There is often a lack of understanding about the role of a Professional Toastmaster at a wedding and many venues try and discourage you from hiring one because they say they include it in their package.
So why would you want the additional expense of hiring an independent professionally trained Toastmaster when someone from your venue is offered as an alternative?
The reasons are many and varied and in this article, you will see how much extra help and support a professional Wedding toastmaster can offer.
So how will you know that the Toastmaster you hire has the training and expertise to help make your wedding that special day you have always dreamed of? There are many Toastmaster training schools such as the UK School of Professional Toastmasters Ltd, and all should be affiliated to the Toastmasters general Council. By being affiliated, your Toastmaster should have public liability insurance which will be a requirement of most venues.
They will also most likely be a member of one of a number of Toastmaster Associations. The largest of these is The Association of the UK School of Professional Toastmasters. With over 70 members this will ensure that in the event of illness or accident your Toastmaster will be able to call upon a colleague to cover him and avoid spoiling your special day.
Because they are independent, Toastmasters will all charge slightly differently depending on requirements. They will probably offer different packages depending on whether they are needed for just the wedding breakfast, or for the civil ceremony and evening reception as well. A guide would be somewhere from £300+.
Your wedding Toastmaster should offer you a combination of the following:
4 weeks before your wedding
A face to face meeting to discuss your wedding day, ideally at the reception venue
At the meeting, they will go through the whole day to ensure that all your requirements are captured
Provide help and guidance if required, but always remembering that it is your wedding
Following this meeting, a written confirmation will be provided of all the details discussed
The weeks leading up to the wedding
Unlimited email/telephone contact as required to discuss and agree any changes to requirements or timings
On the wedding day
Your Wedding Toastmaster should arrive at the venue ahead of you and your guests to:
Check the venue is set up as you require
Ensure that seating plans/place cards etc are as required
Make sure that the cake table, guest book table and gift table are set up
If other suppliers are setting up such as DJ etc that they are finished before the wedding guests arrive
Liaise with the venue staff to ensure all timings are as agreed
Receive your guests and help them check in if they are staying at the venue
Direct them to the appropriate rooms and assist them as necessary
When you arrive
Assist the photographer get everyone together for any group shots
If required organise a receiving line and make necessary introduction
Ensure that all gifts are collected and are stored safely
During the wedding breakfast
Escort the bride and groom into the room
Say grace if required
Introduce speakers and ensure any thank you gifts are easily to hand
Organise the cutting of the cake
Formally close the proceedings
Additionally if required your Wedding Toastmaster can help organise the throwing of your bouquet, meet and greet your evening guests and organise everyone to receive you both onto the dance floor for your first dance. This is where a toastmaster differs from a venue MC, as they will generally make announcements and corral guests, but aren’t personal to the bride and groom.