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Old 03-05-2020, 03:50 PM   #1
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Hello CP Braintrust,

I've been bestowed the honour of MCing a friends wedding. I'm looking forward to it and want to make it a fun time. I'm fine with speaking and doing the performance-type stuff, which is probably why they picked me. But I'm not sure where to start with what this even entails. I know we gotta go through the speeches and try to keep things quick, get tables sorted, etc.. but I want to make it entertaining, keep people laughing and hopefully do some unique things. So I'm curious what people have done or enjoyed in their experience from Wedding MCs. Thanks!
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Old 03-05-2020, 04:14 PM   #2
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We hired a stripper the night before the wedding and partied with the Groom, unfortunately we were busted by the Brides mom, the Stripper ended up with the tires on her car slashed, the Groom vanished and we had to go to every bar in Fort McLeod to find him.



I like to call that the cold opening to a wedding.
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Old 03-05-2020, 04:27 PM   #3
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The first thing I can recommend is to buy the book "The Wedding MC"

https://www.amazon.ca/Wedding-MC-Com...3450253&sr=8-1

It's got a ton of good info and ideas. When I MC'd my friends wedding I sat down with them after reading that and there were all sorts of things that they hadn't even thought of, and I wouldn't have thought to ask if I hadn't read that book.

A few tips:
1) Drink less than you think you can/should
2) It's not your job to put on a show, it's your job to keep the show going, elaborate bits never go as well as you think they will, basically do, and say less than you think you can/should. Everyone has limited time to enjoy the wedding, don't fill it up with too many jokes and bits, you can be funny without putting on a show.
3) I'm not sure if this is in the book, but no matter what the bride and groom say, DO NOT DO/ALLOW an open mic, no one has ever left a wedding thinking "Wow, that 20 minutes of inside jokes and awkward stories were great, especially when drunk uncle made all those totally inappropriate jokes.

Take my advice for what it is worth, but I really can't stress enough, buy/read that book, it's a great starting point and will give you a lot to think about.
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Old 03-05-2020, 04:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring_Back_Shantz View Post
3) I'm not sure if this is in the book, but no matter what the bride and groom say, DO NOT DO/ALLOW an open mic, no one has ever left a wedding thinking "Wow, that 20 minutes of inside jokes and awkward stories were great, especially when drunk uncle made all those totally inappropriate jokes.
I was at a wedding that had a sort of open mic. But it was a second mic. The MC didn't give up his, but a second was kept at the DJ booth, the DJ would give it to the MC, who could give it to someone if they wanted to talk a bit. The MC kept a good eye on who had it, and the DJ could cut the mic while the MC used his to talk over and soothe things down a bit if the person on the mic was too drunk or inappropriate. Also, when folks would open with "I have a couple stories about..." the MC would usually jump in pretty quick with something along the lines of "Why don't you just tell us the best one, then?"

Wedding MC'ing is way more about managing people than anything else...and the people you need to manage are gonna be drunk. An MC should be staying mostly sober, imo.
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:24 PM   #5
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Don’t do stupid games about how much they know about each other.
Don’t do a slide show as part of the event.
If they want pictures have a projector set up during cocktails.
Nothing ruins a wedding more than 15 minutes of pictures set to terrible music while the bar is closed.

Get stories from the wedding party and work them in. Get to know the “other” side and the families. If it’s one sided it’s no good.

If you are doing any kind of audience participation have them planted and know what they are going to say.

Make a joke about the groom being terrible at sex
Remember that any jokes about sex need to be Grandma appropriate

You don’t need to tell jokes, telling stories that exagerate we’ll know characteristics of the people is far funnier

Last edited by GGG; 03-05-2020 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:35 PM   #6
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Pretty much everything Bring Back Shantz said. I have done a few and think of yourself more as a referee. If no one notices or remembers you, you did a good job.

One thing that sounds silly but that the crowd was really into was a bride and groom trivia. The Bride and Groom had a very sparse program (almost nothing) and kind of wanted me to fill it. Anyways every so often I would go ask 3-4 trivia type questions about the Bride and Groom from various stages in their life (so everyone had a chance from childhood friends to college roommates) with silly prizes. I didnít think it would go over but it seemed to. I donít think it would though with a normal program.
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:44 PM   #7
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Do what the bride and groom tell you.
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:50 PM   #8
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Good luck! I MCed (or is it emceed?) a friends wedding years ago. Despite some additional stress and not being able to drink as much it was a really enjoyable experience.

Keep in mind it is not about yourself. You are working for the wedding, or more specifically the bride. Get her to provide a detailed itinerary with times and stick to it. Also, it's great to start off with jokes and anecdotes but keep these short and to a minimum. The guests are there for the reception, not to listen to you.

Oh and a couple other tips from my experience. If you need to introduce members of the wedding party make sure you get the correct pronunciations of their names and practice them repeatedly. Also if it is a buffet style dinner double check the order to send tables up. If you accidentally send up your buddies in the back before the grandparents expect some stink eye from the bride.
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weitz View Post
Do what the bride and groom tell you.
Yup this!!! It is their day so donít think you have to entertain anybody. I was a co-MC at a wedding so my best tip is to just keep the schedule going. Focus on keeping things moving along. You should have a pretty much set schedule set by the bride and groom with times of all activities/speeches. I would rehearse a bit as well beforehand. Me and my co-Mc collaborated for a few months beforehand and did one dry run of the whole program the day of. I did had a few drinks to loosen up. And if you mess up a bit nobody is going to care or remember anyways.
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Old 03-05-2020, 06:59 PM   #10
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I've been the MC of more weddings that I can count.

Here's my strategy:

1. Talk to the bride and groom about what they want. Find out who's giving toasts, what info people will need to know (bathrooms, where the gifts go, any housekeeping items).

2. Your job is essentially the host of a late night talk show. You have an opening monologue (the welcome, housekeeping), then you intro everyone giving speeches and keep the night flowing.

3. The centre of attention is the bride and groom. You can be funny, you can do a skit, but keep it on the shorter side, and always with the attention on the happy couple (or on the next speaker).

4. Don't forget the closing/transition into the dance portion of the evening. Be sure to thank everyone for coming, and welcome the band/DJ and hand off the rest of the duties to them (if that's what the plan is).

There have been a few threads in the past about this, but tomorrow I'll do my best to put together a post with hints and tips.
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:00 PM   #11
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Don't forget to demand the traditional shag of the drunken weepy maid of honour
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:10 AM   #12
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This thread is 15 years old now... wow.

https://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=17527


There are a few more:

https://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=77007
https://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=60439



I knew I did a run-down/schedule before. Here you go:

Quote:
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Just got back from doing this last weekend.

Money Guy's pointers were good. Here are a few of my own (there will be some redundancies)

- It's about the Bride & Groom. Keep the focus on them and always on them (unless introducing a speaker, like best man).

- Your job is to get from "Point A" to "Point B". Here's a quick run down of how I usually map things out (I've done this thrice now)

1 - Introduce yourself, say you'll be the emcee for the evening, and without any further adieu, introduce Bride & Groom as they come into the room (possibly wedding party depending on how they want things)

2 - Business logistics, where do you put gifts? Where's the bar? Where are the bathrooms? What are the party favours? Introduce the head table (even if the same as walking in, helps people remember names)

3 - Opening remarks. Wasn't today a great day for a wedding? The service was wonderful, let's have a round of applause for minister/preacher/preist/justice of the peace.

4 - Monologue. Think of it as like a late night talk show. Keep things G rated (depending on the couple and audience PG). You're talking to kids, and grandma. This isn't the bachelor party. Here's where you tell a story or two about the happy couple. Something cute, clever, and charming. (also of note using tricks like alliteration, rhyme, etc help your cause and instantly make you better as long as you don't trip up over your words. Last weekend The first 3 minutes I kept tripping over Scott & Shauna . . . IF you do that make fun of yourself, for the most part you stop doing it and people get a laugh.)

This is also prime wedding game territory. Hold up the shoe for who will do the dishes/better with money. What I did is asked the bride and groom questions about each other. Favourite Food/Song/Movie, always saying 'what's your beautiful bride/gorgeous groom's _____) I ended with asking the love of your life their favourite hockey team, when the bride answered I said "oh I'm sorry, I asked what THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE'S favourite hockey team was . . . I'm a Calgary Flames fan!"

5 - Supper. Say something like how you've tortured everyone enough, let's bring out the food (call up whoever says grace if they're doing that).

6 - Little story/intro to how to do the kissing game if there is one

7 - Intro speeches

8 - Small closing, a short joke, thank yous, and party it down

I find this is a good formula, and if you realize you're not up there for 30-45 minutes it'll go well.

Only small part I disagree with Money Guy on is, it's ok to have a drink or two to help the nerves, but DO NOT GET DRUNK!

I've always had a beer or two, and a glass of wine in me. That said, I've trained debating competitively while drinking, and would have water with my wine too. If you know your limits, and drink based on that and NOT how you feel at the moment you'll be fine. If you're nervous you won't feel the alcohol until it's too late. The beer or two will kick away the nerves once you get going.

I've got a few new ideas and jokes if you want PM me and I'll copy/paste you the second last draft of my notes (I always go over before hand and make the last minute hand written changes)
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:56 AM   #13
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Just don't declare King's honor and think its hilarious.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:06 AM   #14
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Don't forget to demand the traditional shag of the drunken weepy maid of honour
That's a thing?? I've MC'd 3 weddings and had a gf every time, and now I'm single..I missed out. Still 2 buddies left to get hitched, need to make the next one count..

Agreed with what people said before, keep it entertaining but don't go on and on and make it about you, and you'll be just fine. They picked you for a reason, I'm sure you're fun. Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:17 AM   #15
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Everyone is in a better mood after they have had their turn eating, what ever you do, don't delay that process.
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Old 03-10-2020, 12:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring_Back_Shantz View Post

A few tips:
1) Drink less than you think you can/should
2) It's not your job to put on a show, it's your job to keep the show going, elaborate bits never go as well as you think they will, basically do, and say less than you think you can/should. Everyone has limited time to enjoy the wedding, don't fill it up with too many jokes and bits, you can be funny without putting on a show.
3) I'm not sure if this is in the book, but no matter what the bride and groom say, DO NOT DO/ALLOW an open mic, no one has ever left a wedding thinking "Wow, that 20 minutes of inside jokes and awkward stories were great, especially when drunk uncle made all those totally inappropriate jokes.

Take my advice for what it is worth, but I really can't stress enough, buy/read that book, it's a great starting point and will give you a lot to think about.
I have Mc'd about a dozen weddings. This is it. The Mc is there to make sure things move, drunks don't talk too long and keep the Bride, Groom and the Brides Mom happy. Everyone just wants to get to the social/party part.

People thank me at the end and say things like "I can't believe how quickly you get through the program"

Oh, and if they close the bar during speeches. I like to hide a bottle of wine or two for the head table, while the program is on.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:02 PM   #17
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I have Mc'd about a dozen weddings. This is it. The Mc is there to make sure things move, drunks don't talk too long and keep the Bride, Groom and the Brides Mom happy. Everyone just wants to get to the social/party part.

People thank me at the end and say things like "I can't believe how quickly you get through the program"

Oh, and if they close the bar during speeches. I like to hide a bottle of wine or two for the head table, while the program is on.
Just a note here. Its about what the bride and groom want. Don't rush people through anything if they aren't really giving you a signal. Who gives a #### that people want to get to the social/party portion.

I had to tell my MC to cool it a bit because we were enjoying things. I didn't need him up there speeding it along.

Closing the bar is a stupid move though.
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Old 03-10-2020, 03:18 PM   #18
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I have done about 10. Post 3 and 10 are bang on. Follow them.

MC stands for Master of Ceremonies not the entertainment. ‘Host of a Late Night Talk show’ is a great analysis. Announce the relationship of everyone you introduce back to the Bride and Groom.
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Old 03-10-2020, 05:55 PM   #19
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Think of it more as managing the operations than purely as an announcer.

As mentioned, set up a schedule down to the minute for the evening with the bride and groom. Ask what expectations are and how to follow it (ie: Military precision, or flexible based on how things are flowing). If anyone has questions about what to do, it should be to you and not the bride and groom so they don't spend the evening inundated with stupid queries and enjoy it instead.

I'd recommend following up with the next "act" around 15-20 mins beforehand and also hop over beside them to give them a 1-5 minute reminder. I'd also use the follow up to check up on pronunciation and maybe ask how that person wants to be introduced etc. This also avoids the, "Next we have this going on... oh OK I guess we are going to swap things around or wait a few minutes..." awkwardness announcements.

I'd also give everyone a 15-20 minute heads up before toasts so glasses aren't empty but bladders are with plenty of time to avoid a stampede.

You're also kinda the pseudo liaison of the operations of the evening so that the bride and groom don't have to be and so that the guests aren't wandering around in confusion. So consider you may have to spend some of the evening chasing people around, fielding questions and on the rare occasion double check if things are OK with people including the bridal party or the bride and groom. The venue may ask you when to reveal the cake/slicing it, or whether to delay dinner courses/appetizers, we are running out of beverages. etc. It's also OK for you to intermittently check up on the bride and groom to see if there's any feed back they want incorporated into the evening such as speeding things up/slowing things down. Weird things you didn't discuss on the schedule that need clarification (ie: Relative wants a quick moment to thank everyone.. but perhaps not open mic).

With some of the dead air between "acts" it's a good idea to quickly hop up and give a few reminders of the opening rules and intro of where bathrooms are etc. Sometimes people don't hear it the first time because they're chatting or catching up etc. Heck, even your in between announcements might be missed people people are still chatting.

You may even find yourself running around and doing small errands in between the acts such as discreetly cart off a passed out relative with a small group etc.
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