Introducing The Wedding Party? Get Hooked On Phonics!

Posted by Dave

At many receptions, the entire wedding party is announced by an emcee who has never met those he is introducing. This is one of the few times in the entire evening when everyone is guaranteed to be paying attention, putting pressure on the announcer.

Which brings me to what I call “The Von Zell Effect” (named for Harry Von Zell, who introduced Herbert Hoover to a nationwide radio audience with these words: “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States, Hoo-bert Hee-ver.”)

The Von Zell Effect states that – under pressure – any name which can be mispronounced, will be.

Now, if everyone in your bridal party has names like “Mike Smith,” you’re probably okay. But all it takes is one “Shanequia Levine” and you are guaranteed to break out in a cold sweat, just waiting to see if your emcee makes it through.

That is, you’ll be sweating it unless you have learned one very important fact: your emcee couldn’t care less how those names are spelled. He just needs to know how to pronounce them.

A few days before the event, determine which groomsmen and bridesmaids will be paired. Figure out your order of introduction. (Don’t forget the proud parents.)

Then, look at each and every name on the list. Simply put, is there any way to mispronounce some of the names? If so, write them phonetically. Be sure to also capitalize the dominant syllables, ie. shah-NEEK- kwee-yah and luh-VEEN (unless it’s luh-VINE.)

Type – don’t write – the list. Use a large size of type (16 or greater.) Afterwards, Email or fax the list to your emcee. By phone, go over the names – aloud – with him or her in advance of your event.

IMPORTANT: keep a copy of the list for yourself. Be sure that you line up everyone to be introduced in their proper order.

With a little advance preparation on your part, all of your guests will hear the names of your key players pronounced correctly. (Even Hoobert Heever!)


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