Some Thoughts On Making A List (And Checking It Twice)

Posted by Dave

I am often called upon at wedding receptions to announce the bride and groom. Almost as frequently, I also introduce the members of the bridal party. In order to avoid making an enormous fool of myself, I always ask three things of my brides regarding any list of key family members and friends.

First, I want it in advance. This gives me time to look at the list without distractions. Sitting at my desk (as opposed to setting up for or playing at a reception), I am much more likely to notice if – say – the parents of the bride have been omitted from the list. (And believe me, it happens!)

Secondly, I request that the names be given to me phonetically. It doesn’t matter to me how maid-of-honor Genevieve Bernet spells her name – I just want to pronounce it correctly as she enters the room. (Is she Jenna-veev or Zhon-a-ve-evv? And is it Bur-nett or Bear-nay?) Whenever there is one chance in a zillion for me to bungle it, I am “hooked on phonics.”

Finally, I have my brides give me the names in the exact order they will be announced. This makes it easier for me to coordinate with the uh… coordinator, who is busily lining everyone up for their big entrance (“easier” because she and I are working from the same list). But it also makes it simple for the bride to spot any omissions. Typically, such lists begin with the parents of the bride (who are hosting the event), and end with the bride and groom themselves. Seeing them in order – along with descriptions of their roles (ie. “Flower Girl Melanie Schmidlap and Ring Bearer Kevin Wangdangdoodle”) – makes it a lot harder to omit treasured friends and family members.

Harder, perhaps, but not impossible (hence the title of this entry.) So let’s make a deal: you can count on me to check the list twice, and I’ll expect you to do the same. After we’ve thus been through it four times in all, we’ve got a pretty good chance that when I say “Best Man Ian Levine,” I’ll not only say it correctly (Ee-an or Eye-an, Lev-een or Lev-ein), but Ian will be the guy in the spotlight.


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