You’ve seen her at your friend’s wedding, your cousin’s wedding, and probably at your colleague’s wedding too. In fact, word has gotten out so much that Sylvia Tham is now one of the most highly sought after wedding emcees.
Affable and eloquent, the former radio DJ has been in the business for 16 years. Not just bilingual in English and Mandarin, this sassy lass can also throw in Chinese dialects and even Bahasa Indonesian for good measure!
W&T caught up with this gracious host who shed light on some of the pressing questions surrounding a wedding emcee
W&T: What do you think are the biggest myths about a wedding emcee?
ST: Many people think it’s just about making announcements and facilitating the event. There’s also this myth that the joker amongst friends can be the emcee. In reality, a good emcee must have stage presence and be able to set the right mood and pace for your wedding.
W&T: Why do couples always get two friends to emcee?
ST: It’s difficult to find someone who is effectively bilingual so they need someone next to them as backup when they fumble on stage. A friend speaks at your wedding but they don’t emcee. Getting an emcee is like buying insurance against the unknown. For instance, there was once when the march in music stopped playing halfway, a friend might not know what to do but I got the crowd to clap and whistle to usher the couple in.
W&T: What does a professional emcee do that a friend can’t?
ST: Being an emcee is about knowing how to improvise. A professional emcee will coordinate with all those involved, including the band, the banquet manager, the sound technician, etc. You have to think on the spot when the unexpected happens.
An emcee plays with your emotions and sets the tone of the event. He or she will make guests feel special, welcomed, comfortable and relaxed. Most of all, your guests will feel that they are in the moment of celebration.
W&T: What can a couple expect when they engage your service?
ST: I make it a point to meet the couples personally to talk to them and find out what they want, their likes, their dislikes, and their comfort level. I will plan through the whole stage programme with my clients. Much like a wedding coordinator, I will find out who sits where, and when to open the wine etc. I have my own set of games to engage the guests and involve the couple in. The point is not to embarrass anyone but make it fun for everyone.
W&T: What is the biggest satisfaction you get from your job?
ST: The happiest thing for me is when my couples tell me I have managed to create the perfect mood for a wedding which can otherwise be run-of-the-mill.
Photos: Emcee Sylvia Facebook