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The Friday Fight-Out: Professional Toastmaster Vs Guest Master of Ceremonies

The toastmaster (usually the jovial fella in the bright red jacket and the incredible booming voice) is something of a traditional part of the wedding reception, there to make all the important announcements and make sure the guests are kept well-informed of anywhere they need to be or anything they need to do. But in recent times the job usually undertaken by a professional toastmaster has often been taken over by one of the guests under the honorary title “Master of Ceremonies”. But should this role be covered by a close friend or by a seasoned pro? Time to find out!


In the Red Corner arguing in a big loud voice on behalf of the professional toastmaster, she does enjoy having someone else to shout for her during the group photos after all, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”

In the Blue Corner, suggesting it’s often better to have a friend take up the mantle, but then after years of working in theatre he does have an awful lot of friends who have learnt with their voices to “project darling”, it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”

Professional Toastmaster Vs Guest Master of Ceremonies

Image by Bhavna Barratt

Dom: A professional toastmaster can be a great help in making sure everything runs smoothly throughout the day as with their very official appearance and big booming voices they can be a huge asset in getting the guests to the right place at the right time as well as quietening them down when necessary which is more difficult for a friend with a potentially quieter voice.

Matt: Having a professional toastmaster can make the event feel rather formal which might not be what you’re looking for. Having a friend who is also a guest take care of making any announcements etc. keeps a more informal air to proceedings.

Dom: Toastmaster’s can be an enormous help when it comes to the group photographs as they can shout out and round up the right people ready for the next shot whilst the photographer is working which saves a lot of time rather than looking around for people that the photographer or ushers may not know.

Matt: But your guests may prefer the more personal touch of a designated guest coming around and asking them nicely to come for their photograph rather than have someone they don’t know barking orders at them!

Dom: If your friend is master of ceremonies they’re still going to want to relax, enjoy the day and talk to the other guests and therefore are more likely to get distracted and not be focussed on the schedule.

Matt: Being asked to be master of ceremonies is a massive honour like being asked to be an usher or bridesmaid and allows you to include someone important to you in a key role in the celebrations.

Dom: Toastmasters are partly there in order to keep everything running exactly to schedule. When a friend takes over the role they naturally want everyone to just relax and enjoy themselves and may let things slide as a result knocking you behind your planned schedule.

Matt: But sometimes toastmasters can be so rigid in following the schedule that they at times rush things along that actually would be better to be enjoyed even if it does take everything slightly behind schedule. When a friend is master of ceremonies they are more relaxed and can let the day flow more naturally as they’re not being paid to follow a schedule.

Dom: Toastmasters are often big characters and know how to put the speakers at ease and warm up the room for them which can be a great help for nervous speakers.

Matt: Unless your venue supplies a toastmaster as part of your wedding package then you’re going to be paying extra money to have a toastmaster which might be better spent elsewhere.


Image by Bhavna Barratt

So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Leave a comment to join the debate or place your vote in our poll below!

[yop_poll id=”60″]

Photos by Bhavna Barratt

  • Derek Timmins-Jones - September 29, 2015 - 2:42 am

    ref toastmaster v guest battle – I fall on the side of a toastmaster, why? is simple a professional toastmaster is not just someone who makes announcements and moves people from place to place, he or she becomes a guardian angel to the Bride & Bridegroom and their families, advising, offering input in respect of the correct way to do things, giving advice to the speech makers, assisting the photographers, talking with the caterers, ensuring the events runs smoothly and to time, effectively event organising the whole day, and much much more. A toastmasters fee is a very small part of the overall cost and represents excellent value for money. how do I know all this….I am that professional toastmaster.ReplyCancel

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