Wedding Advice | Event Planning Tips
23 tips to MC a wedding effectively and efficiently. Congratulations, you have been asked to MC a wedding, this checklist outlines important tips and tricks to ensure you are the best MC possible. To access a detailed version of this checklist as well as a draft MC Notes template, download our Ultimate Wedding Planning Kit.
To be asked to MC a wedding is an honour and a great responsibility. Do not take this role lightly, there is a lot that goes in to being a good MC. We hope this article makes you feel in control, organised and limit your feelings of overwhelm.
The Role of a Wedding MC
To put it bluntly, the role of a Wedding MC is to facilitate the event and make sure everything runs to schedule. An MC will assist with the coordination of the wedding reception and ensure that speeches, meals and formalities are introduced, managed and run on time. The best way for this to happen effectively is to work to a detailed running order that the happy couple have put together, in conjunction with venue, vendors and yourself. A detailed running order is also available in the Ultimate Wedding Planning Kit, as well as a Wedding Planning Checklist & Timeline which is incredibly helpful.
So let’s get started, we have listed 23 tips to MC a wedding.
Organisational tips to MC a wedding
- Do not leave the preparation to the last minute.
- Arrive at the reception venue earlier than the other guests. Familiarise yourself with the surroundings, introduce yourself to the venue staff, vendors, suppliers. Locate the amenities and facilities. Perform a soundcheck of the PA and microphone. Calm the nerves and feel in control.
- Keep to a schedule throughout the event. The running order will be your best friend! Liaise with the venue and catering staff throughout the wedding to ensure the meal service is on time. Often the meal timings help dictate when the speeches and formalities take place. It is very important that all wedding guests receive a delicious meal – no one wants an overcooked steak or cold chicken!
Research tips to MC a wedding
- Grab a drink and sit down with the happy couple well in advance of the event to do some research. Make them aware that you have the MC role under control and that they can trust you.
- Find out some great information about the people you need to introduce or mention at the reception. Stick to the script as you do not want to accidentally speak out of term or take content from someone else’s speech. Ensure you have correct names and pronunciation in your notes (perhaps write names phonetically to help with your introduction).
- Find out what the pre-wedding plans are, plans between ceremony and reception and how you can help to manage the timelines and guests expectations.
- Research if any of the other speakers will need managing, ‘reeling in’, 5 minute warning, briefed, assisted to the microphone and so on.
- Research event and vendor details for your notes. Who is in charge of meal service, music, what type of AV are you using? Are there any guest activities? Transport at the end of the night?
- What are the general items that you may need to introduce, for instance housekeeping, meal service, dance floor opening, cake cutting and so on…
- What topics should be avoided?
- Do you have any leeway to improvise or add content? If so you may like to run your ideas past the couple first.
- Find out more information about the happy couple. Clarify their history together. First dates, sentimental points, funny stories. Ensure you have all references and names correct. How do they want to be introduced to the reception?
- Research the bridal party. Who is in the bridal party and what are some funny or entertaining points about them. This is often a great way to introduce each of them to the reception.
- Focus on humour, not humiliation.
- You are not the entertainment, you are the ‘host’ so do not speak for long lengths.
- Short, sharp introductions are perfect and entertaining. Often the guests will appreciate having more time to mingle and socialise.
- Do not double up on other peoples speeches.
- Ask the happy couple to remind their speakers to stick to allocated time limits, it is much nicer coming from them (rather than you). Clear communication is key.
- Avoid consuming too much alcohol, as this often effects MC performance, memory, and understanding of where the event is up to.
- Have the time close-by (i.e. wear a watch or have phone).
- Practice the pronunciation of names, places, key points.
- Before you make an important announcement or introduce someone, make sure VIPS or the speaker is in the room and ready.
- Have fun!