1. Remember your responsibilities: to bring order to the event, to energize the audience and to encourage the event to flow.
BEFORE THE DAY
2. Meet the couple before the wedding day.
3. Ask the couple or the event organizer to nominate one person to be your coordinator during the reception.
4. Write notes of what transpires during the meeting.
5. Email a record of what was discussed to the couple and event organizer.
6. Get a draft program of the reception.
7. Ask for the chairman's profile if you are the one to do the introduction.
8. Visit the reception venue before the big day to familiarize yourself with the layout of the space (location of the high table, entrances and exits).
THE NIGHT BEFORE
9. Get your clothes, shoes, accessories, business cards and notes ready for the following day.
10. Sleep early.
BEFORE THE RECEPTION
11. Attend the religious service and observe everything.
12. Head over to the reception venue in good time so you can prepare sufficiently before the reception begins.
13. Meet with the members of your event team: the coordinator, venue manager, DJ, ushers, waiters, caterer and security.
14. Call your team members by name instead of referring to them by their roles.
15. Give a copy of the program to all your team members.
16. Go over the program with the event coordinator.
17. Be on friendly but professional terms with the DJ.
18. Establish a signal with the DJ so he automatically lowers the music when you have to talk.
19. Welcome the early guests and thank them for attending.
20. Pass out your business cards as you introduce yourself.
21. Ensure that the ushers seat guests at their assigned places.
22. Get the waiters to serve guests with cold drinks before the bridal party arrives.
23. Make sure the people responsible for the opening prayer and introducing the chairman are present.
24. Check from the DJ whether the couple has selected a particular song to herald their entrance.
DURING THE RECEPTION
25. Be at least 2 steps ahead of the program so you can improvise when unexpected changes occur.
26. As soon as couple arrives, ask the guests to stand up and clap to welcome them.
27. If the opening prayer is by a religious official, make sure you mention the person's place of worship.
28. If you are introducing the chairman, keep it short and relevant by using the P- E-N formula to inform guests of his credentials (Profession-Experience-Name).
29. Politely tell the DJ to change the music or lower the volume if the occasion demands it.
30. Read out the names of the champagne popping team 2 or 3 times before inviting them to do their work.
31. You are not the star of the event.
32. Make positive comments about the beautiful bride and her handsome husband.
33. Make frequent announcements pointing out the location of the gift table and encouraging guests to give their presents to the people at the table.
34. Make sure the caterer is ready before you invite guests to eat.
35. Invite the bridal party to serve themselves first.
36. Invite those closest to the buffet table to serve themselves and then spread out towards those further and further from the buffet table.
37. Make sure guests have their glasses before the champagne bottles are popped open.
38. The person who opens the first bottle of champagne serves the bridal party.
39. Encourage guests to clap after the proposal of toast and the response to the toast.
40. Ask the bride if she has a special song for the couple's first dance and check with the DJ if it's available.
41. Invite the guests to join in the dancing after the first dance is over.
42. Be prepared to persuade someone to dance with you if guests are shy about joining the couple to dance.
43. Make several announcements for all the single ladies to get ready for the bouquet toss.
44. Make the bouquet toss dramatic with a countdown before the flowers are thrown.
45. Ask for a Vote of Thanks only if you have to end the reception.
46. End the reception by thanking the audience for accepting the invitation.
AFTER THE RECEPTION
47. Join the bridal party when they line up to greet departing guests - if you didn't handle the reception well, this is no time to slink away home.
48. Pass out your business cards once again.