Lizzi & Stuart Hollis-Butcher (Smeetham Hall Barn, Bulmer, Suffolk)(Photo by Pengelly Photography)
Photo by Martin Giddings of MGiddings Wedding Photography
Where do we work?
Whilst most of a Toastmaster's wedding work is performed in the UK some of us are prepared to travel anywhere to help make your wedding day that bit more special. I have recently had the great pleasure of officiating in Ireland and Vienna and working with some of the most professional wedding planners, caterers and service providers that it has been my pleasure to work with.
It's your wedding - so why leave anything to chance
Weddings tend to be the 'bread and butter work' for most Toastmasters. A wedding is a wonderful occasion that many will look back on as the most enjoyable day of their life. Having a fully qualified Toastmaster to help you through the day takes all the uncertainty of what to do where and when away. The most common comment I hear at the end of my weddings must be "we couldn't have managed without you". It is a great feeling to know that you have been part of someone's special day and that your experience and expertise has been so appreciated.
All wedding are different. There are the standard English weddings - with or without a ceremony conducted by local Registrars. Then there are Jewish, Italian, Greek, Indian, Asian, African and any number of other cultures wedding celebrations. Fellows of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters are trained to be able to perform at them all.
Photo by Mark Dalton at Matt & Paula's wedding at Gaynes Park, Epping
Cold & windy but bright
Lee & Emma's wedding at Three Lakes, Hertford
Photo by Graham Gordon
Photo by Andy Cawley - Totally Photogenic 2011 - Dominic & Simone's wedding Hatfield House
Karen & Wayne - Fanhams Hall 2014 Photo by Steve, c/o John Paul O'Donnel Photography
Ben & Gina at Letchworth Hall Hotel 2014 . Photo by Antonia & Steve of Jakabi Photography
Dr Derrick & Mrs Noomi Boampong
So what does a Toastmaster do at a wedding
To start with, he has already given much valuable advice to the bride & bridegroom before the wedding day arrives. He can give advise on speeches, timings and explain any problems that could arise should the happy couple wish to include some 'unusual' elements to their wedding. That does not mean to say that they will be 'talked out' of their plans but does help them to understand timing issues etc. For a standard 'English Style Wedding' the following service will be given -
- On the day I will arrive an hour before the guests are expected or the ceremony is due to start
- Liaise with the Registrars and all hotel staff for all arrangements
- Assist musicians to set up prior to guests arrival
- Liaise with photographers and videographers
- Ensure that the guests and Bridegroom are in the ceremony room before the Bride arrives
- Lead the Bridal Party to the ceremony (if hotel wedding)
- Greets the Bride & Bridegroom after the ceremony with the duty manager & champagne
- Liaise with the hotel staff to ensure that the welcome drinks are ready and on time
- Advise guests where various facilities are situated
- Ensure that the photographer is advised of timings and assists where necessary
- Call the guests to the wedding breakfast
- Organise a receiving line if required and introduce the guests to the Host & Hostess and Bride & Bridegroom.
- Introduces and leads the Bride & Bridegroom to the top table.
- Says Grace or introduces a guest to say Grace if required
- Advise guests how and when they will visit the food stations if a buffet meal.
- Liaise with banquetting staff for delivery of food, wine, coffee and champagne
- Ensure that all guests are comfortable and are properly catered for during the meal
- Constantly ensure that the Bride & Bridegroom have everything they need during the meal
- Ensure that the guest book is circulated and that table cameras are used
- Take charge of presents, flowers etc that the Bride & Bridegroom may be presenting during the speeches and have them on hand at the appropriate time
- Introduce the cake cutting.
- Make sure that those giving speeches are prepared
- Introduce the speakers
- Lead the Bride & Bridegroom from the dining room after the meal
- Direct guests to other rooms whilst the tables are cleared or moved and assist in the preparation for the evenings dancing
- Announce the return of the guests for the evening reception and dancing
- Introduce the Bride & Bridegroom's first dance as 'Mr & Mrs'