The Master of Ceremonies at your wedding plays a very important role in the overall feel and organisation of your reception. He (because MC’s are usually men, we will refer to them as ‘he’ for the purposes of this article) is responsible for letting guests know what is happening when and for introducing the speakers and entertainers. He sets the tone for the other speech-givers and will make all of your guests feel awkward if he makes lewd or inappropriate jokes. So, the key is to choose someone that will be pleasantly light and humorous, while personal enough to make the couple and audience feel engaged.
The MC can be a friend or family member of either the bride or groom. It is important that he knows one or both of you well, so that he can convey an intimate friendship, rather than sounding cold or generic. You may want to ask the best man or one of the groomsmen to perform this function for you. But, they will be busy with other aspects of your wedding day, so consider asking someone that is close to you that, perhaps, did not ‘crack the nod’ as a groomsman. Asking someone that does not have any other duties on the day will also make him more likely to be able to focus on the job at hand and put 100% into his job as MC.
The qualities that you should look out for in your potential MC should include a friendly, easy speaker. Nothing is worse for the MC or the guests than his dreading doing this important job because of nerves. Choose someone that is comfortable around you, your family and your friends and who knows some light, inside jokes to share with these ones. While making the speeches and comments funny helps, the main concern when choosing your MC should be whether he will convey thoughts and plans in an honest, sincere way.
Your Master of Ceremonies needs to be able to explain the order of things and make comments in his home language. This will ensure that guests are able to hear and understand him, and will make him feel more comfortable and confident. For the same reason, it is vital that you give him a microphone, not relying on the acoustics of the room to carry his voice. It is frustrating for guests straining their ears to hear when the food will be served or who will be giving the next speech.
When choosing your MC, do not choose someone that has a serious probability of becoming tipsy or drunk during the course of the evening (you know who they are!). This will increase the likelihood of him ‘spilling some beans’ or becoming confused, inappropriate or forgetful.
When choosing your MC, consider the very different types of things that he will have to do on the night, and try to picture your potential list of people doing this. The job of the Master of Ceremonies includes:
- Creating a pleasant flow during the reception (between speeches, after meals, and so on)
- Announcing the arrival of the parents as well as the bride and groom
- Making other necessary announcements (such as parking, when the food will be served, etc…)
- Choosing a few games to play with the audience while they wait for the bride and groom (e.g. trivia or jokes)
- Telling appropriate stories about the couple that the guests may enjoy
- Releasing each table to get their food
- Announcing when the bride and groom leave the reception for their honeymoon
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