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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Wedding Market (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mindpro
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I am just wondering if many here specialize in working the wedding market? Along with the hot festival season this year and tourist areas the wedding market is hot right now. Many couples that were planning 2020 weddings are now planning their 2021 and 2022 weddings along with those that got engaged last year and over the holidays, NYE, and Valentine's Day this year.

Many venues and planners have a waiting list for up to two years! The wedding market has always been very strong for us and of course even more so now.

I haven't heard many here talk about working the wedding market so I was curious.
Dannydoyle
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Weddings and group functions are WAY up. Here in our little tourist town it is not easy to find a venue.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
thomasR
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What type of entertainment services do you provide for weddings MindPro?

It’s never been a market I’ve been particularly interested in but a good friend of mine who does DJ and Photo Booths is making a killing at them right now!
Mindpro
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Since 1987 I have produced Bridal/Wedding Fairs in venues nationwide including malls, event centers, banquet facilities, theaters, etc.

My agencies have also booked everything from DJs, bands, musicians, vocalists, specialty acts and attractions, MCs, comedians, game shows, mentalists, magicians, etc.

Yes, attractions such as photo booths are quite popular right now.

I was also the founder of the BRC which was the precursor to The Knot.
danfreed
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Mindpro, have you had caricaturists rent a booth at your fairs? I'm also a caricaturist and I've done a lot of weddings, but I've never tried a fair cause they are expensive and I do pretty well anyway. I also do magic for kids at weddings to kid them busy while the adults have fun.
Mindpro
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Yes Dan, I have had a variety of caricature artists at our fairs. They often do quite well. One of the popular areas in the wedding market is attractions and specialty entertainment. Everyone loves caricatures and if branded with the B&G on your paper (or digital) they are a pretty easy sell.

Caricature artists are one of those things that brides and grooms would never think of on their own but if they see them at a bridal fair, they think, "oh, now that could be fun to have for our guests." This is one of the often unknown or unseen benefits to bridal fairs, is being among other wedding professionals, planners, and consultants which creates a positioning and networking for you other caricature artists won't have.

Also I will tell you there is a difference from someone who has just booked a handful of weddings before and someone who "works the wedding market." The wedding market is a professional market even though it is mistakenly seen initially as a consumer market.

Many of our acts are booked solid every Saturday from May Through September every year but with the current surge weddings are becoming more year-round rather than just during the prime season.

I wouldn't mess with the magic for kids myself once you understand the market.
imgic
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I just finished listening to Scott Well's Magic Word podcast with Jon Allen. Jon mentioned how the wedding market for magicians is huge in England, but not so much here in the US. They pondered why that is, thinking that weddings in England are more "informal" in a social sense. But how magicians makes great sense for a wedding: the receptions have these disparte groups of people (bride's family, groom's family, work mates, guests, etc) and how a good magician can get them engaged at reception.

Maybe the pent up demand will lead to more magical opporutnities.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Mindpro
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Yes, the UK wedding scene is greatly different than the U.S. Magic and mentalism are quite popular at weddings but are all over the place, which is a problem with magicians in the first place. Some perform table-hopping or strolling, some do a feature (platform) performance, others perform for the kids, and yet others mix and mingle throughout. Some even are all-day-long performers combining a variety of these aspects throughout the day culminating in a stage performance.

There has been an attempt here to make magic more acceptable at weddings for over 25 years, but due to the perception of magicians here and the approach used by the magicians/mentalists that have tried to crack this market, it has never caught on. It likely never will. Now with that said there are a few that have figured it out and do well. The only way for this to happen is for someone to truly take the time and effort to understand everything (including all of the options, nuances and variables, expectations) about the wedding market, not just as it appears on the surface.

We've done quite well with our acts, but again we keep it off of the internet and out of the hands of the follow the leader, copycats so common in the U.S. and magic community. This has allowed us to create a demand for our services.

I looked for the Jon Allen interview and couldn't find it at a quick glance. Was it an older interview?
imgic
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Quote:
On Jun 15, 2021, Mindpro wrote:

I looked for the Jon Allen interview and couldn't find it at a quick glance. Was it an older interview?


It was recent one:

https://www.themagicwordpodcast.com/scot......on-allen
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Mindpro
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Thanks, I must have missed it.
Nash
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Man this title immediately grabbed my attentions caz it brings back so much memories. 9 years ago when I was still a young'n in my local market, I wanted to create a wedding market since no one was doing it. The US def. does not have a culture for wedding magician. In the beginning I was focused on educating brides that you don't need to have a themed wedding or a wedding with loads of kids to use magic for their weddings.
Some of the biggest push backs I heard from brides were
"ppssshhh.. magic?? cheesy"
"why would I want some magician to put on a show in the middle of my wedding"? (ex. they thought you are going to do a big illusion sawing them in halves in the middle of their ceremony)
"I want a traditional wedding"
"Magic is for kids, I don't need a clown at my wedding"

In summary, I think most US brides have no idea what a wedding magician does. Their minds immediately go to "WTF? Why would I stop in the middle of MY WEDDING to watch a magician perform ??? " They'll never think of magic as a strolling magician bringing guests from both sides of the family together; they'll never think of you as a unique ice-breaker

It was a LOT of pain and frustrations trying to educate brides that you don't need a themed wedding to have a magician --- so 1 yr into it, I changed my approach. Instead of trying to appeal to all brides, I specifically billed myself as an entertainment option for brides that want something special for their guests. When I focused on brides who want some'in extra, something different than what most people want - I booked more weddings.

Another thing that helped me was focusing more on the smaller boutique wedding shows or open houses.
Since brides in the US are not familiar with the idea of wedding magician, if you promote yourself in those big publications/wedding shows, you'll be lost among all the other "essential" wedding vendors (venues, caterers, photographers, etc...) - Brides who visit those big shows are overwhelmed.
I instead focus on the smaller open houses from wedding venues who host these to attract prospective couples or couples who had already booked their venues. You'll get to spend more time with the couples and show them how you can make their weddings unique.

Ok I've babbled long enough; sorry for the long post. Hope this helps Smile
Don't give up, don't EVER give up.

Corporate event magician
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jun 19, 2021, Nash wrote:
I wanted to create a wedding market since no one was doing it. The US def. does not have a culture for wedding magician.

Some of the biggest push backs I heard from brides were
"ppssshhh.. magic?? cheesy"
"why would I want some magician to put on a show in the middle of my wedding"? (ex. they thought you are going to do a big illusion sawing them in halves in the middle of their ceremony)
"I want a traditional wedding"
"Magic is for kids, I don't need a clown at my wedding"

In summary, I think most US brides have no idea what a wedding magician does. Their minds immediately go to "WTF? Why would I stop in the middle of MY WEDDING to watch a magician perform ??? " They'll never think of magic as a strolling magician bringing guests from both sides of the family together; they'll never think of you as a unique ice-breaker


Exactly! This was my point about understanding the wedding market. In the U.S. the wedding and wedding day and everything related is all about the BRIDE - period. Not even the Groom comes close to it being a showcase about the bride, her wants, expectations, visualization, and of course her family. Many times the grooms are just told to "show up."

Now couple this with the terrible image magicians have and an immediate defense is almost instantly build up around the Bride to the idea of magic.

Magic IS seen as cheesy and for the kiddies. To me, this should be the top agenda of the magic community is to change this image and perception. This and separating bad magicians and poorly executed magic, which leads to the perceptions. I've always felt stereotypes are almost often based on some kind of truth and reality.

We face this every day as well. The problem with many magicians is they think it's about the magic. That everyone always wants to see their magic. This is the first thing that leads to such poor perceptions. When we book our magic artists and acts it is never about the magic, which I think is the key to any type of success. Same for the school market. Those that approach it as being about the magic are the ones that have created this ill-will towards magic and the magic community.

As a magician or self-represented artist of any kind, rarely do you ever hear why they didn't book you. As an agency, it is just the opposite. We hear exactly who they've talked to, been considering, or weren't interested in (of course they name names) and exactly why. It is really quite amazing and I wish all performers could spend some time at an agency and experience this stuff.

Rule #1 about entertaining at weddings never overshine or take the spotlight away from the Bride.

Same for the thoughts I gave to Dan Freed above, it should not be about the caricatures, although caricatures are more inviting than magicians, which you would think caricatures would be seen as more "cheesy" but trust me, they are much more welcome.

I also think much of it comes back to most performers do not know and understand how to properly present (sell) themselves. Positioning also comes into play. Those that do work the wedding market regularly almost always position themselves in a way other than their performing discipline (magic, etc.)
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I was a little surprised to read that performing at weddings is not a common event in the USA. Where I live here in Western Australia I have a couple of magician friends who do very well in the wedding market. Get good fees and referrals from their gigs. I do agree with Mindpro in that it's all about properly presenting themselves, but in this case it's all about doing magic, rather than something other performing style.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
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