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A Master Of Ceremonies Guide


The role of Master Of Ceremonies (M.C.) is a very important role where the events of a reception are monitored to ensure that everything flows well. Here is an easy step-by-step guide.

The Role and Duties of a Master Of Ceremonies:

1.  Upon arrival to the reception, introduce yourself to the functions co-ordinator. Discuss important matters such as how long the pre dinner drinks go for (usually 1 hour), when the guests should be seated (usually 10 minutes prior to introduction of the bridal party), the procedure of the format of the evening (such as the entree', main meal and dessert served first then followed by speeches, the cutting of the cake, then the main bridal dance). Of course there are a few variations to this order but this is the most common procedure by far.

2.  Introduce yourself to the hired entertainment such as the D.J or Band and liaise with them the format of the evening, and if there is any special music requirements the bride and groom have requested such as a special song for them to walk into the reception when announced, cutting of the cake and even music for when they leave etc.

Also double check the order of the bridal party in case of any changes made. This is extremely important. I have seen a few M.C.'s just simply say "ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the bridal party" and everyone walks in at once and this is not what the bride and groom wanted at all. This is an embarrassing mistake for starters which goes unnoticed to the actual M.C. themselves.

3.  With this knowledge from the above 2 points, you will easily be able to advise guests where pre dinner drinks will be held and also when to ask the guests to be seated and all the other events as they occur.

4.  So, here we are and ready to go!

Once you have asked the guests to be seated, introduce yourself as the M.C.

You will then introduce the bridal party (as the bride and groom want to be introduced)

Make a small welcome speech on behalf of the bride and groom. Advise guests of the format of the evening and also where the wash rooms are if necessary. Quite common is a request that the gentlemen may remove their coats.

5.  If you have been informed that someone will say grace, announce that before any food is eaten.
Now enjoy the evening whilst also being aware that the service is not too slow and that the function is proceeding close to plan. Also, remember - no wedding has ever gone to plan - so don't stress!

6.  So we are now ready for the speeches, assuming that it has been decided that they are to be after all the food is served.

It is advisable to give guests a few minutes warning that speeches will begin rather than just getting on the microphone and starting regardless of where people are. You will have your list of all the speakers so you are ready to begin !

If you know the bridal couple really well you may feel that you can open up the speeches with a small "intro" speech just to shake off any nerves. As you know the couple you can easily find something short and sweet to say. Then you can begin introducing the speakers. Try not to tell jokes between every speaker as it can become tedious and lessen people's attention span. If you undoubtedly feel like one or two short one-liners or very quick jokes are appropriate - go for it! Just remember that speeches should not be an all night affair. I have seen hundreds of weddings reduced to just 15 minutes left for dancing because of this!!

7.  After the speeches are completed (assuming dessert is served and consumed) you will announce the cutting of the cake. If the cake is the dessert, it would be preferable to cut the cake first, then begin with the speeches, but not go straight into the main bridal dance after the speeches are completed. Instead, you should announce a short break and that dessert will be served shortly and that the main bridal dance will follow shortly after all the desserts are consumed. Don't rush if you don't need to!!

Important strategic note :- If you announce the bridal dance and desserts are yet to be served you will find that people get up for the bridal dances and when they see the dessert they then go and sit down to eat dessert and then there is no one left on the dance floor and all momentum is lost and this will ruin most wedding functions. Trust me I have done almost 1200 weddings!!!

8.  Next you announce the main bridal dance. Hopefully you have asked the bride and groom (unless they have advised you) how long they want alone on the dance floor together - whether it be 30 seconds or the whole song before you announce the bridal party and then the parents and then you would invite all the guests to join in the dancing.

9.  At this point, if I am not the M.C., I ask the M.C to enjoy themselves for the rest of the evening and I actually do the final formalities (unless the bride and groom insist you do it) being ;

* The throwing of the bouquet. Ask all the single girls out to the middle of the dance floor for the throwing of the bouquet.

* The throwing of the garter. Ask all the single guys out to the middle of the dance floor for the throwing of the garter.

* Announce the departure of the bride and groom. With previous instructions given to you by the bride and groom you will know whether to ask all the guests to make their way to the dance floor to form a circle, so the bride and groom can say their thanks and farewells, or to form an archway or "guard of honour" for the bride and groom to run through, or otherwise some couples do not wish for any formalities at all and simply have the night end and then everybody leave.

10.  The function ends and guests are required to vacate the premises promptly.

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