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Topic: Is This Normal At A Wedding Gig?
Message: Posted by: garys (Oct 9, 2017 02:09AM)
I have worked as a DJ at many weddings for more than 30 years. As I am getting older I am worried that I will not be able to continue working as a DJ. I don't want to give up performing when I can't lift the speakers anymore :) To that ends I have been following my other passion "Magic" I am in the fortunate position that I can practice in front of a real audience before the dancing starts. When I say practice, I don't mean the moves. I mean the presentation such as the script etc.

As a DJ I have a five-star reputation. When I transition to a Magician I want to continue to be a five-star performer. I know that there is so much more to being a great magician that just showing tricks. Having read the magic Café for many years I know that Dick O has a quote regarding magic not being about tricks.

Every day I read the Magic Café for the many pearls of wisdom that I can find.

To my question: When working as a DJ my focus is ensuring that the bride and groom are having a great time. I always ensure that I have played all the songs they want to dance to. On Saturday I was talking to a friend. He is a full-time Magician. He was booked to perform during that photos. As far as I am aware the guests enjoyed his magic. What surprised me was he said that he never got to show the Bride & Groom any magic. Is this normal at a wedding?

My feeling is that I would want to show them at least one trick.
Message: Posted by: simplymagicweb (Oct 9, 2017 02:44AM)
It can happen but it can be avoided by chatting to the photographer and explaining that you would like to have just a few moments with the Bride and Groom, to do something really special for them. Something special that they can capture on film.

I always schedule time with the Bride and Groom.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Oct 9, 2017 06:45AM)
Luckily my experience is just the opposite. I've played at dozens of wedding over the decades (well over 200) and note that they seem to be formulaic. Even the ones that try to be out of the box and purposefully different seem to follow a formula. My experiences have always been that I played at the receptions following the wedding ceremony. It was the rare wedding that I didn't perform a routine especially for the bride and groom. I can think of maybe three times where it didn't happen. Once because the bride and groom skipped their own wedding reception but sent a message that they were on the way to Paris and for all to enjoy themselves, to take a lot of photos and post them. Another found the couple too drunk to focus (they were drunk during the actual nuptials and I always wonder if it counted being they were not in their right mind. LOL!).

Further I use the time with the Bride and Groom as a photo opportunity. I try to get the wedding photographer to take a series of photos to capture the couple's reactions to the magic. Some photographers are better at capturing it than others.

Like Sean (simplymagicweb) above, I always schedule time with the Bride and Groom.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Oct 9, 2017 07:51AM)
I too have performed at many wedding receptions, in fact just 2 weekends ago. It depends IMO. I performed for them at one of my restaurant gigs which us how I got the job. They hired me to entertain their guests during the cocktail hour and while they were out getting pictures taken. They were so busy meeting and greeting, taking photos with family and friends that it was inappropriate, I thought, to interrupt them. In this instance I didn't feel it was important to perform something for them.
The groom emailed me the next day expressing his gratitude and that the magic was a big hit. He was more concerned about his guests having a good time.

Some weddings I have performed something for the bride and groom, others I haven't. It depends as I said, on the circumstances and flow of the reception activities. ( special dances, speeches/ toasts, introductions etc.)
Just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 9, 2017 09:53AM)
Speakers are getting much smaller now.

But to answer the question it will depend upon why you were hired. If you were hired as a distraction during the photo process then maybe not. If the bride and groom love magic and hire you (God help them.) then of course show them.

Best policy is never assume. Make certain at point of sale what the function is you are being hired to perform and then do it the best you possibly can. No way to go wrong there.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Oct 9, 2017 12:49PM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
Speakers are getting much smaller now.

But to answer the question it will depend upon why you were hired. If you were hired as a distraction during the photo process then maybe not. If the bride and groom love magic and hire you (God help them.) then of course show them.

Best policy is never assume. Make certain at point of sale what the function is you are being hired to perform and then do it the best you possibly can. No way to go wrong there. [/quote]

"Speakers are getting much smaller now" ?? (God help them) ??
Every-Every wedding reception I have attented or performed at has the father of the bride saying more than a few words, the father of the groom, best man and maid of honor. The D.J is always introducting and making announcements etc.

Yes never assume. But you can tell when to not interupt and pull the newlweds away from their guests some of which have traveled from long distances. Be professional, observant and sensative to your clients needs and desires.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 9, 2017 01:07PM)
Physical speakers as in plugged into amplifiers.
Message: Posted by: puggo (Oct 9, 2017 01:55PM)
[quote]On Oct 9, 2017, davidpaul$ wrote:
I too have performed at many wedding receptions, in fact just 2 weekends ago. It depends IMO. I performed for them at one of my restaurant gigs which us how I got the job. They hired me to entertain their guests during the cocktail hour and while they were out getting pictures taken. They were so busy meeting and greeting, taking photos with family and friends that it was inappropriate, I thought, to interrupt them. In this instance I didn't feel it was important to perform something for them.
The groom emailed me the next day expressing his gratitude and that the magic was a big hit. He was more concerned about his guests having a good time.

Some weddings I have performed something for the bride and groom, others I haven't. It depends as I said, on the circumstances and flow of the reception activities. ( special dances, speeches/ toasts, introductions etc.)
Just my opinion. [/quote]

I would agree with this. I've worked quite a few weddings and have met couples at wedding fairs who love magic, but come the day, particularly if working reception drinks/photos, they have wanted me to entertain their guests as their time has been taken greeting guests etc.
On other occasions, I have performed for the bride and groom.
This is normally something I discuss at the time of booking to ensure that I get a feel for what is wanted.
Message: Posted by: derrick (Oct 18, 2017 02:36PM)
Always love to perform Anniversary Waltz for the bride and groom. Once as a fun surprise at a rehearsal dinner, I was booked to perform a short 15-20 minute show by the bride's father who had seen me perform Anniversary Waltz at another rehearsal dinner he had attended. They expected about 50 to attend so I arrived at the venue early and set my small Peavy Executive sound system and staged a little performing area in the room. As I got ready to perform "following the cocktails" the groom gets up and asks to borrow my microphone. I took off my headset and handed it to him. He says, "this was intended to be a more solemn event and no magic will be performed." He looks at me and says, "take your things and please leave". Then he says to everyone, "bow your heads". He prayed for a solid 5 minutes. When he finished, he continued to use my mic to speak to the group. I finally had to interrupt him and tell him he was using my sound system, not the restaurant's and I needed it to leave. Since my things were located as far away from the entrance as I could get, I had to walk through the room to exit. The bride's father followed me out the door, apologizing. He paid me my fee for not performing and I went on my way. That was, by far, the most awkward moment I've ever experienced while performing, or attempting to perform magic. I often wonder how the in-laws in that family get along.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Oct 19, 2017 10:50AM)
WOW :no:
Certainly not against praying but that was inappropriate.
At least you got paid.
Message: Posted by: Rocky (Oct 19, 2017 01:07PM)
I recently attended a same-sex wedding. A magician was working the tables during the reception. The brides father asked the magician to perform an effect for the newly married couple...a sophisticated pair of female executives at a local bank. For reasons only known to the magician, he decided to perform his version of the, "The Magic Ding Dong".

The shocked silence of the reception guests was the magicians cue to pack it up and go home...sans paycheck.

It only takes one idiot to ruin others opportunities to book future wedding gigs.
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Oct 19, 2017 01:59PM)
Derrick - that's one for the books.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 19, 2017 05:38PM)
So The Magic Ding Dong didn't go over? Whoda thunk?
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Oct 29, 2017 04:06PM)
The person paying the bill is who I working for. If they want tricks for or with the bride and groom then that's what they get. No ding dong.
Message: Posted by: NightSG (Nov 30, 2017 08:45PM)
[quote]On Oct 18, 2017, derrick wrote:He says, "this was intended to be a more solemn event and no magic will be performed."[/quote]

Hope you sent the bride a sympathy card, since it sure sounds like the marriage was going to be consummated with the same level of solemnity.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 1, 2017 02:30PM)
Let me guess that was a joke?
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Dec 3, 2017 12:36AM)
5 minutes of solid praying at the reception?
If I was a guest, I'd be following the magician out the door...close friend, family, or whatever.
Message: Posted by: 0pus (Dec 5, 2017 12:25PM)
I will be honest: I am not thrilled with prayers at a wake.
Message: Posted by: mixman (Dec 28, 2017 11:07AM)
This is one of the few areas where I have quite a bit of experience. DJing and performing magic has been my living for about 40 years now. I perform as a wedding DJ almost every weekend, and I perform non wedding magic performances 2 to 3 times a month. I do not perform magic at every wedding I DJ, but I do mention it to the Bride and Groom during initial consultation. They are amenable to the idea about two thirds of the time. The biggest draw for the magic is being able to entertain the guests with strolling magic during cocktail hour while photos are being taken. And of course, some table hopping during dinner. If the Bride and Groom are personally interested in seeing the magic, I will try to perform for them early during dinner so they can still have time to get up and greet tables after they eat. However, many times the Bride and Groom are too busy to actually witness any of the magic. But as long as the guests are reacting favorably, they will be happy. Occasionally, I will perform larger effects for the entire room. this is usually done near the end of dinner just before the toasts. It helps to get everyone's attention to the front of the room. This performance is never more than one or two effects and it always entails using the Bride and Groom. Two examples that I use are performing the Delben double wrist chopper with the Bride and Groom, or having the Groom perform "cue the Magic". At this time I want all the attention on the Bride and Groom. They are the stars of the day. After the routine is done, I switch back to DJ mode and we get on with the toasts, cake cutting and special dances. The way to help insure success is to make sure that the Bride and Groom are the center of attention and make them look good.
Message: Posted by: vincentmusician (Mar 18, 2021 08:01PM)
Interesting stories. At one wedding, I was told to entertain guests by performing Strolling Close-up Magic while the Bride and Groom were having pictures done. So I never thought to interrupt them. However, the DJ asked if anyone could sing a love song to the bride and groom. Being a Singer Songwriter, I said sure. The DJ played a backing track I requested and off I went. The photographers said I did a good job and I had a great time.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Apr 4, 2021 09:36PM)
Hi, I perform as a Professional Corporate Magician & Weddings are also a big part of my events. I can honestly say my
last 3 weddings I have performed at fabulous vineyard settings, 2 I travelled hours out of town, I never met the Bride & Groom on the day at any of those 3 events.

I always speak on the phone & emails etc and build a great rapport but on the day your there to entertain the Guests...read that again..The Guests..

The Bride & Groom have enough on their plate to do, I always perform after the ceremony & when photos are being taken, experience lets you
know what group to work with & what group is next for photos with the couple etc.

It is quite common not to perform for the bride & groom on the day, however my best advertisement is you will come across the Mum & Dad or uncles & Aunties & they are
your best advertisement for how much fun they have & how good they recommend you are ..Comedy is huge in my strolling sets so everyone has a good time..

I also have a custom built effect I use in strolling that incorporates the Bride & Grooms name that is used for each set making it all much more personal etc..

Im only there 60 or 90 mins so you give the guests a great time..if asked of course will perform something for the couple but doesn't always happen...

Cheers