So you’ve had the privilege of being asked to MC a wedding. MC’ing a wedding can be an incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling experience. But if you haven’t been to many wedding receptions or you're not familiar with how to MC one, the process can seem overwhelming.
This 10-step guide will teach you everything you need to know about MC'ing a wedding, including how to prepare before the big day, what steps you should take during the reception itself and some helpful tips to guide you through the process.
- Get Prepared
- Be Aware Of The Bride & Groom's Wishes
- Arrive Early
- Familiarize Yourself With The Runsheet
- Welcome Guests
- Introduce The Bridal Party
- Announce Meals
- Announce Speeches
- Announce Dance Sections
- Farewell Guests
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Get Prepared
As an MC, the first thing you can do is to get prepared. There are a number of things you will need to organise before the big day.
Firstly, in the weeks before the big day, plan any short games or activities you would like to play with the bride and grooms and their guests. It’s also important to confirm that the venue has a microphone because having amplification is a must when MC’ing.
In the 24 hours before the big day, make sure that you are well-rested, well-fed and hydrated. Lastly, make sure that you're dressed appropriately for both yourself and for the weather conditions.
2. Be Aware Of The Bride & Groom's Wishes
The best way to make sure you are on the same page as the bride and groom is to have a meeting with them before you start MC’ing their wedding. If they have any special requests or requirements, make sure that you're aware of them before the big day. You want to ensure that their day is exactly how they want it to be.
3. Arrive Early
Arriving early is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a smooth wedding day. With an hour before the ceremony, you will have time to make sure everything is in order, check out your surroundings and get comfortable with where everything is located.
In this time, we recommend meeting with the venue owner or wedding planner so they can inform you of anything they may need you to announce and give you a general overview of the evening.
4. Familiarise Yourself With The Runsheet
To make your job as MC easier, become familiar with the runsheet. The runsheet is a guide for you to follow throughout the wedding day. As the MC, the majority of your role is to announce which part of the evening is up next and to guide the guests through the evening.
Familiarising yourself with the reception schedule will help you to know what’s coming up next and when. We recommend keeping a copy of the runsheet on you.
5. Welcome Guests
Traditionally, the first announcement you will make is simply welcoming the guests. This is also the time to mention any general housekeeping such as where the bar, toilets and emergency exit are located. Use this opportunity to set the tone for what's going to be an amazing evening of celebration.
6. Introduce The Bridal Party
After welcoming the guests, it’s time to welcome and introduce the bridal party. This process can be done in a variety of ways, but many choose to introduce the bridal party in pairs, with the bride and groom announced last.
The order that the bride and groom would like the bridal party to be introduced will most likely be listed on the runsheet or discussed prior to the wedding day.
7. Announce Meals
Throughout the evening, there will be a number of times you will be required to announce meals. Upon announcing each course, make sure to ask guests to be seated. During meals, take some time to freshen up, touch base with the bride and groom and prepare for what is up next.
8. Announce Speeches
Now it's time for speeches. This is always one of the most anticipated parts of a reception. Make sure to introduce each speaker and hand them the microphones as they walk up to speak. Try to keep your introductions short so that you don’t take the attention away from the speaker.
If time allows it, feel free to say a few words of your own, tell a story or share an anecdote about the bride and groom.
9. Announce Dance Sections
One of your last jobs as an MC is to announce the various dance segments during the reception. The first dance, performed by the bride and groom, is one of the most anticipated parts of a reception. Wedding receptions will often feature a dance between the groom and her father.
Once the new couple have finished their dances, announce that it's time for the guests to join in on the dancefloor. If applicable, hosting the bouquet toss will likely be during this time.
10. Farewell Bride & Groom
As the evening comes to a close, it’s time to farewell the newly weds. From glow sticks to sparklers, couples will often plan for a spectacular send-off to conclude the night on a high. It's easy to make your wedding exit just as exciting as your entrance with a little help from your guests.
Once you’ve sent the couple off, it’s time to say goodbye to all of their guests. We encourage you to stay back and help clean up to show your appreciation for the couple.
Keep An Eye On The Time
The best way to make sure the evening runs smoothly is to keep an eye on the time. While it can be easy to get swept up in the enjoyment of the evening, wearing a watch or regularly checking your phone’s clock will ensure the reception goes as planned.
Confidence is key to successfully MC’ing a wedding. It can be hard to know exactly what to say, especially when you're nervous about making a mistake. But if you're confident in yourself and your ability to speak (and you throw in a joke or two), it will be easier to get and keep people’s attention.
It can be easy to get carried away with the excitement and energy of the crowd, but as an MC, it’s important to be appropriate and respectful. If you're not sure if a joke will offend someone, don't tell it. There are many ways you can keep your audience engaged without being inappropriate.
Perhaps a speech goes a bit long or the mains don’t come out on time.Whatever happens, it's important that you adapt. Things often don’t go to plan so it’s important that you are flexible. Part of MC’ing smoothly is being able to adapt to what’s happening.
Don’t Drink Too Much
Our final piece of advice is to be careful not to drink too much. Alcohol can impair your ability to think clearly and may leave your guests feeling awkward. It can also lead to you doing or saying things you might regret later.
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