performances.
How much do close up wedding magicians charge?
Usually a good magician starts at around £500 an hour, around £700 for two but it depends on the level and experience. There’s nothing worse than hiring a bad magician that reveals every other trick. You get what you pay for in this industry.
Tom London’s Personal Wedding Magician Recommendation
Who do you think? If I’m not free I have two magicians who cover my events. Drop me a line if you would like a wedding sales pack.
5. Celebrity Impersonator
I know what you’re thinking straight off the bat – what is a celebrity impersonator going to do at my wedding? I’ll be honest, this is another area where if you hire the right one, you’re going to have one hell of a good time. Some of these guys just stand there and look the part, however the best in the business adopt the role entirely. Mix and mingling with your guests acting as the character, they joke, they tease, they flirt, they’re all round good fun and much like a magician, have the ability to get the party started. I can’t recommend this idea enough if you have a themed wedding or guests from a particular generation. I’ve worked with a few in the past and they always have screams of laughter rolling of the walls, not to mention the selfie opportunity with guests, great for creating a personal hashtag for your wedding.
How much do celebrity impersonators charge?
As of 2017 you can look to pay from £250-500 for a good impersonator, it depends as always on the level and experience. Some of these guys are true professionals, flying around the world to perform their act.
Tom London’s Celebrity Impersonator Recommendation
Suzie is by far one of my favourite mix and mingle performers. It’s rare for me to meet an entertainer that really blows me away, i’ve seen so many over the years from all over the globe. Suzie however is a cut above the rest. For the duration of the evening she had me entirely convinced that she was american, I was shocked when she let her accent slide at the end of the night.
She mix and mingles with guests all before performing a knock out performance, singing Marilyn’s greatest ballads perched on the father of the brides knee, before placing a gentle red lipstick kiss on his forehead – it’s hilarious.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Maurice on a few occasions. He’s not only a spitting image but he has all the lines and gags. His knowledge of old Del Boy is unparalleled and it really does feel like you have the wheeler dealer as a distant relative, he plays the part brilliantly.
6. Theatrical Photobooth
If you’re looking to create a social media buzz at your wedding then a theatrical Photo Booth is a great idea. You can create an entire theme and atmosphere fitting with your wedding mood. I’ve come across hundreds of these so it really is a case of looking online to find the company you like the most.
How much are wedding Photobooths?
You can expect to pay from £400 for a good Photo Booth – high end event photographers set up bespoke experiences with props, costumes and backdrops from £650.
7. Table Wedding Magician
Don’t let this be mixed up with a close-up wedding magician, they’re very different. What’s great is that any magician that can perform close-up magic during the drinks reception can also perform table magic during the wedding breakfast.
The point of having entertainment during the breakfast is that when you have catering serving over 100 people it can take a lot of time to get everyone fed. People are often hungry and have been waiting all morning for a bite to eat, having some entertainment in between the courses is a great way to pass the time. Now guests aren’t thinking about the food, they’re waiting to see the magician come to their table and perform a miniature show for them.
This is also a great way to get everyone geared up for the speeches, you have guests laughing and jumping out of their seats with amazement, the general vibe only heightens guests excitement and keeps them in an energetic mood for the rest of the day.
How much do table wedding magicians charge?
If you’re going to have a magician for your wedding breakfast you can expect to pay anywhere from £400-700 for a couple of hours.
Tom London’s Personal Wedding Magician Recommendation
Is it bad to say, Tom London? I’ve been working the wedding industry for the last 8 years and have performed across the globe. My magic will cut through all barriers, even if you have guests flying in from all over, my magic translates across languages and ensure your guests have a fantastic time while you’re creating those lasting memories with the wedding photographer or changing into your evening attire.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for?
Don’t worry – drop me a call on 07718902620 or email me, email@example.com and I will be more than happy to offer some advice, other ideas or my personal recommendations.