I have noticed a trend this year of couples going back to how weddings were organised before the deluge of Hotels cashing in on the costs of organising a wedding.

The first 8 weddings have been held at churches and not as civil services.


Of those seven, one reception was self catered in a Caribean resturant, one in a Working Mens Institute, and one at a golf club. All three saved a fortune on what it would have cost to have the wedding and reception at a local hotel, one actually saved £6,000 and had 190 guests instead of the 80 at the hotel.


I have three more weddings this year who are having Marquees or Teepees in a field, making my services necessary to coordinate all the suppliers.


I have put together some tips, venues, and suppliers to help couples "do it yourself "weddings, and save a mint!



There is a world of difference in the services provided by a venue's free "Toastmaster" or "Master of Ceremony" and a Professional Experienced Toastmaster. 

Many people ask me "What is a Toastmaster" and "What is a Master of Ceremony". I hope the pages on this site can help you understand the duties and differences between the two. Please call me should you need additional information and a sheet outlining all the differences.

A hotels free "Toastmaster" or "Master of Ceremonies" will usually only announce the couple into the breakfast room as the "Bride and Groom" with no enthusiasm or passion, and start off the speeches with the Father of the Bride, before leaving the room.


The venue's "Master of Ceremony" is usually a duty or banqueting manager, who has many other tasks to perform during the day, and includes the announcement of the Bride and Groom into the Wedding Breakfast, and speeches as part of the overall function. Others I have come across during my years of taking wedding photography, do not get involved with any of the general wedding arrangements like helping to find guests for the photographs, and have had no training at all, simply putting on a red coat (two hotels in Pontefrct promote a complementary Red Coated Toastmaster - both of who do not wear the correct uniform) which waters down what a trained Toastmaster can do. If a crisis somewhere in the hotel occurs the venues manager will be off and there will be no-one to look after you and your guests.

Before the Wedding Ceremony and during the photography, the duty manager usually does not get involved, and the Bridal party are left to the organisational ability of the selected photographer, who may or may not be experienced in weddings. The photography can take up most of the time available between the end of the Wedding Ceremony and the start of the Wedding Breakfast and you will have little time to talk to guests during this time.

A Professional Toastmaster is involved from the initial booking, offering advice and suggesting suppliers who have been useful at past Weddings, working through the whole Wedding day, helping the photographer find guests for the group photographs, being on hand to help guests, and having a car full of the items (In my case over 1500 pieces) that you may need when not at home such as toothpaste, sellotape, safety pins, zip repair kits, body tape, gel pads for shoes, adhesives through to equipment to make up a replacement button hole. I carry wellingtons for the Bride to wear if the grass is wet to prevent her shoes from being spoilt.

A good Toastmaster will visit the church for a religious ceremony as part of their services giving a more impressive effect to your wedding day.


Announcing the couple into the breakfast room and the speeches is a very small part of a Toastmasters work and you can read more under the section "What does a Toastmaster do?" or I have a full information sheet I can e mail out to you if you wish.

You can do without a Best Man, Bridesmaids, a Magician, Carachurist, String Quartet, Chocolate Fountain, a Photographer and Photo Booth, as these do not add anything to the overall running of the day, but you definately need a Professional Toastmaster to make your Wedding Day, stress free and the day of your Dreams!


During the reign of Elizabethan 1, wine was very expensive, even though it was made using water from the River Thames, which as you will appreciate, the water was not at all nice and had dirt, sewage, rubbish and all manor of dead animals floating in the water.

A "Master of the Wine" was normally appointed to keep stock and monitor the use of the wine on a day to day basis. Unfortunately the wine tasted terrible and was full of sediment.

Over a number of years, the "Master of the Wine" developed a way to improve the quality of the wine by taking stale bread, and toasting it until the bread was completely black. The wine was poured through the toast which removed the sediment and dirt and also removed a lot of the taste, acting like a modern day carbon filter which made the wine drinkable, but not as good as todays quality wine.

Gradually, the name of "Master of the Wine" transformed into "Toastmaster" and has stuck until today.

During the Victorian period the Red Hunting Coat was adopted as the preferred outfit to differentiate between the wine waiters, and the Toastmaster who has completely different duties.

There are many traditions associated with weddings, one of which I like to keep alive.

Before the wedding, I give a "Lucky Sixpence" to each of my Bride customers who have not been handed down a family heirloom sixpence by their mothers.

"Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

You will never be poor with a sixpence in your shoe!"

A Lucky Sixpence - said to bring good fortune in all aspects of life.

There is no other Toastmaster, worldwide that is more dedicated, enthusiastic, passionate, reliable, committed, professional and experienced as I am.

This means that you get the finest service that money can buy, to ensure that you have the day of your dreams!

I am proud of my reputation, and of being told that I am the premier service provider!

I love working at Weddings and I am totally dedicated to you during your preparation for and on your wedding day.

I will make your special occasion special for you and your guests.

I have planning documentation that is world class to ensure that I understand and am therefore able to carry out your instructions to give you the highest level of service available. These can be emailed or posted to you.

Have you thought about the special music that you will take your first dance to? If not, I have prepared a list of suitable tracks that you may not have thought of. Again I can send it to you for consideration.

You are more than special to me. I care for you! I will make the difference for you on your special day!

I will make your day! You will live your dreams!