How to Deliver a Wedding Reception Welcome Speech

November 18, 2017 by Staci Nichols

Of course, there is no “black & white” right or wrong way to deliver a welcome speech (or even the requirement that you do a welcome speech). However, after studying some of the greats in the mobile DJ industry like Mark Ferrell and Randy Bartlett, I learned that welcome speeches are an important ingredient. Why? Nobody wants to hear the DJ blathering on, right? True, but you can deliver a welcome speech to build rapport with the crowd…and do it without blabbing.

 

Wedding MC welcome speech

(c) Anna Delores Photography

WHY DO A WELCOME SPEECH

You’ll be the captain for the night. Introducing yourself is much like the courtesy and professionalism a waitress or waiter shows when they first approach your table. Some will give this first impression: “Hi. Anything to drink?” Others will give this first impression: “Good evening! I’m Billy Bob, I’ll be your server tonight. Is this your first time here? Our bathrooms are right over there, and all the fountain drinks come with free refills. Can I get you started with an appetizer or something from the bar?” Waiter #2 is already earning his tip, making us feel relaxed, and gaining trust for not just himself but for the restaurant as a whole.

We as MCs represent the newlyweds in the same way the waiter represents the restaurant…so that’s reason #1. I don’t feel like Billy Bob is annoyingly rambling here. He has given helpful information and done it in a succinct and professional manner. But we have all been to those restaurants where the waiter comes over and kneels down. You know you’re in for a speech. I’m vegetarian, but he’s going to ramble off 5 specials with meat in them then start talking about why we are here, if its someone’s birthday, where are we from, etc. That, to me, is blathering.

We do a succinct, professional-caliber introduction speech to make the guests assured that they are in good hands for the night…things will be organized, timely, and fun. A good welcome speech builds rapport between us and the crowd, which can translate into people not leaving early, more dancing, and more photo-worthy dance floor antics. By introducing ourselves warmly and confidently without rambling, the crowd is put at ease, and the couple’s wedding looks and feels “put together” and polished.

 

WHAT TO SAY IN YOUR WELCOME SPEECH

Here is an example of a recent reception welcome I gave:

“Good evening! Welcome to Cristina & Stephen’s wedding reception!!! I am the Master of Ceremonies, DJ Staci. Please take your seats so we can officially welcome our guests of honor. If you need to charge your devices, I do have a mini charging station up here including some universal chargers. The nearest restrooms are located on the upper lawn behind me.

While it is very appreciated by Cristina & Stephen that each of you is here celebrating with them today, they wanted to express special thanks to Grandma Baker, who is 91, and came all the way from Mexico to be here today (clapping).

Tonight, I’m going to be sharing a lot of stories about Cristina & Stephen with you. To get rolling, let’s tackle the first ‘I love you’…which is actually a funny story. The connection between them was pretty much immediate. They both knew they loved each other but neither said anything. One night when Stephen dropped Cristina off, they sat in awkward silence when it was time to say good-bye. Cristina finally blurting out ‘I love you too’ as if Stephen had said it first even though he had not! Stephen was dumb-struck and just responded with ‘Yeah goodnight.’ Cristina rushed away extremely embarrassed. Two or three nights later, Stephen went out drinking with some friends, and around 1:00 am, Cristina got a text from him saying ‘I love you too’…Ahhh, the ole drunk text saves the day 🙂

Ladies & gentlemen, are you ready for the introduction of the wedding party?”

To break it down, I include these elements in one of my wedding reception welcome speeches:

Wedding MC Welcome Speech

(c) Anna Delores Photography

  • -Enthusiastic salutation (Good evening!)
  • -Welcome (Yes, do officially welcome everyone, but don’t really say anything too important yet because some people will still be finishing up their conversations and not 100% listening)
  • -Introduce myself (Some will say their full name, some will not identify themselves as also being the DJ…do what works for you)
  • -Be seated (Now after giving plenty of time for everyone to finish up their conversations, they should be fully attentive and listening…and seated)
  • -Housekeeping announcements (I try to keep these to a minimum but still say enough so guests feel more at home)
  • -Noteworthy guests (If there are shout-outs the couple wants to do to elder guests or people who have traveled really far, I put it here. I start the clapping at the end.)
  • -Some of the love story (instead of doing the couple’s love story in one continuous speech, I break it up & sprinkle it throughout the night)
  • -Transition to the Grand Entrance

 

HOW TO DELIVER YOUR WELCOME SPEECH

With genuine warmness and enthusiasm! With eye contact! No big, booming stadium voice (this is not a monster truck rally). No super fake-y, wanna-be radio announcer voice (be yourself–your regular voice is big enough).

After taking a MarBecca MCing workshop, I used to write in big, bold letters S M I L E ! ! ! on my script, but I got the drill down better now. I will write exclamation points and smilie faces into my notes still though. If a formal welcome like this is going to be a new challenge for you, write out a script, save it as a PDF, load it up in your tablet, and use your tablet as a teleprompter while you speak. Once you get more confident, instead of writing out the script introduction word-for-word, just put bullet points so you aren’t simply “reading” to the crowd. You can make better eye contact this way.

What tips and tricks to you use in your wedding reception introductions? Let me know in the comments below!

Staci Nichols Staci Nichols (20 Posts)

DJ Staci Nichols is based in San Diego. She specializes in spinning “country fusion,” Latin/Spanish, and mainstream music. Her wedding know-how has appeared in San Diego Style Weddings, Offbeat Bride, Wedding Planner Magazine, Gig Masters, Brides Without Borders, Book More Brides, and more. SanDiegoDJStaci.com. Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter: SanDiegoDJStaci


Filed Under: DJing Weddings, Mobile DJ Performance Tips