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MagicBrian

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I will be performing for a wedding this weekend and wanted to see what you guys thought the proper etiquette was. I usually never wear a tie (suit coat and pants, tailored dress shirt) but didn't know if this was appropriate for a wedding. I've seen  some magicians performing with a vest and dress shirt, and some done up like a GQ magazine. It's an outdoor wedding with a fairly large crowd and I'll be performing for roughly two hours at the reception. What has your experience been in the past? 
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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #2 
One effect that I like to do at weddings is to force a card on the spectator and then later to reveal the card with a pair lips on it via lipstick on it, always a great reaction.

I usually wear slacks and a sportscoat with some dress shoes. There are a couple of wedding planning companies that call on me to do a strolling gig. My approach is the same like working a cocktail party or a corporate party...I walk up to a group of people and say, " Hi, my name is Logan, I am sort of the hired gun here today, would you like to see some magic ? " Or, " Hi, my name is  Logan, I am sort of the hired gun here, Do you believe in ESP ? " if doing mentalism or mind reading strolling. Then do a about five minutes and go on to the next group.

I don't know if it's right or wrong but, just before I leave a group of spectators, I'll give some of them my business card. The wedding planning companies that call on me, know that I give them my card..so it's cool with them.

If you are going to do two hours of strolling, bring a water bottle.

Logan,





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HexTheDoombunny

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Reply with quote  #3 
Dress one step above the guests. Suit and tie, manners and mannerisms as polite as possible. Also remember that, though you are entertaining, it isn't your show, it's the newlyweds. Treat it, dress, material and mannerisms, as a corporate show. You'll be fine. Break a leg brother!
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #4 
There are weddings and then there are weddings, so it helps to know if it is going to be a more "relaxed" gathering or a "high society" gig.  I've attended weddings and performed at some, and you see folks dressed all sorts of ways.

Personally, I would wear a tie, but it suits my personality and style.  How about bringing one with you and if you look around and see all of the men wearing them, put it on.  You should be at least as dressed as the majority in attendance.  I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed.  One exception would be if you are dressed "in character" and the outfit is clearly part of your Schtick.  

Regarding handing out business cards, yes, make sure it is OK with the organizer and the family in advance.  If you are doing it right, there will be some who ask, so be prepared.

Otherwise, if the organizer says "no", then if you are asked, politely respond that the organizer of the event prohibited you from handing out cards, but that you would be happy to take their information and get back to them at a later time.  Bottom line is don't lose the opportunity for future work.  

As far as repertoire, remember that you will likely be surrounded most of the time.  That leaves really angly stuff out.  Will it be windy?  That makes some card work more challenging.  Sponge balls might end up in the next county.  Point is, be prepared for anything and hope for the best.  I'd stick to quick, visual stuff that resets easily.  Don't try to do the 6 phase card routine where the deck turns over, changes color and straightens itself out.  Just focus on quick hitters.  Once you get some folks laughing and applauding, the demand will spread.

Good luck!
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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #5 
I've only done a handful of weddings...each one being very different in it's venue and theme.

I have learned this...

Nobody will remember how you are dressed unless you perform in the nude.

Nobody will remember your effects...unless children are present when you are performing.

The magic will only be a major hit if the folks attending the wedding sincerely dislike the bride and groom.

A wedding is such a personal and special occasion! If the family and friends who are attending remember the magic of the magician more than the magic of the wedding then the couple is in some big trouble.

I have never understood the need for a magician at a wedding unless the bride or groom are magicians and want their guests to share the passion that they love without either of them table hopping themselves!

The joining of two people is a holy and sacred event where people should be gathered in kinship, friendship, and faith. A strolling magician does not need to be part of this equation. It's like having a clown at your child's baptism!

That being said...I would still accept a wedding gig. I'm a weird one.
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tommyellison

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicBrian
I will be performing for a wedding this weekend and wanted to see what you guys thought the proper etiquette was. I usually never wear a tie (suit coat and pants, tailored dress shirt) but didn't know if this was appropriate for a wedding. I've seen  some magicians performing with a vest and dress shirt, and some done up like a GQ magazine. It's an outdoor wedding with a fairly large crowd and I'll be performing for roughly two hours at the reception. What has your experience been in the past? 


This is my dress code. YMMV

Barn wedding?  Starched jeans with white dress shirt and blazer. You will need the pockets.

Formal wedding: Coat and Tie (Vest optional but hand for pocket management.

Semiformal: Dress slacks with white dress shirt and blazer.


Check out some Paul Gordon vids of wedding magic. Many of the guest are in "Sunday dress" but a starched white dress shirt - open collar- and blazer is a nice look. Your a magician and have you have a little license to create your own "look"

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MagicBrian

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you guys for your input and help! You all were an awesome source of info! It was a great experience overall. I went with the suit and tie approach and it worked out perfectly. Jacket pockets were filled with magic, and I somehow ended up just working the same four favorites all over the place for different folks. Ready for next time though. 
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Brian

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicBrian
Jacket pockets were filled with magic, and I somehow ended up just working the same four favorites all over the place for different folks.


That's the one thing I've learned over the years doing festivals. You don't need to be packed to the gills with magic. This past weekend I went out with a Turbo Stick, a coin board, a mini chop cup and 2 decks of cards. One for a signed card to pocket and the other for Bannon's Proximity. And that's all I performed. 

Of course I brought a few extra things but they never came into play. Sometimes even though you learn, you still want to bring some extra just in case. 

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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #9 
A buddy of mine - magician and great balloon guy - works the event between the wedding and the arrival of the bride and groom. He says it's his best type of gig. It's normally dead time and he's got stuff for all ages. The great thing is as soon as the couple arrive, he's outta there.
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