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On the day of, get there early and connect

Get to the venue as soon as possible after the ceremony so that you can start your preparation.  

When you arrive, introduce yourself to all the vendors that are working the wedding.  The wedding planner, photographer, venue coordinator, floor manager, DJ and videographer.  This is your team for the evening and to ensure a smooth flowing event, everyone has to be on the same page.

Before you say anything you need to be sure that you are not interfering with the dinner service.  Ask the floor manager, venue coordinator or wedding planner if it’s ok to begin and ensure that service has stopped before speaking.

The photographer and videographer need to be given a two minute warning so that they will be ready to capture the special moments during speeches.  You will need to cue the DJ so that they will be able to stop the background music so that it won’t interfere with those speaking.

The Warm Up - Get a feel for the room (get comfortable)

When you arrive at the venue and after connecting with the vendors, go to the room where you will be hosting the event.  Stand at the podium and look around, take a couple of breaths and relax.  Look at all the tables and chairs and read out loud some of your notes.  It doesn’t have to be into the microphone, this is just to let you get use to where you will be standing.  Get comfortable with your surroundings.

Check, 1, 2

Once you have done your warm-up, grab the microphone and do a simple “mic check 1, 2”.  Your voice will sound funny to you the first time you hear it amplified, so give it a couple more “1, 2’s” and then try reading one or two sentences from your notes so that you get used to hearing the sound of your voice over the sound system.

If you are using a cordless mic, walk around the room to ensure that you can hear yourself clearly in each corner.  If the microphone is fixed to the podium, either bring someone into the room or ask the staff if they can hear you ok.  

The microphone should be 3 to 5 inches from your mouth, maybe further back depending on your voice strength.

Cue and Coach the Speakers

Give each speaker a five minute warning before it’s their turn to step up to the podium.  This will allow them enough time to retrieve their speech, re-fill their drink, finish what they are eating or even just get back to their seat.  Every speaker will love you for it as opposed to being surprised when called up.

Remind them about microphone technique – speaking 3-5 inches from the microphone for best volume and sound. If you are using a cordless mic, bring it to them and let them hold it to get a feel for it. 

Be sure to also let the couple know that speeches are beginning so that they have time to take their seats for the speech. 

Once done speaking, lay it down on the podium or give it back to the DJ or AV technician.

Stay close to the podium.

Ask to be seated for dinner near the lectern (you should do this at your meeting with the couple), so you don’t have run across the room each time you need to speak.

While a speech is taking place, stand close to the podium, so that when someone has completed their speech you have the opportunity to get up to the podium quickly, take the mic off their hands and do your extro without having any awkward moments or dead-air.

When the Floor Manager or Wedding Planner cues you to start – do it right away!  Again, during dinner, food is the priority and is time sensitive.

Surprise!!!

At the wedding you may come across a friend or relative who wants to add an impromptu speech or perform a surprise song or dance routine. 

As soon as you are approached by this person, let them know that the couple has carefully put together a very tight schedule for the evening and you will need to check with them first if it can be fit in.

Discuss the performance or speech with the couple and let them make the decision as to whether they want this to happen.

If they say yes, schedule the person in after one of the main speeches and inform the venue and photographer / videographer that this will be happening.

“I Don’t Need A Mic!”

You may come across someone giving a speech who will declare that they have a strong voice and don’t need a microphone.

Persuade them nicely that in order for everyone to hear, especially those in the very back, the microphone will assist.  If they still refuse, stand by with the mic onhand because I guarantee you that within 30 seconds of them speaking, someone will say “I can’t hear you, speak into the mic”, at which you can graciously hand the microphone to the speaker for them to continue.

On the night of the event, the Most Important Thing You Need To Do Is Have Fun!!!!  If you enjoy your time on the mic, everyone else will too!

Excited??? You are now ready to MC a wedding.  If you follow the guidelines in these posts, do your prep work and have fun, you’ll do a remarkable job!