If you've been asked to emcee an anniversary party, you may be a bit nervous or even intimidated, especially if you don't have much experience as a master of ceremonies. However, if you prepare well, employ a little common sense and follow a few easy guidelines, you and the party guests will have a great time. From announcing the couple's dance to introducing family members, the emcee has an important job. Be honored that the anniversary couple asked you to perform the task.
Sit down with the hosts and the guests of honor a few weeks before the party to discuss exactly what their expectations are. You may have to be somewhat diplomatic if the hosts and the guests of honor do not agree. The opinions of the guests of honor should weigh more heavily and their wishes should ultimately be carried out. However, checkbook-wielding hosts sometimes feel that because they are paying for the party, they have the right to dictate how the party will go. If there are differences of opinion, try to get everyone to meet somewhere in the middle.
Ask lots of questions. For example, you may want to ask them if they will be treating their guests to a spotlight dance, who they would like to make toasts and if they have any other special moments in mind. Make sure the guests of honor actually answer the questions, and record the answers so you do not forget them.
Write out a detailed schedule that shows, down to the minute, exactly what will happen when and where, and who is to be involved. Start at the beginning and include everything, such as guest arrival, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and any other activities for the party. Include every toast, every spotlight dance, presentation of any gifts or family introductions.
Give a copy of your schedule to the hosts and the anniversary couple, and instruct them to thoroughly read over the party plan. Instruct them to ask any questions or make any corrections or changes well before the party.
Ask about proper attire for the party, and make sure you have something appropriate to wear. Get your party clothes cleaned and pressed well in advance of the party.
It's Party Time!
Arrive early to make sure everything is going smoothly. Make sure the microphone works, get acquainted with the layout of the party room, see where the band will set up, and where the guests of honor will sit.
Keep your written schedule close at hand. Refer to it throughout the party and ensure that the events are on schedule.
Follow the schedule and make sure all events take place. As the emcee, you have the microphone -- and the power -- to take the party from one moment to the next. Just about every transition is facilitated by the emcee, and it is your job to make sure the party runs smoothly.
Don't let the microphone or its power go to your head. Remember that you are not the entertainment. The anniversary couple should be the main focus of the party. You are simply there to keep the party moving along. If someone tries to steal the limelight from the couple, use your position as emcee to get the focus back on the anniversary couple.
Enjoy yourself. If you are personal friend of the anniversary couple, have a drink or two, but no more than that. If you are a hired emcee, do not smoke or have any alcohol. The guests of honor are depending upon you to make sure their party is enjoyable for everyone. Don't set yourself up to possibly do something you'd regret.