Norwich Toastmaster, Toastmaster Bob has helped us at many of our Norwich corporate events, so we know from personal experience just how helpful it is to have someone with Bob’s talents making sure that everything goes smoothly.
One of Bob’s specialities is Weddings. He has been a toastmaster at many Norwich weddings over the years and over time has put together a list of some of the traditions and details which may be all too easily forgotten in the stress of planning a wedding.
Here are Bob’s tips for planning your wedding:
Bride’s Arrival: Have some music to keep the guests entertained whilst waiting for the bride. Your toastmaster will help to seat your guests before your arrival. Try to arrive 10-15 minutes early (oops, I arrived 30 minutes late!) to allow time to take photos as you get out of the car and (if it is not a church wedding) to meet with the Registrars prior to the ceremony.
Rings: If you are the Bride, swap your engagement ring to the ring finger of your right hand. You can put it back on the other hand afterwards.
Buttonholes: A man’s buttonhole is work on the left lapel, for the ladies, corsages are worn just below the right shoulder with the stem pointing up. (Another bad mark for me then!) A toastmaster or your florist can help your guests in this regard.
Seating: The Bride’s family traditionally sit on the left and the Bridegroom’s sit on the right. The Ushers will help people to sit in the correct places. Remind you Ushers to leave enough seats for the Father of the Bride and Bridesmaids.
Walking down the Aisle: let the music play a little before you start to walk. If possible, sync your steps with your father or the person who is giving you away. If your ceremony is being held in the same venue as the reception, the Toastmaster may announce your arrival before you start to walk down the aisle.
Bridegroom: the Bridegroom should remain at the right hand side of the Bride - whether for photos, the ceremony itself or seating
Seating at the reception or wedding breakfast: if parents are divorced and remarried this can be an awkward time. Feel free to chat about this with your Toastmaster – it will help to remove some of the stress if you have an independent, experienced person to discuss this with.
The usual seating at the top table (viewed from the front) is:
Chief Bridesmaid – Bridegroom’s father – Bride’s mother –Bridegroom – Bride – Bride’s father – Bridegroom’s mother – Best Man
Photographer: allow plenty of time both to have photos taken and to mingle with the guests. Your Toastmaster will help collect everyone together for group shots. Toastmaster Bob suggests leaving a minimum of 2 hours for photos and mingling with guests before the start of your meal, but as some of this time will be taken with shots of the Bride and Groom on their own, you may wish to plan some entertainment for the guests.
Receiving Line: allow enough time for your guests to pass through the receiving line. The receiving line can comprise the Bride and Groom only or can include parents, bridesmaids and best man. You toastmaster can help with these timings as he or she will have a lot of experience at different size events. Toastmaster Bob will discuss this with you during the planning stage prior to the wedding day, so that he can help keep everything running smoothly and on time.
Speeches: Speeches are best kept to 10 minutes or less. The time adds up as more people speak. Although speeches can take place before the meal, bear in mind tha people may be hungry. Short speeches after the meal are preferable.
The Bridegroom’s speech should thank parents, bridesmaids, best man, ushers give out gifts or bouquets to them. Your toastmaster will make sure the gifts are to hand.
When preparing your speech use prompt cards with bullet points. Try to speak clearly and not too fast. Use a microphone if there is one available, so that elderly guests can hear, and to stop your voice being muffled as you turn around. Marquees absorb sound, so a microphone is especially useful if you are in a marquee.
Food Choices: if your guests have previously chosen their food from the menu, it may be helpful to have their choice printed on the reverse of their place name card.
Guest Book and Pen: if you have a guest book to be signed don't forget to provide a nice pen!
Bouquet Throwing: If you want to keep your bouquet, but like the idea of throwing a bouquet to the unmarried ladies, have a small replica made to throw to them.
Cutting the cake: It is easy to end up with the Bridegroom pressing into the Bride’s rings, so a quick tip is for the Bridegroom to hold the knife in his right hand and the Bride to place hers on the top, with her rings showing. This is much better for photos as well.
And finally....if you would like a Toastmaster for your wedding (and we speak from experience of our own events when we say it takes away a huge amount of stress) then you can contact Toastmaster Bob on Norwich (01603) 465819
Member since: 10th July 2012
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