10 Tips on Writing a Wedding Reception Script

So you’re about to do emcee work for a wedding reception- how exactly do you come up with a script for an occasion like this?

Putting together a wedding reception script isn’t all that hard, really. Bear in mind that as the evening’s master of ceremonies, you also have to play the part of a good host, and pretty much fill in everyone on what’s going on.

Here are a few tips on writing a wedding reception script.

1. Remember: this is the newlyweds’ big night, so the spotlight should really be on them, not on anybody else. Everybody else- family, friends, colleagues- can get their share of the limelight that evening, but special attention must be given to your couple every single time.

Its their night- so make it memorable and special!
It's their night- so make it memorable and special!

2. Get with the Master Plan. Consult with the future husband-and-wife exactly how they want things to happen. If you are to set the tone for the wedding reception, you have to take your cues from them. Sitting down with them will enable you to find out exactly what’s important for them:

  • Would they want it to be done and over with as quickly as possible?
  • Would they want to have lots of ballroom dancing?
  • Do they want to incorporate particular wedding traditions on top of, say, the wedding bouquet and garter tosses?
  • Maybe they want their reception dinner completely untraditional- so what other fun stuff can you think of working in?

Whatever the future husband-and-wife wants, it is your mission to essentially carry out their wishes. After all, it is their night- you want it to be as memorable and magical as possible for the newlyweds, as well as for their friends and relatives.

3. Remember that you’re writing a wedding reception script. Which means that once you’ve worked out the general plan with the couple (and with the wedding planner/s, if need be), you’re now off to a PC or a laptop somewhere ready to work your magic.

No need to go verbose and all wordy. Keep it simple, short and sweet. In fact, get straight to the point.

Get a draft prepared well ahead of time, touching all the pertinent events of the reception according to the couple’s wishes. Submit the drafts to the couple (and the wedding planner/s, if need be) to get their input. If you’ve listened well and worked in their needs and wants, then you should do just fine.

The Money Dance is a great way to get relatives and friends pin some cash onto you.  Who could say No to some free cash?
The Money Dance is a great way to get relatives and friends pin some cash onto you. Who could say 'No' to some free cash?

4. The usual program flow:

  • introduction of parents, principal and then secondary sponsors/wedding entourage
  • introduction of the newlyweds
  • dinner, as well as accompanying toasts and speeches
  • traditional ceremonies, wrapped up by garter and bouquet tosses
  • acknowledgments and thank you’s

Modify elements according to how the couple wants their wedding reception done. For example, the bride would probably want a bouquet toss, but something a more out-of-the-ordinary, like tossing out multiple smaller bouquets instead of just one, or incorporating more cultural traditions into the program.

Ask the couple if there would be family members giving speeches or preparing toasts, or even friends who might be singing, dancing or otherwise have something prepared for our newlyweds that evening.

Once you got everything, go right ahead and work those elements right into the script.

5. Get to know a little bit more about the couple’s family and friends. One of the more important things- pronouncing names. You’ll be introducing members of the wedding entourage, acknowledging the presence of guests who may have flown in from some faraway country, or calling them out for a speech or a toast.

You might know who they are, and your other relatives (or friends) probably also do, but remember that other half of the room might not, so introducing them properly to all guests present would work well for everyone.

My cousins flew all the way from Toronto just to be at my brothers wedding in the Philippines. Good times!
My cousins flew all the way from Toronto just to be at my brother's wedding in the Philippines. Good times!

If anyone should know how certain names or surnames have to be pronounced, it’s the couple. So go ahead and ask questions if you have to. If all else fails, look the person up yourself and ask him/her how to pronounce their name or how they want to be introduced. It’s all part of the evening’s fun, meeting new people.

Mmm. Cake.
Mmm. Cake. I liked the idea of having smaller cakes prepared- little replicas of the original, bigger wedding cake, so guests can eat it on the spot or take it home with them.

6. Make the effort to get the story on the smaller details. Just enough detail to come up with the couple’s story.

Maybe you can find out why the bride wanted the motif for the day’s affair. Is there a story behind the wedding cake- say, any particular reason why the couple chose this specific design or make? Does the couple have a special song? There’s always lots of stories behind songs.

Maybe the couple has a bunch of pictures flashing up on screen- you can use those as well to tell the story of how the couple met, or how he proposed, or some other significant event in their relationship.

Play up the little things that are special to the newlyweds, share their story, and convey that same warm and fuzzy feeling to your guests at the reception. Work those into your script as well.

7. Print out at least three copies of your wedding reception script- one should go to the couple, another to the wedding planner (or program coordinator, or whatever equivalent), and one for you.

As for your copy, you may want to come up with easy-to-use cue cards. You are going to glance at them every now and then, as you go about your hosting duties for the evening, so keep them handy. Also have a pen with you to scribble down notes and maybe some last-minute changes.

8 . Yes, you’ll be reading off a script, but you don’t have to sound as if you’re reading it.

More importantly, you have to sound natural and as real as possible. The guests will be getting their cues from you, so your words have to radiate warmth, confidence and a sense of welcoming, but at the same time, deliver the appropriate level of formality for the affair at hand.

Make eye contact with your guests, inject just a little bit of personality, and be generally pleasant.

9. Even the best-made scripts are just guidelines. There may be some last-minute changes, or some sections you might have to do away with really quickly.

Regardless, you might have to make improvisations and maybe even have to adlib on the fly. Don’t forget to get all your cues from the newlyweds- if anything needs to be changed, it has to be on their say, and you must be prepared to do so at a drop of a hat.

Don’t worry about it- as long as you stick to the couple’s Master Plan (see #2), everything will be just fine.

Instead of having the couple move from table to table, why not have the guests come to them instead?  That way, your couple can actually relax for a change, and you dont have to lug around your camera crew from table to table.
Instead of having the couple move from table to table, why not have the guests come to them instead? That way, your couple can actually relax for a change, and you don't have to lug around your camera crew all over the place.

10. Bear in mind that you’re also playing the part of a secondary host, someone who would be welcoming guests and keeping them engaged while the newlyweds are attending to other friends and mandatory photoshoots.

So take ownership of your role in the whole affair. Be cordial, be pleasant, be sensitive to the needs of your guests and of your newlyweds. Almost like hosting a party at home, only with more formal clothing.

There you have it. I hope this helps.

I used to do a lot of wedding receptions and hosting gigs- mostly back in my earlier days of radio.

Hosting a wedding reception might be a little taxing, but they are lots of fun. It’s a big night, everyone’s all dressed up and in a festive mood, made even more memorable by the presence of family and friends- and particularly means so much more to the newlyweds.

Cristina and myself, just before sampling that wonderful bottle of wine at my brothers wedding.  Cheers!
Cristina and myself, just before sampling that wonderful bottle of wine at my brother's wedding. Cheers!

Cheers, everyone!

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38 thoughts on “10 Tips on Writing a Wedding Reception Script

  1. Janette.

    Hello. Thank you so much!

    I actually did make a decent amount of money back in the mid-90’s hosting weddings and wedding receptions. It was fun and fairly lucrative- maybe worth blogging about too πŸ™‚

  2. Hello Andy.

    Glad this article helps. Back in Metro Manila, a lot of radio people do side projects as wedding hosts, and I remember dispensing this advice to them- well, in bits and pieces anyway. Thought it might actually be a nice touch to get it all organized here.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Sir!
    Thank you very much for sharing your ideas.I’m a Dj of a radio station here in Bacolod City.Wow!I’ve learned a lot from your article.God Speed!

  4. Hello Mark. Thanks for checking out my blog.

    Weddings and wedding receptions make great gigs on-the-side for radio professionals like us πŸ˜€

    I remember an entire summer full of wedding reception hosting gigs for me back in ’96. Sure paid for a lot of credit card bills back then.

    I’m just glad I could help.

    Cheers, man!

  5. your tips are enlightening. i hope i can really be an effective host on my friend’s wedding. i feel i’m too serious and monotonous when being made to play emcee during programs… i dont’ want to fail them… thanks a lot for the tips!

  6. i am a dj here in bacolod an about to host a wedding reception this may 06 2009 in a pretigious hotel here in bacolod, i am scanning what can i here in the net and i came cross this site of yours,, and it helps me alo, thank you so much, GOD BLESS..

  7. hi sir. a hotel here in naga city is asking me to be their mainstay wedding emcee. although ive been hosting parties and weddings too, i find my script a lil bit boring. would u please send me wedding script that is inn. thank u.

    1. Hello Ryan.

      Don’t worry, you must be doing alright. If the hotel you mentioned asked you to be a regular host, then that speaks for itself.

      My best advice to you is to not stick to a script- it’s really more like guidelines, really. Feel free to add things or modify spiels on the fly, within reasonable limits of course. Interact with the attendees, the family and friends, and the couple most particularly so.

      Be flexible as different couples want things done differently too. Allow your personality to shine, but don’t outshine the couple- after all, it’s their night πŸ™‚

      Good luck to you and your hosting gig!

  8. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips. Iam currently preparing a script for the reception of my parents golden anniversary. I’ll keep these things in mind. Thank you so much and God Bless

  9. im hosting a wedding reception on feb 6 and im quite nervous.. its my first time to be a host in a formal event, usually im a host in parties, and a not so formal reception.. whew! this would be a great help for me… thanks a lot…

  10. Hello Sir, Can i have a sample wedding script for the the Wedding Party? I will be hosting a wedding this Saturday and this is my 1st Time doing so. I don’t have any idea how to come up with the script, please help. I dont want to mess up on that day cause i know it is a very special day for the couple. 😦

  11. Hello Sir, Can i have a sample wedding script for the the Wedding Party? I will be hosting a wedding this Saturday and this is my 1st Time doing so. I don’t have any idea how to come up with the script, please help. I dont want to mess up on that day cause i know it is a very special day for the couple. 😦

  12. I have the same delima as Janie.My nephew requested me to host their wedding reception on June.Please help me how to come up with the script. Thank you.

  13. hi! I think u r the right person that i should turn to. I’ll be hosting the a wedding this saturday. It’s not my first time in hosting, but for a wedding, it’s my debut. Regarding traditional ceremonies, is there a particular sequence? from slicing of the cake up to tosses. Please share some tips. my e-ad: hollerback_team@yahoo.com. thanks

  14. hi sir i just want to ask your help pleassssssssssssssse i just want to have a smple script for a seminar master of ceremony an you email me please…thanks in advance…your tips relly help a lot of people…..God bLess

  15. HI sir, can you give me a sample script for the wedding reception for i will be the master of ceremony this september 15 because it is my first time and i dont have any idea on how to make it so please sir help!!!! me πŸ˜•

  16. sir, i am also one of the many people who are begging you to send sample script for a wedding reception… thank you so much.. God bless your endeavors.

  17. Hi Sir. I need your help too. Can you send me sample of your wedding reception script. Please do help me out. This wedding day of my friend is so important to me.

  18. Would mind sharing a sample of a wedding script with me as well. I would really appreciate your generosity and I thought this was the best article of all on the net on tips for wedding emcees

  19. thanks 4 your advices sir…I’ve learn a lot from you..8z my first time to be an emcee of a wedding reception of a friend of mine and it goes perfect because of your tips..8z perfect…the audience love it…tnx sir….

  20. thank you so much for the infos. its really helping me a tomorrow is the 2nd time that i will be an emcee for a major wedding here in our town.

  21. hahaha oh my, this really helps. i will be hosting one a month from now and it will be my first to host a wedding, i don’t know what to say LOL.

  22. i feel that if i can stick to your tips – they’re gonna be very helpful… thanks in advance, a friend is going to be wed soon and she’s given me the task of being the emcee… πŸ˜€

  23. its really helpful..thanks you so much for the info’s. but can you help me , its my friends wedding this dec and she want some funny tricks which is not common and not so corny during the reception. A fun game that you would think a canadian guest would aprreciate of.

  24. Sir thnks for sharing with us a very powerful tips on how to make a script during a wedding ceremony. May i request if u can send me a sample script i really dont know wats the different adlib i can use. pls sir On May 26 i need the sample script thnku sir God bless and more power.i just wanna help my friend coz her budget is not enough t hire an emcee sooooooooooooo pls. helpus thnks and God bless

  25. Sir Renzie, thank you so much for posting those tips. I will host a wedding at 15th of Dec and I am just a newbie. It really help me to write a script. I hope that you can help more people. God bless

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