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The Master of Ceremonies

The word "toast" is of Latin origin and referred to an actual bit of spiced, burned bread which was dropped into a cup of wine to improve its flavor, and to help absorb the sediment. In the 18th Century, when communal baths were popular, a wag drank to the health of a famous beauty from a cup of rinse water. A light hearted lad standing nearby offered to jump in with the lass, exclaiming, "I do not like the liquor so much, but I should love to have the toast" referring to the dampened damsel. Eventually, drinking to one's health became known as drinking a toast.

All speeches at weddings are really toasts and replies to toasts. Good taste requires certain rules be followed:

  • Each toast and each reply should be no longer than four minutes, three would be better.

  • One joke per toast, and it should be at the beginning.

  • Slang or vulgarity should not be used.

  • One should not refer to the honeymoon or the family the bride and groom may or may not have.

  • One should not poke fun at anyone in attendance.

Function and Duties of the Master of Ceremonies

The speech should be brief, clear, audible, and it should propose a toast or be a reply to a toast. The speaker should be at ease.

The ritual of toasting is simple. Following the dinner the Master of Ceremonies introduces the person who will be giving the toast to the bride. The groom then responds with thanks, and may then toast the bride's parents, his best man, and attendants. The father of the bride may then toast the bride and groom, followed by the best man with a toast to the maid-of honor and the other attendants. The groom or the Master of Ceremonies may then propose a toast to the groom's parents, with a reply to follow from the groom's father. It is then in order for any other guests to propose further toasts.

The function of the Master of Ceremonies is to ensure the orderly development of events at the reception. From the time of arrival of the first guests until the final statement following the departure of the bride and groom, the Master of Ceremonies should serve as an unobtrusive organizer.

Some of the major duties of the Master of Ceremonies include:

  1. Performing a final audio check and setting for any microphone being used, before the arrival of guests.

  2. Directing all guests to the refreshment area.

  3. Directing any special guests to their reserved tables.

  4. Announcing the dinner seating after the receiving line has welcomed all guests.

  5. Welcoming the guests on behalf of the bride and groom and announcing the serving of dinner.

  6. Introducing the person who will say grace.

  7. Following dinner, introducing the members of the head table to the guests.

  8. Introducing the person who will be giving the toast to the bride.

  9. Proposing the toast to the groom's parents.

  10. Inviting any further toasts following the reply of the groom's father. calling upon the best man to read any telegrams or messages.

  11. Relaying, on behalf of the bride and groom, any special words of thanks.
    the introduction of any out-of-town guests, or if there are many, an introduction of the special out-of town guests, with a general acknowledgement of all others.

  12. Announcing the cutting of the cake by the bride and groom.

  13. Announcing the availability of refreshments.

  14. Announcing the start of dancing and the bride and groom's first dance, with the invitation for others to join in after its completion.

  15. Announcing the tossing of the bouquet.

  16. Announcing the departure of the bride and groom.

Duties For The Master Of Ceremonies:

Our clients MAY want to make changes TO THIS ORDER OF DUTIES TO SUIT THEIR WEDDING, OR HAVE OUR OWN (Disc Jockey/compare) TO ACT AS THEIR MC

STEWARDS SHOULD SEAT THE GUESTS, (or Have our Compare do it for them).

THE ENTRY OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM (As soon as it is time to bring the Bridal Party in to the reception)

THE (Disc Jockey) TO ASK GUESTS TO BE UPSTANDING TO RECEIVE THE BRIDAL PARTY, (So that the (Disc Jockey) can play there special tune for the entry.) OR IF THEY CHOSE THAT THE WHOLE BRIDAL PARTY BE INTRODUCED INDIVIDUALLY, THEN THE GUESTS CAN BE SEATED ONCE THE BRIDAL PARTY ARE FULLY SEATED... once that has been done he/she will introduce him/herself then with great pleasure (if that the (Disc Jockey) is not your MC tonight) introduce your MC to you and your Guests.

THEN ON BEHALF OF THE BRIDE & GROOM, THE MC FORMALLY WELCOMES THE GUESTS TO THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION TO THE WEDDING OF ____________________ AND EXPLAINS THE PROCEEDINGS FOR THE REST OF THE EVENING.

SOME COUPLES LIKE GRACE TO BE OFFERED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEAL, IN WHICH CASE THE MC WILL INTRODUCE A NOMINATED PERSON TO CONDUCT THIS.

Today, Grace and/or Loyal Toast are Optional. If either or both are to be said, the Newlyweds remain standing at their places and the (Disc Jockey)/MC asks everyone "Please remain standing for Grace, said by ____________________" (usually, the Priest who married the couple). Grace should be very short, very simple.

HERE IF BRIDE & GROOM WANT, IS WHERE SOMEONE CAN GIVE A TOAST, everyone needs time to relax and enjoy the first two courses before the speeches begin.

THE MC WILL LIAISE WITH THE CATERERS TO FIND OUT WHEN OR HOW LONG BEFORE THE MAIN MEAL WILL BE, AND THEN KEEP CHECKING WITH THEM THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT ON EACH PART OF THE MEALS FOR WHEN THEY WOULD BE SERVED.

FOOD IS SERVED TO THE BRIDAL TABLE, (Which is Optional) WHICH IS USUALLY DONE AFTER THE GRACE HAS BEEN OFFERED, THEN THE WEDDING BREAKFAST COMMENCES AND USUALLY CONTINUES TO BACKGROUND MUSIC BY OUR (Disc Jockey) UNTIL THE ENTREE, MAIN COURSE HAS BEEN FINISHED (& or also WHEN DESERT HAS BEEN SERVED).

TOASTS AND SPEECHES

After main meal or desert is served (Which ever you have decided), it's time for the speeches (PLEASE MAKE SURE TEN 10 MINUTES EARLIER THAT YOU GIVE ALL GUESTS A WARNING TO GO TO THE BATHROOM AS IT IS EMBARRASSING FOR THE BRIDE OR GROOM TO DISAPPEAR DURING THE SPEECHES). (Tell them to be Quick!)

MC or OUR (Disc Jockey) TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CHAMPAGNE IS TO BE POURED OUT WHEN EITHER THE MAIN MEAL IS OVER, (or when the desert is finished). (For a detailed list on who say's what, when for a speech, see the speech list)

AFTER ALL THE PLATES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE TABLES, THE MC WILL CHECK ON HOW LONG BEFORE CHAMPAGNE IS SERVED BEFORE THE SPEECHES TAKE PLACE, WHILE THE STEWARDS ARE CLEANING UP AFTER THE MAIN MEAL, STEWARDS ARE ALSO SERVING OUT THE CHAMPAGNE FOR THE TOASTS, WHICH WOULD BE SHORTLY.

WITH THE MAIN MEAL OVER AND THE PLATES ARE CLEANED OF THE TABLES, THE MC WILL CALL EVERYONE TO ATTENTION FOR THE SPECIAL SPEECH SEGMENTS.

THE SPEECHES IS NOW BEING CONDUCTED, AND WHEN EVERYONE HAS CHAMPAGNE, NOW AT THE MOMENT ALL PROCEDURES FOR SPEECHES WILL FOLLOW FROM THE SPEECH FORMAT SHEET (Which is supplied by the Bride & Groom).

THE MC NOW PASSES THE SHOW ONTO THE (Disc Jockey) Where the (Disc Jockey) will play more great music THIS IS WHERE THE DESERT, IS NOW BEING SERVED TO THE GUESTS.

THE (Disc Jockey) NOW INFORMS EVERYONE THAT OF WHEN COFFEE IS NOW BEING SERVED.

THE (Disc Jockey) WILL NOW INVITE UP THE BRIDE AND GROOM, TO CUT THE WEDDING CAKE SO THAT MOST OF FORMALITIES ARE FINISHED, AND THE (Disc Jockey) CAN PLAY A SONG FOR THE CUTTING OF THE CAKE.

THIS IS WHERE THE MC NOW SHOULD THANK ALL OF THE (CATERERS, VIDEOGRAPHER, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND OFF COURSE THE Disc Jockey) FOR A VERY HELPFUL NIGHT.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER WOULD NOW LIKE TO TAKE PHOTO'S IN THE FOYER, THE MC / or (Disc Jockey) CAN ANNOUNCE, IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE PHOTO'S TAKEN WITH THE NEWLYWEDS ON THEIR WEDDING NIGHT.

THE MC WILL INVITE THE BRIDE AND GROOM TO OPEN THEIR PRESENTS. (Optional)

THE (Disc Jockey) WILL HERE INVITE UP THE BRIDE & GROOM TO DO THEIR BRIDAL WALTZ. FOLLOWED BY THE REST OF THE BRIDAL TABLE, THEN THE PARENTS, THEN IF THERE IS ANYONE THAT WOULD LIKE TO JOIN IN WITH THE DANCING.

THIS IS THE GAMES SEGMENT OF WHICH THE BOUQUET AND GARTER IS ORGANIZED BY OUR (Disc Jockey), TO WHICH YOU HAVE PICKED OUT A GAME OF SOME SORT TO DO FOR THE BOUQUET & GARTER.

IN THIS SEGMENT THE (Disc Jockey) WILL THANK THE MC FOR ALL OF HIS HELP TONIGHT AND WILL PROPOSE A TOAST TO HIM ON BEHALF OF THE BRIDE, GROOM AND ALL OFF THE GUESTS THAT ARE STILL PRESENT AT END OF THE NIGHT (Or it can be done straight after the speeches if the (MC) isn't doing any more work tonight)

THE FAREWELL SEGMENT ON WHICH THE (Disc Jockey) WILL INVITE UP EVERYONE TO THE DANCE FLOOR IN EITHER A CIRCLE or AN ARCHWAY FOR THE BRIDE & GROOM TO SAY FAREWELL TO ALL OF THEIR GUESTS. WITH THE BRIDE AND GROOM GONE THE (Disc Jockey) WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY HEAPS MORE GREAT MUSIC TO THE END OF THE NIGHT, AND SAY GOOD NIGHT TO ALL WISHING ALL GUEST A GOOD JOURNEY HOME.

THE FOLLOWING SPEECHES LISTED ARE ONLY GUIDES, WE DO ENCOURAGE YOU TO ALTER THEM TO SUIT YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL NEEDS FOR WHAT TO SAY.

TOAST TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM: This speech is usually made by a good friend of either family or relative who is a good speaker. Sincerity is the key word here for this Speech. "I have known (Bride) since .... She has a lovely character (ATTRIBUTES) Etc. Her home life has been ..... (PARENTS ATTRIBUTES) so it only stands to reason that the Bride has some of the lovely, unselfish characteristics of her Parents. I think the Groom is a lucky man to have (Bride) to stand by his side because etc. As for (Groom) he has / hasn't always been on the scene, but over the past .... years he has proved to be a wonderful husband and companion to (Bride). Let me tell you a funny story about (Groom) .... etc. I would like take this opportunity of wishing both (Bride & Groom) the very best for their future happiness together .... etc. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I NOW WOULD LIKE (Bride & Groom) TO STAND AND INVITE EVERYONE TO DRINK WITH ME, A VERY SPECIAL TOAST TO THE BRIDE AND GROOM!.."

RESPONSE BY THE GROOM: "I Would like to thank (E.g.: JOE) for his kind words about (Bride) & myself, ON BEHALF OF MY WIFE AND MYSELF (Guests usually applaud Loudly)... We want to express our gratitude to many people here for helping us celebrate this most important day in our lives." PARENTS:.... (Bringing you both up, their moral / financial support, their friendship and love, for wedding breakfast, etc.) "We want you to know, Mums & Dads, we both love you and really appreciate you & Thank you sincerely for all you've done for us both". FRIENDS:.... (How good it is to have them here. For the vast distances traveled ( E.g.: Sydney - Hong Kong etc.).) For their support, & the lovely gifts they have chosen. "We can't wait to do some unwrapping!, please do us the honor of enjoying yourself tonight". SPECIAL PEOPLE:.... Minister... Person who made wedding cake... Photographers, Car Drivers.. Caterers... Florist...The Disc Jockey.. Forgotten anyone else?... Groomsmen & Best man. "They have been a tremendous help in the smooth running of our Wedding day today. Now last but not least, (Bride) & I want to thank our lovely Bridesmaids, who have been wonderful in helping (Bride). I'm sure you'll agree that they look beautiful.

WITHOUT FURTHER WORDS, I'D LIKE THE BRIDESMAIDS TO BE UPSTANDING AND IF EVERYONE CAN CHARGE THEIR GLASSES TO DRINK WITH ME A TOAST TO THE BRIDESMAIDS, "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, TO THE BRIDESMAIDS".

RESPONSE BY THE BEST MAN: "Thank you (Groom), It has been a pleasure for me to be your best man. We have been friends for a long time, & I was delighted when you asked me to stand in this role today. I'd like to relate a little story about (Groom) ..... (Humorous or serious). The Bridesmaids have also assured me that it was their pleasure to assist (Bride). We have had a heap of fun together today, but seriously, on behalf of the Bridesmaids, the Groomsmen & Myself, we wish to offer our best wishes an congratulations to (Bride & Groom). We trust that they will enjoy a lifetime of love and prosperity, be happy and be able to work through their problems together. Hang in their, and invite us to your Golden Wedding Anniversary. Thank you".

TOAST TO THE BRIDES PARENTS: The MC Calls on a Relative or close friend of Bride's family, to propose a toast to the Brides parents. "I have known (Bride's parents) for many years now & our association with them has been one of pleasure and respect. I am glad / honored to be able to propose this toast to them.... (Relate briefly their virtues and quality traits of character). With Parents such as (Brides Parents), is easy to see how they have produced a lovely daughter such as (Bride). I can only recommend (Bride & Groom) that you take a leaf out of your Parents book of life

IF I COULD HAVE (BRIDES PARENTS) UPSTANDING, WITHOUT ANY FURTHER WORDS CAN EVERYONE CHARGE THEIR GLASSES TO TOAST TO THE BRIDE'S PARENTS, "LADIES & GENTLEMEN TO THE BRIDE'S PARENTS!".

RESPONSE BY FATHER OF THE BRIDE: This is the fathers chance to say all those things he has wanted to say about his Daughter in public!, Guests expect him to have a good say and brag if he wants to. He is usually the one paying for the Wedding, after all!. "Thank you, (Friend / Relative) for the kind words you said about my wife & myself. Now what can a father say about a daughter like (Bride) ?. She has been winding me around her little finger for so many years now that.. (I'm going to miss it?) (Groom), we are happy to welcome you into our family. We've come to appreciate you as the person who (Bride) has entrusted with her love, and my wife and I want to wish you both every happiness. THANK YOU".

TOAST TO THE GROOM'S PARENTS: MC Calls on a Relative or close friend of the Groom's family, to propose a toast to the Groom's parents. This will be a similar speech to the one proposed to the parents of the Bride. (Or changed to suit on the night)

RESPONSE BY FATHER OF THE GROOM: This will be a similar speech to the one by the Father of the Bride. "Thank you (E.g.: Jim) for your kind words. We would like to add our congratulations to the newly weds. We feel that we are not losing a son, but gaining a Daughter. If I myself could have chosen a wife for my son, I couldn't have made a better choice than (Groom) has done himself. We are more than happy to welcome (Bride) into our family, etc... THANK YOU". LETTERGRAMS, Emails, Faxes (The Old fashioned Telegrams) The MC calls on the Best Man & Groomsmen to stand up and read the telegrams or lettergrams. (Funny or not so funny ones received).

TOAST TO ABSENT FRIENDS Toast proposed usually by the MC or a very good Friend or close Relative of the Bride & Groom. "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IF I COULD HAVE EVERYONE UP STANDING WITH CHARGED GLASSES AND WE WILL HAVE A TOAST TO ABSENT FRIENDS" "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN TO ABSENT FRIENDS!"

KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL SPEAKING ARE:

It's easy to see why most guides recommend that three minutes is quite long enough for a wedding speech! keyed up by wedding jitters, buoyed up by champagne, often unaccustomed to facing an audience of people, every speaker longs to do well, yet dreads putting both feet in their mouth. And if you've never (or hardly ever) had to make a speech before, it's easy to panic. The most common traps are speaking faster than normal, stumbling and adlibbing to cover up, and speaking well over the three minute time limited. THERE ARE JUST FOUR KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL SPEECH MAKING.

  1. Keep it short, keep it clean, learn it by heart. Remember to bring your notes and don't be afraid to use them!

  2. Use numbered postcard size notes with one sentence or short paragraph printed in bold clear writing on each. They don't get lost, they don't rustle and they fit comfortably into a suit pocket.

  3. Rehearsal is a must! Persuade a friend to listen and watch, or use a tape recorder and talk to the bathroom mirror.

  4. Light humor and gentle jokes are warmly received in any wedding speech, but be aware of clumsy phrasing or risqué jokes which might embarrass or offend any member of the wedding party or guests.

  5. Clichés about the Bride in her Nappies (or the Groom without his), innuendo about previous relationships and mother-in-law jokes are definitely OFF the wedding speaker's list (but you have the choice).

Finally, remember you have lots of friends among the guests, all of whom want your speech to go over well just as much as you do!.....

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