Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Changing Wedding Industry

With brides searching for something unique, trying to save money and getting back to family and friends, the timing couldn't be better for wedding and special events professional Rich Ferguson. Rich Ferguson, AKA "The Ice Breaker" is a full time entertainer and consultant who has observed some very fascinating changes, mistakes and misconceptions in the wedding industry. In a bizarre twist, event planners, brides and other vendors are coming to Rich for advice and as the catalyst that helps make receptions more successful for all involved.

Rich has observed huge changes, mistakes and misconceptions in the wedding industry. "Although I'm typically brought in to mingle with guests at corporate events and celebrity parties, I absolutely love weddings. It is a special time that involves many people that do not know each other. People often come from far away out of support and obligation. Although the wedding industry focuses heavily on the bride, the guests need to be taken care of if they are to remember the event as special and fun. Brides want a memorable party. I'm excited that brides are not allowing the industry to tell them what is most important anymore. I'm glad that family and friends are becoming a priority again. I'm glad to be someone outside the box that other professionals are finally listening too." Rich is known around the world for his unique entertainment, but also for his consulting, ideas and observations. (See event tips and more about Rich at

There's a new trend with brides. They're finding ways to make their party unique, memorable, affordable and more focused on family and friends. Rich Ferguson has become a hot commodity as "The Ice Breaker" at high end receptions. (see This entertainment concept was not recognized by the wedding industry until other professionals started seeing the amazing results. With Rich breaking the ice in his very intimate and engaging ways, DJs, coordinators, brides and venues started to realize that high caliber ice breaking was the key to getting people involved and excited. At a reception, guests must wait for pictures, wait for hours to say "congratulations" and hang out with people they do not know. Possibly due to the economy, the focus has shifted a bit toward family. Rich Ferguson was right there to be the catalyst in helping guests have a fabulous time while waiting for hours to get a quick hug from the bride. Rich's unique "Ice Breaking" style of strolling entertainment is a rare combination of wit, charm, sleight of hand magic, mentalism and improv. Guests and professionals at events rave about the importance, the quality and the mind-blowing entertainment "The Ice Breaker" can add. In the end, it comes down to a couple simple facts. Guests do not want to wait around bored. Rich excites people with high caliber entertainment which is appropriate for this setting. He blends in just like a guest but gives people something unique to experience and makes it easy for the photographer to take pictures. Dj's enjoy working with Rich as he gets people loosened up to be more comfortable to give speeches and dance. "It's like magic!", Rich says.

In years past, there was a bit of a misconception to what Rich Ferguson was trying to offer at weddings. Now event planners and other professionals insist on this much needed glue, fun and polish for guests. The industry is finally catching up to how simple of a formula it is. If Rich excites one person, that person excites another. It is contagious. Guests become more involved with everything else that is going on throughout the reception because the ice has been broken and they are more comfortable. "It's bad for business to have guests bored or uncomfortable. Not only is what I do amazingly fun, it is essential to a successful reception. It is a blessing to no longer be looked at as an extra expense or distraction like some novelty or less experienced entertainers might be."

In a lucky break for Rich, the times are causing brides to be a little more careful where they spend their money. Several eye opening statistics came out this year from Bride, US Today, The Knot and other confirming that:
"Nearly 100% of brides after their wedding wish they had spend more of their budget on entertainment."
"78% of brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority."
"81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a reception is the entertainment."

"Now that I'm working with many top wedding professionals, they are trusting my advise. I get results and make events a blast for all involved. The number one problem I've seen at events involve sound and tables. I've discovered something remarkably simple. If a party or reception includes me, provides a few scattered cocktail type tables and keeps the music lower, you have a formula for guests who want to talk to each other." When you consider what makes people socialize and enjoy themselves, it really makes perfect sense. No longer do guests look for a chance to sneak out or just wait for cake and leave. If people are stuck at a large round table, it does not promote mingling or socializing. It is a big mistake to assume that people stuck at a table together will promote conversation. Guests feel uncomfortable hovering over someone sitting at another table that they might want to talk to. Therefore, cocktail tables are the secret during the reception. Having the DJ or band keep the sound lower is key as well. If music is too loud, people do not enjoy talking. They will leave. So, you put it all together... high quality ice breaking, controlled music and a reason to mingle and you have a group of strangers gearing up for a fun night ahead. "Usually, an ice breaker of my caliber is not available for weddings. It takes 20 years to obtain the skills to be able to be dropped into a room of strangers and do what I do. I guess that is why the wedding industry was confused at first. The timing of what I offer and the needs of the brides these days is perfect. I'm the only ice breaker certified by the Guide (see and only wish I could help everyone have a fun, memorable and successful reception. I'm glad I can help make receptions so much more functional for guests, brides and other hard working wedding professionals."

Rich Ferguson, AKA "The Ice Breaker" is available for events nationally and resides on the coast of California. Please visit his website for tips and information at or