There's obviously not much I can tell you about the coronavirus that you can't already get from reputable news outlets.
I will tell you how it's affecting the entertainment industry, which I am a part of in the San Francisco Bay Area: It's devastating. I personally have had months' worth of bookings canceled or postponed (weddings, birthdays, corporate events, and my own public shows). And all of my friends in magic are experiencing the same thing. And that's just one slice of the industry. DJs, caterers, florists, photographers, wedding planners... everybody is hurting. The recently passed stimulus package should help, but not enough.
If you have a wedding scheduled in April or May, I really empathize with you. All those dreams and plans, up in the air. It really sucks.
This blog is about helping you be chill about your wedding because that's how I like to approach life. So that's how I'm trying to approach the coronavirus crisis. I'm focusing on my health and my family's health. I'm hanging out at home, working on my business. And I'm preparing myself for when this is all over and life can go back to normal.
I have to admit I've let my worries get to me sometimes, and it has affected my sleep. But I know that's one of the worst things I can do because good sleep is scientifically proven to helps boost the immune system. We all need good sleep if we're going to beat this virus.
What would I do if I had a wedding coming up that hasn't already been postponed? I would do this: Figure out what is the last possible date when I need to announce a postponement, then not worry about things until then.
In other words, if my wedding were scheduled for May 30, I would probably wait until April 30 to decide whether to postpone. And then between now and April 30, I would just focus on important things OTHER than my wedding. I would try hard not to wake up every day worrying about whether or not to postpone the wedding.
But that's just me. Since you're reading this blog, you're probably in some stage of wedding planning. How are you handling the crisis? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and healthy!
The night before your wedding, you're probably not going to get much sleep. You may be too excited to relax as you imagine your perfect day.
But what about the previous 5-7 nights? Those are nights when you should be doing as much as you can to get good sleep. You don't want to start your marriage off completely sleep-deprived!
Here are some scientifically proven tips for getting quality sleep that you should try the week before your wedding (if not all the time):
This is the hardest thing of all: When you close your eyes, avoid thoughts about all the little details you need to work out for the wedding. Save those for the morning!
Getting as much quality sleep as possible will help set you up for the chill wedding day you want, I promise.
We all know the last week before the wedding can be stressful. Everyone and everything is fighting for your attention: the guests, the vendors, the venue, the weather, the drinks, the dress, the flowers, the fiance.... the list goes on.
Just don't forget to make time for yourself. One practice that I've used... and that has been proven to reduce stress... is called mindfulness. Mindfulness is the evidence-based practice of reducing stress by being highly aware of the present moment and brushing aside distracting thoughts. For some people, it means formal meditation, repeating a mantra in a dark room. For others, it's a yoga session at the studio.
But it doesn't have to be like that. It can just be taking a minute out of your day to simply breathe. Sit, relax, and focus on the sensations around you: Your breath. The air on your skin. The sound of traffic outside.
Just don't focus on your emotions or other thoughts. Those can wait.
If you can practice a minute or two of mindfulness every day in the runup to your wedding, you may just find that pre-wedding jitters will vanish.
As a wedding industry professional, couples sometimes ask me if I have any interesting ideas for where they should have their event. There are hundreds if not thousands of venues in the Bay Area, so I don't pretend to have done a full search of all of them. But here are three local wineries where I've performed magic in the past year, and I think they would be wonderful for a wedding.
Thomas Fogarty Winery
The views from this winery are gorgeous, spanning from San Francisco to San Jose. And the facility itself offers a number of different rooms for different size groups. Not long ago, I performed at two separate corporate events in two separate rooms. Both events were well run. The only drawback is that, because it's in the mountains, the drive time can be long.
Los Gatos, CA
This is a beautiful winery with a classic look and feel. After all, the winery is more than a century old. As you can see from the picture above, you can have an outdoor ceremony with a forest backdrop. They have a wine cave and other indoor rooms. And of course, the wine is delightful.
I performed at a 50th birthday party at Vidovich, and I was really impressed by the location and facility itself. When you think of Cupertino, you think of Apple and other high-tech companies. But even though Vidovich is in only a few miles from city life, it may as well be hours away because it feels like you're in a different world. And as you would expect, the views are spectacular.
Well, those are three wineries where I've had the pleasure of performing in the past year. And they're certainly worth a look for your wedding and reception if you enjoy wine and gorgeous views.
Drop me a line if you have any comments or questions about these venues.
Here's a quick and easy way to add social media to your wedding day, but I've only seen it at one or two weddings that I've performed at so far:
Create a wedding day hashtag for Instagram and share it at the reception.
Sure, you're going to have a professional photographer taking wonderful pictures of you, your partner, your family, and your friends. But your guests are also going to be taking their own pictures, and you should encourage it! Why? Because you can't be everywhere, and you're going to miss some great moments.
So have your guests take pictures and share them to Instagram with a unique hashtag that you can search for later. It'll be a fun honeymoon activity to see what else was happening at your wedding and reception.
Oh, and be sure to list the hashtag on your wedding program AND on a sign at the venue. You can even remind people about it as you meet and greet everyone.
As a magician for hire, I've probably worked at more weddings than most people attend and definitely more weddings than anyone will ever plan (other than wedding planners). Plus I helped plan my own wedding many years ago.
And so I would like to share with you my #1 secret tip to make it more likely you'll have a chill and fun reception:
Make people pay for their booze.
In other words, if you're going to offer a hosted bar, make it wine and beer only. If guests want "a round of shots," or a gin and tonic, or whatever hard liquor they enjoy, make them pay for it.
This does two things: It saves you a ton of money. And it signals to your guests that they are not supposed to get drunk on the hard stuff at your wedding.
The last thing you want to worry about on the best day of your life is a drunk Cousin Eddie accidentally knocking over a vase and insulting your mother-in-law.
I wanted to quickly share an ideas for a cool wedding favor: a personalized deck of playing cards for each guest. It would have your engagement photo or another custom design (using your wedding colors) on the back, and regular playing card faces on the front. The great thing is, it solves the problem of wedding favors that nobody really needs. People will actually save and use this deck of cards for solitaire, poker, or whatever card game they like.
Here's an example of what one might look like:
The cost for these can be between $8 and $15 per deck, depending on how many you order. If that price seems too high, you can always just order a deck for each member of the bridal party, or each member of the family.
If that sounds pretty cool, feel free to reach out to me and I can help you make your design and place your order.