Toastmaster – How Much, and Do I Really Need One?
Weddings may have modernised over the years, but certain traditions still hold their appeal. If you’re one of the many couples looking to tie the knot, you may find yourself looking at the important roles to fill; amongst these, the curious title of the ‘Toastmaster’ will come up.
Do you Need a Toastmaster at your Wedding?
Regardless of the scale of your big day; be it small or large, whether it’s on a budget or a luxury wedding, the role of a toastmaster is invaluable.
Here we look at their role in greater detail, and how to hire one for your wedding venue.
What is a Wedding Toastmaster?
A toastmaster is the person who formalises key moments of a wedding day, makes important announcements and ensures the wedding runs smoothly. They can sometimes be referred to as a ‘Master of Ceremonies’.
They play an important part of your day in creating a sense of occasion, and offering direction to the wedding party, ensuring that everyone is in the right place at the right time.
The Role of the Toastmaster
This is a varied role, which can be minimal or quite hands-on, depending on the couple and their requirements.
You may question whether you need one at all. This is a very personal choice, down to the couple. However, if you need someone to do any one of the following duties below, you ought to consider a Toastmaster:
- Greeting the bride and groom upon arrival
- Introducing themselves and the couple to the wedding party
- Setting the tone for the day and explaining the schedule to guests
- Gathering guests for photos at the wedding venue
- Communicating transportation options
- Escorting the bride and groom to the top table
- Liaising with suppliers to ensure they are running on schedule and set up in the right place
- Sharing any important changes to the schedule with guests
- Introducing speakers at formal moments, such as wedding speeches
- Announcing the cake cutting and the first dance
- Thanking guests for coming at the end of the night
Finding the Right Toastmaster
The role of toastmaster is an important one, since they will be offering direction to you and your guests. As such, it’s important to consider the right personality for the role during the early stages of wedding planning.
There are two options when it comes to hiring a toastmaster; you can appoint someone in your wedding party suitable for the role, or you can employ someone specifically to undertake this duty.
Let’s examine both options in more detail.
Ask a Friend
A good toastmaster is one that isn’t shy, can vocalise and articulate thoughts with confidence and can hold their own in a large group of strangers. It helps if they are organised and responsible, since they will hold an important role on the day.
Quite often, couples will have a friend in mind perfect for this duty. But sometimes, especially in small weddings, this isn’t always possible.
Before inviting someone to play the role of Toastmaster, think about how this might impact on their experience of your big day. If you simply want them to make announcements and toasts, then their role is minimised. If you expect more, think about how will this impact on their ability to celebrate with other guests.
If, however, you want the toastmaster to hold a significant role on the day; dealing with suppliers, running the schedule and liaising with the wedding coordinator at the wedding venue, you may want to consider hiring a professional.
Hiring a Professional Toastmaster
There are many benefits in hiring a professional Master of Ceremonies for your wedding day. An experienced host will add reassurance to proceedings, managing and compering the day in an orderly fashion. They will also look the part, in an official red outfit and hat, adding a sense of occasion and prestige, as well as being a clear point of call for your guests. This is often seen at luxury weddings where no expense is spared.
As well as all the key areas, such as announcements and toasts, they can help with other factors, such as ensuring the wedding venue is ready and managing sound and light levels throughout the day – much like an event manager would.
When researching wedding venues, it’s certainly worth speaking to your wedding coordinator about recommendations. These well-connected individuals are always able to suggest suppliers in the area. You might also wish to attend their open days, which is a great way of meeting their network of suppliers. In some cases, a toastmaster might even come as part of your wedding venue package.
Hiring and Costs
There are professional bodies offering expert Toastmasters for hire. You can speak to, the International Guild of Toastmasters, or National Association of Toastmasters, as well as live entertainment websites offer professionals for your special day.
The general cost of a wedding Toastmaster can vary in price, depending on requirements and timings. Generally speaking, this varies from £250 through to £500, and you will usually be expected to put down a non-refundable deposit. Be sure to check whether they hold insurance, should plans change.
Before appointing a Toastmaster, whether a friend, family member, or professional, it’s important to be clear on your requirements.
Create a document with all your phone numbers and contact details and overview of timings for the day. Be sure to include all the names of the key people – from best man to the vicar, including pictures if you can. This may also extend to suppliers, contacts and numbers.
Highlight all the areas where you expect the Toastmaster to play a role. For instance, inviting guests to make their way into the wedding venue, or announcing the first dance. They may not have done this before, so some direction and clarity is advisable.
A wedding Toastmaster can make your big day run smoothly without incident. However, choosing the right person for the job is key.
Whether you opt for someone you know, or hire an expert, you can be reassured that they will relieve some of the stress and pressure of the day, allowing you to enjoy the best day of your lives in all its glory!