Have you been drafted into the master of ceremonies role? Here’s how to nail it.
Congratulations! You’ve been asked to master of ceremonies your friend’s wedding.
What this means is that you’re the funniest, most charming pal around and that your friends trust you with one of the most important jobs at a wedding. That’s right, being the master of ceremonies at a wedding is a crucial role that is an integral part of ensuring that the night runs smoothly. It’s the MC’s job to keep things trundling along merrily like a dance floor conga-line, and it’s the MC’s job to make sure that everybody is where they need to be when important moments go down, like the cutting of the cake or the saying of speeches.
Basically, you’re in charge of everything so that your friends can go about the business of getting hitched. Sounds simple, right?
I thought so too, the first time I was asked to be an MC. How hard could it be, I thought to myself, when my friend asked me. I was wrong. Here’s a list of things to remember so that you can ace being a wedding MC.
Know the order of the day
In order to be across every teeny, tiny detail of your friends’ wedding, you need to be well-acquainted with the day’s schedule. Make sure to book in time with your friends to talk thorugh the day’s plan in the lead up to the wedding.
The crucial thing is not to do this the day before the wedding, like I did. In my defence, the wedding was in Australia where I am from, and I was flying back from London to attend the day before. Speaking to them in the 24 hours before they got married was my only option.
My friend was pretty relaxed about the whole thing. (Because: Australia.) “You’ll be great,” she breezed. She was pretty relaxed, but I dear reader was not. After we rung off, I realised that I hadn’t given myself enough time to prepare. Running through the schedule is as much an act of preparation for you, the master of ceremonies, as it is for the soon-to-be-married couple. So give yourself plenty of time to do so.
The DJ is your friend
The first thing you should do when you walk into the reception is to introduce yourself to the photographer, the DJ and, if the wedding has one, the wedding planner or venue manager.
These people are your friends. They are going to be following your cues when it comes to music and are on your side when it comes to making sure that everyone at the party is having a great time. In particular, take the time to chat to the DJ and/or the band. Make sure they know when the first dance and other key music moments will be happening, and let them know the order that you’ll be following.
Keep it simple
As the MC, you need to do a bit of public speaking. But it’s important to remember that you’re not part of the bridal party and you’re not there to give a long, emotional speech.
What you are is the master of ceremonies, and your job is to make sure that the event goes off without a hitch. When you’re giving your introductory remarks at the reception, keep it light and keep it simple. Crack a few jokes. And then, crucially, put the microphone down. The shorter you keep your remarks, the more popular you’ll be.
Cover off all the major points
The master of ceremonie’s introduction should be light, brief and – above all else – it should be comprehensive. The point of the introduction is to deliver all the crucial information about the evening. Where can smokers huddle together, should the need arise? Where are the bathrooms? What is the wedding hashtag?
And… What is your name? It might sound obvious, but don’t forget to introduce yourself. Before launching into your speech, tell the wedding guests who you are, what your relationship to the married couple is, and make sure that you make enough of an impression that every time you step up to that microphone – to tell people to shimmy their way over to the dance floor, or to remind everyone that the garter toss is imminent – guests will listen to what you have to say.
As the master of ceremonies, you are the wedding’s cheerleader. You’re there to get the guests up on the dance floor, to make sure they’re using that photobooth and signing the guestbook, that they’re taking photos and making memories, and that everyone is revelling in the big, big day.
How can everyone at the wedding have a good time if the person steering the ship isn’t enjoying themselves? Make sure that you’re having fun.
Bring it home
The speeches have been said, the champagne has been toasted, the cake has been eaten and the macarena has been unavoidably danced. Now it’s time to say goodbye.
Whether everyone will be kicking on to another venue or not, you still need to officially bring the night to an end. Beforehand, check with your friends how they’d like to say goodbye, either in a group scenario or individually, and make it happen for them.
After that, it’s time to cue up that one last song and send everyone home. Luckily, you made friends with the DJ beforehand, so you’re guaranteed that it’ll be a good one.