Today my little sister is getting married.
I have been asked to MC her BD (Big Day) and I'm exciting to help guide guests through tonight's festivities.
As I read back the Timeline chapter in my book, "A Dude's Guide to Surviving His Wedding", I though pro-MC, Justin Vandenberg's advice was too good not to pass along. If anyone has any MC duties coming up... check it out:
The first of two of this chapter’s experts is Justin Vandenberg, everyone’s favourite MC. He’s MC’d a whopping seven weddings. Seven! Justin has some great snippets that you can relay on to your MC when you meet with him/her. Here is our “Experts Say” MC style:
TC: How do you initially prepare once you’ve been asked to do the duties?
JV: I try to find a common connection between the couple and those attending the wedding. Something public everyone can enjoy. Inside jokes are only funny to those on the inside.
TC: How early do you like to meet with the couple to discuss the game plan?
JV: Usually thirty days before the wedding. The bride usually has a schedule for me on the day’s events prior to the sit down, and I like to go over line by line.
TC: How much communication do you have with the couple leading up?
JV: I’m pretty close leading up to the day, but within forty-eight hours I leave them alone. At that point, it’s the wedding planner and me who take over.
TC: Is it an honour or pain in the ass to be asked to be an MC?
JV: For me, it’s an honour. There is a lot of trust instilled in the wedding MC to ensure that the night carries on smoothly.
TC: Any fun tips to help move the night along while being slightly entertaining?
JV: There is always one obnoxious table; the rowdy bunch. I usually pick on them or call them out. They always get a kick out of it and everyone can laugh along. I usually give sports updates as well. Quite often there’s a ball game or hockey game going on. Random facts are good, too. “On this day, ten years ago…etc.”
TC: There will be Grandmas there; is it OK to slip in some offside jokes?
JV: I think this needs to be discussed beforehand with the bride and groom. A fine line has to be drawn between funny and offensive. I’ve seen it all at weddings.
TC: Best opening line to break the ice?
JV: I usually call out how good looking everyone in the room is, especially Grandma, something along those lines. I look for something to get everyone whistling or laughing.
TC: Anything that doesn’t go over with the crowd at all?
JV: Self-deprecating jokes; nobody cares that you can’t find a girlfriend.
TC: Funny stories from your MCing journeys?
JV: I’ve had a few; here are just a couple, though:
1) I was MCing my sister’s wedding. I was warned that a family friend on the groom’s side (my brother-in-law) was eager to grab the mic. I did a good job of avoiding any setbacks, but sure enough, he walked right up on stage, grabbed the microphone from me and said, “I say something at every wedding. ”
This guy right here (my brother-in-law) is as good as they come. You know what they say? You can’t walk on water, but you can walk on ice.” He handed the mic back to me. I told everyone he was factually correct. We had a good laugh and carried on.
2) I was not an MC at this wedding, but the MC decided that a good kissing game was to have people come up and tell jokes (terrible idea, by the way). First person came up and said, “What’s the difference between Jesus and Mexicans? Jesus doesn’t have Mexicans tattooed all over him.” This was followed by another racist joke with more profanity. Grandma wasn’t impressed.
Great stuff there by JV. He's a good follow on Twitter as well @jvberg.
Well I'm off to practice my hilarious MC jokes in a mirror. See ya on the other side. Ty - the "MC dude"
FB: Tyler Cameron