You’ve been asked by the happy couple to be the Master of Ceremonies and you know your performance can make or break the wedding reception. Here are some rules to follow that will make them glad they chose you for the job.
1. Have a detailed running sheet and make sure everyone has the same one
The couple have a lot going on and there are 101 ways that you can end up with a different version of the run sheet to what everyone else has. Make contact with the Function Manager at the venue personally and make sure you are both on the same page (so to speak). Arrive at the venue early and check again if there have been any changes discussed with the couple that didn’t get passed on to you.
Your version should include some extra details such as what you need to check on between the listed items on the run sheet. For example: Is the kitchen running on time with the main course? Is the photographer ready for the cake cutting?
Like anything good, it is the preparation that is key to being a good MC. But once you’ve done all that, be ready to be flexible when something throws things off course.
2. Offer great service and keep things on time
As the MC you are usually both an organiser and a speaker. Part of your job is to make sure everything runs to time. Also, things like reminding the father of the bride that he is to give a speech in ten minutes so he can be ready, are much appreciated.
3. Get the introductions right
The wedding MC is responsible for announcing who people are and introducing them before they give a speech or a toast. Make sure you have sufficient information on all the relevant people, and the correct pronunciations of their names.
4. Keep your speeches and toasts short.
As a general rule, keep your own speeches short. As the MC you are not there to steal the show but to unobtrusively keep the reception moving along, and to allow others time to take centre stage.
5. Help the guests feel comfortable and connected.
At weddings many of the guests won’t know each other. Take responsibility for helping them feel comfortable and connected. Help them get to know each other and get to know who else is in the room.
6. Don’t go over the top with jokes
MC’s often make the mistake of thinking that they have to tell a whole series of wedding jokes. They don’t. There are other ways to produce humour. For instance, by telling funny stories about the couple when they were growing up or during their time of courtship. However, don’t humiliate them and don’t make the stories too sexual or risqué.
If you do tell jokes make sure they do not offend anyone. Pick them very carefully indeed and don’t tell too many. The occasional joke is all that is needed.