A few weeks back I was at a wedding. The first one I have attended where I was not the MC or wearing inappropriate shoes or any underpants. I had some time to sit back sniff the cheese and chew the wine, taking notes and reflecting on how you hammer the MC role at a wedding. Here are my Do’s and Don’ts for all you first time players.
Learn the names & faces of parents and the bridal party- I made the mistake at one wedding of talking to the Uncle as the Father of the Bride. In my defense he looked very similar to his brother and I also caught him pashing the Mother of the Bride behind the ice fountain on a few occasions.
Eat- these gigs don't pay. Get your time investment back with food. You'll be busy during the peak service times so slip the function coordinator a $20 and this will ensure you get a sampler platter coming at you like a tipsy, lonely bridesmaid at home-time.
Prepare- I don't care what classes you took during your Arts degree or how many episodes of Drew Carey's 'Who are those white guys beside the black guy Anyway?' you cant impro this. As one who has taken a few dips in the pool of improv, it is a dark art that cannot be mastered. Prepare a few thoughtful words, and if you can make them funny. If you can't do funny, aim for controversial Either way make them memorable.
Fill gaps- Most weddings are brilliant fun, if they are yours. For everyone else its an excuse to put on a suit/dress and juggle drinks and small serves of food. This is where the MC needs to bring information and frivolity. Tell them where the toilet is, tell the about yourself, tell them about love. Tell them this is the best night of their lives and if it was all to end right here and now...well remind them you have a gun.
Reference the Buck's party/Hen’s night- what happens on these things is between you, the other attendees, the fabric and the stain removal guy. Despite what insights on your friend's beloved may have surfaced, you need to shelve them like a good wine only to be bought out 20-30 years later at the birthday of one of their children.
Talk about Ex’s- save that for the divorce BBQ or Spouse's wake. Something like "Hey Emmy.P now works the registers at Coles and guess what? She's single!" would then be appropriate.
Offer an opinion on the wedding ceremony- Unless you are legally empowered to do a better job, make like a TV fisherman and Let. It. Go. Yes we all know there are other verses in the Bible than Corinthians 13, but Bogans don't! You think there aren't other great wedding dance songs out there beside 'November Rain' ? Sure there are. Bogans don't care. To them love is patient. Love is kind. Love is best expressed whilst dry-humping your new wife through a Slash guitar solo in front of 73 family and friends.
Play an instrument/wear a Kilt - Despite the calls from the bridal party avoid this request. Putting sentiments to music is cheap and tacky, and best left to musicians. Doing it in a man-dress is worse. Nobody wants to see the by-product of your six drum lessons, and nobody especially wants to see your kit and sticks.
Follow the above and the rewards of MCing a wedding will be yours. More Moet bottles and thank-you cards than you have ever known.