How to Choose a Master of Ceremonies for Your Wedding

A man at a wedding in a tuxedo and holding a microphone.

Are you and your significant other looking for the perfect master of ceremonies for your upcoming wedding? Finding the right person for this job can be difficult. After all, he or she will play an extremely important role in your big day. Not only is the master of ceremonies responsible for making important announcements, but they are usually in charge of keeping the evening on track. Additionally, these individuals frequently introduce the family and wedding party, facilitate activities, troubleshoot potential problems, help guests with questions, and direct attention to important moments throughout the evening. The best kind of master of ceremonies knows how to keep things on track while also providing vital information coupled with engaging commentary.

Obviously, you want someone reliable and (at least a little bit) entertaining to fill this role. Many brides and grooms ask a close relative or friend to tackle the task, as this often costs less than hiring a professional. Going this route also means you and your fiancé will have a pre-established relationship with your master of ceremonies, which will result in a more personal experience. Professional master of ceremonies, on the other hand, tend to have more experience running weddings smoothly.

Whether you intend to ask someone you know or hire an expert to serve as your master of ceremonies, it’s important to find someone who you trust. Knowing how to start your search may be daunting. To ensure you’re happy with your selection, keep the following tips in mind.

Place Value on the Right Qualities

A female master of ceremonies speaking with a microphone at a wedding with the bridal party watching.

While every master of ceremonies is a little different, most successful ones share a few similar qualities. When making your selection, keep the following traits in mind:


It’s absolutely imperative that your master of ceremonies is a confident speaker and communicator. They should be used to using a microphone to interact with large groups of people. Good organizational skills are also essential, as this individual will need to ensure that the day proceeds as planned. Additionally, having a good sense of humor helps keep guests comfortable and engaged as the evening progresses.

Before beginning your search for a master of ceremonies, take time to create a list with your future spouse of preferred qualities. The list can be as short or as long as you desire, but it should only include traits that you both admire. Once complete, begin identifying individuals or professionals you believe to possess these qualities.

Only Consider Individuals You Both Respect

Ideally, you and your significant other should both respect your master of ceremonies. If you prefer to ask someone you know personally, take time to sit down and discuss the potential options. Go back and forth listing a few of the people who come immediately to mind. After the two of you have created a decent list, delve a little deeper. Who has had the most influence on your relationship? Do you both respect this person?

Avoid choosing a master of ceremonies who isn’t respected by both parties. While you may strongly prefer to ask your college baseball coach because he greatly influenced your life, this may not be the best option if your fiancé has never met him before. It’s important that you take time to thoroughly discuss who will be best suited to speak to and for the both of you.

If you’re hiring a master of ceremonies, meet with several professionals before deciding on one. Afterward, consider the benefits and drawbacks of each together. This will help you select an individual who appeals to you both as a couple.

Establish Ground Rules

The master of ceremonies holding a microphone with the bride and groom in the background.

It’s also important that the person you choose to be your master of ceremonies will abide by certain ground rules. After all, this is your big day! You should have a significant say in how things are conducted and phrased. A few basic guidelines include:

Avoid bad language
Keep stories clean
Have jokes pre-approved
Don’t drink heavily

While every couple is different, most prefer that their master of ceremonies avoid language that could be potentially offensive to anyone present. Weddings aren’t generally considered the ideal place for foul language. Similarly, stories should never contain embarrassing and crass elements. The goal should never be to make anyone present feel awkward or uncomfortable. This is why many couples also ask that jokes are approved ahead of time. Inside jokes, in particular, should be avoided.

These elements can often be avoided as long as the master of ceremonies also agrees not to drink too heavily throughout the reception. Even if you provide an open bar, this wedding perk should be avoided. There’s little that your guests will find less entertaining than someone who’s drink stumbling through a speech or announcement. The best master of ceremonies will be more than willing to accept and abide by the rules you set for your big day.

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