Wedding Caricatures

wedding caricature

There is a mind-boggling choice of entertainers available for weddings. There seem to be thousands of bands, DJs and magicians to choose from.

A little rarer are the Party Cartoonists. They often refer to themselves as On-The-Spot Caricaturists.

It is the caricaturist's job at parties to draw as many people as possible. A caricature invariably gets a whole crowd laughing and the ice melts immediately.

The  caricaturist can either sit in one place and have guests come to him/her or circulate like one of the guests, choosing subjects to draw. Once the first few people have been drawn, more people will want theirs done and the caricaturist will be kept busy.

The usual format is a single person per sheet, in either A4 or A3 size, and the client can specify whether they would prefer to have heads and shoulders caricatures or to have caricatures including the body and a hobby or sport. Obviously more caricatures can be produced if they are simply heads and shoulders, but two things should be borne in mind: 1) reduced entertainment value and 2) caricaturist fatigue! Personally, I am wary of clients who are looking for volume rather than quality.

A few caricaturists make the addition of bodies and hobbies their default modus operandi. It is also more entertaining and personal. Once you start drawing a person's hobby, other little jokes occur. For instance, the simple addition of a sign in the background saying 'To The Pub' always causes guffaws of amusement.

Drawing couples on the same sheet is very popular but it limits the amount of additional detail possible. Love hearts are very popular in these drawings!

Each sheet can be pre-printed with the happy couple's names, the date and the venue so that every caricature becomes a permanent souvenir of the occasion.

The usual method of drawing on-the-spot caricatures is to work in black ink, straight onto the paper and then add tone with grey markers.

Some caricaturists work in colour and these can be very effective, but again, this technique will reduce the numbers possible.

Booking a Wedding Cartoonist or Wedding Carcaturist

So, how should you go about booking a cartoonist for your wedding party?

A search for 'caricatures' in Google will bring up a huge number of entries (many US-based, admittedly) and a lot of these will be entertainment agents who hire out caricaturists. It isn't necessary to add the word 'wedding'.

When investigating a caricaturist's websites, you should look for the following:

  • Professional style. If the samples shown on the website look good, the on-the-spot stuff is going to be terrific. If, however, they are displaying poorly drawn caricatures, avoid these like the plague. Your guests will only be disappointed. Evidence of other activity in cartooning is a good sign, too. The best caricaturists on the circuit are widely-published cartoonists equally busy with work in the studio as they are at live events. Be aware that some caricaturists exaggerate faces more than others, so choose someone whose style you think would be acceptable to most of the guests.
  • Presentable appearance. Any entertainer should be presentable and not afraid of showing photos on the website.
  • Personality. Some caricaturists are very quiet and lurk in the background drawing your guests, others are very up front  with a bubbly and entertaining personality. Most of the websites give an indication of how interactive a caricaturist is and you can find this out by speaking to them on the phone.
  • Testimonials from satisfied clients. Authentic testimonials are great publicity. Feel free to ask for the contact details of any previous clients. If they find some excuse not to give you the contact details, avoid!
  • A variety of contact details. The presence of an email address, telephone number and address give the assurance that this person is not going to disappear with your deposit.
  • Most caricaturists will be available to meet you to discuss your event. It might set your mind at ease to see him/her at work by asking them to draw you at the meeting.
  • A  booking deposit of 25% is normally expected in advance and if a booking has to be cancelled with less than a month to go, the deposit is retained.
  • Confirmation of a booking is done in writing; usually by email and the caricaturist should check with you a few days before the event that everything is going to plan. Emergency mobile numbers should be exchanged and the telephone number of the venue should be made available.
  • If you are booking through an agent, you may be paying more than if you deal with the caricaturist direct

On the day itself, you can have the caricaturist working during the pre-dinner drinks reception, helping to break the ice and then to continue working around the tables. Or you can simply limit this to either the reception or the tables.

Bear in mind though that a caricaturist needs light! Bookings that are timed to coincide with the disco and dancing are not the most successful occasions for this activity. In this case, a separate, well-lit room set aside for the purpose would be best.

Wedding Caricature Costs

wedding caricature 2And what should you expect to pay for a caricaturist? They go out for the same sort of fees as other 'mix and mingle' entertainers such as magicians and jugglers, but the average starting rate in the UK is around £350.00 for up to two and half hours work.

This advice should be comprehensive enough to ensure you have a memorable event preserved in a large number of caricatures for both you and your guests to take home.

But, as with everything in life, it is the careful combination of entertainments that will spell the success or failure of any event. So, a caricaturist and magician often work well side-by-side at functions while a rock band blasts the marquee pegs out of the ground with yet another rendition of 'I Want To Dance The Night Away'.

And in the end, of course, it is not the wedding that counts, but the marriage in the years to follow. A caricature can bring you happy memories of a momentous day in your life, but it is the life you have afterwards that counts.

The images and information on this page have been provided by Simon Ellinas.

Visit Simon's website >> for more information.