How to Emcee a Wedding: 7 Expert tips from a Five-Time Pro

Bad jokes, awkward pauses, and chaos. A great wedding MC can help you avoid these. Any emcees looking to run a great show, follow the tips in this article and you will be miles ahead.

We recently sat down with our friend Jesse who is a self-confessed serial wedding emcee. With a large family and expansive circle of friends, he has been the circus ringleader for five weddings now. Jesse has a ton of public speaking experience and is a hilarious guy, so we wanted to dive into his secret sauce for being an MC and the wedding front man.

Let’s face it, wedding master of ceremony is a tough job. It’s not enough that you have to perform in front of a large crowd and try to entertain them, but you’re doing it in front of family and friends and have to cater to a huge variety of tastes. It’s no wonder that so many MCs get freaked out when asked to take on the challenge. It may seem like you are bestowing a great opportunity on your emcee, but make sure they are fully equipped to do the job.

Jesse told us that there are a few keys to making the wedding flow smoothly and ensure everyone has a great time.

Wedding Emcee Tip #1 – Organize and coach the speakers

For the most part, everyone speaking at a wedding is an amateur. Too often they have been relied on to manage themselves and each time they get up to speak, you are taking a chance. A good emcee will help the speakers organize their thoughts, and make sure they are ready at the right times. The MC can also spot potential challenges in what others plan to say. As the leader of the speakers, there is a great opportunity to create a sense of flow for the big day.

Wedding Emcee Tip #2 – Time your breaks accordingly

Understand that there are natural pauses in the day and when to make the most of those. Too often, weddings just jump from one activity to the next and everyone gets caught in a whirlwind. Especially when the bride and groom don’t get a chance to eat. The emcee can utilize some of the breaks to reset and redirect the momentum, rather than people just coming and going.

Wedding Emcee Tip #3 – Stay connected with both sides of the family

Remember that there are two people getting married. Try to avoid a one-sided wedding where only one half of the family speaks. We’ve all been to those weddings where it seems like only half of the crowd is participating with the inside jokes. As the MC, make an effort to include both sides of the family and take the opportunity to connect everyone together.

Wedding Emcee Tip #4 – Communicate the agenda and logistics to the crowd

Part of your role as emcee is to essentially be an air traffic controller. Let the audience know what is going to happen and where they all need to be. If you are not sure, err on the side of caution and over-communicate. Sometimes weddings can be like herding cats.

Wedding Emcee Tip #5 – Play to Your strengths and don’t force the funny

This was a big question we had for Jesse. Do all wedding emcees need to be funny? Listen closely…NO. Nothing is worse than someone who is not funny trying to be funny. There are usually too ways that goes – they either make everyone awkward and it’s dead silent, or they go too inappropriate. A wedding is not a comedy show, but most of the time, just the natural speech and loving stories are funny by themselves. With a good variety of speakers and a natural flow, there will inevitably be laughs and people will enjoy themselves. Don’t force it. Watching someone awkwardly bomb on stage is the worst.

Wedding Emcee Tip #6 – Avoid open mic

This was an interesting tip. Jesse told us there is usually some uncle, aunt, or other friend/relative that would “just like to say a few words.” This has the potential for disaster. This well-meaning person often is not prepared and either says something weird, or talks a long time. It’s great that people are excited and want to share, but they either get on the roster or have the conversation afterwards.

Wedding Emcee Tip #7 – Always end with Father of the bride speeches

Take advantage of your most potent weapon of the day – the father of the bride speech. Even if you followed none of the other tips and everything has fallen apart, you are guaranteed that this speech will go perfectly. And you always want to end on a high note. Dad will always get a sideways head-tilt from daughter and tears in the audience when he says, “you take care of my little girl.” So as emcee, you get to look like a hero when you use this tip!

There you go! If you are planning your wedding and want the master of ceremony to be well-prepared, have them follow these tips. If you want more cool tips like this, remember to subscribe. And if you want to really ensure your wedding flows nicely, speak with us about how we can help.

Remember to share this post! And comment below with your own MC tips.

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