By Maria Immaculate Owechi
Last Saturday, I attended a lovely wedding for my relatives. Everything went well except for a cousin who was given the honor of being the MC because of his talkative nature. He mostly spoke English but when he tuned to our local language, some words were either mispronounced or wrongly used. This angered the guests with some lashing at him in whispers. He was not even conversant with the program and kept on skipping things. Instead, it was the guests who kept correcting him on some program hitches to his embarrassment.
The Master of Ceremonies for an event is usually abbreviated as MC/Mcee. MCs are crucial for the smooth running of the ceremony program and their presentation among the guests either qualifies or disqualifies your wedding as organized and entertaining or the opposite of those.
Paul Ekky, a wedding MC says that the Master of Ceremonies can either make or break your wedding event.
“People just select maybe a relative or a close friend to be their MC just because they may provide free services and instead refuse to hire and pay a gifted and trained MC who may professionally carry out his/her role.”
Ronnie Habasa, also a seasoned MC and presenter of a breakfast show on 104.1, Power FM defines the Master of Ceremonies as someone who has a very simple role of carrying the event according to the program, deliver it on time and manage anything that happens in between.
Ronnie shares a few aspects one should look at before choosing an MC to officiate their wedding ceremony;
Consider what kind of event it is
“This is because we have different events for different MCs like weddings, corporate functions, concerts or award ceremonies,” he explains.
“Mistake number one is getting the wrong MC for the wrong event. For instance bringing a concert MC to officiate a wedding ceremony,” he further explains.
“Definitely, there might be a mismatch. Therefore, make sure you choose an MC that is suitable for a crowd that will be attend your wedding,” he advises.
Consider an MC that is mature and experienced
Ronnie explains that although there are MCs that can manage all types of events like himself, he still advises the intending married couple to choose an MC with experience, and one who is mature enough to be able to carry himself/herself through an event, in a way that is not going to bring an embarrassment to anyone.
“This is because anyone can announce when the wedded couple are going to arrive or when it’s time for serving food, but you still need an experienced person who can handle whatever the situation is, for instance what happens when technology fails, food does not arrive on time or when things suddenly just change?”
He emphasizes that the couple should look for an MC with a flexible quality.
You need an MC that matches to your crowd
He advises the couple to choose an MC who knows how to compose himself, has good understanding, has ever met the couple, and is not going to crack a joke that will make you flinch.
So, the couple should ensure to set up a meeting with the preferred MC to provide some background information about themselves and their significant other. This can range from childhood, dating or engagement stories. The MC will be able to use this information wisely and appropriately at the reception.
Ronnie also says it is crucial for the couple to find out if the MC knows the celebrant’s preferred language at the ceremony. Ronnie gives an example of an MC who is not fluent in speaking Luganda and has just been told to speak the few words he knows, and on that wedding ceremony there are typical Luganda speakers or if the Kattikiro of Buganda (Prime minister), is the guest of honor. Then, the guests may be irritated. He emphasizes that the couple should make sure the MC and the crowd connect and have clear communication in whatever dialect chosen to be used.
Consider one with a good track record
It is important to look at the track record and see the work the MC has done before in previous weddings. Check and solicit reviews about them from acquaintances or wedding websites.
“Remember, that a wedding happens once, and you cannot repeat it, you don’t want to just gamble and go for last minute things of just randomly picking an uncle or a buddy that can talk,” Ronnie cautions .
“With the same amount of energy with which you put looking for the dress, finding a venue, different service providers, is the same amount you should put into looking for the right MC,” he advises.
He emphasizes that you should find a seasoned MC who has a good track record.
Consider if the MC has undergone some training for the profession
“Some people are gifted but not trained, others are trained but not gifted. So, your perfect MC is that one that has the gift and has taken time to nurture and train as far as public speaking is concerned,” he recommends.
He recommends people interested in becoming MCs to consider attending available trainings for this profession or any other public speaking club in order to deliver what is required to the different audiences.