Bradford & Shelly's guests laughing during Peter Merry's signature personalized Grand Entrance introductions of their Wedding Party members at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Neal Photography)

Shelly and I (and everyone else) LOVED the Wedding Party introductions.
To not have to worry/think about where and when we needed to be was invaluable.
You were great. Thank you for making our day so special!”

~Bradford & Shelly Wineland, married at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA

LAUGHTER CREATES CONNECTIONS

Think about the last time you were a guest at a wedding reception. Did you know everyone who was seated at your table? If not, then you probably felt a little uncomfortable until someone finally broke the ice by making friendly introductions around the table. I have the seen this phenomenon at weddings for years. It is almost as if there is an invisible WALL OF DISCOMFORT in the middle of the table preventing the guests from truly enjoying themselves unless something is done to tear down that barrier. Laughter is the most effective way to resolve this dilemma. Laughter makes your guests feel more relaxed, content, involved, and connected. They will feel more connected to the two of you, to The PURPOSE for your celebration, and to the other guests at their table.

Bradford & Shelly smiling as they make their Grand Entrance into their Wedding Reception at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Neal Photography)

“TRYING TO BE FUNNY”

One of the most common complaints I have heard from my couples about wedding MCs they have seen at other weddings has been watching them “trying to be funny” but coming off as un-funny, fake, and cheesy. Delivering humor that is both appropriate and timely is a lot tougher than it looks. A skilled MC can deliver a punchline seamlessly without ever appearing to be “trying to be funny.” There is a honed skill combined with natural talent at play when a good MC draws spontaneous laughter from the guests at a wedding. An MC who has not pursued training in the arts and sciences of EFFECTIVELY DELIVERING HUMOR will often come across as unpolished and insincere. There are two proven ways to verify the skills of an MC in this area. 1: Insist on seeing uncut video footage of them in action at their previous wedding receptions. 2: Ask to see The PHOTOS of the bride and groom, the wedding party members, and the guests laughing at their previous wedding receptions. If The RESULTS they create for their couples truly measure up, they should have no problem giving you The PROOF needed to confirm their skills.

Bradford & Shelly laughing during the personalized introductions of their Wedding Party members at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Neal Photography)

CAN FUNNY BE LEARNED?

Some people say that you are either funny or you are not, there is no in between. There is some truth to that. But, in my experience, I have come to believe that with the proper training and experience, one can develop a better funny bone. In 2002, in an effort to expand and improve my skills as a Master of Ceremonies, I took a seven week performance workshop on stand-up comedy. I had no idea at the time that this investment would continue to pay out dividends in my performance skills for over a decade afterwards. In that workshop, I learned PROVEN TECHNIQUES for writing and delivering humor in the most effective and dynamic ways possible. I also learned how to develop my own “voice” as a performer. Trying to deliver other people’s “lines” and trying to imitate other people’s unique “delivery” of those lines would only make me look un-prepared, un-funny, and un-qualified. Then it hit me, most MCs have never explored these kinds of training opportunities and instead have resorted to using the lines, routines, and delivery styles they have seen portrayed by other MCs without ever learning how to truly be themselves. No wonder so many brides have used the word “cheesy” to describe those kinds of performances. However, it should be noted that although I am a talented entertainer and performer, your wedding reception is about you and your guests…not about me. I am there to serve your needs  and deliver The RESULTS you deserve and expect without attempting to steal the spotlight for myself.

Bradford & Shelly with their cheering Wedding Reception guests on the dance floor at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Neal Photography)

Bradford & Shelly with Peter Merry at their Wedding Reception at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Neal Photography)

ROAST MY WEDDING PARTY…WHY?

The Grand Entrance introductions of your Wedding Party members is the perfect place to incorporate some fun, lighthearted humor. Far too often at receptions, the Wedding Party members are announced merely by having the MC say their names in an energetic manner. But what purpose does that really serve? It gives your guests a chance to cheer and clap for a group of your closest friends and/or family members  who are not well known, if known at all, by all of your guests. Have you ever cheered for someone whose name just got announced at a wedding and then wondered, “who are they again?” Since the late 90’s, I have been adding more fun and laughter to my couples’ wedding receptions by taking a few brief moments to properly introduce each member of the Wedding Party while also mixing in some appropriate humor and even a gentle roasting of a few of them. Instead of focusing on the Comedy Central Celebrity Roasts, which are known for getting very inappropriate, think back to your last big family gathering for Thanksgiving Dinner. Did you tell stories about each other around the table? Did you bring up silly or stupid things your Dad, or your Brother, or your Cousin did that one time? Was the rest of the family laughing and enjoying these trips down memory lane? Now apply that same feeling to the way the members of your Wedding Party could be (and should be) introduced. In The SURVEYS my couples have filled out and mailed in over the years, 98% of them remarked that their FAVORITE MOMENT at their wedding reception was the “roast style” personalized introductions of their Wedding Party members.

Groomsman, Chad, dipping Bridesmaid, Alison, during the Wedding Party's personalized Grand Entrance introductions while Bradford & Shelly are laughing in the background at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Neal Photography)

NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

On first blush, some MCs might see the footage of the personalized introductions I deliver for my couples and think it looks fairly easy to do themselves. But be forewarned, creating these kind of fun, laughter-filled moments can be both daunting and painful if DELIVERED POORLY. A videographer friend of mine shared with me once that a DJ/MC at a wedding he was shooting was attempting to “do the same thing”, but The RESULTS he delivered fell far short of entertaining or appropriately funny. He introduced a bridesmaid by saying “You might have noticed she’s gained weight recently…she’s pregnant!” The response he got back was the opposite of laughter. He got stunned silence instead. He was “trying to be funny” without taking the time to learn and hone the necessary skills for delivering humor. Not only have I been successfully writing and delivering these kinds of hilarious introductions at weddings for well over a decade, but I have also been training other MCs how they too can write and deliver them in their own “voice” and performance style in my 2-day training workshops called “Make It GRAND!” Workshop with my teaching partner, Elisabeth Scott Daley. Together, we have coached over 50 DJ/MCs from across the United States and from around the world.

Bradford & Shelly sharing a private moment alone before their Wedding Reception at the Harborside Pavilion in Balboa, CA. (Photo Credit: Jeffrey Neal Photography)

I CAN…

I can help your guests feel more relaxed, content, involved, and connected by creating unexpected (yet appropriate) moments filled with laughter. I can get your guests laughing without ever appearing to be trying. I can tell you CONFIDENTLY that you will see your guests laughing and you will be laughing as well because I have pursued every opportunity to improve my skills related to delivering humor. I can lightheartedly roast your wedding party which will lead to The DANCING you’ve been hoping to see.

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