Kent Wedding planner, Grant Morgan discusses hiring a toastmaster...
Why hire a toastmaster?
A toastmaster is by no means a definite fixture at weddings across the UK. However, that does not mean they are not without merit and one could argue that their presence provides a number of irreplaceable benefits.
A toastmaster will normally arrive in good time before the ceremony itself and stay until last official act of the day; the first dance.
During their time at the wedding his/her duties will include:
- communicating with the wedding planner and/or venue manager regarding the schedule of the day
- assisting with distribution of the bouquets
- calling for guests to adjourn for the wedding breakfast
- announcing the bride & groom at the reception
- announcing the speeches
- announcing the cutting of the cake
- liaising with the band or DJ and announcing the first dance
- a toastmaster may also help the photographer arrange the group shots
- on some occasions a toastmaster may be called upon to announce each guest (although this is very formal and rather time-consuming)
Some of the above duties are interchangeable with either the best man or chief bridesmaid. However, all announcements should be made by the toastmaster if present.
According to professional toastmaster, Glenda Procter [visit], “It is generally accepted that the association of giving the toast comes from medieval times. The term “toast” with the drinking of someone’s health came about through the custom dating from the Middle Ages, of adding spiced toast to wine to improve its flavour. The Steward who carried out this duty being known as the “Master of the Toast”. The first recorded instance of a “toast” to a person was in 1649 – when the spiced toast was taken to a lady – and the Master of the Toast or Toastmaster, or latterly the Butler, thereafter took on the role of proposing the toasts”.
In many respects, the qualities one looks for in a toastmaster are not dissimilar to those enviable in a best man. For example:
- ability to communicate to crowds
- familiar with surroundings (it won’t be unusual for guests to approach the toastmaster requesting directions to the facilities)
- polite & courteous
Further, it is essential that the toastmaster is impeccably dressed and presented, to add gravitas to proceedings.
The price of a toastmaster can vary but anywhere between £300-£600 is usual.
You may find that your venue can provide a similar service to that of a toastmaster but it’s important to check in advance. If they do, be sure to run through every duty you are expecting them to cover. If there happens to be any holes in the service, hiring a toastmaster is likely to be the answer.
For further information please visit: http://www.guildoftoastmasters.co.uk/
Grant Morgan (Kent wedding planner) takes a brief look at the role of a toastmaster