Contact The English Toastmaster About Your Event: Telephone 01908 222 502 or 07974 816 919


There are many questions you may wish to ask before engaging the services of a Toastmaster or Master of Ceremonies. Listed in the sub menus are some frequently asked questions relating to their specific categories.

General FAQs

How about using a PA System?
I can supply, for a small fee a PA System which is suitable for small to medium venues.
What is the cost?
Each occasion is subtly different and so I prefer to wait until we’ve discussed your exact requirements before I give you a written quotation. Don’t always go for the cheapest price either, as you may find the quality isn’t as you hoped.
Why should I have a Toastmaster?
You’ will want to ensure that everything happens to schedule and have peace of mind that you’re having a great time, along with all your guests. A Toastmaster is your guarantee that this is the case, having spent time with him/her to discuss your specific requirements.
Do you do a lot of shouting?
Given the choice, I prefer not too. People tend to respond better when being spoken to and I think it is more polite. However, there are some occasions where it is necessary.
What experience do you have?
Having trained with The English Toastmasters Association, I have built up a good portfolio of clients in all areas. Being very conscientious allows me to view each occasion individually and adapt to the myriad of tiny details that will elevate the egos of yourself and your guests.
When should I book?
It is advisable to book as soon as possible. Those who provide a skilled service tend to be in high demand. You will be disappointed in a Toastmaster who isn’t going to give you first class attention.

Masonic FAQs

How long are you there for?
I usually aim to arrive at least an hour and a half before the event and I will usually stay until carriages (at midnight).
Will you help the Festival Secretary on the night?
Absolutely, if I can help make his evening more relaxed then it allows him and his guests to enjoy the evening better.
We normally have flowers and gifts that we give out during the evening. Do you present them?
No. What I will do is ensure that they’re accessible for when they’re required, then pass them to The President so that they can be given.
What about the raffle?
If you’d like me to assist in drawing the raffle, I will.
Will you eat with us?
Only if your budget allows. I don’t ask for food as a matter of course, but when clients offer a meal it is thankfully received. A small table near to the top table will be sufficient, however some clients insist on laying a place with other guests.
Why should we have a Toastmaster, can’t the DC do the job?
Yes the DC is completely capable of doing the job, however also remember that he is probably paying to be there too and he may well have invited other guests to join him, so let him have the night off and celebrate in the same way as everyone else. As a trained professional, a Toastmaster will be able to advise on matters of etiquette and protocol, thus allowing you and your Lady to enjoy your Festival even more.
What about Grace? Will you say Grace?
I will be delighted to say Grace if the Chaplain is not attending.
Which do you prefer to use? ‘The President and His Lady’ or ‘Worshipful Master and His Lady’?
I prefer ‘The President and His Lady’ for the simple reason that it isn’t actually a Masonic meeting and there well may be non-Masons present who might not understand the terminology. However, I’ll use whatever terms you usually use.
Will you announce guests as they arrive?
Of course, if it’s something you’d like to happen, then I’ll be pleased to do so. Alternatively, I am also happy to announce guests if you have a welcome line.
None of us are particularly good at singing. Will you sing the Ladies Song?
Yes. I will, of course, need to confirm which version you prefer to use so that it doesn’t catch anyone out.
When should I book?
It is advisable to book as soon as possible. Those who provide a skilled service tend to be in high demand. You will be disappointed in a Toastmaster who isn’t going to give you first class attention.

Weddings FAQs

What time do you get there and when do you finish?
I always get to the Church or venue at least an hour and a half beforehand. It allows me to ensure that everything is order and that all of your wishes have been met. Many couples ask me to announce the first dance and so my duties usually finish after this. The DJ or band then takes over for the rest of the party.
Do you charge for advice?
No I don’t. I think you have to be able to seek advice freely in order to engage the services of the right person.
Why is it called a Wedding Breakfast?
There are many different suggestions – the two most popular are that, as breakfast is the first meal of the day, so the first meal after the wedding was, in effect, breakfast. The second is that a bride would often not eat much in the build up to her wedding (she would fast), possibly to ensure that she would get into her dress. Come the wedding day, she would eat a meal after her wedding, so she would ‘break’ her ‘fast’, breakfast.
We recognise the need for a Toastmaster but we don’t want our day too ‘formal’. Is that something you can deal with?
I tailor my style to suit your own individual requirements, which can be formal, relaxed or a mixture of both.
Is it normal to have a receiving line?
Traditionally a receiving line used to allow the parents of the bride (the host and hostess) to formally welcome guests to the meal. Many still like to have a receiving line; however it can occasionally use up precious time as people want to stand and talk to each other.
We would like speeches to take place before the meal. What are your views on that?
Traditionally speeches would take place after the meal. Often couples want to have speeches before the meal so that it allows those who are speaking to relax without any pressure. The drawback with this is that if speeches overrun, there is a danger that your meal could spoil or go cold. Ultimately, it is your own choice and I will work to whatever schedule you require.
When should the cake be cut?
Once again, tradition would dictate that this is done at the end of the wedding breakfast, however if you’re planning to serve the cake as dessert, it will need to be cut before that. Many couples now opt to cut their wedding cake during the evening party so that includes those guests into the day a little more.
Do we need to feed you? If so, where do you sit?
I don’t specify that I should be provided with food on the day, although most couples do allow that in their budget. It is usually an eight or nine hour day for me and opportunities to eat are very limited, so should couples choose to provide food it’s most welcome. Given a choice as to where to sit, my focus on the day is predominantly on you and to be available all the time. If I’m not in the room, it does make it a little more difficult. Some arrange for a single table and chair near to the top table, others have a place set on a table with other guests.
What is the cost?
Each occasion is subtly different and sometimes couples have very unusual requests. I prefer to wait and have the opportunity to discuss your plans, either in person or on the telephone. Once I know exactly what you’re expecting, I’ll be happy to supply a written quotation.
How do we know you’re the right Toastmaster?
I would always suggest trying to meet your Toastmaster before you book. If a meeting is not feasible, speak at length with him/her by telephone and ask to see any written testimonials. You have to feel comfortable with them as a person and likewise, they will want to understand all your requirements.
If we have a receiving line, who should be in it and in what order should they stand?
Again, the choice is down to the bride and groom. There ar traditional numbers of six or eight, but you may wish to only have you as a couple in a welcome line. The order really depends on who you decide to have in the line.
We’ve seen a guest at a wedding who kept talking on his mobile. Will that happen at our wedding?
No. Some guests do occasionally have the need to have access to a mobile. However, I usually make guests aware of your own preferences before any formalities take place and in a friendly way rather than rudely.
We have a guest book. What happens to it during the day?
There are two main choices. One is to leave it on a table suitable for gifts and cards to be left, the other is for me to circulate it whilst the wedding breakfast is taking place so that it ensures a greater number of guests sign it.
Who should make a speech and what order should they be in?
Usually there are three speakers – the Father of the Bride (who proposes a toast to the health of the bride and groom), the Groom (who thanks the FOB and proposes a toast to the health of the bridesmaids) and the Best Man (who thanks the Groom and proposes a final toast).
We would like to give out gifts to various people. When should this be done?
It’s a good idea to give these gifts out whilst the Groom is making his speech. They are probably gifts from both of you so you can both be involved in their presentation. If they are ‘personal ‘ gifts you may wish to do those beforehand or if they are gifts for bridesmaids, ushers, Best Man to wear on the day, these will need to be done before.
We’ve seen a toastmaster at another wedding who was part of the venue package wearing a suit. What do you wear?
A venue will usually have the duty manager to perform the role of Master of Ceremonies and so their attire will be whatever the venue staff dress code is. Do remember that because they are the duty manager, they do have other things to think about during the course of the day and their attention may not necessarily be on you all of the time. I wear the prescribed professional Toastmaster uniform, which will always be the red tailcoat (known as a Hunting Pink), starched white shirt, waistcoat and bow tie, dress trousers and highly polished black shoes.
We’ve seen some Toastmasters who are quite bossy and think they’re in charge. Are you like that?
Certainly not. On a wedding day, there are only two people who are in charge and that’s the bride and bridegroom. They’re the ones who have made all the decisions and have entrusted the proceedings into the hands of the Toastmaster (if there is one).
We don’t want evening guests to arrive while we’re still eating. How long should things take?
Most venues will normally allow around two and a half hours for the meal, speeches and cake cutting. Also remember that they may have to move the room around to accommodate further guests and a dance floor.
Why should I have a Toastmaster?
You’ve probably spent large sums of money on your wedding and if you’ve done all the planning yourself, you will want to make sure that everything happens in the way and style that you’d hoped. A Toastmaster is your guarantee that this is the case, having spent time with him/her to discuss your specific requirements.
When should I book?
Try and book at least twelve months in advance or even as soon as you have chosen your venue. Those who provide a skilled service tend to be in high demand. You will be disappointed in a Toastmaster who isn’t going to give you first class attention.
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01908 222 502 / 07974 816 919
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