Many people have different opinions of what the true role of a wedding Emcee is. I would like to preface this post by saying that this is strictly geared towards a “Wedding” Emcee, and not a Mitzvah, Sweet 16, corporate event, or any other kind of Emcee (which I will abbreviate to MC for this article).
The first time I had the pleasure of hosting a wedding, I really did not know what to expect – although I watched several experienced MCs before I had the opportunity to perform myself, it still does not do it any justice. Experience is the only way to truly ‘find yourself,’ and understand the role of a professional wedding MC.
So what does it entail? Why is it so much different than every other event? I will start out by saying this; in many cases, less is more. Have you ever been to a Bar Mitzvah, and noticed the MC out there dancing with the crowd, singing along to the music, forcing the guests to follow along with organized dances? To be honest, if I were to do any of these things while MCing a wedding, I probably wouldn’t be hired very often. Consider a few words: Elegant, Professional, Polished, Articulate, Detail Oriented, Organized, Energetic (but Controlled) – seems to me like that fits the description. But what about “Interactive?” “How interactive are you with the crowd”? Well, What does interactive even mean in a wedding atmosphere? Do not misinterpret this post by thinking that I have a microphone, but ONLY use it to announce the various formalities (Introductions, special spotlight dances, toasts, cake cutting, etc). During dance sets, there is a term called “reading the crowd” that many DJs use to learn what is working (and not working) musically, to keep the dance floor packed. Keep in mind, EVERY CROWD IS DIFFERENT! An MC must use this very same skill to determine when to speak, how to speak, and what to say. To sum up this point, a polished wedding MC will be able to use their judgment to figure out how ‘interactive’ they need to be, given the crowd at hand, in order to make your wedding the best it can possibly be.
Further, there is much more to an MC’s role then just using a microphone to excite a crowd, and to announce the formalities at a wedding. Certain things that many bride and grooms’ do not think about; The MC must be able to work directly with the Maitre D or banquet manager from start to finish. During cocktail hour, I always sit down with whoever is in charge at the venue that night, and discuss the sequence of events for the wedding. (If you want to get on the good side of a Maitre D, you will bring them a copy of your Introductions, formalities, and bridal party order!) When the Maitre’D gives me a schedule and time for each course or formality, do you think it is always exactly on point? Most of the time it is not, however, it is my job to MAKE THE NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS to ensure sure that no precious dancing time is lost. In many cases, the MC also serves as a liaison between the Maitre’D and the DJ to help coordinate the music to fit perfectly with the flow and timing of the formalities & courses. Most importantly, checking in periodically with the bride and groom to ensure that they are happy and stress free at all times is crucial! It is so important that the bride and groom genuinely enjoy every minute of their special day, because as cliché as it sounds, the night really does fly by! Seem complicated? With the proper communication and extreme attention to detail, its actually very simple! Thanks for reading! – Jay G