The Wedding Master of Ceremonies has one of the most important roles at the reception. And because the MC plays such a large role in making it a
success it’s critical to know some of the key things it takes to be an MC
at a wedding.
1. The Wedding Agenda
The agenda or run sheet outlines all of the main events that will take
place during the reception.
It’s one of the most important tools you will use during the function.
That’s why it should be carefully planned in consultation with the bride
and groom well before their big day.
If you’re the emcee, make sure you have all the information you need to
create a fun celebration.
A typical agenda (also called a run sheet) will include the most important
events of the reception – introduction of the bridal party, announcement
at the grand entrance, as well as major events including entertainment,
games, speeches and toasts, cake cutting, first dance or bridal waltz,
open dancing, the bouquet toss, the garter toss, and the final farewell.
The events planned will depend on the duration of the function. More
events can be included when the reception is longer; fewer events are more
appropriate for a shorter time frame.
You’ll find a number of sample agendas in How To Be A FUN Wedding MC that
you can quickly and easily adapt and that will help you and the bride and
groom plan a fun celebration.
2. The Wedding Timeline
The timeline outlines when each of the events will start and finish and is
an integral part of the agenda or run sheet.
The starting and ending times for each event should be indicated on the
agenda and be used as your guide throughout the events to ensure the
program runs on time.
3. Wedding Speeches and Toasts
Most receptions will have speeches and toasts although there will be
occasions when they are dispensed with entirely.
Alternatively, the bride and groom may ask you to give a speech. You might
also be asked to give a toast – usually to absent friends and family
although that can be assigned to a family member or close friend of the
Since speeches and toasts can take up a fair amount of time, ensure each
speaker and toaster knows their time limit – which shouldn’t run more than
about five minutes at the most.
There’s a cautionary note about having “open” speeches and toasts where
other guests are asked to speak after the formal speeches and toasts have
“Open” speeches and toasts can be long winded and remarks or jokes can be
inappropriate so it’s advisable to avoid potential problems right from the
start by having assigned speakers and toasters.
Make sure the speeches and toasts are given at a time when the speakers
and toasters will have the guests’ undivided attention without
distractions and interruptions such as plates being cleared away or meals
being served or the last call being announced for the bar closing.
Wedding MC Jokes
Your role can often be thought of as that of an entertainer. That’s why
you’ll find wedding jokes as well as your personal style entertaining at a
Some MCs have a particular talent like a special way to announce people or
events. Others know how to tell jokes that are appropriate and funny.
Jokes are not mandatory and you’re not expected to be a stand-up comedian.
A few well-chosen jokes, however, can often break the ice or keep the
guests entertained as events are underway.
Here’s some advice on jokes:
1. Choose funny jokes from a tried and true collection.
We’ve all heard jokes that make fun of wives and husbands. And while they
might get a chuckle or two, they’re not all appropriate for a reception.
2. Make sure your jokes don’t embarrass the newlyweds or the guests. Keep
in mind that those guests who attend are of all ages – from young to
3. Practice your jokes.
You’ll have a better chance of getting a laugh from your joke if you
practice it beforehand. Know the introduction and the punch line –
otherwise your joke is likely to fall flat.
4. Make a note on your agenda where you’ll introduce your jokes.
5. Your jokes can be funny stories about the bride or groom when they were
little or about their courtship.
Make sure they’re appropriate and not embarrassing or humiliating to the
newlyweds or their families.
After all, some jokes and stories about the groom are more appropriate for
the bachelor party (in particular) where the groom’s friends will
appreciate the humor.
4. Role Of The Master of Ceremonies
In addition to the preparation and planning, your main role is that of an
There are a number of announcements you will make – from welcoming the
guests and informing them where facilities are to introducing the bridal
party and speakers and informing guests when events are to take place.
But that’s not all the MC at a wedding does because there are other roles
he or she plays.
First, you’re an organizer who makes sure everything on the agenda is
ready and organized for the reception.
Secondly, you’re a co-ordinator. You’re the focal point – the “go to”
person for events as they take place during the celebration. That also
means you follow the agenda closely and ensure events start on time and
Sometimes you’ll have an assistant who will also help in organizing events
to ensure they start on time.
Thirdly, you’re also an ambassador of goodwill. You welcome guests,
vendors, and key players – including the bride and groom’s families – and
ensure everyone is aware of time frames and events as they take place.
As you can see, the role of the Master of Ceremonies is much more than
being an announcer.
That’s why How To Be A FUN Wedding MC was created: To help novice MCs
create an amazing celebration for the newlyweds on their big day.
If you’re a novice MC who doesn’t know what to do, where to begin, or what
to say, then How To Be A FUN Wedding MC will take you through your duties and responsibilities from beginning to end.
You’ll discover preparation forms and checklists to bring you up to speed
quickly, fun games and entertainment ideas, sample agendas for different
types of receptions, and much more to help you – as a novice MC – create
an amazing celebration the bride and groom will remember for years to
This has been a Guest Post from Mark Livingston of How to be a FUN Wedding MC. Make sure you check out his book if you’re the Master of
Ceremonies at a wedding and want a solid framework, plenty of good advice and some sure fire laughs and fun.