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How to MC a Wedding

How To MC A Wedding

How to mc a wedding is an important skill for anyone looking to take on the role of master of ceremonies at a wedding. As the MC, you are responsible for guiding the wedding reception from start to finish, making announcements, introducing speakers, and keeping the events running smoothly and on time. While it may seem daunting if you’ve never done it, being prepared and following key tips will ensure you perform well as the wedding MC.

What is a Wedding Master of Ceremonies?

The wedding master of ceremonies (MC), also known as the wedding emcee or wedding host, is the person who oversees the reception events and keeps the night flowing seamlessly. The MC guides the couple and their guests from the start of the reception to the final farewell, ensuring everything runs according to plan.

Some of the main duties include:

  • Making announcements and Great Wedding MC Introductions 
  • Coordinating with vendors like DJs, photographers, videographers, etc.
  • Keeping to the timeline and schedule
  • Facilitating key reception events like the first dance, speeches, cake cutting, etc.
  • Adding personality and humor (if appropriate)
  • Troubleshooting any issues

The role requires excellent communication skills, confidence in speaking to crowds, the ability to think on your feet, and knowledge of typical wedding reception events. Many couples will ask a close friend or family member to MC their wedding, but some prefer to hire a professional wedding MC with experience.

How to MC a Wedding

Wedding Emcee or MC?

 Emcee and MC can be used interchangeably when referring to the wedding host. MC stands for “master of ceremonies,” while emcee means the person masters the ceremony. There is no difference between an emcee and an MC in the wedding context. Choose whichever term you prefer.

What Are the Duties of a Wedding MC?

The Master of Ceremonies Duties at a Wedding Reception will vary slightly depending on the timeline and preferences of each couple. However, there are some typical responsibilities the MC will need to handle:

Before the Wedding

  • Meet with the couple to discuss the timeline and any special details
  • Review the reception schedule and vendor contacts
  • Create/review any MC scripts you plan to use
  • Arrange sound check and set up on the day

Reception MC Duties

  • Grand entrance – announcing the wedding party
  • Welcome – greeting guests and kicking off the reception
  • Introduce speakers – for reception formalities like welcome speech, blessings, or toasts
  • Announce meal service – including any unique dietary options
  • Facilitate reception activities – bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting, first dance, parent dances, etc.
  • Make announcements as needed throughout the night
  • Thank guests and introduce farewell events like sparkler exit

Having a wedding MC duties checklist ensures you cover all the basics. But remain flexible – extra announcements or changes in schedule may come up.

What Does an MC Say at a Wedding?

The wedding MC script will be tailored to each couple, but some everyday things an MC says include:

  • Welcoming and thanking the guests
  • Introducing wedding party, parents, and special guests
  • Announcing the meal service
  • Providing context before key events – cake cutting, first dance, etc.
  • Facilitating reception activities – instructions for bouquet toss, etc.
  • Making impromptu announcements or troubleshooting issues
  • Thanking vendors – photographer, DJ, caterer, etc.

Strike a balance between concise information and a warm, lively personality. Your MC script and speaking style sets the tone for the reception. Need Help With Your MC Script?

wedding mc

What Skills Are Needed for the MC Role?

To successfully MC a wedding, these skills and qualities are helpful:

  • Public speaking ability – confident, clear voice with good projection
  • Organizational skills – Stay on top of the timeline and schedule
  • Adaptability – think on your feet when needed
  • Creative flair – inject appropriate humor and personal touches
  • Crowd rapport – interact with and pump up the guests
  • Problem-solving – address any issues gracefully and quickly
  • Multi-tasking – juggle MC duties along with coordinating vendors/couple

Rehearse your script and timed program to get comfortable before your performance. You can Get the $49 Wedding MC Script Here 

How to MC a Wedding - Working with Wedding Venue

Touch base with the wedding venue ahead of time to coordinate logistics for the reception. Here are some tips:

  • Discuss equipment needs – wireless mic, podium, audio setup. Do a sound check.
  • Confirm venue layout – head table, guest tables, dance floor, etc.
  • Review venue lighting and décor – adjust MC positioning accordingly
  • Know the venue’s rules – noise ordinances, alcohol policies, permitted activities, etc.
  • Coordinate vendor meals if catering is provided
  • Confirm parking, entrance protocols, and venue representatives to assist

The wedding MC needs to feel comfortable navigating the space and logistics. Connecting with the venue manager ensures you can execute your MC duties smoothly.

How to MC a Wedding - Working with Vendors

As the MC, you’ll collaborate closely with key vendors to keep the reception events flowing. Make sure to:

  • Photographer/videographer – Discuss optimal spots for capturing key moments. Allow time for any special staged photos.
  • DJ or band – confirm pronunciation of names, schedule of events, and any dedications or special songs.
  • Caterer – Ensure you accurately announce meal details and dietary options—alert staff before key events like cake cutting and toasts.
  • Florist – check arrival time and setup of centerpieces, bouquets, etc. Know plans for tossing bouquets.

Touch base with each vendor in advance and on the wedding day to coordinate everyone’s roles. This ensures the entertainment and aesthetic elements come together seamlessly.

wedding emcee script

How to MC a Wedding - Reception MC Runsheet

A detailed MC runsheet is crucial for remembering your cues and staying on the timeline. Include:

  • Start/end times for each activity
  • All announcements and script details
  • Vendor contacts – photographer, DJ, etc.
  • Order of events – entrances, first dance, cake cutting, etc.
  • Contingency plans and backup cues, if needed
  • Open spaces for any last-minute notes

Having your runsheet printed or on a tablet allows you to mark things off as you go and adjust on the fly if needed.

How to MC a Wedding - Wedding MC Script

While seasoned MCs may work off essential bullet points, having a full wedding MC script is wise for first-timers. Include:

  • Formal welcome – greet guests, thank couple
  • Introductions – wedding party, parents, special guests
  • Any relevant context/history – how a couple met, etc.
  • Announcements – meal times, dietary options, reception events
  • Instructions – For activities like the bouquet toss
  • Transitions – between events, introducing toasts, etc.
  • Farewell – final toast, sparkler exit etc.

Draft your core script in advance, but leave room to personalize with ad-libs and impromptu interactions. Strike a professional yet warm tone.

How to MC a Wedding – Entrances

The grand entrance kicks off the reception on a high-energy note. As MC, you’ll announce the wedding party as they enter.

  • Confirm the pronunciation of all names with the couple.
  • Share the entrance order and any special details with the DJ/band.
  • Amp up the guests with a warm intro before announcing names.
  • Read names slowly and clearly. Allow applause between each.
  • Enjoy the celebratory atmosphere! The entrances set the tone for the whole event.

If you plan rhyming or humorous intros, get the couple’s approval first. Keep it classy.

wedding mc duties

How to MC a Wedding - Great Wedding MC Introduction

Your opening words welcome guests and orient everyone to the celebration ahead. Some tips for a great MC introduction:

  • Thank guests for coming from near and far
  • Highlight the couple’s love story if appropriate
  • Share any special details – theme, hashtags, charity drive, etc.
  • Cover housekeeping – bathroom locations, smoking areas, emergency exits
  • Review timeline – dinner service, dances, departure time
  • Recap major events – entrances, first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, etc.
  • Cue something upbeat, like the first dance.

Your intro sets the tone – be lively personal, and keep it concise. Share key details to get guests informed and excited.

How to MC a Wedding – Speeches

Wedding speeches are a major moment. As MC, you’ll coordinate each speaker and make seamless transitions between them:

Wedding Speech Order:

  • Father of the Bride
  • Groom
  • Best Man
  • Maid of Honor
  • Bride

Before each speech:

  • Introduce the speaker(s) – their name, relationship to the couple
  • Share any relevant context – inside jokes or special memories
  • Transition smoothly between speakers – applause, music cues, etc.

Adjust the order as needed. Facilitate champagne toasts between speeches. Some tips:

  • Inform speakers of order, time limits, and set up in advance
  • Have a glass of water or champagne ready at a podium
  • Keep speeches moving – have backups like the Mr./Mrs. shoe game if needed

Helping each speech giver feel prepared will make your job smoother as an MC.

How to MC a Wedding – Games

Wedding games add fun interaction during reception downtimes. As MC, you’ll explain rules and facilitate Wedding Reception Games like:

  • Shoe game – bride and groom compete to see who knows more about their partner
  • Newlywed game – test couple’s knowledge of each other’s preferences
  • Dance-offs – spotlights, freeze dance, etc.
  • Friends vs. family competitions – relay races, trivia, etc.
  • Photo scavenger hunt – Guests take fun pictures with prompts

Tips for successful MC facilitation:

  • Give clear instructions – demo if helpful
  • Get a few willing participants on the stage/dance floor to demonstrate
  • Keep energy up with music, cheerleading, friendly banter between teams
  • Have small prizes, crowns, sashes, etc. to reward winners
  • Know when to transition back to dances, cake cutting, etc.

Get creative in your game selection and be ready to improvise! Play to the couple’s tastes.

wedding mc script examples

How to MC a Wedding - Cake Cutting

The cake-cutting is a sweet tradition for guests to witness. As MC, you’ll oversee the logistics and add flair to your narration.

Ahead of time:

  • Confirm cake delivery time with the baker
  • Discuss cake display, cutting tools, and server attire with a couple
  • Coordinate cake-slicing service with caterer

During cake cutting:

  • Invite couple and wedding party to cake table when ready
  • Give background on the cake if appropriate – flavors, theme, etc.
  • Lead fun moments like cake smashing, feeding each other
  • Take photo ops – bouquet toss, candid moments
  • Transition couple into first dance as a cake is sliced

Make announcements so guests know when the cake will be served. This reception centerpiece needs Simple Cake Cut Script

How to MC a Wedding - First Dance

The newlyweds’ first dance is one of the most touching moments you’ll facilitate Wedding MC First Dance.

A few days before, confirm with the couple:

  • Chosen song and exact length
  • Dance style – choreographed, freestyle, etc.
  • Where and when they’ll start – on the floor? After intros?

Day-of MC protocol:

  • Invite guests’ attention before bringing the couple to the floor
  • Share any relevant backstory – song meaning, dance style
  • Cue the DJ/band to start the music
  • Make sure the photographer and videographer are ready
  • Use an upbeat tone and positive cues like “Let’s give it up for the new Mr. and Mrs.!”
  • Wrap up dance and move into parent dances, open dancing, etc.

Your MC narration sets the scene for this romantic memory. Help the couple feel special.

How to MC a Wedding - Parent Dances

The savvy MC also facilitates the dances with parents:

Father/Daughter Dance

  • Build excitement by sharing how meaningful this tradition is
  • Welcome the bride and her father to the floor
  • Share any details on their song choice and relationship
  • Invite the groom and mother of the bride to join halfway through

Mother/Son Dance

  • Follow the same format, highlighting the son’s relationship with his mother.
  • Build anticipation before welcoming the groom and mother to the floor
  • Cue the bride and father of the groom to join halfway through

Having wedding MC dance scripts ensures you cap off these sweet moments smoothly. Know who joins when according to the couple’s preferences.

wedding master of ceremonies training course

How to MC a Wedding - Garter Toss

The garter toss injects some sexy fun into the reception lineup. As MC, you’ll get the crowd primed:

  • Provide context – explain this wedding tradition
  • Get single ladies on the dance floor ready to catch
  • Bring energy up with upbeat music
  • Invite the groom to remove the bride’s garter
  • Play hype, man-cheeky remarks, the crowd cheering, etc.
  • Facilitate the toss and congratulate the one who catches the bouquet
  • Keep it classy! Know the couple’s comfort level with joke content

Read the room as you add your own MC flair. Many couples now opt to omit the garter toss.

How to MC a Wedding - Bouquet Toss

Tying into wedding superstitions, the bouquet toss creates fun anticipation. Ensure MC success with these tips:

  • Gather a group of single ladies on the dance floor
  • Share legend – catching the bouquet predicts the next marriage
  • Encourage upbeat energy, cheering, jousting for position
  • Cue the bride to turn back toward the group
  • Amp up excitement and count down the toss
  • Congratulate whoever catches, and transition back to the dance floor

Playing the right music helps create the spirited atmosphere this activity needs.

How to MC a Wedding – What NOT to Do as MC

To keep your MC performance smooth, avoid these amateur mistakes:

  • Forgetting names or mispronouncing them
  • Making unauthorized changes to the timeline
  • Making inappropriate jokes or profane comments
  • Drawing excessive attention to yourself
  • Failing to coordinate with vendors and wedding party
  • Not preparing correctly – improper attire, lack of script/runsheet
  • Indulging in alcohol – slurred words, wandering focus

The reception should spotlight the couple – not the MC’s antics or blunders. Keep it classy and professional.

How to Be a Funny MC at a Wedding

Adding humor when appropriate enhances your Funny Wedding MC Script – keep these dos and don’ts in mind:

DO:

  • Get to know the couple and use inside jokes they’ll appreciate
  • Find clever ways to announce standard reception events creatively
  • Use wedding puns and gentle roasting of the wedding party/guests
  • Employ callback jokes – running gags that repeat throughout the night

DON’T

  • Make jokes about sensitive topics like religion, politics, ethnicity
  • Use profanity or make inappropriate sexual references
  • Make the couple or important guests the butt of jokes
  • Tell long stories – keep jokes and gags brief with quick punchlines

Humor is subjective, so gauge the crowd vibe. And always get the couple’s approval on any edgy material – it’s their day!

wedding mc course

How Can I Be a Good MC?

To excel as a first-time wedding MC:

  • Prepare extensively – draft a script, timeline, contingency plans
  • Meet the couple – learn their vision, pet peeves, and sense of humor
  • Work closely with vendors – photographer, DJ, caterer, etc.
  • Personalize the gig – share stories, use proper names, add humor
  • Exude confidence – even if nerves are there
  • Radiate enthusiasm – energy is contagious
  • Roll with surprises – handle unexpected hiccups with finesse
  • Direct guests smoothly – give clear instructions for activities
  • Highlight the couple – keep your remarks focused on them

Thorough planning and practicing your MC script sets you up for success. But to horn your skills Get the $249 How To Be An Amazing Wedding MC Course Here 

MC What to Charge?

Typical MC fees range from:

  • Friend/family rate – $200 – $500
  • Beginner professional – $500 – $800
  • Experienced pro – $800 – $1500+

Factors determining the fee:

  • Your MC experience level
  • Hours required – ceremony and reception or reception only?
  • Additional services – planning, coordination with vendors
  • Amount of customization – new script or repeated boilerplate?
  • Extra responsibilities like music entertainment or DJ services
  • Local market rates in your area

As an amateur, start low to build your portfolio. Increase rates as you gain savvy. Discounts can be given to family/friends.

How Long Does the MC Stay?

The MC is typically the first vendor to arrive and last one to leave, being present for:

  • Rehearsal walkthrough (1 hour)
  • Day-of setup and vendor coordination (2-3 hours pre-ceremony)
  • Ceremony (30 mins – 1 hour)
  • Cocktail hour (30 mins – 1 hour)
  • Reception (3-5 hours)

The total average face time is around 7-10 hours. Clarify the expected start/end times in your contract. Some MCs cover the ceremony and reception, while others are reception only.

Where Does the MC Sit at a Wedding?

  • Ceremony – off to side at an easel or aisle end if doing the narration
  • Reception – designated MC/DJ table or standing at the podium area
  • Dinner – head table or separate vendor table

Aim for optimal sight lines to wedding activity areas – dance floor, cake

What Should a Wedding MC Wear?

Your MC attire should align with the wedding formality. Some guidelines:

Smart Casual Wedding MC Attire:

  • Collared shirt – polo, button-down
  • Blazer or sport coat optional
  • Dress pants or khakis
  • Dress shoes – loafers, oxfords, boots

Semi-Formal Wedding MC Attire:

  • Full suit – navy, gray, black
  • Tie – simple patterns/solids
  • Dress shoes
  • Optional vest or suspenders as an accessory

Formal/Black Tie Wedding MC Attire:

  • Dark tuxedo or suit
  • White dress shirt
  • Bow tie, necktie, or cummerbund
  • Shined dress shoes

White Tie Wedding MC Attire:

  • White tie tuxedo jacket with tails
  • White wingtip collar shirt
  • White bow tie
  • White vest
  • White gloves optional
  • White suspenders/cummerbund

Aim for one level above guest attire – they dress up, you dress to impress. Ask a couple if unsure. Pick neutral solids over loud patterns/colors.

master of ceremonies at a wedding

Do I Need a Wedding MC Course?

A full course may be overkill for an amateur MC doing a friend’s big day. However, studying the basics shows you’re taking the job seriously. Some quick tips:

  • Read sample MC scripts and timelines
  • Watch YouTube tutorials on MC techniques
  • Rehearse major script sections out loud
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal
  • Print a detailed reception run sheet
  • Meet with a couple to learn their expectations
  • Connect with vendors like DJ ahead of time

With practice and preparation, you can avoid total novice mistakes. Know the key MC milestones but leave room to improvise.

How to Become a Professional Wedding MC

Comprehensive training will sharpen your expertise if you want to monetize your MC talents. Look for courses that include:

  • Sample MC scripts, run sheets, and toolkits
  • Detailed instruction on MC techniques and wedding knowledge
  • Etiquette tips
  • Live practice facilitating key events – entrances, dances, etc.
  • Marketing and business advice for pros
  • Vendor coordination tutorials
  • Ongoing support community

Invest time shadowing experienced MCs at live weddings. Continuing education builds confidence and skills. A polished, seasoned MC can command higher fees.

Conclusion

How to mc a wedding may feel daunting as a beginner, but being prepared is half the battle. Use a script, timeline, and reception runsheet to keep you on track as the wedding MC. Work closely with the couple and vendors to personalize the event. Exude confidence, maintain crowd energy, and roll with surprises. With practice and savvy MC techniques, you can keep the reception flowing smoothly and make unforgettable memories for the newlyweds. Check out range of wedding mc packages here

The tips provided give you a great foundation to MC your first wedding or grow into a professional master of ceremonies. Know the standard reception events and how to guide the couple and guests through each one seamlessly. The role allows you to infuse creative flair while staying classy, organized, and focused on the bride and groom. So, break a leg on that mic – you got this!

Special Thanks

How To MC A Wedding

Gary is dedicated to ensuring that wedding officiants and wedding emcees like you excel in creating unforgettable wedding experiences! With a passion for celebrations, he is an enthusiastic, down-to-earth, and fun Wedding Celebrant and Professional Wedding MC, operating in Australia.
 
Count on Gary to provide expert guidance and a relaxed approach to help you deliver remarkable ceremonies and receptions. His goal is to empower you to curate the best possible wedding day for couples, where every detail is thoughtfully arranged, and the party atmosphere is electrifying!