Wedding Planning Q&A

What Does Master Of Ceremonies Mean? with Tim Podesta


What Does Master Of Ceremonies Mean? Tim Podesta, Professional Master Of Ceremonies sheds light on the role, plus we discuss the benefits for your Wedding.

Listen to Tim on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Tim Podesta, Master Of Ceremonies


James: [00:00:03] Hello Tim thank you so much for joining me. 

Tim: [00:00:06] Yes thank you. It’s good to be here James. 

James: [00:00:08] Brilliant, brilliant. So brides and grooms to be.

We did a bit of research on this, a bit of background research, and we found out that brides and grooms weren’t clear on this. And they were asking the question “what does Master of Ceremonies mean”?

Tim: [00:00:25] Right that’s a very good question and a master of ceremonies or MC… some people have heard of the term MC, is someone who’s sole goal is to facilitate and make an event run smoothly. 

James: [00:00:39] OK! 

Tim: [00:00:41] And I’m passionate about doing… Providing such a service and…

a Toastmaster is someone who is professionally trained as a master of ceremonies. And specifically to be a master of ceremonies for special events.

James: [00:00:58] Right! 

Tim: [00:00:58] What is even more special than a wedding?

And the role of a Toastmaster, as a master of ceremonies, is to help things run smoothly and really to make the day, the event, as stress free as possible for the bride and bridegroom.

To help the plans that they put in place. Help them run smoothly and to be there to work with whoever is involved. Particularly the people running the venue, the banqueting and photographer, maybe videographer. To be a person who welcomes, facilitates everything that goes on, in a way that it runs as smoothly as possible. And my particular aspect of being the MC or toastmaster for a Wedding, the thing I look forward to most are the speeches. 

Tim: [00:01:53]

The speeches are normally the most enjoyable. They can be very emotional. They can be fun. And whatever form the speeches take traditionally, whether it be the father of the bride, then the bridegroom, then the best man.

But that’s tradition, and my advice is for the bride and bridegroom to decide how they want their event to run. And maybe have the speeches from different people if they wish. But then my role as a master of ceremony, I feel, is to help the set up of the speeches. Make the speakers as comfortable as possible. Many times the speakers are nervous. And it’s not a natural thing for people to do. There are some people who are very accomplished speakers but even they, particularly for a wedding, feel that it’s important. They want to do a good job. And anything I can do to help them, to consider what they might say, but also making them comfortable with how the speeches are set up. For example making sure, particularly with the best man, that if they’ve got anything special they want to do in their speech, that I can help facilitate that. 

James: [00:03:13] Right! 

Tim: [00:03:14] Quite often they have some fantastic surprises. And there’s nothing better, I think, than being able to help them deliver those surprises. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but if I can help them… And I’ve got some brilliant examples of ones I’ve done. I think everybody’s different.

And there’s always something interesting in speeches and I always get great satisfaction out of helping the speeches, or the speakers say what they want to say, and have that part of the event run well. 

James: [00:03:46] Fantastic! I mean, from our perspective looking back over the last 10 years of weddings that we’ve attended. Weddings that had, I’m going to use the term MC. 

Tim: [00:03:56] Yes. 

James: [00:03:56] Now that we know what that means.

The weddings that had an MC, we viewed the MC as really a focal point, as a supplier. Because we have somebody to turn to with questions.

And we have somebody continually feeding us with timings and arrangements. And I felt the master of ceremonies really does help glue a Wedding together. And it keeps things on time doesn’t it? 

Tim: [00:04:20] You couldn’t be more right. And different people have different angles on weddings and them running to time. This can be something that some people want to do, and that’s a job I can do. Other people it’s really just they want the moments to happen exactly as they want them. And that my job is to help them happen. For example one of the weddings I did last year, the bride was determined that the cutting of the cake and the first dance would be almost simultaneous. They didn’t want any fussing around the cake. She wanted the cake to be cut. That would be a special moment. And then straight onto the dance floor. And being able to help that happen was very satisfying. 

James: [00:05:06] Fantastic! Brilliant well thanks very much Tim for explaining that for us. We’ve actually just got a fun quick question for you as well. If you don’t mind. 

Tim: [00:05:13] Of course, fire away. 

James: [00:05:15] So the question is…

“what’s the most surprising thing that’s ever happened to you at a wedding”? Got to dig deep! 

Tim: [00:05:26] Yes, yes well surprising and challenging I think. I suppose it’s one of the first weddings I ever did. The bride and bridegroom bless them, they’d hired all these suppliers and it wasn’t until the event that they were actually where getting ready for the event, they realised that the photographer hadn’t turned up. 

James: [00:05:57] Oh no! 

Tim: [00:05:57] Now I mean that’s unfortunate that they thought they’d booked someone, but they hadn’t. So I thought “well how can I help here”? I can’t be the photographer myself. But the obvious fallback was to have all the photographs taken by the people who were there. Have those captured and to find someone amongst the guests who could effectively act as almost a surrogate photographer. Particularly for the group photographs.

And so I did two things for them. I helped let everyone know that this was the situation, that had happened, in a way that OK, we had to make the best of it.

The bridegroom, he already had the idea of having a website where everyone would load up their pictures. And then I became the master of ceremonies for the group photographs. And then made sure that they got all the photographs they wanted. Even to the point of taking the group photograph. 

James: [00:07:13] Fantastic! 

Tim: [00:07:13] So everyone was in it. Now I suppose you can say making the best of an unfortunate situation. But I felt that was probably one of the biggest surprises I’ve had. Every wedding has interesting surprises and that was probably the one that came to mind when you first asked the question. 

James: [00:07:35] I imagine from the couples perspective, just having someone to turn to in that kind of scenario, is such a stress relief. Because you know, they know that you’re there and you can handle it. Or they can give you the problem and a say can you please sort this out. 

Tim: [00:07:49] Yes well I couldn’t magic another photographer, which I guess what I’ve learned from that myself is to whenever I speak to a bride or bridegroom before an event, I actually say to them, well can I contact the photographer in advance? 

James: [00:08:06] Right! Fantastic! 

Tim: [00:08:07] Not to check they’ve got one, but actually because then I can offer my services and help them do their jobs, as part of my job. And at the back of my mind is the thought that if they hadn’t actually got a Photographer, then at least I would know even earlier than that on the day. 

James: [00:08:24] Absolutely.

And so in terms of coverage then on the day, I assume that you’d normally start at the beginning of the drinks reception, welcoming guests. Is that pretty much the norm? 

Tim: [00:08:35] The normal full service would be at the venue at least an hour before guests or the couple might arrive. To liaise and familiarise and get ready. Because obviously the important part of being a professional Toastmaster is the uniform. And I have to say that the uniforms are not meant to be such that I become the centre of attention. My job is to help things run smoothly so I’m in the background, but at least I have that bit of presence for having a uniform. So an hour before the actual event where there’s a civil ceremony or reception. And then right through to the evening festivities. 

James: [00:09:22] OK! 

Tim: [00:09:23] I would say as long as it’s required. Normally that’s up to about the first dance. Because at that point the DJ is an MC anyway for that part. I normally enjoy at that point handing over to the DJ. 

James: [00:09:41] Well that’s great! Thanks so much Tim for sharing your experience and your knowledge with us. And obviously we look forward to speaking to you again soon. 

Tim: [00:09:48] Yes. Thank you. 

James: [00:09:49] That’s great, thanks so much Tim, we’ll see you later. 

Tim: [00:09:50] OK bye now. 

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  • Reply Tim Podsta November 11, 2018 at 10:47 am

    A big thank you to James for a very well presented recording and text from our video interview,.

    • Reply James Pearson November 12, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      An absolute pleasure to get the opportunity to chat with you Tim! Great info!!! Thanks again 🙂

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