What is the best kind of wedding entertainment?
So, you’re getting married, and you want to know what entertainment would make for a memorable day. It seems like a mammoth choice. But actually, it’s not… Not if you follow a few simple guidelines.
You’ve had the good sense to realise that entertainment should be fairly high on the list. The obvious question is: “what is the best kind of wedding entertainment”?
But perhaps that’s the wrong question. You need to consider: what is the most suitable form of wedding entertainment for your guests. And for that, you need to know what your guests would enjoy, and what would engage everybody from the youngest to the oldest?
You also have to ask yourself: do you want your entertainment to be a spectacle, or would you prefer to engage your guests, bring them together, and leave them talking?
If you visit any wedding entertainment website you’re faced with an overwhelming landslide of suggestions. In my time, performing at weddings, I’ve seen circus performers, fairground side-shows, stilt walkers, jugglers, a quiz, silent discos, fire-eaters, falconry, casino table and crazy golf… Not all at the same wedding, I hasten to add!
And that’s all fine and dandy. A bit of a spectacle will certainly give your guests something to watch or amuse themselves. It also offers a diversion during the long pauses in proceedings between the service and the meal. It’s certainly better than everybody hitting the bar to pass the time.
It seems obvious, but it’s far too easy for couples to fall into the trap of thinking “that would be good” as opposed to “that would be good for my guests.”
There’s no doubt you can unearth hundreds of acts that can bring an element of entertainment to your event, but how many will engage your guests – and keep them engaged – all day? It’s all very well having a novelty act or activity, but it has to be entertaining and engaging, rather than just something to be looked at.
SO, here’s a tick list of questions it might be worth asking yourself when considering the best form of entertainment for your big day.
- Is it actually entertaining? There are going to be long pauses in the proceedings, and you really need entertainment that will fill that gap.
- Is it engaging? Will it have your guests interacting with their new friends, and members of the other side’s family? Will it leave them talking?
- Will it make a great video or photo opportunity? (laughing / surprised / enthralled / happy). Or is it just a spectacle that, once the guest has seen it, and admired it, it’s quickly forgotten?
- Is it suitable for all ages? Would Old Aunty Gertrude really be that interested in a bouncy castle or silent disco?
- Does it break the ice? Bringing groups of your guests together, and leave them chatting.
Here’s the good news. From attending numerous weddings I’ve reached the conclusion that there are actually very few forms of entertainment that can tick all those boxes, so that in the valuable moment you return from two hours of having the wedding party’s photo shoot, you find all the guests chatting and bonding, rather than having just watched five minutes of something spectacular and then hanging around at the bar.
You see, what people will remember from your wedding (apart from the service, the meal and the speeches, of course!) is the people they interacted with. The new family members. The new friends.
With this in mind, I have to say, the most successful wedding entertainment I’ve seen in a long career of performing is remarkably limited. Celebrity lookalikes – who are happy to have photo’s taken and chat with groups of guests is one. Magicians, in all their forms, is the other. That’s about it.
Yes, the sideshows are great. The activities and spectacles are enthralling and a wonderful talking point. But entertaining and engaging? Choices are limited – which makes your job of selecting the right entertainment for your wedding remarkably easy.
The main types of entertainment I have seen that meet everything on the tick box are: celebrity lookalikes and magicians – in all their forms. Seriously, that’s it.
One wedding I attended had “Only Fools and Horses” celebrity lookalikes. Most of the cast were there, and each was a consummate professional. They acted out little scenarios and circulated among small groups with which they could chat. It was funny, entertaining, engaging, made for superb photo opportunities, and gave the guests something to talk about for a long time afterwards.
Another celebrity lookalike who should be on the radar is Scottish actor and entertainer Jock Ferguson from Herald Events, who is not only a scarily lifelike Sean Connery (he does the voice and everything) but a professional actor, raconteur and a wonderful people-person. He is engaging and hilarious to the extreme. I loved the way he interacted with people, and had them laughing to bursting point… It also makes for a fantastic photo opportunity, as you can imagine.
And that brings us to magicians – in all their forms. Comedy magicians. Skilled workers of wonderment with ropes, cards and tricks that will make your jaw drop. Mind magicians – who duplicate drawings that have been kept secret, and tell you the name of someone you are merely thinking of.
There is no question that this form of entertainment ticks all the boxes – which is probably why they’re so popular at weddings. A good magician will move from group to group while they:
- Engage your guests,
- Provide a sense of wonder – and a good laugh
- Pose for photo’s,
- Leave guests – who moments ago were strangers – discussing what just happened.
Definitely worth considering; a great ice-breaker for your guests. Plus, their style can be varied to suit all ages, from the very young to the very old.
Some of the best, and highly recommended, certainly in the Central Scotland area, are the likes of Tricky Ricky McLeod, Gary James, and Glasgow-based Woody. I have often had the privilege of seeing them work. They are consummate professionals in delivering fast-paced, astonishing, guest-engaging wedding entertainment.
So, to answer the question: “What is the best kind of entertainment for your wedding”? My answer is perhaps more limited than you originally thought.
If you want a spectacle or unusual activity, then a quick Google search will unearth a ton of suggestions. However, if your requirement is more for engaging, entertaining, perfect-for-photo’s, suitable-for-all ages entertainment that will engage your guests and leave them chatting like old friends, then a humorous celebrity lookalike or a charismatic, witty, magician should be right at the top of your list.
WHO IS DREW McADAM
Drew McAdam is an entertainer based in Central Scotland. He has performed his distinctive form of pure mind magic across the UK and from the United States to Russia. From Europe to Africa – and most places in-between. Though mainly performing in the corporate market, he often performs in theatre and on TV – and had his own series with BBC. While specialising in corporate after dinner astonishment and cabaret performances, he loves nothing more than taking his spellbinding demonstrations to private functions, parties and weddings.
If your requirement is for entertainment that is uniquely practical and practically unique.