Do You Need a Wedding MC? We've Got the Tea.

We've got the info on a MC's duties, cost and more, straight from the experts.
Microphone in box at wedding
Photo: Vladimir Tsarkov / Stocksy
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
The Knot Contributor
  • Jessica contributes wedding planning, wedding etiquette and relationship content to The Knot.
  • She also covers lifestyle and wellness topics for print and digital publications such Refinery29, Bustle, Well + Good, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, The Cut and more.
  • Jessica has a journalism degree from Cal State University, Northridge and is certified as a life and success coach.
Updated Apr 05, 2024

There are tons of ways you can enhance your wedding, from wow-worthy decorations to going all out with food and desserts. Another surefire way to elevate your wedding? Hire a wedding MC. An MC, which stands for "master of ceremonies," can help add some personality to the celebration and also ensure things flow smoothly throughout the evening. In other words, it's worth considering adding an MC to your wedding vendor checklist.

Below, learn everything you need to know about wedding MCs including what an MC does at a wedding and how to find and hire a MC for your big day.

In this article:

What Is an MC at a Wedding?

A wedding MC, often referred to as a wedding emcee, is "the vocal and visual representation of the couple/guests of honor," explains master of ceremonies Artem Lomaz. "Part narrator, part creative team liaison, part emotion concierge—an MC wears many hats to ensure that guests are intrigued, entertained, feel involved and above all else, comfortable."

Not to be confused with an officiant who leads the wedding ceremony, a master of ceremony's role mainly takes place during the wedding reception. Logistically, Lomaz says a wedding MC introduces what's about to happen during the reception, guides the flow and transition between key moments, and facilitates communication amongst wedding vendors such as the wedding planner and photographer—all while keeping guests entertained.

Do You Need a Wedding MC?

It's up to you! Hiring an MC for your wedding can be a great addition to your big day that provides many benefits. If you hire a master of ceremonies, Lomaz says they'll help elevate the guest experience, alleviate the MC duties from your band leader or DJ so they can focus on music, and help the wedding timeline run smoothly.

A great MC will also take the celebration to the next level with personalized elements that will make the couple and guests feel like they are reflected in each moment, Lomaz says. And most importantly, he adds, a highly skilled MC knows how to capture and keep attention and turn it towards where it needs to go throughout the evening.

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How to Find a Wedding MC Near You

If you're wondering how to find a wedding MC near you, Lomaz's best tip is to consult with your wedding planner as they often have great recommendations they can point you towards. Alternatively, he suggests checking with entertainment companies you're considering hiring such as a DJ, band or talent agency to see if they have an MC available.

The Knot Vendor Marketplace is also a great resource for finding MCs. Look under the DJ section by inserting your marrying location and filtering by MC services under the "+More Filters" option. Bonus: You can also find a bilingual wedding MC on The Knot Vendor Marketplace.

As for when to book a wedding MC, be sure to do so as soon as you have your date and venue set. Or, Lomaz suggests hiring your MC once you have your band or DJ booked, so they can collaborate accordingly. Pro tip: Use a wedding vendor email template when reaching out to a wedding MC.

What Does an MC Do at a Wedding? Duties of a Wedding MC

Still wondering: what does an mc do at a wedding? Below we outlined the most important MC responsibilities at a wedding, including what an MC should say at a wedding.

1. Keep Guests Informed

By far, a wedding MC's top responsibility is keeping your guests informed and aware of what's happening during your wedding, Lomaz says. That includes welcoming guests, introducing the VIPs at the reception, making announcements for formal dances, toasts and any other details guests need to know.

2. Guide the Wedding Timeline

Another essential wedding MC duty is working with your wedding planner to curate the wedding timeline and decide what key elements they are guiding guests through and when. "Part of that responsibility is also potentially adjusting as needed during the wedding," Lomaz says. "It's great to have a plan, and even better to have an MC that can shift as needed if things aren't going to plan."

3. Handle Behind-the-Curtain Elements

MCs are not only pros at guiding the evening's programming for guests, they're also great at managing the behind-the-scenes elements. According to Lomaz, this can include:"ensuring that anyone toasting knows where to go, how to hold a microphone and overall feels comfortable, making sure that VIPs are in the room for special moments (or not starting them until confident that a VIP has returned from the restroom), constantly communicating with the photographer/cinematographer so that they not only know what's coming next, but ways to potentially assist them in getting a great shot by providing instruction to the guests, etc."

4. Add Humor to the Festivities

A wedding MC can also add some humor by telling jokes and bringing funny elements to your big day. However, it's important to ensure the MC's sense of humor aligns with yours. You can do this by browsing their website and social media, talking with them and asking them to list their favorite comedy movies or comedians, Lomaz says. All these details will help you decide whether their sense of humor is a fit for your wedding.

5. Lead Wedding Games

If you want to incorporate wedding reception games (like the shoe game!) into your wedding, an MC can help lead them during the reception. Lomaz notes that some MCs may not feel comfortable leading wedding games, so it's vital that you discuss it before hiring them. Check in on their comfort level. Let them know what games you'd like to include. And ask them how they would execute the games and where in the wedding timeline they would incorporate them.

Average Wedding MC Cost

As with all wedding vendors, the cost of a wedding MC varies greatly based on their experience, location, market type, demand and what they include as part of their services, such as number of hours, Lomaz says. Generally though, Kaitlin Ford, lead planner at Pocketful Of Plans, says a wedding MC rate can range from $1,600 to $3,000. And for a destination MC specializing in luxury weddings, rates can start at $5,000, Lomaz adds. It's also common to book a wedding MC through your wedding band or DJ for an additional cost.

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