What Makes a Great MC?
I lived in NY City before coming to Los Angeles. In addition to playing music and sometimes driving taxi I became a school teacher and taught the “tough customers” of the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn. This was back in the 80s when hip hop was getting started. I say “tough customers” because these kids could see right through me. They would only give me their attention then I was prepared to teach but if I was not prepared they would ignore me and I would loose them as an “audience”.
An inescapable aspect of teaching is “delivery/presentation” which can be considered in some ways like a performance. To connect with students you have to “have something to teach” and “be prepared to deliver it.” Teaching taught me a lot and gave me the opportunity to “work an audience”.
It nearly goes without saying that being “the man out front” (Master of Ceremonies) and conducting the festivities of a special event one also has to be prepared. Indeed an audience can sense if the MC is not prepared or is “just winging it” and will give or withhold their attention accordingly. An MC being prepared and working from a script is necessary to the success of any event.
Sometimes bilingual announcements are needed for a wedding. When this is the case I arrange to get help from a willing family member who the audience knows. I find that family members love to contribute to the wedding of a loved one. Because the announcements are scripted it is very easy to share the script with my counterpart and take turns making announcements. Over the years I have done weddings in Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog (Philippine) and Chinese.
I mention this and the bit above about teaching because at this wedding I had the pleasure of working with Officiant and Master of Ceremonies Miles Yu. He is a professional. In talking with him I found out that we had “teaching” in common. Miles’ “day job” is being a school teacher and he gets to “work an audience” 5 days a week. I think this and his love of performing makes him a great MC.
The Perfect Wedding:
- Great team of vendors.
- Well planned.
- Well coordinated.
This wedding was beautifully designed and coordinated by Jingka Chou Master Plans Events and Design.
It was important to the bride and groom that there be bilingual announcements for their guests so their wedding coordinator Yingka Chou Master Plans Events and Design made arrangements for Miles to join me and share in MC responsibilities. We had a lot of fun working together. Here is an excerpt of the script we followed as we took turns making announcements:
Wedding Reception Script
6:10 Welcome: Good evening and welcome to the Georgian Ballroom of the Langham Huntington Hotel here in Pasadena, California. My name is Eric Zimmermann. Here with me to conduct the festivities as your Master of Ceremonies is Miles Yu.
(Miles to translate opening welcome)
Congratulations to the family and friends of Ku and Lisa on this very happy occasion. At this time please join us in welcoming parents of the Groom ____________
Music: Hero, Mariah Carey
(Miles to translate)
Please join us in welcoming the parents of the Bride _______________
Music: Hero, Mariah Carey (continued)
The Bridal Party Couples:
Music: Marry You, Bruno Mars
Ladies and gentlemen please rise and join me in welcoming husband and wife ______________
Music: Marry You, Jason Derulo
Music: Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sherran_ – Short version
Congratulations! Please be seated.
6:30pm Welcome from the Fathers of the Bride and Groom:
Father of the Bride – _______________
Welcome by Mayor of Monterey Park – _________________
6:40pm First Course served
MC Miles Family introductions (in Chinese)
Elegant Music Jazz Trio – during first course
6:55 Champagne Pour –
Toast by Bridesmaids: _______________
Toast by Best Man and Brother of Groom: ___________
7:15pm Entrées Served – Jazz Trio continues
Bride changes into 2nd dress
7:40pm Bride, Groom and Parents of Bride and Groom to table to table to take photos
8:10pm M.C. MILES: Wedding Game (in Chinese)
8:40pm End Jazz Trio
DJ Open Dancing and Mingling (Chinese songs)
9:00pm Cake Cutting
Music: Just the Way You Are, Bruno Mars
Groom Thank You on the Mic: Groom
9:10pm Centerpiece giveaway game
9:20pm Bouquet Toss
Music: Single Ladies Put a Ring On it.
Open Dance floor with couple’s dance
Music: (Song: “All of Me” by John Legend)
9:55pm Last Song
10:00pm Event Ends
Thank you Yingka Chou of Master Plans.
Thank you to Miles Yu.
Congratulations to Ku and Lisa on their beautiful successful wedding!
Sincerely, Eric Zimmermann DJ / Master of Ceremonies, Pianist and Bandleader. Elegant Music. 626-797-1795