Your wedding emcee can make or break your wedding reception (that’s not a threat; just a simple fact that shouldn’t be underestimated). Carefully choosing an emcee can give you an assurance that your reception won’t be a disaster or a grand awkward moment.
Photo courtesy of CORAZON EVENTS MANAGEMENT
Knowing the scope of an emcee’s responsibilities in your wedding can help you decide on who should take on the job. These obligations can also show you why hiring a professional is a better option over asking, say, an uncle or an auntie to go on the mic. Run through the following aspects with your emcee to see that he or she is on the right track in making your reception run smoothly and be a wonderful time for everyone.
Set up a meeting with your wedding planner and your emcee so you can all finalize the program flow. It is important that your emcee knows the timeline of your reception to know what should be done and when. Timing is crucial to avoid lapses in transition and the much dreaded dead air in between one part of the program to another. It is important that everything is in sync so that the program can be executed stress free.
Help your emcee know who’s who in your wedding program by providing a list of names with the corresponding titles and roles. Include in the list you wedding planner, the band leader or DJ, your entourage, your videographer and photographer, and even your caterer and waiting staff. This list will help your emcee coordinate with your vendors during the reception and make sure that everything is being managed.
Another list to give your emcee is that with the names of your VIP guests or those that will be mentioned in the program. Your emcee should memorize the names both in formal address and how you and your partner call them. Better yet give your emcee a guest list in clusters such as your college friends, officemates, and relatives so he can easily familiarize the crowd. But of course be realistic and not expect that your emcee can memorize all the names of your guests.
Given enough time, you and your sweetheart can have coffee together with your emcee to get better acquainted with you individually and as a couple. Share your love story from courtship to engagement, some fond childhood memories, and even your future plans like some honeymoon details, how you chose the destination, etc. You also need to establish some trust and let your emcee know how much these things mean to you. In turn, he should be sensitive and tactful on how to incorporate them in his spiels.
Unfortunately you cannot rely on common sense when it comes to appropriate attire. Inform your emcee about the formality of the occasion and even the theme or motif and ask what he plans to wear so you can give your feedback and suggestions. A professional emcee will readily ask about the dress code. If there is a particular look you want for your emcee, discuss this with him and see if it is feasible. For example if he readily has a tuxedo or a specific garment for the look.
Your emcee should discuss with your planner about the venue and technical setup details so that he knows what to anticipate, how to move around the place, and of course the available equipment. Your emcee should know if he can move around and how far he can go while hosting and working on the equipment. He should be comfortable with what is available and know how to maximize it.
There is a thin line between sense of humor and an offensive remark. If your emcee is a professional who has hosted a number of weddings, that gives you some insurance that he’ll have the sensitivity for the audience and have the kind of wit that is suited to the occasion. He shouldn’t try to be funny at the expense of embarrassing a guest or the couple. An emcee who thinks about his audience should also know how to entertain them regardless of the age differences.
Your emcee should have the initiative to provide you with a draft of his spiels especially any kind of joke or comment that he feels you should know about first. This assures you that your emcee is tactful and will not blabber nonsense during the program. Otherwise, if your emcee is not as experienced, you can request this so that you know what to expect to hear in his spiels.
House rules should be incorporated in your emcee’s spiels to serve as a friendly reminder to your guests to observe phone ethics such as turning their cell phones to silent mode before a speech. It is also important that your emcee inform your guest about the venue’s rules and regulations such as directing them to the designated smoking area or informing them of the emergency evacuation instructions. Your emcee should also let your guests know when the bar closes and other important details in your reception.
An emcee who loves what he’s doing does not forget to add a personal touch to what he does to make your wedding program feel more special and unique. This is manifested in how he creates his spiels by incorporating significant stories and delivers them according to the audience’s sensitivity. An emcee who considers the more personal things about a wedding will not end up pouting clichés and Googled lines.
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