The prevailing scientific theory of the universe is that it naturally tends toward chaos. Orderly structures break apart; matter decays into energy; random events occur without warning. Despite our best efforts to make sense of the cosmos, chaos ultimately reigns.
Clearly, the scientists who conceived this theory have had some experience planning weddings.
Hey folks, Jason here again. Let's face it: random, spontaneous moments are unavoidable at even the most meticulously-organized event. Weddings are no exception. Yet we must still try to impose some order on the day, despite the perverse laws of the universe. While we can't control every last second, we can at least set up a framework for the day to follow (typically including a ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, some speeches, and dancing). And since a crowd rarely steers itself, it helps to have a Master of Ceremonies who is responsible for directing the flow of events. Which brings me to the real point of this post: who will be our emcee, and how will we incorporate him/her into the proceedings?
First, we need to agree on what the stages of our wedding will actually be. It's a bit difficult to define the role of an emcee when we're not sure exactly what he/she will be doing. Still, I can envision a few key moments where an emcee would come in handy (keep in mind, these are my own thoughts; Becca may have a different take on some aspects):
- announcing the end of cocktail hour and steering guests toward the reception hall for dinner
- introducing the newly-married couple as we enter the hall
- leading a round of toasts & speeches
- encouraging folks to get up & start dancing at the appropriate time
- coordinating with the music supervisor (see my earlier post about having an iPod wedding) to start & stop the music so the emcee can be heard
Often, a wedding DJ will fulfill the emcee duties, but even if we were having a DJ, I'd prefer to keep the two roles separate. You can't always trust a DJ to be a good emcee. I've heard horror stories of deadpan DJs killing the mood, or of megalomaniac DJs veering off-script and hijacking the wedding. At best, a DJ/MC ends up sounding (and feeling) like a good radio announcer -- clear voice, smooth delivery, effective but bland. I'd prefer something a little more personal. Someone who really cares about the event and the people involved in it. Someone who's glad to fulfill the emcee role, not just doing it because they're getting paid to.
That's why I plan to ask one of my close friends to play the role of emcee. He's a good buddy from my college a cappella group, and he's known me & Becca for several years (we attended his wedding last summer). He's an extremely talented actor, very funny, has a great personality, and would be a natural fit. I plan to request his assistance in lieu of a wedding present (frankly, Becca & I plan to ask several of our friends for help, and we intend to let them know that we consider their efforts gift enough for us). His improv skills will come in handy since, as I noted earlier, chaos has a tendency to intervene at weddings. I just need to be careful not to ask too much of him; I want to make sure he can relax, have fun & enjoy the party, and only revert to "emcee mode" when necessary. Hopefully, his presence will make the whole event feel more personal.
I'll open it up to your comments now. How did you folks handle the emcee duties? Any tips or suggestions?