Professional-Grade MC’s Are Rare And Precious

By Adrian Cavlan

Let’s talk about what is probably the most important component of good entertainment at a wedding (or really any event), regardless of what kind of entertainment it is: the Master Of Ceremonies. What exactly is an MC (Master Of Ceremonies) and how does it differ from simply “a person making announcements”?

A good, professional-grade MC is a person who:

• Is well-spoken
• Is well-groomed
• Is well-mannered
• Can think very quickly on their feet
• Pays a great deal of attention to detail
• Is tactful
• Has a keen sense of timing
• Is sensitive to social dynamics
• Is respectful of and responsive to all of the attendees at the event
• Understands his/her role in directing the event proceedings, without dominating them.
• Understands his/her role in the final determination of how the event will be perceived.
• Is experienced and can provide references if asked

Additionally, this person should be committed to spending the necessary time with you prior to your wedding to gather all the details that he or she will need to present your wedding in personalized way. The bottom line is that even with all the skills listed above, they won’t be able to do that if they don’t know who you are and what you’re about.

Most people nowadays assume that their DJ will also act as their MC at their wedding. In the lower strata of the DJ/MC market, this may be a problem, as certainly someone who is comparatively “cheap” as a wedding DJ almost without question will have little or perhaps no training in this area. Entrusting this person with the presentation of your wedding reception can be a recipe for disaster. In a scenario like this, if you must have that particular DJ, ask a relative or friend to be your MC and have them do a little research to prepare. At least that way, any level of un-professionalism can be countered by a) the audiences love and affection for that person and b) the warmth and personal nature of having a relative do the honors.

There are no academic institutions that routinely offer a standard curriculum in this discipline, so what usually ends up happening is that the owners of the DJ companies train their new people to a widely varying standard of competence… or lack thereof. Remember, the student is a reflection of the teacher, and mediocre or worse MCs seem to be the rule.

The best thing you can do with prospective MCs is to meet with them, talk with them and get a good feeling for their basic personality and manner. If you approve, odds are good your guests will too. Just make sure you are on the same page as to what your expectations are, as well as likes and dislikes. There’s nothing worse than potentially embarrassing or awkward “surprises” that your MC “thought would be fun” amplified over a P.A. system on your wedding day!