People like me because I focus on looking after them. I have learnt the art of making a day special and tailored to a couple’s needs. I am experienced enough to find out and analyse what my clients want and vary my performance appropriately on the day. At a wedding I play a leading part of a team to ensure that everyone gives their best.
With British and international clients from Florida and Los Angeles to Hong Kong and Singapore, no other Toastmaster has travelled so far to look after such a wide range of over 1,000 events for so many dignitaries and celebrities – or visited as many prestigious venues and used as many languages. I have taken trouble to learn about the traditions of Jewish, Moslem, Hindu and can advise about mixed-faith celebrations. I make announcements in French, German, Polish, Spanish, Italian, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi and even a spattering of Mandarin.
• Every event is handled in the same calm and efficient way as if the participants are royalty.
• Hosts and couples appreciate my reassuring, friendly and professional style.
Every wedding is different. Over nearly thirty years working as a Toastmaster, I’ve learnt that:
1. The Bride and Bridegroom generally know what they want. It’s up to me to find out what that is and deliver it in an appropriate way
2. I wear a formal uniform but not everyone wants formality – maintaining traditions is often more important
3. I am not the star of the show but I am instrumental in making a wedding memorable
4. Some weddings need very little management, and others require a lot!
What time do you usually arrive on the day?
At least an hour before guests so that I can do basic checks on suppliers, microphones, toilets, and fire exits. I make sure everything is ready for their arrival. I synchronise the day with a Banqueting Manager. I only once had to chase up a DJ. He had broken his leg on a beach in Brighton. He was in hospital, sedated. But I managed to find a replacement in good time.
Do you have a uniform? How do you dress?
The traditional Toastmaster uniform since the turn of the last century is a red tail-coat, stiff white shirt, bow tie and waistcoat with black trousers and patent leather shoes. I also proudly wear a National Association of Toastmasters Past President’s medal. That uniform is probably appropriate to bring a touch of class to your event. I have also been asked to wear black tails, a dinner jacket, or a suit.
How much do you charge?
My full-day rate is £625. For a traditional English wedding reception lasting about six hours, plus one local or London planning meeting, the cost is about £525. However, I unfailingly talk to couples to be sure I know exactly what they want before I quote. My fee depends on when and where I am needed and for how long. Clients regularly tell me I should put my prices up!
Perhaps the value should be considered, rather than the cost. After all, how much is a bride happy to pay so that she can write something like this after her wedding?
“Thank you very much for making the day run so smoothly for us. We are well aware of all the running around you did in the background for us and are proud to say that thanks to you nothing went wrong on the day. Keep up the great work! And thank you for the little surprises throughout the day, and for being instrumental in getting our guests to say a few words on the video, which, by the way, you look and sound great on. And we are very impressed at how you manage to remember everyone’s names. I hope we get the opportunity to use your services again in future, although not at a wedding of course!”
I & J Norway 2018