More and more, Brides-to-be, their fiancees and parents are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of employing a professional toastmaster for the wedding breakfast. Most hotels are also aware of the extra dimensions added by the well-trained and experienced toastmaster which not only assist greatly in the overall running and presentation but remove some of the work of hard-pressed, in-house staff teams. This alone makes his, or her, fee justifiable. Added to this is that his, or her, work enhances the special day and consequently reflects well on the hotel's image and reputation.
Of all the services you are likely to provide for the wedding day, it is more than likely that the value of the professional toastmaster is far and above that of his fee.
Selection of a good, experienced professional should be taken with care as there are those who practise toastmastering and rely on their client's lack of knowledge of procedures to hide their own shortcomings.
A good professional toastmaster's recorded research prior to the event is thorough, his liaisons with event promoters professional and his presentation precise and dignified, utterly without arrogance or pomposity. All hosts and guests of all walks of society receive dignified attention according to their station following correct protocol, precedence and etiquette. 'Taste and style', words that fortunately have yet to be declared 'politically incorrect' are the mainstay of his presentations, which though formal, remain pleasant, friendly and diplomatic.
His image through his appearance in his immaculate traditional code of dress, firstly at 'front of house' and subsequently in the banqueting chamber stands out, drawing the attention of guests and, in part, elevating their perception of the event and their own participation within it.
Some venues offer toastmaster services as part of their wedding 'package' but it would be wise to check if those services are going to be carried out by a professional toastmaster or just a staff member of the venue. It is likely that there will be very substantial differences. Some venues will recommend an experienced professional who has served them well in the past. The latter may well prove to be the better of the two options. A third option is to 'take' your own toastmaster with you.
Before committing yourself to a particular toastmaster always check
his/her credentials and of course, fees charged, what that fee includes (i.e. pre-visits) and if any 'penalty' for cancellation is imposed.
Ask (a). To which professional organisation does he/she belong?
(b). Where trained and by whom?
(c). Is a brochure/details of professional services available?
(d). Is the correct code of dress worn?
To give a guideline please consult the list below for some of the inclusive services offered.
A professional toastmaster organises, directs and presents the wedding breakfast in the correct manner, dresses appropriately and has the flexibility to incorporate the wishes of his clients.
Before The Day
All information gathered, listed, recorded and saved. Available for help and advice to include procedures, table plans, bouquets/presents, who says what and when. He liases with Hoteliers/Caterers and follows a checklist of the arrangements as per wishes of clients.
On The Day
Arrives early at reception venue and checks that all is ready for the wedding party.
Receives and escorts Bride and Bridegroom on arrival.
Receives and directs guests.
Organises and arranges bridal receiving line, introducing guests by name.
Liases with still and video photographers to keep within pre-arranged times.
Checks with banqueting Managers/caterers that meal is ready.
Ensures guests are informed of their places at table and directs them to their places.
Announces the Grand entrance of the Bride & Bridegroom, parades and escorts them to their places at top table.
Says the Grace before the meal or introduces chosen guest to do so.
Informs staff that guests are ready to be served.
Announces and organises the ceremony of cutting the Wedding Cake.
Announces the principal proposers of the traditional toasts and ensures that any presents, gifts, bouquets etc. are 'to hand' at the right time and in the preferred order.
Acts upon any special requests of the Host and Hostess, Bride or
Bridegroom and formally closes the wedding breakfast to prepare for any subsequent festivities.
Graham Hunt ATD.
Director UK School of Professional Toastmasters,
Vice President FPT, MITGB, MGOPWS.,
1 Saturn Close, Station Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk. NR32 4TD
Tel 01502 500317
Fax 01502 518718