Friday, July 16, 2010

Why you need an MC at your reception

Having an MC at your wedding reception might seem like a weird little custom, but the MC is essential to the flow of the whole shindig.

The role of the Master of Ceremonies originated with the Catholic Church back in the 400s. He was responsible for making sure rituals involving the Pope ran smoothly and ensuring the building was protected during the mass.

It’s pretty much the same today, but the Pope probably won’t be at your reception. The modern MC’s job is keeping everyone on point. Though their word mastery, you and the guests will know what’s going on, when and why.

Your guests will first hear from the MC when you enter the reception and are announced as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time. This is a pretty big deal, so you want someone who can get up there an really sell it to get the crowd all fired up for the long night ahead.

Choose an MC who is comfortable in front of a crowd, and knows a plenty of the people at your wedding. Also, those this might seem simple, but pick someone who knows both of you. There’s nothing worse than listening to endless stories about the groom’s high school years. It’s also handy to make list of out-of-bounds stories so you don’t end up looking like a jerk in front of your new family.

Sure, all of your friends are cool, but some of them just shouldn’t be MCs. When you’re making your short list picture the first story each person on your list will tell about you. If you cringe, slash them off the list. Chose an MC who can blend funny, interesting and a few “Aww” stories to keep everyone engaged.

At most wedding receptions, the MC keeps tabs on the catering staff to let your hungry guests know when they might get some grub, or when the line at the buffet is safe for seconds. People can deal with delays if they know there’s hope in sight.

Another of the MC’s duties is announcing everyone who will be speaking at the reception. This serves two purposes: the obvious, to call the person up to speak; and the not so obvious, to give your chatting guests a heads up to wrap up their conversations and prepare to listen.

Once the wedding starts you’ll rely on other people to tell you where to go, what to do and when to do it. From the best man to your new bride you’ll all be herded like cattle for most of the day. The MC is just one more person to keep you on track. He’ll tell you when it’s time to say thanks to the guest, take your first dance, and cut the cake. Touch base with him before you leave the reception so he can tell your guests to grab their rice.

Above all, don’t forget to thank your MC. You won’t know what a big job he has until the reception is over and you realize it all went down without a hitch. Don’t forget to say thanks with a great wedding gift.

[Photo by CJ Sorg - Used under Creative Commons licence 2.0]


  1. They are not there to entertain. Wedding emcees have the power to make the event a success or a complete flop.

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