So you’re going to be a Wedding MC…. now what?
Why pick an MC?
Many of the couples we plan with choose to have a wedding reception Master of Ceremonies rather than just having the DJ do it (some DJ companies charge extra, so be sure to ask!). Often times, we tell couples that a friend or family member as an MC leads to a more personalized, intimate, and often humorous reception experience…. so if you have someone that’s up for the challenge, let them do it!
We’ve also been asked, numerous times, about how a first-time wedding MC even begins to put together his/her list of duties…. so, here you have it! Brides, be sure to pass this one on!
Who is the MC?
If the DJ doesn’t end up acting as your event’s MC, typically you can ask any friend or family member to deliver these duties. Sometimes couples will opt to have 1 or 2 members of their wedding party act as the MC’s for the evening, while others like to designate someone who is special to them, but who isn’t a part of the wedding party itself. For some reason, uncles do a really good job. Especially the ones with quirky-yet-awesome foreign accents (but not those who struggle with the language).
How to pick an MC?
Choose an MC whose personality fits the desired feel of your wedding reception. If you want a funny, casual, interactive reception, choose someone who is outgoing, funny, casual, and interactive! If you’re looking for a celebration that’s more reserved and formal, choose someone whose personality is more subdued and understated (usually older, but not always!)
Pick someone you can trust not to embarrass you or your guests (alcohol plays a role in this, so someone who doesn’t drink – or who monitors their drinking, is particularly ideal!)
What does an MC do?
MC’s are basically the voice-on-the-mic that announce when things are going to happen during your wedding reception.
As Day-Of Coordinators, it’s our job to make sure that the timeline of the wedding day is accurate, concise, and runs as smoothly as possible. It’s our job to ensure that hair and makeup are done on time, that flowers get to the hall when they’re supposed to, that the cake is set up properly, and that the groomsmen know when it’s time to stop drinking mimosas and start getting ready.
After the wedding ceremony, once all the vendors have done their jobs, it’s our job to make sure that the timeline we’ve created for your reception is executed just as seamlessly as the rest of the day was.
If the timeline for the evening is like the play script, and you and your wedding party are the actors, we end up being the directors… your MC is the stage producer. Based on the timeline that we put together, your MC is the one who “delivers” your reception to your guests via microphone and (hopefully) some humour and entertaining antics!
Typical MC responsibilities include:
1) Introducing themselves to guests as the MC for the evening (sometimes a background story on why the MC was chosen is a nice, personalized touch)
2) Inviting guests to be seated and delivering any house rules the venue may have stipulated (or the bride and groom have asked to share)
3) Introducing the wedding party + newlyweds into the hall (though this can sometimes be done by the DJ – who’s likely more seasoned in presenting an impressive intro!)
4) Saying grace or delivering a blessing before the meal (or introducing the person who will do this)
5) Introducing wedding speeches
6) Announcing reception “events” – i.e. cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss, first dance, the bride and groom’s departure (can also be done by the DJ)
7) Thanking guests for attending at the end of the night and officially “closing” the ceremonies
In our (extensive) planning / coordinating experience, we like to split the MC duties between DJ and MC. As guests are seating, we’ll usually ask the DJ to introduce the wedding party and newlyweds. Once all are seated, your DJ can introduce your MC who will then continue with the evening’s announcements as planned. Typically, we hand over announcing responsibilities back to the DJ after the Bride and Groom speak. This allows your MC to go back to being a guest at the party. The “work” stuff can be taken over by the guy that’s getting paid to be there!
Where does the MC sit?
If your MC is not a part of your wedding party at the head table, be sure to seat him or her near the head table, somewhere close to the podium. If you don’t have a Day Of Coordinator to help you with your seating plan, make sure to remember details like putting the podium near the DJ (if possible) – just in case there are problems with the sound system, microphone, etc.
Seat your MC in an area where he or she isn’t interrupting many guests to make their rounds to and from the podium.
If you have Day-Of Coordinators, seat them near the MC as well. This ensures that we can cue him or her when it’s time to make an announcement (this allows your MC to still enjoy being a guest at your wedding and not spend the entire evening glancing at their watch).
And on behalf of all MC’s everywhere, we say this…. if you can get your DJ to toss in a wireless microphone, it’ll make a world of difference!! – it allows for flexibility and creativity in delivering MC duties and speeches; much appreciated by all, indeed.
When does the MC speak?
The MC speaks throughout the evening – timing based on a reception itinerary that you’ve provided or that they have created (with your approval). Because the MC needs to be “around” throughout the entire night, do not choose someone who needs to leave the reception early. Avoid choosing someone who will be consuming large amounts of alcohol (unless, of course, you’re comfortable with this!)
Tips for Wedding MC’s
1) Be humorous! – tell appropriate jokes (use sites like THIS to get inspired!)
2) Keep it short! – when we get nervous, we tend to ramble… have a script and stick to it.
3) Be interactive! – don’t read from your script… make sure you use that shining personality that the bride and groom love about you.
4) Give “well-chosen” advice…. (a special thanks to Kevin for this!)
Some advice for Him:
- Never let her go to bed angry – you’re defenseless when you sleep.
- If she says, “Do whatever you want to” – You’d better figure out what it is she wants you to do.
- When you say “I do” she owns you from the nose down. What you think, and look at, is your own business.
- What you think, and look at, can still get you in trouble – if she catches you thinking it, or looking at it.
- “Do it when you get a minute” – Means “It should have been done already, and without me telling you.”
- If you go shopping with her, she will inevitably leave you alone in the bra and panty section – Don’t Browse.
Then some advice for Her:
- “Would you be mad if I decided to…….” – means he already did it, and doesn’t know how to hide it.
- If you ask his opinion, and he says “I don’t care”, or “I don’t know” – he really doesn’t care, or know.
- Men don’t have to know the rules of a sporting event to enjoy watching it.
- Men really believe that: mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, and reading the paper, is doing their fair share.
- Men don’t spend money on expensive toys just to make you mad – it’s genetic, they can’t help it.
- Criteria for stopping while channel surfing: 1) women in bikinis, 2) a karate fight scene, 3) a beer commercial.
Another favourite “speech” of mine…. (Thanks to Mary for this!)
Women are often misunderstood by men. That’s why men should know the words used by women to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminologies..
Here are the top 9 words women often use to hide their feelings:
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
#2. “Five Minutes”
If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
This is the calm before the storm. This means something,and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
#4. “Go Ahead”
This is a dare, not permission. Don’t do it.
#5. “Loud Sigh”
This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)
#6. “That’s Okay”
This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
A woman is thanking you, do not question or faint. Just say “you’re welcome”. (I want to add in a clause here – this is true, unless she says “Thanks a lot” – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say “you’re welcome” … that will bring on ‘whatever’).
Is a women’s way of saying F-YOU!
#9. “Don’t worry about it, I’ve got it”
Another dangerous statement, meaning you knew it had to be done but you were lazy to do it and had to wait till i came home to do it. Men should automatically know it has to be done, also, this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘what’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to #3.
… in any case, you’ve chosen your MC to officiate your wedding reception because you love them…. so as an MC, know that there are very few things you can do “wrong” (though there are a few!) – relax, enjoy yourself, stick to the schedule, and have fun… after all, it’s all about the Bride and Groom!
(and if you have questions about specific MC duties, feel free to get in touch!)