24 Jan Buck the trend: Hire an MC
The Master of Ceremonies role is many times an afterthought for a couple, especially with all of the other important preparation activities on the go. But taking a laisser faire attitude on the topic of MC is probably the worst decision a couple can make.
The MC is more than just a funny guy with a mic. The MC should work with the wedding planners, coordinators, venue staff, and all other vendors to ensure the whole event goes just right. They help keep time, ensure people are in the right places, and ultimately they set the mood and tone of the evening. So why do a lot of couples assign the task to an inexperienced friend or family member?
We can only assume that some couples forget about some essential qualities of a good MC. Uncle Tom is a funny guy, let’s have him MC the evening. So, will Uncle Tom refrain from socializing with the rest of the guests and be at the ready when he needs to move things along? Will he keep his drinking to a minimum so he is alert and in control of the proceedings? Will he have the ability to deal quickly and confidently with a change in plans? Will he be resentful of not being able to spend time with his family because you put him to work?
Here are a few things I’ve seen go wrong when an MC is picked from the guest list:
- They don’t know how to use a mic – they speak too closely or too far away from the microphone, and therefore nobody can understand what they’re saying, or they overpower the room.
- They don’t know how to command attention – without having everyone’s ear, they will start to tell a joke or introduce someone. Your guests may be caught off guard, or simply not hear what is being said.
- They’re unfamiliar with the flow of the evening – unfortunately they’ve been busy this week and didn’t have a chance to read your email with all of the timings for the night. It’s hard to keep things on track when you don’t know when they should happen.
- They overindulge – can you really tell one of your guests NOT to consume alcohol at your wedding?
- They get nervous in front of crowds – your funny friend might be great in small groups, but in front of 150+ people can be intimidating for even the most confident person.
In the past few years, I’ve seen a growing number of couples request an MC from outside of their guest circle. In fact, I’ll be MCing a wedding for a client in May. Having done this role at a number of weddings, banquets, special events and charity galas, this isn’t a real stretch for me. And naturally doesn’t a project manager make a great MC???
Having played over 1,000 live shows across North America, I’ve had to deal with some pretty stressful situations. There’s no better person to have manning your MC post than an entertainer who has been under the bright lights of a reality TV stage.