If there is no wedding organizer for a wedding, then it is the emcee’s (Master of Ceremony) responsibility to be aware of everything.
Before we get to being aware, let’s have a few words on what has to be looked after.
(previous post, rule #1 can be found here: https://leadbycharacter.com/my-5-rules-of-emceeing-a-wedding/)
Planning the Schedule
When I sit down with a couple the first time, we immediately jump into talking about the schedule. Just to put up a wireframe of how they imagine the wedding should go down.
9 out of 10 times, we end up with the same timing regarding the following 3 events:
- Dinner – 7 pm
- Party starting – 9 pm
- Serving the cake – 10:30 pm
Why do you think is that?
If you give it some thoughts, the answer comes quite naturally:
People get hungry by 7 pm, it is dark enough for the party by 9 pm and they get tired of the first round of dancing by 10:30 pm.
Sure, you may choose to go down a different route, but in most cases, this is the scenario. Plus, it works pretty well.
What a newbie thinks…
A couple of years ago, as a newbie, sometimes I thought that it was more important to entertain individuals at weddings than looking after the whole group of guests.
Therefore, when congratulations, the dinner, or the party has started, I went up to people and started a small talk with them, thinking I had plenty of time before the next scheduled event should come. Then sometimes we got lost too much into the conversation and all of a sudden, I found myself that I got lost track of time. I had to swiftly switch back to organizer mode and check if everything was going well. And sometimes things weren’t going that well.
Wedding of my revelation
At one particular wedding, I wished the guests Bon appetite and went on my usual chit-chatting, thinking the restaurant would let me know once they were finished with serving the dinner.
The only problem was that, during the main course, the young couple wandered off to chit-chat with their guests also. Why is that a problem? Let me explain it to you:
In spite of what most couples think, there is very little time during a wedding where all the guests are present and there is a high chance of having a kick-ass party.
Check the figure above! In the best cases, there are only 2 hours, where people can dance and none of the guests leave. (Usually, after midnight, part of the guests start to sneak home)
Only 2 hours for partying! Hence, it is essential for the party to start on time.
Now, of course, the party can’t start, until dinner is finished. Dinner can’t be finished until dessert is served.
And here came my problem: in my case, the dessert couldn’t be served, until the young couple finished with their chit-chatting and sat back down to their seats.
The reason for that is because by tradition, at the beginning of every course, the first two plates have to be served for the young couple. Therefore, the waiters didn’t serve the coming course, until they had seen the young couple sitting in their seats.
Having such a good time talking to their friends, the newlyweds were completely unaware of the whole dinner process being halted and with this the party starting time endangered.
And here came my role
There was one person at that wedding who was to see through this whole chain of problems. It was me, the emcee. The emcee, who was also chit-chatting somewhere around the guests.
Not my proudest moment…
Luckily, someone from the waiters eventually tapped me on the shoulder, saying “Hey, man, we’re stuck”, that pulled me back to organizing mode.
I jumped on my feet assessed the situation and it dawned on me, what kind of mess I got myself into. From then on, I had to deal with tired guests and short party time. It was a hell of a job to come back from there, but luckily I made it.
The lesson I’ve learned on that day is no matter how smoothly everything would be going at a wedding, things can get quickly out of hands.
Maybe at a certain moment people are dancing and things are going as planned, but in the next minute the bride can be taken (may only apply to Hungarian weddings) and the party can be left without its hostess.
My job is to keep one eye on the majority of guests at any given moment. Have to feel the mood, and quickly step in if the party needs some boost or the dinner serving has to be hurried.
For this to happen, I have to be aware.
At any given moment of a wedding. If it is either during talking to a guest, or having my dinner, or starting the first dance. I always have to be aware.
Being aware is my rule #2.
(If you want to learn my #1 rule, click on this link: https://leadbycharacter.com/my-5-rules-of-emceeing-a-wedding/
If you are interested to have an MC at your wedding, check out my MC site: http://herendigabor.hu/atis)
A little bonus tip
Don’t serve dessert on plates. Serve them on dessert tables (like a buffet), so people can get them at any moment. This way guests don’t have to wait for everyone to finish their meal. And also this way the end of the dinner is not dependent on how fast the young couple gets back to their tables after eating their main course.
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