Any wedding needs a Master of Ceremonies - MC - to keep order during your wedding. Ordinarily, they come into play at the time of the reception as the celebrant conducts the ceremony and gives any directions or information during their opening remarks. The purpose of an MC is to act as a tour guide and take your guests, and yourselves, on the journey of the night. The reason having an MC is so important and something I strongly recommend having one is because, as humans, we are comfortable when there is a clear order to things, especially events. Without structure, timelines and MC’s guests struggle to know what is going on in during the evening and what social procedures they should follow. It sounds rigid, but people take comfort in the stability and structure an MC offers.
So! How to write your MC speaking notes - let’s get to it!
To start off, we need to open the evening and welcome your guests. This takes three to five minutes and usually involves a simple welcome, instructions for emergency exits, bathrooms, any dinner service procedures (such as what to do if you have a dietary requirement), and any other pertinent information for the overall evening.
When looking at your run sheet, note the key moments of the evening. For example, the bridal party entrance, the cake cutting, speeches, bouquet toss, first dance, etc.
These are all moments that guests do not want to miss, and so, we announce them and invite guests to take note and share in the moment.
Include the time of each key moment in the speaking notes. If the cake cutting is happening at 7pm, make a note of that for your MC. If speeches should be wrapping up within 30 minutes of starting, make a note of that on the notes for your MC. This way your MC knows exactly when they’re meant to announce each moment and can assist in keeping the night on schedule.
Because your MC is the one holding and caring for the microphone during the night, they will be approached by anyone who wants to say a few words, if you open the floor for guests to do so. If there is anyone who is not allowed to speak and should not be allowed access to a microphone (we all have one), make a note for your MC and explain how you would like them to handle the situation should it arise. (Your coordinator should be aware of this and assist in mitigating any situations like this, but your MC should also be prepared, especially if you don’t hire a coordinator).
The actual words
When you ask a friend or family member to act as your MC, they are often very passionate about doing a great job because they love you and want to do their best for you. This is why having quality notes with detail on what you want to be said is important. Do you want to be announced as ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ or ‘the Bride and Groom’? Write it out so they know. Do you have an inside joke you want to be mentioned or used as they welcome your guests? Include it. Be specific so they know they’re doing what you want. Even if you don’t mind or care, your friend or family member wants to make sure they do it right, so give them detailed notes.
To really get you started, I’ve outlined my usual MC template below. Feel free to copy, paste and edit to suit your needs.
You got this!
Photos by Josh Delgado Photography
MC Speaking Notes Templates
5.30pm - Bridal party and Bride and Groom announced
Welcome to John and Jane’s wedding reception!
The bridal party and the bride and groom are about to enter, please take your seats.
Please make welcome John and Jane’s bridal party:
● Andrew and Alice
● Ben and Beth
● The best man, Calvin and maid-of-honour, Candance
Introducing for the first time ever, Mr and Mrs Smith!
5.40pm - Welcome address and housekeeping
● Once again, welcome John and Jane’s wedding reception!
● Honoured to be asked to MC as a close friend of John and Jane’s.
● The bathrooms are….
● In case of emergency, please head towards….
● As we are all aware of COVID, we encourage you to practise social distancing where possible, avoid sharing utensils and sanitise and wash your hands regularly.
○ Please be sure to follow any directives given by the caterers or our COVID marshal regarding conduct and procedures.
○ Please also ensure you have signed in with the QR codes available or seen to give your information in written form.
6.00pm – Dinner served
Dinner will be served shortly and our caterers have everyone’s dietary needs. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to our servers as they come around.
7.00pm – Cake cutting
John and Jane will now cut their wedding cake; If you would like to take a photo, please allow the photographer to capture the moment and then jump up.
Cake is cut
Yum, how delicious does the cake look? And lucky for us, John and Jane will be sharing with us after dinner!
7.05pm – Speeches
Please continue to enjoy your dinner, but we are going to have some family come and share a few words about the stunning couple we are here to celebrate this evening.
● The parents of the groom, Amy and Chris Smith
● The parents of the bride, Denise and Brad Jenkins
● The best man, Calvin
● Maid of honour, Candance
7.35pm – Bride and Groom speech/toast
It is now my pleasure to welcome the new Mr and Mrs Smith to say a few words.
7.45pm – First dance
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for the new Mr and Mrs Smith to have their first dance. Please welcome them onto the dance floor.
10.30pm - Last drinks and dance
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a beautiful night. We are drawing near to the close of the evening so please enjoy your last drink and last few dances before we officially close the evening.
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