A skilled toastmaster will ensure that everything runs smoothly on your wedding day. Does that also mean he or she guarantees that you and your partner will then live happily ever? Unfortunately not, but a professional toastmaster will make sure that your wedding day goes without a hitch…
A toastmaster is a fabulous way of adding an extra sense of occasion to the day. While maintaining an unobtrusive presence throughout, good toastmasters give the wedding party and their guests the feeling that they are being looked after and that the event is under control.
So what exactly does a toastmaster do?
- The toastmaster will be there to greet the bride and groom when they arrive at the wedding reception.
- He or she can also help to gather up members of the bridal party for photographs and videos for the official photographer.
- They will welcome guests, show them where the facilities are, and try and answer any queries they have.
- Announce the bridal party to the assembled guests.
- Escort the bride and groom to the top table.
- Announce grace, and the cake cutting, first dance.
- Announce the speeches and see they are called in the right order.
- Bid guests farewell, offer thanks, and anything else that he or she agrees to at the request of the bride and groom.
How to choose a toastmaster
A family member or friend often carries out the duties of a toastmaster, but the benefit of hiring a professional is that everyone, including the guests, can relax and enjoy themselves, knowing that every element of the day is under control and in good hands. A trained and experienced toastmaster should exude quiet confidence and will be able to make helpful suggestions and point out anything you may have overlooked. It goes without saying that a toastmaster should be friendly and personable, and someone you feel you can rely on to look after you and your guests on the big day.
Professional toastmasters are likely to belong to an association, so make sure he or she is available for the wedding date and that all fees are agreed in advance. On the day itself, the toastmaster should arrive well in advance to liaise with the venue manager and catering staff over the running order and times for the reception. If you haven’t been recommended a toastmaster by a friend or associate, an online search will quickly produce a list of names, such as the Guild of Professional Toastmasters, The London Guild of Toastmasters, The UK School of Professional Toastmasters, The Institute of Toastmasters of Great Britain, and The English Toastmasters Association.
Once you’ve researched possible options, ensure that you meet with your toastmaster, or at least have a telephone conversation with them prior to signing a contract committing them to their presence on your wedding day. Character counts: choose a toastmaster who you feel will gel really well with your guests and oversee events of the day in a charismatic, yet unobtrusive manner. After all, your wedding is an occasion for celebration, not a military operation!