MCs set wedding day ambience
The bride's dress and ceremony decor can set the right atmosphere for a wedding. A master of ceremonies can also play a pivotal role.
'I think the most important aspect for an MC is to match the tone of the couple,' says Alan Lee, a professional compere and singer for the past 10 years (www.alanlee.com.au). 'Depending on the age and personality of the couple and the age of the guests, the way you present should be different. If you have older or senior guests, you need to be more polite and not so colloquial.'
Lee says couples should have at least one meeting with potential MCs. 'I ask them about how they met and I listen to their love story,' he says. Finding out other details about their lives and any past adventures or trips helps Lee understand the couple better. He may also ask to meet the best man and maid of honour with the couple, and then separately later.
'Sometimes I will meet the whole bridal party and become friends with them, which helps to establish a relationship,' explains Lee. 'If they or the best man have any surprise performances or games planned, I need to know.'
Lee suggests meeting the couple about a month before the wedding. If the meeting is too far in advance, the wedding programme or other important guests may not be finalised. The later the meeting, the easier it is to make thorough preparations.
Once you have chosen an MC, Lee recommends booking him or her about three to six months in advance. 'But for those good wedding dates, you need to act more in advance,' he says.
As a professional MC may cost HK$5,000 and up, some couples will want to save money and ask a friend to compere the event.
Lee advises against this idea. He says: 'An MC needs to stay focused for the whole event, so a friend would not be able to enjoy the wedding. You have to come early, stay alert and many times there's no time to eat. And you never know how experienced your friends are. They might have stage fright.'
One of the most important jobs of an MC, Lee points out, is to keep the focus on the couple and not the person talking in front of the room.
'Sometimes people pay more attention to an MC and not the couple. But if an MC does something too outrageous or talks for too long, people might not be interested,' he says.
Finding an experienced MC who can present the right attitude or tone of the couple is extremely important, says Tim Lau of Tim Lau Concept (www.timlau.com).
'Some don't have a lot of experience and after four or five times they will promote themselves as a professional. But I think it's very important to search different websites and watch videos of them,' says Lau, who has been a professional MC for more than 10 years.
On top of controlling the atmosphere at an event, Lau says adding some surprises or creative elements to the wedding, which is secretly co-ordinated with either the bride or the groom, makes for a special day.
Lau explains: 'I would individually talk to the groom, or sometimes the bride, to ask him to sing a song or play a favourite piece of music to show how much the groom loves his wife.'