Engaging a quality toastmaster is like having a guardian angel on your side, he or she will take charge of your event. I am sure you will agree this is a very bold statement, this is our day – this is about the Bride and Bridegroom you may say, and quite rightly too. Ensuring the day is indeed all about the Bride & Bridegroom and their families is the absolute minimum requirement of a good toastmaster, please let me explain:
A qualified toastmaster will have attended many weddings over many years, acquiring a broad spectrum of experience all of which he will look to apply as standard to “your very special day”. How do we do this, I can only talk about how I personally develop things with my Brides & Bridegrooms and of course the families, other toastmasters may do it differently but I can assure you the end result will be the same.
You will have already decided on the very important issues such as Church or Civil wedding, the venue for the wedding breakfast, bridesmaids/best men etc…now is the time to engage the services of a toastmaster. This is how I would proceed: some 6-8 weeks before the wedding I would meet with the Bride and Bridegroom along with the family. We would then cover all the required aspects of the day, any special little nuances that the bride may wish to have in place, in particularly we would decide upon a timescale. I would then take all this information and put together what I call my “schedule of events” this is a comprehensive record of who is doing what, where and when, incorporating all the various aspects of the toastmasters duties. This document would then be fine-tuned right up to the day if required, and once this has been fully agreed, this is exactly how the wedding reception/wedding breakfast will proceed.
What are these “Duties”?
Having established a positive working relationship with all parties the toastmaster will take full responsibility for the running of the day. Arriving some two hours before any guests in order to ensure all aspects of the agreed requirements are in place, reception drinks, flowers, catering are all prepared and on time, room settings are exactly as the Bride wished them to be, (this of course also applies if the first event of the day is a Civil wedding).
The toastmaster is on duty to receive your guests, to receive the Bride & Bridegroom and the families, guiding guests to reception drinks and ensuring if required, the canapés are prepared and ready to serve.
At the given time your toastmaster will “gavel” three times to signal his announcement to all that the wedding breakfast room is prepared and ready to receive guests, he will then usher the guests into the room with a white gloved hand gesture that only toastmasters can achieve. If a receiving line is requested the toastmaster will organise and lead guests in via the agreed line up. We are now ready to announce the Bride & Bridegroom into the room; toastmaster will check that the music/song is prepared; once again the trusty gavel is used to acquire the attention of the guests and toastmaster announces the entrance of the Bride & Bridegroom – Ladies and Gentlemen please stand to receive your Bride & Bridegroom… Mr & Mrs… and then guides them to their rightful place on the “top table.” If grace is required toastmaster will ask guests to remain standing and “pray silence for grace” again if required, toastmaster will supply and offer grace. Having previously checked with the Chef that dinner is prepared toastmaster will wish guests a very pleasant meal.
This very traditional part of the wedding process would normally take place after the dessert course, toastmaster will have prepared the speakers for this very special moment and would have offered advice if required on how to deliver the “perfect” speech. Once again the trusty gavel comes into play and the toastmaster will announce the speech makers in turn, this would usually be as follows:
1. Father of the Bride
3. Best Man
If gifts and flowers are to be presented during speeches the toastmaster would ensure they are on hand, prepared and ready to hand to the speech makers as required.
A very traditional part of the proceedings, Toastmaster would announce the cake cutting by requesting the Bride & Bridegroom to join him by the cake, allowing photographers to take the “professional” shots, toastmaster would advise the couple to display their newly acquired wedding rings on the cake cutting knife and then proceed to promote a countdown from five to zero… the cake is then cut to great applause, toastmaster would then request if required, a rousing three cheers for the lovely couple. This would then signal the end of the wedding breakfast, toastmaster would request the Bride & Bridegroom to lead their guests out of the room and “usually” into the bar to await the call for the evening reception. It is at this point that the “duties” of your toastmaster would also end and he/she would thank the Bride & Bridegroom wish them “all the very best” and retire gracefully. A toastmaster can of course perform “extra duties” at the evening reception if required; this may incur some small additional cost. Your toastmaster will also be very pleased to assist your photographer when it comes to those all-important family group shots.
And some people think all we
do is “make announcements”.
Words by Derek Timmins -Jones
Tel: 01706 345201