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Groom’s column: All I want is a room somewhere

For entertainer, magician and newly-engaged groom-to-be Chris Cox, his party-of-a-lifetime is missing one vital ingredient. An address for the invitations.

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I looked at our Internet usage with concern. “Helen, why has it tripled this month?” “Oh, I don’t know,” comes the innocent reply. “It’s nothing to do with the fact that all our most visited pages are about wedding planning and you’ve been glued to the computer every night for the last month, is it?” Silence. Quickly followed by the sound of the Mac shutting down. “I doubt it,” she says casually, “probably just something to do with Sky Plus.” Hmm she might be right. There are currently 20 downloaded episodes of Don’t Tell The Bride on our planner.

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For a scrawny entertainer used to planning international stage shows I thought I had the whole organisation thing nailed. I thought wrong. I had absolutely no idea quite how much you need to think about for a wedding. Luckily, the daunting amount of detail is still ahead of us. All we really have to worry about right now is a date and a venue. Oh! And what style and theme we want, the budget, whether or not to use a wedding planner, who we might invite, who the bridesmaids and best men will be and what songs form the world of musical theatre I might want on the big day. My fiancé Helen’s already vetoed anything from The Book Of Mormon for being too sweary. Spoilsport.

With the engagement cards safely put away, we’re in the early planning stages, awash with ideas and dreams of what our perfect day might be. We know we don’t want an identikit wedding. We want a personal, quirky and fun party which just happens to be about us getting married. Ideas of pulled pork dinners, cocktails in jam jars, and a cabaret stage are already front runners. Helen’s become a demon stalker on Pinterest and Facebook while I’ve done the sort of Googling that’s even involved going onto the second page of searches!

Our initial hope of using my grandparents’ garden has been halted by them deciding to move. They’ll do anything to avoid marquee marks on the lawn. So we now find ourselves back at stage one trying to find a cool venue that allows you to do what you want with food, décor and entertainment. Turns out that’s harder than pretending to read minds for a living. The venue will be the nerve centre of our day (by which I mean I’ll be standing in the centre of it – nervously!) but once we’ve picked that, everything else will flow. It’ll force us into choosing a date for next summer and then we’ll have to stop fantasising about our wedding and actually make it happen. Till then, I think I’ll switch the Internet to an unlimited package.

Top 3 show stoppers
1. Theatre of dreams – I’m looking into theatres as venues. Why not stick your top table on the stage and name the others after characters from your favourite productions. Then tempt guests with musical theatre karaoke.
2. Sing-a-long reception – Soundtrack your day with songs from musical theatre and turn them into a CD as favours. I’m thinking I Do, I Do, I Do from Mamma Mia! and Get Me To The Church On Time from My Fair Lady.
3. Audience participation – Brand your day with your own programme. I’d change Cosette on the Les Mis poster to Helen and me, then flog them to the audience – sorry friends!

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For Chris’ 2013 tour dates, go to magiccox.com.