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Close up Magician – cheesy or classy?

Close Up Magicians

When you are planning your wedding day, it is important to think about your guests as well. After all, they are coming to celebrate with you, they are taking time off work, traveling from all over the country (and perhaps all over the world!) to take part in your big day. So, whilst you and your partner are busy having photos taken, greeting relatives and doing all the other important bits, it really is essential to provide some memorable entertainment for your guests. There are a few options available for you. You could hire musicians, or a caricaturist, or you could even hire a close up magician!


Magician Mark Waddington performing for Jade and Gary on their wedding day at Falcon Manor, Settle

I know, I know, magic does have a certain stereotype that people associate with it, but hear me out! Magic is no longer cheesy. It’s no longer some doddery old bloke who wears a waistcoat covered in playing cards wearing a top hat. It’s no longer about saying “Izzy wizzy lets get busy!” (despite the fact that Sooty is blatantly awesome…). There is a new breed of contemporary close up magicians. They break the mould when it comes to public perception on magic. They are actually modern, entertaining and amazing!
Close up magic is a performance medium which is adaptable to any environment or situation, and falls perfectly in with a wedding. At any point in the day where your guests congregate, close up magic can work! It is an unobtrusive form of entertainment. What I mean by that is a close up magician wont demand that the whole wedding party stop what they are doing and watch some crummy magic show on stage. A close up magician will mingle with your guests and approach small groups of people and thoroughly amaze them. The magician will use items like playing cards, coins, rings, pens, bits of string, bank notes…. you name it and the chances are the magician can do something amazing with it!

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Performing amazing wedding magician miracles at The Crab and Lobster

The beauty with close up magic, is that it happens right there in front of you! There are no camera tricks, no editing no stooges, just miracles, and they happen literally inches away! Close up magicians allow for a whole new level of audience participation and interaction with your guests, getting to know each person on a personal level. Your magician will introduce themselves to your guests as he (or she) meets them, and he will then proceed to amaze them! The performance from a close up magician can work wonders to help your wedding day run smoothly. When the magician performs, it will bring the two sides of the family together into a group. The magician will amaze your guests, and when he moves on, your guests will start talking and interacting with each other, breaking the ice between people that may not have ever met before. They will relax and start to enjoy the day that bit more.
Having a contemporary wedding magician is still a relatively new concept. As much as I perform at in excess of 80 weddings each year, it is still a very different thing to do and you will be safe in the knowledge that you were probably the only one in your circle of friends that has had a magician in attendance! (But obviously, all your friends will want to book the magician when they see just how much fun they can be, so make sure you tell your friends who you booked, then you can be safe in the knowledge that you were the trend setter!)

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Getting the most out of your magician

Okay, you have decided that you absolutely must have a close up magician at you wedding – and hopefully you have decided it must be me! Close up magicians can adapt to pretty much any situation, and trust me when I say I have probably been in every imaginable situation performing magic. Sometimes though, there are some things you really need to take into consideration to make the job easier for the magician, also these things will mean you get the absolute best performance from them.
Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Here we go!

Number of guests

When hiring a magician, you need to look at the number of guests you are inviting to the function. Typically, a magician can entertain about 50 people per hour without having to rush around in an informal situation (such as a drinks reception or a party) If you have more than lets say for example 150 guests, you should probably consider hiring two magicians, but its always worth checking. Speak to the magician you have chosen to enquire with, and he will be able to tell you if you need to hire two magicians. If he is any good, he will also book the second magician on your behalf (if you book that magician in the first place of course..) to save you the hassle of trawling through lots of different websites trying to find another magician!

Type of function

If you are having a drinks reception, or an informal party where people are typically stood around or sitting with a drink in their hand chatting amongst each other, then your magician will be able to work easily and join the individual groups and perform close up magic without any hassle and the theory that the magician can get round 50 people in an hour will be fine. However, if you are having a formal 3 course meal, you will need to factor in the time that people take to actually eat. A good close up magician won’t bother people whilst they are eating, because lets be honest, nobody wants to have to pick a card whilst their meal goes cold. For this reason, a magician would only go to the tables in between courses. From personal experience, I find that I can entertain at 2 or 3 tables in between each course (depending on how fast the next course is being brought out my the waiting staff) so you may need to hire a magician for a bit more than 2 hours. What you could even do is book your magician to perform at the drinks reception before your guests go through to the dining room and then continue during the meal. This works well because pretty much everyone will see some magic at some point during the evening. However, if you are hiring a magician during a meal, you need to also consider…

Table centre pieces

In general (and not just from the magicians point of view) large over-the-top table centre pieces are bad idea. They block so much view for your diners sat at the table, which makes conversation amongst them impossible. It also means that the close up magician’s job is even more impossible, because half of the table can’t actually see what is going on! Maybe just have small centre pieces that don’t block anybodies line of sight.



It is really important that you let your magician know if you are having any speeches or or formalities during his performance time. Let the magician know what time you plan to have speeches, because then the magician can plan his performance around them. This way the magician isn’t stood at a table with 10 enthralled guests watching him and half way through one of his tricks building up to the big amazing bit the toast master or Emcee bangs the gavel and starts the speeches. It makes life a lot more difficult this way, and also
it will affect the magicians performance.

The DJ

Most parties nowadays have a DJ providing the music, so its best not to hire a magician later on in the evening when the music is loud and guests are up dancing. Guests can barely hear each other at this point anyway, so it’s not fair to make them try to listen to a magician too. If you do have a DJ however, usually the first couple of hours is quieter anyway so it is possible to have the close up magician perform earlier in the evening. The magician will introduce himself to the DJ and will have a chat and will be able to sort out how loud the music can be, what time he plans to do the first dance or any party games that are going to be played. Most DJs are accommodating to other entertainment that is hired. Its always best to let your magician know that there will be a DJ when making the booking, that way they can plan what magic they will be able to do in that situation.

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Overall, hiring a close up magician for your wedding is a brand new and popular solution for your wedding day entertainment and with a little bit of though it will work at any point in your day. Your guests will thank you for providing such a unique entertainment option for them, and they will remember the magic from your wedding day for years to come.


Mark Waddington is a professional close up magician specialising in wedding entertainment. Having performed at hundreds of weddings over the past few years, Mark Waddington really is the perfect choice for your wedding day. For more information about Mark and how he can add something spectacular to your big day, visit http://www.mark-waddington.co.uk for your free quote!



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