Following up on my earlier blog on “How to find the best wedding toastmaster for you”, I was checking up on my exposure on the internet and I found this question?
“Re: Toastmaster – How much, and do I really need one?”
So I thought I would check out the answers and was not surprised at the very varied replies that were posted.
They varied from “a waste of time and money”, to “annoying and cheesy” to “boring individuals” to “great idea” and finally to the response below.
The article was written in 2009 and still applies today. Prices will vary depending on how big a day it is for the toastmaster.
I understand that a toastmaster is not needed at every wedding, but the replies show a lack of understanding of the role, but also the need to really check out any toastmaster you choose to use. It is very clear from some of the replies that this was not done.
Here is the reply that sums things up well.
I have to say that for my wedding that we opted to have a Toastmaster as I had seen how effective a Toastmaster was at my friend’s wedding. Basically the Toastmaster will ensure that everything on the day runs on rails and to time. As you know, a wedding day can be very frantic with nobody looking after the timings and getting people where they need to be etc. Our Toastmaster did this with so much professionalism and tradition that it was brilliant to have him around for the day. It was definitely money well spent as it also allowed the Best Man and the Ushers to enjoy the day rather being worried about doing their duties.
All of the speeches etc are announced correctly and all of the public speaking required on the day is done by the Toastmaster in his smart red uniform. I would strongly recommend you having a professional Toastmaster on your day. Some hotels offer a toastmaster (ie: a member of their staff!) but they are not there solely as Toastmaster they are just doing the announcements as a sideline amongst their mountains of other work and it’s not great. I think that he cost £300 for the day, but money well spent.
I would also recommend that the Toastmaster you select for your day is a professional. Do your research as I have heard of some cowboys out there! The guy we used was from the Guild of International Professional Toastmaster and he was fully insured etc.
Hope that this helps ladies.
Clearly, for Vicky her toastmaster worked for her in the best way possible and she is definitely correct when she suggests choosing one from a recognized Guild. However, there are some parts here that are really important.
She says “do your research as I have heard of some cowboys out there!” She is not wrong. There are and that is why I wrote the previous article.
In her second paragraph, she mentions the possibility of the use of a member of staff from the venue but clearly realizes the shortcomings to this suggestion. If the Hotel / Venue offers a toastmaster, check whether it is a separate individual from the venue and someone who is professionally trained. Using a banqueting manager who is working at the hotel means that they are concentrating on a million and one things and not just you and the guests.
Invariably they are also not dressed as a toastmaster and therefore lack any kind of impact and can look amateurish.
Another issue that is almost thrown away at the end is “he was fully insured etc”. This is really important. Always ask if you are planning on engaging a toastmaster if they are insured and for how much.
With so much going on at a wedding, especially these days with camera teams and all their expensive equipment or other things like lighting shows etc, imagine if during carrying out his duties he knocked something over, or even failed to stop someone causing damage that was under his control. If they are not insured there could be real problems, especially if a third party is involved.
This is the big reason for not just asking a friend or relative to take on this role. Many may be highly capable, but do you want to put them in that position?
Finally, on the subject of using a friend or relative, there other two things to consider. Firstly, do they have the where with all to act as the central linchpin with all your suppliers? If you use someone independent like a toastmaster they are able to take any emotion out of the situation and work as an equal and support. Using a member of family does not have this effect as naturally, they are not an equal in this situation, which sometimes causes awkwardness. Secondly and finally, you have invited them to the wedding. Wouldn’t you like them to enjoy it too?
The aforementioned post was found on www.hitched.co.uk
So all the best finding the right person for you.
James Hasler is a professional toastmaster, master of ceremonies and event facilitator, a Fellow of the Guild of International Professional Toastmasters. He is experienced in running all kinds of events from conferences, awards ceremonies, fundraisers, and weddings of all cultures that take place in the UK. He has worked with and for people from all walks of life, from the most humble to celebrities and even members of the Royal Family.