An actor with a wireless mic at a wedding
August 27, 2006 12:20 PM   Subscribe

I am the MC for my good friends wedding tonight. I have the schedule and only a few announcements, but aside from that I will have a wireless mic and freedom. Ideas?

I've got bios of the bride and groom's family members and am instructed to introduce and jab at each one before their toasts'.

But what about fun/funny/must-have's during the dance, dinner, etc? Anything creative to do with the wireless mic? Specific songs to play?

Some Specifics:
I have all the a/v stuff taken care of and will be running the music off of ipod(s). Bride is Japanese, Groom is Taiwanese, I am whitenese. Some family will not speak much English but most guests will. About 140 people in a nice outside, venue with trees and a couple cabins around the perimeter. Beautiful day in Seattle. Lots of web/graphic design and computer related careers in the audience. Lot's of culture. Traditional American style wedding, not religious, not really themed.

As an actor I have brain overload and will be having a blast, without upstaging of course! But I am definitely open to suggestions. Thanks!
posted by freudianslipper to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Specific songs to play?

Oh yes!
posted by ed\26h at 12:37 PM on August 27, 2006

Did the couple give you a particular reason why they wanted you to have the mic? Are they expecting anything in particular?

My extreme hatred of group activities would lead me to tell you to stay quiet, except for the instances they've indicated they want patter. But if they handed you the mic and said something like, "You're always so funny!" or "You always know the right thing to say in an awkward moment!" or "We really hate all our relatives and need you to keep up a constant stream of chatter so that they don't talk long enough to start arguing!", then you may want to take your cue from that. (And certainly, if they said something like, "God, these things are always so cheesy, we know you'll keep it under control," then that's a clue, too!)
posted by occhiblu at 2:19 PM on August 27, 2006

I have nothing to contribute other than that "I fuckin' need you more than ever" would be the icing on my wedding cake.
posted by kittyprecious at 2:46 PM on August 27, 2006

You should ask the bride and groom if they have people to thank (Thanks Mom for blah, thanks Uncle Wossname for always being there to do whatever it is he does, etc) so that you can work that in as a specific thing.

Get through all that stuff as quickly as possible and then let people eat. Really, nobody gives a damn about the particulars of anyone's toast, or speech. Especially the thank-you speeches; really nobody but the person thanking and the people being thanked care, but you still gotta do it publicly. So force-march the couple through it so that everyone else can get down to the business of chatting over dinner or whatever. Don't work a little bit of it in every few minutes as if it were proper entertainment that people would enjoy as they ate, just get it over with.

Otherwise, I would just remember that your job is not exactly to get people to have a good time. Rather, it's to help the bride and groom think that people are having a good time, if that makes any sense at all. I'd pick songs with that in mind -- it doesn't matter if "Foo" by Bar and Baz would be the most perfectest song ever if the couple hate it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:42 PM on August 27, 2006

What ROU Xenophobe and most others above said. Making yourself a star would be a mistake (so, no jokes about the first baby of a Taiwanese groom and Japanese bride being born on a bayonet, for example) unless the wedding is taking place under sad circumstances and everyone wants to take their mind off it. Make sure the speeches get done, and for God's sake, no "Unchained Melody"!

Oh, and my Japanese mother-in-law was not prepared for the garter belt schtick, so she thought I was going to strip her daughter in fromt of everyone. she ran up (well, scooted in formal kimono) and tried to stop me. Might want to have someone explain what goes on at western weddings if there are any relatives flying in.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:30 PM on August 27, 2006

Talk to them about whether they want to do receiving line/cake cutting/bouquet toss/garter belt/dollar dance, etc. Some people don't, or don't want these things to get at all racy; some love the spectacle and know that their families would be amused to see some racy embarrasing stuff. I would err on the side of avoiding much racy stuff, but definitely ask them.

Agreed with everyone above that you really don't want to be remembered as "that guy who just wouldn't shut up". People will probably be seeing friends or family they haven't seen in a long time, so they'll mainly want to talk and catch up. They haven't come to see you, or to be entertained.

That said, some people will probably enjoy some goofy schtick from you... this depends on the physical setup of the party. If it's a seated dinner and small dance floor, people can't escape you, and you really should rein it in.

But if people will have freedom to move, you have more freedom to act out. It's good if there is enough space to separate the we-just-want-to-catch-up crowd (at tables away from the dance floor) from the we-don't-know-anyone or we-see-each-other-all-the-time, so-we-just-want-to-drink-and-dance crowd (on the dance floor). Then you can do funny dance-floor games or whatever, without getting in the face of people who are not there to party.

Two ideas that can be charming or lame depending:
A DJ at a wedding I went to recently had each table pass around a dollar, instructing everyone in silly moves they had to do to pass it to the next person (under the leg; hold between your elbows; etc). After a series of these, the person with the dollar got to keep it. Then he called up all the dollar-holders and had them line up into a Rockettes kick line to some very easy to dance to song. This meant conservative uncle Charlie and 6-year-old Sally were up there along with various others; lots of good pictures. This was after everyone had several drinks, so spirits were high.

You might want to get the dirt from some of their college friends or whatever on how they met, or what happened on that outrageous trip they took to Amsterdam, or things like that... then you can do a version of Mad-Libs with that info or something; either racy or not depending what the crowd will like (Then Jack bought Jill an inflatable ______.) People will always enjoy hearing stories about the bride and groom, as long as these stories are not *actually* unflattering, too racy or revealing, etc. Again I would err on the side of sweet and goofy, but not-very-racy, if you're not sure.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:33 PM on August 27, 2006

Oh and also: first dance song should be sweet. Bride- and- dad don't have to dance the whole thing, though...that can be interminable. The best man can come and cut in, and the groom and his mother can come on the floor, after the first minute or so (once everyone has taken a bunch of pictures and said awww). You may want to rehearse this with the key players, or let them know when it's time for them to cut in (not so late that the song just ends, for example). Bride and groom and parents will probably be dazed and overwhelmed, so it's good if you can give clear simple directions as to where they should be when -- if you wait for their cue, you could be waiting too long.

Second song (or, third if you're having one for bride and one for groom) should be a rip-roaring sure-fire dance song NOT a mid-tempo song. Something like '80s Prince or Madonna, something that absolutely everyone knows and that's really really easy to dance to.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:40 PM on August 27, 2006

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