You accepted to be the MC at your best friend’s wedding reception but is this what you signed up for?
The music is so loud that guests have to virtually scream to chat with one another. The buffet queue reminds you of the line at a busy polling station on voting day – winding and ever growing.
The event itself feels like a movie shot entirely in slow motion – it started one hour late and there are still two more songs to be performed before the cake is cut.
As if this is not enough, an irate guest calls you over to ask why she has had to wait all this time without being served even a drop of water. “Don’t you know I’m the bride’s aunt? What’s the meaning of this?”
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Wedding MC. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed by the many things that are going on simultaneously.
You may wonder whether your real role is to be a master over chaos instead of what your title says in the program: Master of Ceremonies.
But is it your fault that the couple packed the program with so many performances? And why should anyone blame you for the slowness of the waiters?
The truth is that you are responsible for the smooth running of every aspect of the wedding reception. That means you need to see your role primarily as Event Manager tasked with satisfying your customers. So who are these customers anyway and what exactly are you managing?
Know your Customers
At a wedding reception, your number one customers are the brand new Mister and Missus. Your job is to keep them relaxed and radiating happiness all the time. This means you should not give them a running commentary of all the things that are going wrong such as an unexpected shortage of drinks or delays from the caterer.
Another set of important customers are the service providers – the DJ, ushers, caterer, waiters and security. You have to coordinate their activities to make the event a success so your job is to keep them informed about the inevitable twists and turns in the program.
Your final set of customers are the guests. Without their involvement, the reception will lack real atmosphere. They, like the couple, also need to be relaxed and engaged with the event.
Now you know who your customers are, let us turn our attention to what you should manage to enhance their total experience of the reception.
Manage the Noise
DJs can make or break any wedding reception. The best way to handle such key people is with respect. Get to the reception venue early, introduce yourself as the MC and continue by saying “And your name is…” The DJ will give you their name and from then on you should use it. Anytime they crank up the volume, approach them and politely ask them to turn it down to a specific setting.
Never abuse your power as the MC by ordering the DJ to lower the volume. Your public criticism of their work will be resented and they may even turn up the music in protest. Then you will have a hard time satisfying your audience and the couple.
Feel free to openly compliment DJs on their choice of music. They will return the favor by cooperating with you.