MCing a wedding? Start by interviewing the bride and groom
Have you just been invited to be an MC at a wedding? If so, you are probably wondering what the MC duties at a wedding are. It is certainly difficult to work out exactly what the MC duties are because there are so many, but also because they vary according to the wedding, the bride and groom, and the setting.
There are also religious and cultural aspects to consider, as well, when defining your MC wedding duties. Take heart though our e-book: "The beginner's guide to being a brilliant MC" gives lots of details on what to do. Let's go through some key ideas here first though, before you read it.
The first step in your MC wedding duties
The first step in defining your MC wedding duties is to have a talk to the bride and groom. I know it is easy to presume you just do an Internet search and find out a set formula for your MC wedding duties. However, what truly matters is that you take on the MC wedding duties that your bride and groom want you to do.
Every bride and groom are different, every wedding reception is different and thus the duties of a wedding MC are different for each occasion. You might have duties that are centered around a church, or a beach setting, or a hotel, or a park, or even in the back garden of the bride's parents.
I remember a client that I was coaching who was going to be an MC at his cousin's wedding. He had gone to enormous lengths to make sure that he was doing everything correctly and he even came to me for a coaching session. As we were talking to each other it struck me that he'd not thought to go to the bride and groom with a list of questions to ask them exactly what they wanted. Mistake number one!
MC wedding duties include interviewing the bride and groom
Interviewing the bride and groom is one of the first things you need to do before you start refining your MC wedding duties. With the client I mentioned, I prepared a list of questions for him to take to his bride and groom so that he had a structured interview with them and didn't miss out on anything important. I have included this checklist for you in the MC e-book.
What happens at each wedding reception is different. In order to become clear on what your MC wedding duties are, you need to know all the activities that may happen throughout the reception. This is one of the areas of questioning you work through with your bride and groom.
This matters because a key component of the duties of a wedding MC is to introduce, explain and thank people for the rituals, speeches, or other events, as they occur.
You may also be required as the wedding MC to encourage people to become involved in some of the activities, e.g. joining the bride and groom on the dance floor, standing to watch the cutting of the cake, or applauding the bride as she arrives, for example.
MC duties at a wedding include knowing everything that is happening, and I mean everything. Do not just have a general idea, know all the details.
MC wedding duties include knowing the customs
I have seen many different customs at weddings, and it is these you need to understand and be able to execute with a silky ease.
If you've got a Scottish wedding you might be introducing a bagpipe player, if you have a Christian wedding you might be welcoming the priest or vicar, if it's an international wedding you might be helping people to translate the different languages involved. There is no one set of duties of a wedding MC.
One really beautiful wedding that I went to featured an Australian groom and a Japanese bride. The bride's family flew over from Japan to come to the reception and did not speak good English. The duties of a master of ceremonies at this wedding included helping to translate the English into Japanese, and helping to translate the Japanese into English, so all families knew what was being said.
The duties of a wedding MC are not to be taken lightly and can be wide ranging and are specific to each wedding. Have you booked your interview with the bride and groom yet? Make sure you know what to do. Our MC e-book will help you.