How close to the wedding date do couples usually book you as their toastmaster?
Most frequently between six and 15 months ahead, but I have taken a booking for two years from now and one for a wedding in two months’ time!
Do you and the couple meet up to discuss the day and how your help will be needed? If so, how often?
I always aim to meet with the couple at least once and preferably at their briefing meeting with their wedding coordinator at the venue. Apart from that I offer as much telephone, email or Skype support as they would like. It is very important that they know they can contact me with any questions or suggestions they want to discuss. I also suggest that they pass on my contact details to the speech makers in case they would like to discuss their speeches or any little surprises they have in mind!
What aspects of the big day do you have most involvement with?
Communication with the wedding couple and their guests and then liaison with the venue staff. Once the wedding couple and their guests know that I am there to take away all concerns about what is happening next and who should be where and when, they can concentrate on relaxing and having a wonderful time. I consider myself to part of the team that is in place to make the day a fabulous one, so that involves working with the venue staff and other key players such as the celebrant, photographer and entertainment. We all know the planned running order and will work together to make it happen and deal with whatever last minute changes might occur.
Incidentally, I have found that the majority of couples do not realise they have a lot of choice in the way the day can run. One of the things I enjoy most is seeing the look of joy when I give some examples of what we might do and then ask them – “What would you like to do?”
What qualities do you think we should look for in a Toastmaster?
A Toastmaster needs to have the relevant set of tools – for example appearance, voice, presence, communication skills and then the knowledge of the processes involved for the type of wedding on the day. However, the most important personal quality is without doubt – a great attitude. Training and experience can be invaluable but it is empathy and good attitude that distinguishes an excellent Toastmaster from the rest.
I’m a little nervous about how the day is going to flow; will you be able to help with this?
Absolutely. If you wish, I can help you with planning a structure as well as ensuring things flow smoothly on the day. It is my job to take worries away from you so that you can concentrate on enjoying this most special of days. Give me a call and tell me exactly what you have in mind so that I can describe how I will do this for you.
Will you wear traditional toastmaster dress?
I will be most often dressed in a scarlet red or burgundy tailcoat but I could equally wear a morning suit or dinner suit if you wish. If you are planning a themed wedding, I would be delighted to dress appropriately. Let me know what you would prefer!
Can you help me plan / facilitate a surprise for my new spouse / parents?
What a lovely idea! I will be delighted to work with you and the venue to ensure the surprise is planned and executed in the best possible way. Give me a call to discuss it.
We’d love a toast master for a certain part of the day, but not all day. Can you accommodate this?
By all means, give me a call and we can discuss your individual requirements over the phone. It is your day and I look forward to working with you to make it a great success.
Will we be able to meet with you before the day?
Yes indeed, it is very important for me to get a clear picture of how you would like your day to go. For weddings, it is important for me to meet with you and the venue coordinator at your last briefing meeting with them, if not sooner.
We won’t be able to meet with you before our wedding, is this OK? Can we call you instead?
Yes, let me know who you are dealing with at the venue so I can have a chat with them or visit before speaking to yourselves.
Can we pay you in installments?
I will ask you for a 50% deposit upon booking with the balance to be paid one month before the event.