In most cases the venue will provide the toasmaster for free or as part of your package, i.e. The venues own banqueting manager. They tend to help with the order of the day and make any announcements necessary. A professional toastmaster however will bring a certain style and image to your day. It all depends whether you want this image and feel that you would benefit from the coordination that they provide. I'm not too sure about pricing but this might be a good place to start: https://natuk.com/.
Good luck with it all and I hope you both have a fantastic day.
welcome to Hitched!. A slightly alternative view from me for what its worth. Yes, some MoC's can be great in keeping everyone on track, BUT others I've found to be really cheesy and embarassing. I've seen a massive variation in quality over the years - particularly when it comes to the evening - Almost invariably, they cannot introduce a DJ or band without making it seem like you're about to enjoy a pleasant cup of tea and cake in a retirement home.
Before I get lambasted, there are some excellent MoC's out there and they can bring a sense of order to the chaos. I wish I could recommend some good ones - I'll keep an eye out this summer and perhaps get some names and numbers.
We're also using an usher. h2b had trouble deciding between his best friend and borther for the best man role, brother ended up as best man and friend as usher and toastmaster, so it was a nice way to make him something more that usher.
MCs supplied by venues can be good, however if there's a problem in the venue then they're more likely to have to be involved with that. Agree with Tony L. Also good venue people don't always stay at the venue.
Good TMs are an absolute asset. Good TMs will be totally focussed on you and your guests. Have worked with some brilliant TMs who have really enhanced the day. Good TMs aren't cheap but if you want a day removed of all stress and be totally looked after then they're worth their weight in gold.
My wedding co-ordinator does the MoC role. I went to one wedding recently with a hired in MoC and hated every moment of him speaking. Before the speechles started he went on to speak for about 10 mins of utter crap imo (the bride and groom loved him which was the main point) and at every stage when welcoming people or making an annoucement he had to make a joke or say something cheesy. Even when introducing the band he had to go on about how great they were and how many years they had been doing weddings and as a guest I am not interested in that. He was just boring and unnecessary and he acted like a school teacher banging his hammer on the tables etc but I'm sure some are great.
I think the correct person could be great so I'm not totally against them but make sure you tell them what you do and don't want from their services.
Purrfect Gems - think I've seen him. Alsoseen the TM who only appeared when there was a photographer taking pics. The TM who had his own agenda and didnt' listento anyone and did his own thing. Also seen a venue supplied MC who did a fantasic job (but then moved on) and another who obviously didn't feel comfortable doing it and made a horlicks of the whole thing. Like everything there's a book waiting to be written!.........
However also seen some really good toastmasters who really care. Best ones I've seen so far is Richard Palmer iand Andrew Morgan in Essex - can't explain but Richard Palmer appears to breath weddings - refreshing change to stuffy oldfashioned people in red jackets. ?
If it's just to have someone announce you into the room, announce the speeches etc, then you're venue banqueting manager should be able to do that. However, you do need to double check as some don't and you don't want to be stuck on the day. Good TM's should also be on hand to deal with any eventualities that arise on the day. Infact, a good TM does pretty much the same as me on the day (On The Day Co-ordination). It is a risk though as mentioned before, they can sometimes drivvle on because they feel they need to give his clients their monies worth or just because they like the sound of their own voice. A good TM should stick to the information to hand and not digress.
The difference between a TM and an On The Day Co-ordinator (who should also make announcements) is that an OTD will liase with all of your suppliers in the couple of weeks running up to the wedding, finalising and details ensuring that everything is ready to go for the day (leaving you and your family to relax a bit and enjoy the preparations) as well as overseeing the day from being with you in the morning through to whenever you need them.
If you wanted someone to help run the day, I would look into an OTD. Prices can start from around £250-£500 depending on whom you choose.
When we got married my parents wanted us to have a toastmaster as they knew one that they had worked with at various charity events that they'd organised. We weren't keen, my husband was an army officer at the time and his BM and 2 of the 3 ushers were also officers who would have been more than capable of organising things and making announcements etc. However, we went along with my parents as they wanted to pay for the TM and it wasn't something we were totally against so we let them get on with it.
I have to say that as we left the venue for the hotel where we were staying overnight we both looked at each other when we got in the car and said together 'Wow, are we glad we let Mum and Dad organise the toastmaster!'. He was fantastic and, 5 years on, my friends are still talking about him. He did do all the announcements and made sure everything ran on time but he did so much more than that too. During the drinks reception and the meal he mingled with everyone making sure they were getting to know one another - but in a very professional and unobtrusive way. He did other things that were 'entertaining' without being cheesy, it was my Mum's birthday on the same day and he made sure everyone made a fuss of her too.
It's very difficult to write down what a difference it made to our day. However, we did have a formal rececption and he brought some added formality to it and was therefore not out of place either. He was a very pleasant chap who did just enough to make a difference but without taking over, making it into a one man show or getting in the way.
I would recommend having a TM 100%, however, I can only speak of the one (Peter Gallagher) that we had and obviously others have had different experiences.
My parents paid £200 for him (he gave them a discount as it should have been £250) but that was 5 years ago.
I have to say that for my wedding that we opted to have a Toastmaster as I had seen how effective a Toastmaster was at my friends wedding. Basically the Toastmaster will ensure that everything on the day runs on rails and to time. As you know, a wedding day can be very frantic with nobody looking after the timings and getting people where they need to be etc. Our Toastmaster did this with so much professionalism and tradition that it was brilliant to have him around for the day. It was definitely money well spent as it also allowed the Bestman and the Ushers to enjoy the day rather being worried about doing their duties.
All of the speeches etc are announced correctly and all of the public speaking required on the day is done by the Toastmaster in his smart red uniform. I would strongly recommend you having a professional Toastmaster on your day. Some hotels offer a toastmaster (ie: a member of their staff!) but they are not there solely as Toastmaster they are just doing the announcements as a sideline amongst their mountains of other work and its not great. I think that he cost £300 for the day but money well spent.
I would also recommend that the Toastmaster you select for your day is a professional. Do your research as I have heard of some cowboys out there! The guy we used was from the Guild of International Professional Toastmaster and he was fully insured etc.