As the MC, you are responsible for the smooth running of every aspect of the wedding reception. As the de facto Event Manager, you have to satisfy your customers (your audience) and manage noise levels. But that’s not all.
Manage the Queue
Getting people to queue in an orderly fashion to serve themselves at a wedding reception can be a daunting challenge. By the time food is ready, guests who also attended the marriage service may have been sitting down for 3 or 4 hours and may be very hungry.
If you make the mistake of starting with guests at the back, those closest to the food tables will invite themselves into the queue, just like drivers who use the shoulder of the roads to beat traffic and end up creating even more congestion.
The best way to manage a buffet queue is this: get the wedding party and VIPs to serve themselves first, continue with those closest to the buffet table and work your way gradually towards the back of the venue. I learned this tip years ago from the Food and Beverage Manager at Golden Tulip Accra and it is fool proof. Use it.
Manage the Time
This aspect of a wedding reception is entirely in your hands. Remember that the items on a printed brochure are just a guide for you. They are not cast in concrete.
You should not have to wait 30 minutes to get started just because the designated person to do the opening prayer is caught up in traffic. Consult with the event planner, get a replacement and move on. Respect your customers by valuing their time. You should not punish those who arrived early by making them wait for the latecomers.
To save time, you can run some items simultaneously. For example, the toast can be proposed right after the bride and groom have had their meal instead of waiting for all the guests to finish eating.
Manage the Mood
As the MC you set the tone for the event and so you are responsible for the mood of all your guests. Remember you are running the event on behalf of the couple.
Right at the beginning, tell the guests you are their personal Customer Service Manager. Assure them that they are going to have an enjoyable and memorable time. Remind them that if they fail to get the service they expect, they should direct their complaints to you alone.
Do not leave the service providers out – they contribute to the mood as well. If you decide to invite guests to dinner 15 minutes earlier than scheduled, alert the caterer and waiters.
Before the first dance, check with the DJ if he has cued the correct song. The bride will not be amused if she is forced to dance to a song she did not choose. Remember, the reception will be a success if she is happy. You will successfully manage the mood of a wedding reception when you anticipate all eventualities and take nothing for granted.
Are you on Wedding MC duty this weekend? To minimize chaos and maximize satisfaction at your next wedding reception, here is what you need to remember:
Know your customers
Manage the noise
Manage the queue
Manage the time
Manage the mood
Pay attention to the details of every one of these points as if you were the Event Manager and you will be successful.