It is a great honour to be asked to take the role of Master of Ceremonies (MC or emcee), at a best friend’s wedding. But the wedding MC role comes with the need for significant amounts of preparation and note-taking, plus a good deal of research and rehearsing.
Here are 6 steps to becoming a better wedding MC as well as a few tips to smooth your (working) evening.
Step 1: Schedule a SIT-DOWN WITH THE BRIDE AND GROOM and fire off any pressing wedding MC questions
Some questions that might come to mind when planning the wedding MC role include, but are not limited to:
- do you have a preferred order of proceedings and speakers?
- do you see your “big day” day as fun, emotionally charged or serious?
- should the “first dance” take place at a specific time? (You can work backwards from this to draw up your schedule).
- are there any sensitive subjects you should aim to steer clear of?
- is there anything unique about the venue, date, friends attendings or anything else that you should take special note of?
Step 2: CALL EACH OF THE SERVICE PROVIDERS and chat about what they’ve been briefed to do
This will help you to forego any tricky situations, such as that the starter has been on the table for 30min and no-one’s taken their seats yet because everyone is still doing photos.
Step 3: Have a thorough rehearsal with the audiovisual equipment. MOST VENUES REQUIRE A MIC
As a wedding MC, you need to know everything – you are glue holding the event together. If you require a MIC where will this be plugged in and what volume should it be set at so as to cater for most speaker voices (soft to loud), without blasting anyone sitting near the other type of “speakers”.
Step 4: Go go go go… Indeed, your job is to KEEP THE EVENT MOVING SWIFTLY ALONG
But as politely as you can. Has anyone travelled a long way to attend? Be sure to mention them, and to thank the necessary. Do so and move along swiftly to the next bullet point on your list… Time is of the essence!
Step 5: Want more of this sort of work? KEEP THE WORD “AUDIENCE” IN YOUR MIND’S EYE
Are you entertaining during your brief segments between speakers? Is your speech interesting, fun, empathetic – and a touch emotional and special without becoming overly soppy? Have you given sports-mad guests the rugby score – ask for a poll as to who wants it now, at half time, or who is recording the match and would prefer not to know. You’ll be such a hit!
Step 6: And otherwise, COMPLIMENT THE BRIDE
Also remember the bridesmaids, the dress designers, the make-up person, the flower company, the hair people, the food people – as well as anyone else who has been instrumental in making the day as beautiful and delicious as possible.
Do these things, and you’ll make a good impression as a wedding MC. Remember: a happy bride will refer you on to other potential marital couples, business colleagues and conference organisers for a VERY LONG time to come.