So for the past month continuing with my theme of using an Alphabet to explain my links to my work I was asked would I do one with respect to my services, specifically to do with weddings and as such here is my Toastmaster A to Z of Weddings.
So that is what I have done.
The full daily articles can be found on The Man in the Red Coat’s Facebook Page, but here is a shortened run down of the “Wedding Alphabet”.
A Asians, Africans and Announcements – Why Asians? Because their weddings make up around 65% of all my wedding business. As for announcements, believe it or not toastmasters do make a few of these. But so does a Master of Ceremonies. However it how those announcements are made that sets a Toastmaster apart from an MC.
B Bride – I can’t help her get ready but by allowing her not to think I can help her relax on the day so she can enjoy it more for all the right reasons.
C Cakes – from the simplest to the most extravagant, from the most elegant to the most fun, everybody has their idea of the perfect cake. My job is to help guide the couple to cut it – and occasionally give a little history!
D Dancing – not by me, but by everybody else – that is not to say I don’t help get things going!
E Expertise – This may be your one and only – I got married 47 times during 2017! The largest number of any were for Hindu couples
F Fun and Games – This could be from anything you have left for people to play at the reception, to me running a game of Mr & Mrs, AKA the Shoe game. I also often run a sweepstake during the speeches!
G ‘Groom – Like the bride he will have his entourage to get him ready and to the venue on time. Like the bride he should just be guided by me in the knowledge the whole thing is being overseen by me.
H Holes – Button Holes – properly attached and pointing in the right direction!
I Ideas – I am no planner but I know what works and have seen many different things. Whatever your idea, chances are with nearly 200 weddings under my belt I have possibly seen it. I know how much of your schedule they might take up and when best to use them
J Jubilation – Weddings are supposed to be happy occasions and I am delighted to say I have yet to work at one that wasn’t (with the possible exception of one I did in an Essex motel once!).
Therefore, jubilation and jollity are normally the form I am glad to say and with me being jovial things tend to not only run on time, but are done with a smile and encouragement rather than force, making sure things are as happy as they should be and as formally informal as my couples require.
K Knowledgeable – I have already mentioned under E that last year I did 47 weddings alone. This brings with it lots of knowledge as well as experience (not to mention all the weddings carried out in previous years).
L Love – Well I guess without this weddings wouldn’t happen, well that’s the theory anyway. All the ones I have been at clearly involve this to a greater and lesser extent.
It is not just the couple where the Love comes from, it’s Me. I Love doing what I do.
M Marriage Ceremonies – pick a type and I have probably seen or been a part of it. I am not the Registrar, Celebrant, Priest, Vicar, Iman, Rabbi or Pandit, but I work in parallel with them to ensure a smooth running.
Once their role has finished mine normally begins in earnest. This letter leads us very neatly on to tomorrow’s letter.
N Non Secular – As above I welcome all religions and societies. It is not only good for my couples, but great for me too.
I have to have an understanding of their background and religion, so I don’t make faux pas’, but my role is totally non-religious, even if I do play a part from time to time.
Finally it also comes back to not being about me but about my couples. What is right for them is the most important thing on “their” day. Not my beliefs.
O One off – We are all individuals, and some of us are more individual than others! However, what you are assured is a highly personal service.
The other thing is each wedding is a one off too. For a Bridal Couple there will be something unique about their day compared to somebody else’s and that includes my delivery.
P Photographs and Photobooths! – Group Photographs are the historical record of who was present and allow that snapshot into family portraits in the years to come. The thing is, without organisation they can be a really painful experience if they go on for too long. This is where The Man in the Red Coat can make a big difference. I can not only help you prepare your list but also I can help speed up the process of getting the taken on the day.
Additionally it is increasingly popular to have a photobooth at weddings where guests make fools of themselves specifically. My role here is not only to humiliate myself but most importantly remind others they need to do the same. This makes sure you get great value for money out of the investment you have made by having it there.
Q Quintessential – Apparently if you look up the word quintessential in the dictionary it says – adjective, “the pure and essential essence of something or the most perfect embodiment of something!”
That sounds a bit like me!
R Reception – Whatever your religion and or country you originate from, chances are you will have reception of one kind of another.
My role during these is to keep them running to time and in such a manner as to be relaxed Regardless of your background, chances are I have run a reception the same or similar to yours at some point. I therefore use all my experience to conduct and run any wedding reception with the flair and skill that makes The Man in the Red Coat so special, and warm.
S Speeches – virtually every wedding has a speech of one kind or another. Introducing these naturally falls under the guidance of a toastmaster.
However, The Man in the Red Coat goes the extra mile, not only on the day, but leading up to the grand event by providing guidance notes to all those who are to step into the spotlight.
T Transport – How you make your entrance is your business. All I ask is that you do, one way or another and preferably on time! I have no control over your actions until you arrive.
However, once you have arrived there is a big chance you may need to leave at some point and that is where I am a help in coordinating your departure.
U Uniform – Weddings are generally full of colour, spectacle and in the case of receptions they can often be very black and white, if Black Tie is specified.
Therefore have a 6 foot 3 inch man in a Red or Black tailcoat not only goes with the spectacle but is different enough to stand out.
One thing I do not remove or change though is my guild badge. The reason is to remind people of who I am but also it always attracts attention and is regularly a great topic of conversation.
So regardless of which attire you find me in, I always stand out, looking smart and distinctive and ready to guide.
V Varied and Value – Understanding that this is a wedding and not City Dinner is part of it all..
As regards Value I understand that every event, and that in particular includes weddings, have a budget. It may seem a waste of a budget to add in a bloke in a coat to just make announcements.
But if you have got this far into the alphabet you will know that the announcement part is just the tip of the iceberg as regards the things we do as part of your day.
W Weather – If there is one thing you cannot predict, it is of course the weather. Therefore if you plan for the worst case scenario you are unlikely to be disappointed. If however the weather is better than anticipated, then that is an added bonus.
The most important thing about it though, is to remember it will be what it will be. So don’t stress over it, just prepare for it. That may include buying a bulk load of umbrellas, or hand held fans as an option, but either way if you psychologically tune the weather out you will have a much happier day as a result.
X Xenons – Xenons?! What I hear you say? Ok so Xenon lighting is a bit of a tenuous link, and whilst probably not being used at your wedding, it is your day in lights, even if you would prefer to stay out of the spotlight.
My role is to direct attention wherever required – to shine a light on it, if you like. So be it halogen, LED or Xenon, – battery, wind-up or mains, I lighten up your and everybody’s world on the best day of your life.
Y Young and Your Day – Yes 52 is young! I have a distinct age advantage over many of my peers, affording me much more energy. As for Your Day, I never forget, that is what it is. You choose what you want to do and wherever possible I will endeavour to make it all work. I will advise and guide if there are any potential issues, but as it is your day, your choices matter.
Z Zestful or Zing – Young from yesterday naturally leads to Zestful! Well kind of, if you want a bit of Zing at your wedding it can be achieved with my help – although I do not smell of Lemons!
A wedding should be fun and with some energy given on my behalf things can be fun and inclusive for all.
Weddings Episodes Epilogue
So there you have it. My Toastmaster A to Z of Weddings and my contribution to them. I appreciate one or two had a very similar story, but those are some that I can’t stress enough.
So if you are getting married give me a call as I have much to offer. Alternatively if you know of someone who is, then send them my way. Any referrals are most welcome and kindly received including an intro commission!
As for next month, we head into the City.
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 both in the UK and throughout the world. 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.