Two of the most popular questions I get asked as a Toastmaster are what is a Toastmaster? and what do they do and why should I have one at my wedding? I tell people you don’t need a Toastmaster at your wedding, you need a lovely venue, flowers, food and wine, wedding cake and guests. But if you want your wedding day to go just as you imagined it would, employ the services of a Toastmaster.

Some venues will say they will supply someone to masquerade as a Toastmaster, like perhaps a banqueting manager. These individuals are working for the venue and may not be able to give you their full attention as something else may arise during the day which also requires their attention. These individuals will only announce things like the speeches and the bride and bridegrooms entry to the dining area for the wedding breakfast.

A Toastmaster is a dedicated and trained individual who will pay constant attention to your wedding day needs and will never be more than a glance away from the bride and bridegroom to ensure everything is going to plan. The Toastmaster will have spent some time speaking with the bride and bridegroom before the wedding day and will have all the details required to ensure the day goes as planned. You could of course leave all the wedding day arrangements to the best man, sometimes it works well but also this has been known to be disastrous!

If your budget allows you should employ a Toastmaster. Talking of budgets the cost of my services for the day will be around £295, perhaps a little more to cover longer travel distances from my home in Cambridgeshire. My day starts an hour before your guests arrive at the venue for the ceremony until the time the bride and bridegroom are on the dance floor for their first dance. I guess that’s why you should have a Toastmaster.

The next question is what does a Toastmaster do on my wedding day? Here’s what I do, so here goes:

On the day of the wedding i will be at the venue an hour or so before the guests arrive. This gives me time to speak with the bride if she is staying at the venue, to let her know I’m here and happy to help with any preparation’s or last minute issues. I also speak with the bridegroom and best man before the ceremony and to assist with any last minute problems they may have. I also liaise with the registrars or celebrant and offer my services  if they require them. I’m there to welcome your guests to the ceremony and make sure they are all seated in time.

After the ceremony I’m there to make sure all the guests know where the drinks reception is and get them there. At this stage my duties often include assisting the photographer with all the photographs you will have planned. Most photographers are grateful for any assistance during wedding photo sessions.

Then its time for the wedding breakfast and getting all your guests seated at the correct tables. Most couples don’t want a receiving line these days so I have found its popular to seat people in three groups: the wedding guests followed by the announced bridal party and then finally and most importantly the bride and bridegroom introduced and cheered with great enthusiasm!

Wedding speeches are an important part of the wedding day and some couples prefer to have them before the wedding breakfast. This is a personal choice for the bride and bridegroom but no matter when the speeches take place I will be there to formally introduce everyone who is giving a speech.

During the wedding breakfast I personally go round all the tables and talk to the guests, some may wish me to take a photograph on their phones but the main purpose of talking to the guests is to ensure everything is all right with their meals and they have everything they need.

After the wedding breakfast I normally take the bride and bridegroom out of the dining area to the bar where they will be able to meet and greet their evening guests. This is normally a time for them to relax before the next part of the wedding day and perhaps have more photographs taken.

The last part of my wedding day duties is to announce the throwing of the bouquet if the bride wishes to do so. Some brides throw a bouquet for her lady guests and her garter belt for her gentlemen guests. This part of the day can produce some great photographs! Following the bouquet throwing its time to cut the wedding cake as most brides like to include their evening guests and after this its time to get the happy couple onto the dancefloor for their first dance as a married couple. I like to try and have a human arch for the walk to the dance floor, it involves everyone and offers some great photo opportunities.

And finally I just wish to say if you want your wedding day to go just as you imagined it would and you would like a little formality and a little touch of class you need to have a Toastmaster.