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The picture is of a judges gavel, which is also used by a toastmaster to help get peoples attention at weddings and events

Toastmaster versus Wedding Planner - what's the difference?

Weddings can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make them, however it tends to run that the bigger the wedding, the more complications you're potentially adding. This is one of the reasons why some people employ a wedding Toastmaster. If you've never heard of one or don't really know what they do, then read on.

So, what is a toastmaster?

Generally seen at the smartest affairs and most formal occasions, wearing a bright red tail coat or jacket (or black/white tuxedo, whatever you prefer), white gloves and holding a gavel. They're usually a member of a Guild of Toastmasters, otherwise they generally call themselves a Master of Ceremonies (the original MC). And yes, not all Masters are male, you'll find a few female toastmasters are also available now.

A wedding toastmaster looks after the overall running of the wedding day. They're mainly responsible for making the announcements and directing guests to where they need to go. They keep tabs on everything. They're great for getting everyone's attention and will generally steer things in the right direction. Some of the best toastmasters will want to be involved in some aspects of the planning, so that they can really understand what is needed where and when. They'll get to know you both and work with you to personalise announcements, to prime your guests for the speeches/cutting the cake, and so much more. Some even offer a small amount of public speaking coaching so that you can make the most of your speech.

There is nothing quite like a toastmaster to bring a large group of people to attention. If you're doing a receiving line or want to give a more formal air to your wedding, a toastmaster is a must. A toastmaster is well versed in wedding formality; they know what should happen and when, how to correctly announce the couple, they will introduce the toasts and speeches, in short, they formally bring everything together.

How is that different to a wedding planner?

There are many areas that cross over but for couples with a healthy budget, having a wedding planner AND a toastmaster is not uncommon. As wedding planners, we tend to stick to the background, making everything happen when it needs to, from the shadows. Yes, from time to time we'll make announcements to move guests from one room to the next, or similar, but using a toastmaster is more official. They are the more visible face of the wedding planning team, they are easier to spot and will generally stick to the couple like glue. As wedding planners, our background role tends to involve more running around and chasing after things to make sure nothing is going wrong out of sight. The Toastmaster is there for reassurance, guidance and can deal with influxes of guests, like a gatekeeper to the couple.

One of the crossover points is that we're both very well connected. We both have lots of contacts within the wedding industry, so we can both make recommendations for other suppliers and put out a call for any last-minute requirements. However, if someone needs to go dumpster diving for the misplaced marriage certificate or help push guests cars out of a muddy field, that's generally the poor old wedding planners job (or at least their job to find someone else to do it for them!). Need last minute security on-hand - the wedding planner will chase them down. Need someone to get all the guests lined up for the group photograph, well we can both do that, but the toastmaster automatically gets the attention whenever they use their gavel, and they probably have the louder voice!

How do you choose who to hire?

It's perfectly understandable that not every budget will stretch to having a toastmaster and a wedding planner, or either, but when you employ us, we're there for you and you alone. We'll help other suppliers and the venue when necessary of course, but our focus will always be on what you need. Ultimately, it's up to you who you chose to work with. If you're looking for a formal, highly regimented well-co-ordinated day so you can relax and know that you're well looked after then I'd say both of course. But, if you're looking for a more chilled atmosphere and just need someone keeping a watchful eye on things then a wedding planner is the way to go. Either way you'll gain peace of mind that might otherwise be missing if you have to keep an eye on everything yourself.

Working together, a toastmaster and a wedding planner should become a seamless team looking after every aspect of a couple's well-being and comfort. If that sounds of interest to you, I've a couple of toastmasters I can highly recommend (see links below), and one stunningly awesome wedding planner (me of course! Lol). X