The Master of Ceremonies (MC or emcee) is the host of your wedding and should make sure everyone is having a good time. A good wedding MC is more than someone who is good at public speaking or can tell a few jokes. They should make sure everything runs smoothly and introduce each person who is speaking, as well as important events. We asked Michael Coombs of Toronto-based Michael Coombs Entertainment for five things every wedding MC should know:
1. Be organized
Have everything written down in advance and know exactly what you’re going to say. Make sure you have the correct names and information and a detailed timeline. The MC says opening remarks (not a long speech) and introduces all of the key players of the wedding. “A good wedding MC is organized, responsible and can take instructions well,” says Coombs. “It’s about the bride and groom and not about the MC’s fifteen minutes of fame.”
2. Know what’s going on (and make sure everyone else knows too)
One of the essential roles of the wedding MC is to work with the vendors so everyone knows what’s going on. “It’s very important to know the flow of the evening and make sure everyone is ready for his or her cues,” he says. “The MC is there to lead the audience and have them know what’s happening next.” They should make sure everything is running on time and that the DJ, photographer and vendors are cued to capture key moments.
3. Do your homework
Coombs suggests watching major award shows, like the Grammys, or looking to talk show hosts for ideas. “These people know what they’re doing. You can see everything is short, scripted and to the point,” he says. The most important thing is to be prepared. Meet with the bride and groom beforehand to discuss details and what kind of role they see the MC playing. “There will still be some surprises on the day, but there should be a program or itinerary in place to make sure everything runs smoothly,” he says.
4. Add some emotion and special touches
Interview each speaker beforehand. Ask them how they know the couple or for a special memory you can tell before you introduce them. “The wedding is about emotion and these special moments and this makes it so much more fun,” says Coombs. “It’s a celebration of two people coming together, so you should put emotion into introducing key people.” For example, the MC could ask the bride to write a special message or memory about her parents for the MC to read before they are introduced.
5. Be careful with humour
To tell jokes or not to tell jokes? That is the question. Tread lightly when it comes to humour. Make sure jokes are in good taste and do not offend anyone—especially the bride! “Someone with a great personality or a natural storyteller can make a great wedding MC, but nine times out of 10 jokes will bomb,” says Coombs. The goal is to make everyone feel at ease and relaxed without stealing the spotlight.