The Federation of Professional Toastmasters
    Home         History           Officers           Members           Functions           Weddings           Joining           Contact           Links      

Wedding and Civil Partnerships

Whether a traditional church service or a civil service followed by a wedding breakfast or a civil partnership ceremony, followed by a celebration, then the services of a Toastmaster will ensure that the function will be special and memorable.

The Wedding Breakfast / Reception / Celebration

The planning of a wedding takes considerable time, knowledge and organisation to make certain that all the arrangements run smoothly. This is often quite daunting for the Bride and Bridegroom, together with the parents.

The wedding will possibly have been planned over many months and as the day approaches there may be numerous concerns which can become quite stressful. The role of the Toastmaster is to remove those concerns in relation to etiquette, procedures, timing and of course the speeches. It is essential that the principal bridal party can relax and enjoy themselves along with their guests, safe in the knowledge that the Toastmaster will ensure that the formalities run effectively and efficiently.

It does not matter whether the celebration is in a hotel, private hall, barn or marquee, the Toastmaster will provide an essential service which will include the following:

Liaison with the bride and bridegroom in advance of the date.
Checking of all arrangements at the venue.
Liaison with the management/chef/caterer.
Confirming the seating plan.
Liaison with the photographer / videographer.
Welcoming the guests.
Receiving and welcoming the bride and bridegroom.
Arranging the receiving line and introducing the guests.
Introducing the entrance of the bride and bridegroom.
If required, the saying of or introducing Grace.
Announcing and arranging the cutting of the cake.
Announcing the speeches.
Ensuring that all bouquets and gifts are available.
Concluding the formal proceedings.

The Civil Wedding Ceremony

Civil services are now becoming more popular with a variety of venues being licensed where ceremonies can be performed. These include stately homes and other prestigious buildings, hotels and restaurants. The service is conducted by a Superintendent Registrar.

It is when the civil service and the wedding breakfast are held in the same venue that the services of a Toastmaster are invaluable. Being at the service places additional responsibility upon the Toastmaster to ensure that all arrangements are co-ordinated in order that everything runs smoothly.

The responsibilities of a Toastmaster include:

Attending the venue well in advance of the ceremony to liaise with the management to confirm all arrangements.
Check the seating within the room to ensure that it is adequate and that seats are available for the main bridal party and important guests.
Liaise with the Registrar and confirm what procedures are being adopted for that service as relate to the Toastmaster.
Welcome guests and make various announcements in order that they are aware of the requirements and are comfortable.
Ensure the arrangements for the music prior to, during and following the service.
Speak with the bride, bridegroom, parents and the best man, providing advice and re-assurance that all arrangements are in place.
Liaise with the photographer.
Escort the bride and the person giving her away to the ceremony room.
Arrange the bridal procession with respect to the bridesmaids on entry and the main bridal party following the service.
Following the service, oversee the serving of the drinks to guests.

The Toastmaster will then allow the photographer to take over, following which he will oversee the arrangements for the wedding breakfast.

Civil Partnerships

The Civil Partnership Act came into operation on 5th December, 2005 and enables same-sex couples to request a civil partnership. The legal age for registering a civil partnership in England and Wales is sixteen years but written consent may be required for anyone under eighteen.

The words used in the ceremony are very similar to those used in a civil marriage. There is a variation where the partners provide their commitment to each other. At the conclusion of the proceedings the partners sign a Civil Partnership Schedule.

The role of the Toastmaster will be similar to that at a civil service and at a wedding breakfast. However different wording will be used which will be discussed and agreed with both partners in advance.