Do I really need a Toastmaster?
The quick answer is no, you don't need a toastmaster; your wedding reception can take place without such a person. In the same vein, neither do you really need any bridesmaids, a sit down meal or buffet, a professional photographer nor a hired limousine to transport you. It all depends on how enjoyable and memorable you want your wedding day to be. A good wedding toastmaster will add great value to your occasion and help you to enjoy it without feeling unduly stressed.
What will a Toastmaster do that a hotel manager cannot?
Reception venue staff can do a competent job in making announcements. A good Toastmaster in a red tailcoat will be a focal point and will work hard to keep your guests engaged and involved. Bear in mind too, that a lot of the value you get happens before the event and goes on in the background during it. A common quotation is that the toastmaster’s value is akin to an iceberg; more than 80% of it is unseen (but not unfelt!)
Couldn’t I ask a relative to do it?
Yes, but the same arguments apply. A professional toastmaster knows how everything can be done and is able to advise and discuss it with you beforehand. He (or she) can add the necessary degree of formality and structure to make the right things happen and to keep things on track (whilst still maintaining a sense of ‘fun’). Besides, why not let your relative enjoy your special day, stress free? Your toastmaster can, of course, involve your relatives and friends in speeches and other activities.
Wont a Toastmaster be too formal for my reception?
In short ‘no’. Your toastmaster is an organiser, announcer and coordinator but ‘formality’ (in the sense of the red tailcoat, a clear speaking voice and authority) shouldn’t be confused with ‘pomposity’. For some events and for some toastmasters strict formality in the norm. That shouldn’t be the case for your wedding – unless that’s what you want. But again, please ask.
What sort of person should my Toastmaster be?
Someone who can advise you and who can give you the day you want and in the format you want it. He or she should be a person that you can relate to and who has the personality and charisma to suit your event (and who will keep in mind that you are the star of the day and not him,/her!). Your toastmaster should not behave like a guest nor spend time promoting his / her services. He or she must eat of course - but shouldn’t make a meal of it!
What will it cost?
Many toastmasters are rather coy in publishing a fee structure. I understand all the reasons for this (actually, I don’t!) but my fees are clearly shown on the costs page.
More questions? Please just ask.
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William Freeman - Surrey Wedding toastmaster, Middlesex Wedding Toastmaster, London Wedding Toastmaster
Visit http://www.corporate-toastmaster.co.uk to discover my corporate toastmaster, MC and speaking work