The engagement is on – wow what a great feeling! So now it is time to think about actually getting married, how to find the best wedding toastmaster for you and plan the wedding.
You have looked at many wedding websites, checked out a few wedding venues and even considered or have engaged a wedding planner. So with wedding ideas and wedding planning well under way, it is time that you can then consider some of the details.
Working through your wedding checklist there is The Best Man, the Bridesmaids, flower girls, ushers and page boys, all need to be considered carefully and then we get to the wedding stuff! The wedding dresses, the wedding invitations, the wedding favours and wedding gifts, not to mention all the wedding cakes you might want to check out.
This wedding to do list appears never ending, but actually, if you are methodical it can also be quite fun, especially when it comes to your wedding theme and wedding decorations.
However, there is no doubt that planning a wedding takes time and effort and in some cases a sizeable wedding budget! So after all that investment in time, money and creative thinking wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy the day that you have planned for all your guests as much as them?
Toastmasters are not wedding planners, they are wedding “carryouters” – facilitators of the day. Professional toastmasters are the linchpin that is between your suppliers and you and your guests. They allow your suppliers to concentrate on what they good at without having to worry about the people!
But how do you choose the best toastmaster for you?
So here below are a few tips to help you make the right decision to ensure that you choose the right person for you.
You can’t beat Google, Bing or Yahoo Search.
If they are on the first page on Google, Bing or Yahoo Search, like me, they treat this seriously and are not only professional in getting this bit correct but shows how they potentially will be running your day. 2nd or 3rd page could also be considered.
Check that they are the real deal.
Strictly speaking, anyone can go out and buy a red tailcoat and create a website and say they are a toastmaster! Now don’t get me wrong there are one or two in this category who actually may be highly suitable for running a wedding, but would get caught out running more official events. However, if you want to be sure that your toastmaster has the correct credentials to run your day with a certain degree of professionalism, then you need to find one that has been properly trained. Most will state that they are a fellow or member of a guild or association. In which case check that it exists by googling it. The guild or association website will also have a list of fellows or members which you should be able to crosscheck with the toastmaster you are investigating.
Why do you want someone who is the real deal? The biggest reason is even if they have no experience of your particular type of wedding, they should have at least been trained in it or they can call on someone within their guild or association who can guide them.
What did they do before becoming a toastmaster and how long have they been one?
Why would you want to know about this? Partly because you can get a better understanding of the experience and background of the person you are considering engaging.
Many in the profession are ex-military, ex-police, ex-hospitality, ex-customer services, even from the performing arts, or a combination of the more than one. The second, third and fourth are normally the most flexible while the fifth are normally able to adapt their delivery to exactly how you would like it. A wedding is not a city dinner after all!
Don’t just go for the first one!
Actually, if you really like the person you first speak to, then why not. The most important thing is that you get on with them. This event is a big deal and you really have to have someone who you get on with. The last thing you want is a memory of someone who winds you up every time they open their mouth.
Don’t just go on price!
This is another reason you need to speak to more than one. If they appear like they are too good value, then quite possibly they underestimate the work required to make sure your event runs as it should be. I would be a very rich man if I had been given money every time someone had come up to me at a wedding and said “I’ve seen other toastmasters at work and they just stand around waiting to make an announcement. they don’t do anything else much!” However, I understand that every event has a budget and so you need to compare prices to see if one or all are going to fit within yours. But remember, you have already invested much time and effort and dare I say it money – you need to make sure you can employ someone who will make sure you get the best from your investment.
Ideally, interview your toastmaster using at least 2 senses.
The best way to do this is by using either Skype, Facetime or most recently WhatsApp. You can, of course, meet up in person, but given everybody’s time, especially yours, this has to be the most time and cost effective. If the toastmaster can’t do this, you may want to think about whether they are for you?
Should I use a lady as my wedding toastmaster?
I have always believed in having the right person for the job and if the right person in your case is to use a lady toastmaster, then by all means. The professionally trained ladies are every bit as skilled as the men of the profession. The only thing I would say is when numbers get beyond 150 or so, a powerful voice may be required in bigger venues.
Questions to ask
Where were they trained?
What experience have they in your particular type of wedding?
What is their involvement in your day? – They should ask you about the day first before answering this!
Do they have insurance? (Ideally £5,000,000 worth)
A professional toastmaster should always remember that the day is about YOU more than anything else. They should be seen and heard only when necessary, but because this is a wedding, they should be personable and always working to make sure you and all your guests are being looked after as best they can be.
James Hasler is a professional toastmaster and master of ceremonies and is a Fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters. He is experienced at virtually all the types of weddings that take place in the UK and has worked with and for people from all walks of life, from the most humble to celebrities and even members of the Royal Family.
“I may or may not be the right person for you, but unless we have a chat we will never know! – A chat costs you only the price of a phone call and you are under no obligation”