Ever heard of ‘strolling’, the trendy new wedding entertainment option? Below we’re going to explore what strolling at a wedding entails, how it adds to the overall experience, and why it has become a popular entertainment choice for couples getting married today.
Strolling? What’s That?
The term ‘strolling’ refers to the presence of roving entertainers or performers who engage with guests while they socialize and enjoy the reception. Unlike traditional stationary entertainment, strolling performers move freely throughout the venue, interact with attendees, and create a lively atmosphere in doing so. It’s quite a twist on the wedding entertainment dynamics most people are used to, and it makes for a far more immersive entertainment experience at a wedding.
Benefits of Strolling Entertainment
Offering strolling entertainment in favor of traditional entertainment confers a number of advantages.
Enhanced Guest Interaction
One of the key advantages of incorporating strolling entertainment into your wedding is the enhanced guest interaction it promotes. Guests are no longer limited to sitting in one place in order to concentrate on watching the entertainment being provided; they can mingle, converse, and actively engage with the strolling performers and with one another at the same time. This breaks the ice, encourages connections between guests who may not know each other well, and creates a vibrant and social atmosphere.
Entertainment and Engagement
Strolling entertainment is on the whole more engaging than traditional entertainment, as performers bring their skills and talents up close and personal. They impress audiences with their magic tricks, musical performances, artistic creations, and more, depending on which entertainers are hired–and they often engage with attendees in ways that get guests involved in the actual entertainment themselves. Guests might be called upon to help perform a magic trick, sing into the microphone, participate in a dance, or otherwise engage with the entertainment act. By breaking the fourth wall and interacting closely with audiences, strolling acts add an extra layer of participation and excitement compared with traditional entertainment.
A wedding should leave a lasting impression on both the couple and their guests. Strolling entertainment is likely to do just that, as it is unique and isn’t yet a particularly common way to entertain. By breaking away from traditional expectations, strolling performers provide an experience that guests will remember fondly long after the event is over.
Unlike stage performances that have specific time slots, strolling entertainment provides continuous engagement throughout the event. This ensures that there is always something exciting happening, which keeps the energy high and the guests entertained.
Strolling performers are able to adapt to different spaces and settings, making them suitable for indoor weddings, outdoor weddings, grand ballrooms, gardens, beaches, and other venues.
Popular Strolling Entertainment Options
There is an array of strolling entertainment options from which to choose. Here are some popular choices that are sure to elevate the ambiance of your wedding.
Live Musicians and Bands
Strolling live musicians or bands walk around the event space while making music instead of staying on a stage. Being in close contact with their audience allows musicians the opportunity to interact with people on a personal level.
Magicians and Illusionists
Magicians and illusionists are masters at captivating audiences with their tricks and illusions. They stroll from table to table or from group to group, delighting guests with their sleight of hand and other performances. They are also adept at getting audience members to participate in their acts.
Caricature artists create fun and personalized keepsakes for your guests. As they stroll around, they quickly sketch caricature drawings of willing participants, providing them with a unique and amusing memento that will remind them of your wedding for years to come.
Circus-style performers include types like jugglers, fire breathers, and acrobats; their high-energy acts inject energy and excitement into wedding receptions.
Food and Beverage Stations
Strolling food and beverage stations have gained popularity in recent years. Think mobile cocktail bars and gourmet food carts offering a variety of delectable treats. These kinds of options keep guests satisfied while they explore the venue and engage with other attendees.
Strolling dancers interact with guests by engaging with them personally as they perform or even involving them in dances or teaching dances. Options include traditional dance troupes, salsa dancers, or even flash mobs; any dance style that resonates with you and your wedding theme can lend itself well to strolling performers.
Incorporating Strolling Entertainment into Your Wedding
Careful planning and coordination are crucial to successfully incorporating strolling entertainment into your wedding. Here are some essential considerations to ensure a seamless experience:
Planning and Coordination
Discuss your vision for strolling entertainment with your wedding planner or coordinator. They will assist you in selecting the right performers, scheduling their appearances, and coordinating with the venue staff to ensure a smooth flow of activities.
Choose the Right Entertainment
Consider your wedding theme, style, and guest preferences when selecting strolling entertainment. Opt for acts that complement the ambiance you wish to create and resonate with the interests of your guests. For instance, strolling jugglers might not be the best fit for a black-tie wedding, but strolling musicians could be just the ticket.
Setting the Stage
Create designated areas or pathways within your reception venue to allow strolling performers to move freely without disrupting the flow of the event. This ensures that all guests have the opportunity to experience the entertainment up close and personally.
Communication with Vendors
Maintain open lines of communication with the strolling performers and other vendors involved. Clearly communicate your expectations, schedule, and any specific requirements to ensure a seamless and synchronized experience.
Scheduling and Timing
Coordinate the schedule of strolling acts with the other elements of your wedding, such as speeches, toasts, and the cutting of the cake. This is important in order to ensure that the performances do not clash with important moments and that guests have ample opportunities to enjoy the entertainment.
Guest Experience Considerations
Take the comfort and preferences of your guests into account when planning strolling entertainment. Ensure that the volume of the performances does not hinder conversations, and take special care to consider the experience of elderly or disabled guests. Seat them in places where they’ll easily be able to interact with entertainers without moving around the venue or standing up, and encourage strolling entertainers to engage with guests with disabilities who may not be able to initiate interaction with entertainers. This creates an inclusive atmosphere that will bring your guests together and make those who might otherwise be left out feel appreciated.
Coordinate Colors and Decor
Let strollers in on color and decor schemes ahead of time so that they coordinate their costumes or outfits according to these aspects of your wedding theme. Also, talk with them about incorporating any specific elements of your wedding theme into their act.
If the strolling entertainment involves live musicians, work with them to select appropriate music that matches your wedding theme. Provide them with a list of songs or genres that reflect the ambiance you desire. For instance, if you have a rustic or country-themed wedding, opt for strolling musicians who can perform country or folk music.
Incorporate Themed Props or Decorations
Discuss with the performers if they can incorporate themed props or decorations into their acts. This could include using props that align with your wedding theme, such as vintage instruments, seashells, or floral arrangements, for example–depending on your theme. These additions enhance the visual appeal and create a cohesive look.
Choreography and Storytelling
If the strolling entertainment involves performers who plan to engage with guests through storytelling or choreography, collaborate with them to create customized performances that reflect your wedding theme. This could involve incorporating elements of your love story, cultural traditions, or symbolic gestures that are meaningful to you as a couple.
For example, musical selections performed by strolling entertainers in an Indian wedding might include a selection of the couple’s favorite Bollywood tunes–or even a re-enactment of the couple’s engagement or another significant relationship moment, set to a traditional song from their culture. Or, for a Jewish wedding, strollers might play popular klezmer tunes and/or lead guests in learning and dancing the Hora.
Effective communication and collaboration with the performers are key to achieving the desired customization. Share your wedding theme, preferences, and ideas with strolling performers so that they are well-equipped to tailor their acts to align with your vision.
Examples: Strolling Entertainment and Wedding Themes
To get you thinking, here are a few more specific examples of how strolling acts can be tailored to fit various wedding themes; use these for inspiration and apply them to your own theme!
Star Wars Themed Wedding:
-Have strolling performers dressed as iconic Star Wars characters like Jedi knights, Sith lords, or droids, interacting with guests and posing for photos.
-Ask live musicians to play recognizable Star Wars tunes, such as the Imperial March or the Main Theme, using instruments like a keyboard or trumpet.
Vintage/Retro Themed Wedding:
-Hire strolling musicians who specialize in playing nostalgic tunes from the era you’re trying to recreate. Have them dress in vintage attire like pinstripe suits or flapper dresses.
-Ask caricature artists to create retro-style caricatures of guests.
Beach/Tropical Themed Wedding:
-Opt for strolling fire performers or hula dancers for this theme; they can even incorporate fire dancing with Polynesian-inspired moves to add an exotic touch.
-Enlist caricature artists who can draw guests with tropical-themed backdrops, such as palm trees or beach scenes
Fairy Tale-Themed Wedding:
-Seek out strolling performers who are willing to dress as fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Prince Charming, or the Fairy Godmother
-Have magicians or illusionists incorporate fairy tale elements into their tricks, along the lines of producing a glass slipper or transforming objects as if by magic.
-Hire strolling musicians to perform popular country songs, dressed in cowboy hats, boots, and Western-style attire.
-Ask entertainers to engage guests in easy-to-follow line or square dancers.
Hollywood Glamour-Themed Wedding:
-Instruct performers to dress as glamorous Hollywood icons from the past, such as Marilyn Monroe or James Dean
-Have caricature artists draw guests with classic Hollywood movie props, like clapperboards or film reels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Strolling Wedding Entertainment
Q: How early should I book strolling entertainment for my wedding?
A: It is advisable to book strolling entertainment as early as possible, preferably several months in advance. Popular performers may have busy schedules, and securing their services early ensures that you have a wider range of options from which to choose.
Q: Can I have multiple strolling entertainment options at my wedding?
A: Absolutely! In fact, incorporating multiple strolling entertainment options adds variety and caters to the diverse interests of your guests. Just ensure that the performances complement each other and do not overwhelm the overall atmosphere.
Q: Do strolling performers require any special equipment or setup?
A: The equipment and setup required will depend on the type of strolling entertainment you choose. Discuss the technical requirements with the performers or their representatives to ensure that the necessary arrangements are in place.
Q: Can strolling entertainment be customized to match my wedding theme?
A: Yes, many strolling performers offer customization options to align their acts with your wedding theme. Talk through your ideas and preferences with them, and they will tailor their performances accordingly.
Q: Is strolling entertainment suitable for all types of weddings?
A: Strolling entertainment can be adapted to suit various wedding styles, from intimate gatherings to grand celebrations. It adds an element of excitement and engagement that can elevate any wedding experience, regardless of the size or style of the event.
Q: Can I request specific songs or performances from strolling musicians?
A: Yes, most strolling musicians are open to song requests. Discuss your preferences with them in advance, and they will do their best to accommodate your wishes and create a personalized playlist.
Q: How many strolling performers should I hire?
A: The number of strolling performers you hire depends on the size of your guest list and the overall atmosphere you want to create. As a general guideline, one performer per 50-75 guests is recommended for an intimate experience.
Strolling entertainment offers a range of captivating and interactive ways to entertain guests and create unique memories. If you’re planning to go this route, make sure you carefully select the right strolling performers, coordinate their appearances, and consider guest preferences. With careful planning and coordination, strolling acts will integrate seamlessly into your wedding and ensure an unforgettable experience for everyone in attendance.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]