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Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Professional Wedding MC

When Carl Mindling asked if I would be his assistant at a recent wedding I said sure. He was hired as the Professional Wedding MC who would make all of the announcements (welcome, explanations or ceremony elements, toasts, the beginning of the reception, the first dance, the bands at the reception, and more) throughout the evening.
We arrived in San Francisco at 2:09 even though his first announcements weren't to be made until 4:30 PM. Around the Bay Area you never know what traffic will be like and Carl didn't want to risk being late so we arrived extra early.

SCORE! We found weekend street parking no problem!

I hadn't ever been to San Francisco's City Hall before. I have however seen hundreds of wedding pictures taken there, so when we walked inside it was a deja vu experience. I felt like I'd been there before even though I hadn't.

Carl checking in with Music and Entertainment Assistant Megan Terry

As soon as we arrived we needed to figure out where to go and find our liaison from Jubilee Lau Events that evening. Jubilee Lau was the Wedding Planner and Event Producer, while Gloria Wong Tritasavit was the Event Designer. There were a team of experienced planners working for them, each overseeing different aspects of the wedding and reception. The Music + Entertainment Lead was Alice Grisez, so Carl had to go change out of his driving clothes and find her.

One quick stop to work out details with the sound engineer that evening. Initially my job was going to be to hit a "play" button following two of Carl's announcements to start the background music. But Audio Visual professional Chris Williams was ready and willing to oversee this task.

I asked Carl "Did I just get fired?" What was I going to do then until 1:00 AM? LOL. Not to fear, turns out he would need me more than he realized.

First we went downstairs so Carl could change into his tuxedo. He will wear whatever his client's request from casual wear to a sport coat and tie to a tuxedo. The wedding colors were purple so he wore a purple bow tie and cummerbund that evening.

And here we were backstage after getting me ready to go. Turns out almost all of the event professionals that evening wore headset microphones so that they could be in contact with the planning and design teams who were organizing everything and calling out cues to the other professionals. As MC, Carl really couldn't have a headset on and look professional when making announcements to the bride and groom and their guests so I was his hearing ear girl (like a seeing eye dog) for the evening. I wore his headset and shadowed him the entire evening to call out cues to him. It worked out really well except for the fact that I had worn higher heels than I would have worn if I had known I'd be on my feet for 11 hours. *Ouch*

This was City Hall that evening. Gorgeous right? The purple rugs had been custom cut to complement the wedding colors. The room looked amazing!

We then found Alice, the Music + Entertainment Lead, we would be working with for the evening. She was great. Ready to help Carl in any way possible and very clear on what she needed from him. It was a pleasure working with her and fun for me because I hadn't seen Alice for several years.

Can you see him? That's Carl to the left at the top of the staircase. That's where he stood to make all of the announcements preceding and during the ceremony. Due to wanting to honor and respect the privacy of the bride and groom I purposely didn't take any photos that included them, or their guests. But I still wanted to give you an idea of what the day was like for Carl and me.


 And waiting for the ceremony to begin...

Testing, testing, yes they could hear me and I could hear EVERYONE else. LOL There was literally (I think) over a dozen people, on multiple channels, using the headsets.

Following announcing during the ceremony, toasts, dinner, and cake cutting, Carl invited the guests to move to the adjacent room where a large stage had been set up for the reception. The room was really wonderful with small "restaurant" vignettes that served additional food and beverages throughout the rest of the evening. There was a coffee bar, a pattisserie, a sushi bar, and two bands...

After introducing the first dance and the opening band, California (the house band for American Idol who rocked the night away), it was time for Carl to introduce...

The Village People!

After performing their set, which of course included "Macho Man," "In the Navy," and "YMCA," Carl had one last intro to perform re-introducing California back to the stage. We stayed until 1:00 AM just in case they needed him to make any additional announcements then headed back to San Jose.

I was really beat. While the guests dined we were able to sit for a bit downstairs where the vendors had dinner. Other than that, we were pretty much on our feet the entire night. I'm always amazed at the stamina of "day-of" professionals and how much talent and coordination it takes to seamlessly produce a large or small wedding!

And one final picture with Jubilee Lau, or as Carl nicknamed her after that evening "Jubilee Wow." It was a fantastic wedding and it was an honor and very fun to be a part of it.

It was a fantastic wedding and it was an honor and very fun to be a part of it. If you need a Professional MC for your wedding or any other type of special or corporate event, you can learn more about Carl and his services on his website at www.iMCevents.com.


  1. Stacie... This wedding was the biggest production I have ever seen and you totally stepped up to make my participation possible. Major props to Jubilee Lau and the massive vendor force she organized. We will be talking about this one for a long time to come. Thank you for being such a trooper on a much larger-than-life ride along with me.

  2. Carl always does a great job, and to prep the audience for the Village People is not a surprise! I always enjoy reading about your ride-alongs with the top notch vendors in the Bay Area!


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