There are many old traditions attached to weddings and in the planning, it is worth considering what they are for, and if they are necessary.  Thankfully, the ritual of breaking the wedding cake over the bride’s head is long in the past, and very few brides now receive a good luck kiss from a soot-covered chimney sweep at the church door.

The main traditions still observed are the wedding breakfast, so called because it is the first meal in a marriage, the speeches and of course the wedding cake.  Perhaps the reason why we keep to this format is because it works so well.

Fifty years ago, most wedding parties were small, and receptions were often held at home or in the back room of the local pub.  Today’s more elaborate weddings with guest lists often from fifty to three times that number, require careful planning, but no matter how much detail is observed in the preparation, things can and do go wrong on the big day.

Many brides are now engaging a professional toastmaster or master of ceremonies to see that everything goes to plan and on time.  This enables them to relax and enjoy the day, knowing that the arrangements are in safe hands.  This tradition used to be confined to society and celebrity weddings but modern brides are now realising how useful it can be to have a trained expert on hand.

Before rushing off to hire a toastmaster, take the time to consider the following.

Start early.  Although it is often possible to get a toastmaster at short notice, many brides book at least a year before the wedding date.

Check out a few toastmasters’ websites.  If you like the look of one or two, call them for a chat and ask for a quote.  You need to know that you can get on with the person who will be master of ceremonies on your big day.

Any clown can put on a red coat and make announcements, so make sure that your toastmaster is a member of the Executive Guild of Toastmasters and Towncriers.  He will be well trained and experienced in all aspects of arranging weddings in all cultures and ethnic groups.

Ask your toastmaster for a meeting a couple of months prior to the wedding.  He will do this at no extra charge.  This will enable him to draw up an itinerary for the reception so that he can make sure the day goes exactly as you wish.

Finally, when your wedding day arrives your toastmaster will be there to take control of the proceedings and deal with any little problems in a quiet, friendly, professional manner so that you and your guests can relax and have a day to remember.  That sounds like a wedding tradition well worth keeping.

Written by Nick Goodman
Fellow of the Executive Guild of Toastmasters and Towncriers

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