By Brad Thew

Photographer, check. Venue, check. Catering and cake, double-check. Whoa, don’t forget the bartender and DJ!

So, you are getting all of that planning done, but who will make sure your night runs smoothly and your guests don’t get that lost look that a deer gets in your headlights when it is time to participate in the celebration? Well, an emcee of course. Officially known as the Master of Ceremonies, abbreviated to MC, then flipped and reversed (A quick lookup on UrbanDictionary.com will give you quirky alternatives such as Microphone Controller, Microphone Coordinator, and my new official title – Mic Chief).

The Master of Ceremonies has a very crucial role in the wedding celebrations. How is everyone supposed to know when to jump on the dance floor and catch the bouquet or garter? The MC is the host of the reception. The MC controls everything from announcing and reintroducing the bride and groom back into the hall or directing the groom on how NOT to handle the cake cutting ceremony.
Smashing a handful of cake into the bride’s face and ruining the very expensive makeup application that took a long time to make the bride look like a princess is a great way to ensure the first fight as newlyweds.

The emcee role is a crucial one to fill. Whoever it is, the MC sets the mood for the night. A professional will have already planned out the night from start to finish and probably practiced every scripted line 50,000 times.

There is a reason for why this role is so important: who really knows what they are doing at weddings? You may go to a few a year, but as an engaged couple, do you really know the order of events that would flow the smoothest? We have all been to a wedding before where no one had any idea what was going on at any point in time. Or the Master of Ceremonies sounded like one of the new mumble rap artists (yes, this is a real genre of music) the tweens enjoy so very much. A good MC will take away all those worries and celebrate your night with you and your guests as if they were family.

Not all emcees are equal: it takes a cool, even tone that is inviting yet exciting. It takes a commanding voice to pull the guests’ attention away from their conversations to listen. The purpose of the reception, and really the MC, is to encourage and congratulate the newlyweds on making an incredible commitment. From introductions to send-off, the newlyweds should always feel like the center of the party. A great host will not only focus on the bride and groom, but will have all the guests in mind.

If there’s a band, the MC will encourage the guests to dance. If there’s a photo booth, guests will be encouraged to get in front of the camera. If there’s a guestbook, donut bar, games area, whatever it is, it’s the job of the Master of Ceremonies to remind and encourage everyone to participate and have fun.

You will find the Master of Ceremonies meandering behind the DJ booth, or more likely, center of the reception hall directing wedding party and guests through the “formalities” of the reception.
In general, your DJ will also be an MC. They can cost somewhere between about $750 and $3,000, less than 10 percent of your total cost of the wedding, which averages around $35,000. From organizing the order of events and coordinating with other wedding professionals, announcing the formalities, making little announcements throughout the night and keeping the energy high on the dance floor, the DJ/MC keeps the party flowing.

Just having a DJ can work for some, but the true magic comes when you have an incredible Master of Ceremonies that is personable, inclusive and willing to go the extra mile to make sure the bride, groom and guests are fully aware of the night’s events.

This article was originally written and published in the 2019 Pend Oreille Wedding Planner produced by The Miner Newspapers.

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