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Winner! Brides' Choice Awards, and what does an MC even do, anyway?

Posted By Keira Brown  
12:21 PM

Two weeks ago Scott and I attended the Bride’s Choice Awards, and Scott also MC’d the event. It was a big night for Master of Ceremonies Sydney. Scott was a finalist for both Best Male Celebrant and Best Master of Ceremonies, and Robert, the organiser of the event had been very careful to keep the winners a secret from Scott and myself until Scott actually hit the button to go to the slide announcing each winner. As Scott got to the slide announcing the finalists for best MC, I watched as he took a deep breath, glanced at me sitting in the front row, then hit the button for the next slide . . .  I am extremely proud to say that Scott won the Bride’s Choice MC of the Year!

Like most other people, Scott often wonders after each event if he’s done a good job, if he’s managed to capture the dreams of each couple and make them a reality. This accolade, given by couples who voted anonymously, has given us both that extra boost of confidence, that feeling of “Yes, I’m doing this thing right.”

It always amazes me that Scott feels these twinges of insecurity, because I know he goes above and beyond what many other MCs offer their couples. Some MCs don’t stay the entire night, instead opting to leave once the dancing gets started, but Scott will stay until the couple have exited and all of the guests have left. Other MCs don’t always meet with their couples leading up to the big day, especially if they come as part of a venue package, but Scott insists on meeting each and every couple, even if the only way to meet is over Skype or a phone call, because the couple are understandably too booked for a face-to-face meeting. Scott has always offered a cheat sheet for what to put in speeches, and since I’ve come onboard, we have now created individual printouts for the couple to give to each of the speakers before their reception.

"We found Scott on the internet when looking for an MC for our wedding. What an outstanding professional person. He gave 110% from start to finish. Scott went above and beyond our expectations helping out with the music, speeches and a slide show. Highly recommended."
- Mr and Mrs Ashby | 22 October 2016


So what does a professional MC do, and do you really need one?

“We’re getting a friend to MC the reception.” We hear this phrase quite a bit, and while it’s great to have someone who knows the couple really well be our MC, there a few tricks of the trade that a friend won’t know, not to mention that now they don’t get to enjoy your wedding as a guest, but now have an actual job to do.

"Scott was our wedding MC last month and I cannot recommend him enough! He ensured the night ran smoothly and that everything was perfect for my husband and I all night.There were a few little hiccups (not from Scott's behalf), but by the time I heard about them Scott had already fixed them!"
- Nicole Deahm | 21 November 2018

A wedding reception typically runs for 5 hours, which seems like a long time. How hard can it be to make sure everything happens? What doesn’t get taken into account is that 2-3 hours of that is taken up by the kitchen. Entrees, mains, desserts, cake cutting, anti pasto platters, all of these things need to be cooked by a certain time, and then delivered to 80-200 guests, and you have little to no chance of changing those times once they are set. So now you only have 2-3 hours to fit in the bridal party entry, speeches (which can run from 10 minutes to half an hour), cake cutting, family photos and/or table photos, bridal waltz, father daughter dance, bouquet toss, garter toss, shoe game, plus you want a decent chunk of time to dance with your friends and family.

Your Master of Ceremonies is a bit like an event planner, but instead of being behind the scenes, he (or she) is up front and centre, making sure everything runs smoothly, handling the runsheet, ensuring that the couple gets the best out of their reception without having to handle anything themselves. For example, your photographer has found the perfect spot outside for a night shot with the couple, but your run sheet has been timed to the minute to make sure that you can fit everything I detailed above into your 5 hour reception. Will your friend, who is a great public speaker and life of the party, know how to liase with the kitchen and the venue staff, or be able to decide on the fly which part of the reception can be sped up, to find the right pocket of time to accommodate those photos?

"I honestly recommend Scott for all of your MC needs! He made my wedding run so smoothly and he took so much stress off my shoulders, he has the best personality and everyone at the wedding loved him! So professional and goes WAAAAYY above and beyond to make sure you are pleased! We can't thank you enough for everything you've done for us Scott! Xx"
- Imogen Dillon | 17 September 2017

As your MC Scott arrives at the venue one hour before the reception is due to start to ensure everything is running smoothly with the kitchen, the decorations, table arrangements, etc. He will then check in with you 20-15 minutes before you are due to be announced to confirm any last minute changes to the order of the bridal party entry and just to check in with you in general after all of your photos have been done. He will then run your guests through housekeeping for the venue, any special announcements you need made (such as if there is anything your guests are required to do, like signing the guestbook, making use of the photobooth, etc.).

He will also liaise with your photographer/videographer and the kitchen to keep things running to time, and be the go-to person if anyone has any concerns about what is happening. He is also able to do a few wedding games, which can be discussed in later detail once you’ve met with him, and also introduce all speeches, cake cutting, first dance, daddy/daughter dance, bouquet and garter toss, and pretty much anything else you can think of 😊.

In the forefront of Scott’s mind is the knowledge that the reception is all about the newlyweds, and endeavours to ensure they have the best time possible. Some MCs think that as your MC it is their job to be the life of the party, but Scott leaves his ego at home, making the newly married couple the centre of attention, as it should be. He will also chat with whoever will be making speeches on the night, giving them some last minute tips and support, as most people feel a bit nervous about public speaking.

"Scott was the MC at our wedding last month. He was absolutely fabulous and many guests commented on his professional approach, with many guests thinking he had known us for a long time as he made it personal. It was wonderful he took the time to get to know us before the wedding including our likes and dislikes. We have handed out your details to many guests and will recommend for future events. Thank you very much Scott!!"
- Emma Rees | 10 April 2017

The bonus to having Scott as your MC is that because he takes the time to get to know the couple before the wedding, we often receive feedback that guests thought he really was a friend of the family, even the father of the bride at a recent wedding came up to me and asked how long Scott and I had been friends with the bride, as he hadn’t met us before!

It’s also the little things that make the difference between a professional MC and a friend of the family – knowing how to work microphones, bringing a multitude of connectors and plugs to account for the last minute slideshow the best man wants to put up, but he only has a Mac and the venue has a Windows based system, or being able to recommend other wedding suppliers if you haven’t yet decided on your stylist, or the cake, or even hiring a car.

"Jamie and I cannot thank you enough for being our wedding MC. You helped make our day perfect. You mingled with our guests and made them all laugh and ou made us feel at ease. You held the night together and were more than we could have imagined. For anyone looking for an MC don't bother looking any further!"
- Nadine Bryen | 6 February 2017

I don’t always get to go to the reception, but when I do get invited, which is always such an honour, I love watching Scott do something that he enjoys so much. The commitment and energy that Scott brings to a reception as an MC is truly something to see, and something I am so incredibly proud of.

So if you’re questioning whether to get a Professional Wedding MC or just have a friend wing it, consider chatting to Scott first before making a decision. You won’t regret it.  

Until next time!


P.s. Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments or suggestions don't hesitate to email me!


About the team at Master of Ceremonies Sydney

I’m Scott Phillips, a registered Marriage Celebrant, professional Master of Ceremonies (MC) and dad to two gorgeous girls.

I’m really a dog person, but a 12-year-old cat named Morgan has somehow managed to turn me into one of her minions.

We believe that every event, whether it is a wedding ceremony, wedding reception, a corporate function (even a Christmas party), a charity event, an expo or trade show, will be a Moment of Truth. A moment that will form memories, bonds and goodwill that will carry a lasting impression.

As a Celebrant I believe in creating a magical, memorable ceremony that will be remembered for years to come, and to do that I ensure each ceremony is unique and tailored to the bride and groom, who they are individually and as a couple. 


I'm Keira Brown and I’m a writer, cat lover, and new owner of a dog named Bear, who lives up to his name in size and looks, but he’s really cuddly. 

I used to be completely uninterested in marriage, weddings, relationships, anything to do with love really. Not because I'd had my heart broken, but because to me it just didn’t seem that important. Then I met Scott, and my life, my entire world changed. Everything was about weddings, because that's what he does. And gradually, as I fell deeper in love with Scott and started helping him with Master of Ceremonies Sydney, I finally got it. It's not about the marriage, or the reception, decorations or food, or even the ceremony - it's about two people declaring their love for each other before the entire world. An irrevocable promise to always be there for each other.

I quit my day job, and now help Scott run Master of Ceremonies Sydney full time. I get to merge my love of writing stories with my passion for writing an unforgettable ceremony. It’s been a hell of a ride. I can't wait to see what happens next!


You can check out more info about us on the Who Am I page :).