1. I see you, you see me.
Always meet with him/her in person (either before you make the booking, or if you have already booked them following telephone conversations then definitely meet before the day).
Whilst we have Face Time and Skype nowadays, a wedding is very personal. A face to face meeting over drinks or dinner will help you both to get to know each other a bit better, and enables you to properly spell out your vision and the MC to understand better.
2. The right questions.
Ask the right questions to get the right information for e.g like how many weddings they have done, the type of weddings they have been involved in, the type of situations they have faced at weddings. This will help you gauge if they have the experience you require.
Also pay attention to the questions that they ask you. Are they just interested in getting another booking, or are they actually interested in understanding you, what you are about and what you are trying to achieve at your dream wedding.
3. Seeing is not always believing.
Watching a video clip of the MC telling a funny joke at another wedding is not necessarily important. Remember every wedding is different!!! (different couple, different set of guests, different day, different time).
What works at one wedding does not necessary work at another, what you need is some one who is adaptable to different audiences.
4. Funny or Fact
A person that can reel off lots of jokes one after the other does not necessarily make an MC. An MC is a person who can manage the emotions of an audience whilst monitoring all around him/her. They should be able to adapt to change within a wedding reception programme whilst keeping it on track.
Their people skills are equally as important as their ability to make you laugh. And on the subject of laughter, they should definitely be able to make you laugh!!
5. Quality over Quantity
In this case cheap is not always best. Costing is usually based on experience, I recommend that you go for experience all day, every day!
This is where referrals from friends, family or a supplier who has seen the MC in action before can be crucial. Ignore them at your peril.
I leave you with 21 Questions to ask when hiring an MC
1. How did you get to become an MC
2. How many weddings have you done
3. What kind of weddings have you done in the past
4. How would you engage my guests
5. Are you able to do multicultural weddings
6. How would you deal with XYZ situation (they then give me an actual or supposed situation)
7. How many hours is the booking with you for (what period does it cover)
8. What are you charges for traveling (e.e out of town and destination weddings)
9. How will you make my wedding different from the last one we saw you at
10. Our families do not really get on, how will you deal with that yet still make them all have a good time
11. My mum is a total diva and will try and take over the whole day, how are you gonna handle her
12. My parents divorced many years ago and don't talk (in fact cant stand to be in the same room) How should we seat them on the high table
13. If we book you how do we know that you will do a good job
14. If we want you to come to the church and co-ordinate the photo session does that cost extra
15. Are you funny
16. Do we sign a contract with you
17. What are your payment terms
18. Have you worked at XYZ venue before
19. Will you use any of our wedding photos for your own publicity
20. Would you be willing to learn a few words of our language to greet the elders with
21. On the day what time will you arrive.
And there we have it!