Forget about your ‘wedding speeches’!

After all, they make you nervous; they’re often boring and they usually go on too long. Sound familiar? It’s possible to have a wedding celebration without any speeches but I’ve never seen this happen; it would be unusual and guests would feel that something is missing. So my advice is to forget about doing ‘wedding speeches’ and think about ‘wedding toasts’ instead. Changing a single word about the activity gives a different perspective. A ‘speech’ sounds academic and formal; it creates expectations of professionalism, fluency and humour. I try to avoid the word ‘speech’. I’ll introduce people who are going to ‘say a few words’.

The father of the bride will thank people for coming, say how proud he is of his lovely daughter and welcome her partner into the family. He’ll typically propose a toast the happy couple.

The bridegroom (or bride) will say how lucky he / she is to have married such a wonderful person and thank wedding party members for all their support. He (or she) will perhaps give a few gifts and end with a toast to the families (or something similar).

The best man will often joke about the groom and tell a few amusing stories (in good taste!), read a few messages (in the old days, these would be ‘telegrams’) and finish with a toast to the couple.

I encourage you to look at my kindle book. Wedding speeches for the very nervous’ and you’ll see ideas and templates for all the usual speeches – sorry, ‘toasts’.

‘Style’ comments

I’m not referring to glamour or fashion (thankfully!) but how I go about my work. Toastmasters and Celebrants have their own ‘styles’ which will influence their suitability for a particular event. Some are very formal and adhere to strict protocol, others more casual.

Here’s an overview of ‘me’ and my ‘style’

  1. I don’t do the very traditional toastmaster stuff; banging gavels, waving swords but I am ‘formal’ in that I adhere to the schedule and keep things on track. I involve the guests as much as is appropriate and I’ll stand back when not needed. I don’t assume that I am a guest with guest privileges.
  2. I don’t demand food (although something simple is appreciated to stop me fainting) and I don’t drink ‘on duty’. I might have a friendly nightcap before I leave and after I’ve removed my red tailcoat.
  3. I make sure the focus is on you (the bride and groom) so I don’t push myself into photos and I make a point of not being photographed standing between the bride and groom
  4. Your photos are a key part of your memories so I don’t wear my red tailcoat in my Celebrant role which, frankly, looks strange in hindsight.
  5. I don’t have formal rehearsals for Celebrant ceremonies (unless they are wanted); I enjoy the spontaneity over highly choreographed (and often stilted) perfection. I do proper advance planning, scripting and preparation of course!

Do I suit your requirements? If so, please get in touch. If not, no problem, there are lots of good options for you to choose from. I’ll even make recommendations if you want me to.

#weddings #wedding toastmaster #wedding Celebrant

What do you expect from your #Wedding Toastmaster / MC?

You will know what you want better than I do, but here are some thoughts. Your toastmaster / master of ceremonies must be capable of doing the job you expect and should give the results you want. There are many of us out there to choose from and we come in a range of styles.

Some toastmasters have lots of impressive qualifications (usually on display) and are rigorous about ensuring formality and protocol. At one extreme, this procedural behaviour could clash with the informality you want and, in some eyes, toastmasters might seem ‘officious’ and ‘pompous’.

At the other end of the scale, a toastmaster could be over-casual and behave too much like a guest at a party.

These are two extremes, of course, and those of us wearing the red tailcoat will have our respective comfort zones within that spectrum. Even so, a good toastmaster will be able to adapt to give the right balance of formality and relaxed behaviour for your event.

I believe that I’m adaptable and sit somewhere around the middle of this scale. Phrases that brides have used about my style are: ‘keeps control in a relaxed and humorous way’, ‘solves problems if they occur without disturbing us’, ‘close attention to detail’, ‘helps to give every one of us an enjoyable and memorable day’.

Whatever you decide about your special day, I hope you get exactly what you have dreamed for it; if I can help or advise in any way, please get in touch.  Thank you.