“ Graham Reader / Graham Reader Toast Master and Master of Ceremonies „
When I was planning my wedding a few months ago a toastmaster was something that had crossed my mind but not something I had given a huge amount of thought to. At the beginning of the year I attended a wedding fayre which happened to be at the Rowley Mile Racecourse which is where I was having my wedding reception, whilst there we bumped into a man called Graham Reader, he was a toastmaster and was promoting his company, we decided to listen to what he had to say, not sure that this was something we weren't going to go with. However the more he explained things to us the more we began to think that a toastmaster was going to be a must have for our wedding, in fact I contacted Graham Reader that afternoon again to book him for our wedding.
When we first met Graham Reader at the wedding fayre he was dressed smartly in his Toastmaster and Master of ceremonies uniform wearing black trousers, a white shirt and bow tie along with a bright read jacket, his uniform really made him stand out in the crowd which is vital at any function so that he can be easily identified should he be needed. When we were speaking to Graham at the wedding fayre he can across as very friendly as well as knowledgably without being too pushy. Obviously his job that day was to promote what he did and get as many bookings as possible so all the benefits of having a toastmaster were explained to us in detail, however at no point did I feel like he was trying to 'make' us book him there and then, he was more than happy to give us a leaflet and contact details and let us have a think about it, although we had more or less made up our minds before we left the fayre.
A toastmaster or master of ceremonies is basically a person that attends an event and acts as co-ordinator announcing people and making sure everything runs smoothly and to time, they are also there to sort out any problems or answer any queries so that the hosts of the events are not constantly being disturbed by the guests. Whilst we booked Graham Reader for our wedding he is also available for other events such as
* Civil Ceremonies
* Baby naming ceremonies
* Corporate events
* Private dinner parties
* Fund Raisers
Graham Reader is available and happy to attend pretty much any event that you require a co-ordinator for, I had only ever experienced a toastmaster once and that was the previous year at a friends wedding, I had no idea that they were available for such a wide variety of events, you probably find some will only attend certain events, but what I liked in particular about Graham Reader was that he was happy to help no matter what the event was.
A couple of weeks before the wedding we had a telephone call from Graham just to run through the day with us, after a quick chat about how things were going he asked a few questions including names of all the main guests, times of the ceremony and times of arrival. He also went through the order of events with us so that we could confirm we were happy with everything that he was going to be doing and so that we could tell him of any special requests, although to be honest we just let him do what he felt was best as after all he's the professional.
On the day Graham arrived at the reception an hour prior to our arrival, which in our case was the Rowley Mile Racecourse, he checked everything was looking perfect, the seating plans as well as communicating with other professionals such as the caterers and photographers to ensure all the announcements happened at the correct time. When we arrived at the reception most of the guests were already there and Graham was waiting at the gate to meet us with a glass of champagne each, he ran though a couple of things with us after chatting to us about the ceremony and then continued to mingle amongst the guests ensuring they had everything they needed and that everyone had a drink. Most of the formal photographs had been taken at the church however we did have some private ones taken with just me and Mark, when it was time for this he came to find us, we also had some large group photos taken too, again he gathered everyone together promptly so that not too much time was taken up with photographs.
We had a drinks reception in a different room to where the main meal was held, when it was time to move to the next room he announced this and ensured that everyone moved on quickly again preventing any time wasting. All of our guests were seated prior to our arrival and when it was our time to enter Graham announced us into the room (with the use of a microphone) encouraging everyone to be upstanding, clapping and cheering, not that Marks friends needed to be told to make a lot of noise. During the meal he left us to it, although he was always nearby to make sure everything was going to plan and just in case anyone needed anything. After the meal it was time for the speeches, again Graham announced my Dad, Mark and the best man with the use of the microphone and made sure everyone was paying attention without telling people what to do, he did make a mistake with the best mans name although this was not a problem and had everyone in the room laughing, I have to say he did recover from this very well and had the top table not laughed no one probably would have noticed. He continued to announce things such as the cutting of the cake making sure that the photographer got all of the professional pictures first before all the guests gathered around with their cameras.
Graham stayed at the reception until the evening reception was well under way, he had explained to us before the day that he usually leaves once the evening part is in full swing as people tend to not need anything then and do their own things, this also ensures that the buffet has been announced to all of the guests as well.
The whole time that Graham Reader was there he was constantly busy mingling and chatting with the guests making sure they had everything they needed, he would periodically come to speak to me and Mark to make sure we were happy with how things were going. We were extremely impressed with the service Graham provided us with for our wedding day, he was extremely professional without being over the top, he made it fun but also made sure our guests knewwhere they were meant to be at the correct time, but at no point did he come across as pushy.
We were both so glad we decided to book Graham for our wedding as he really did make everything run smoothly and made it a stress free day for us, not once did we have people coming to us asking questions or with problems, if anyone needed anything Graham was on hand to sort things out and assist leaving me and Mark to chat with our guests.
To be honest I cannot remember the exact locations that Graham Reader is available in however he is pretty flexible when it comes to travelling, there may be a slight charge for destinations further a field, however to establish this you would need to contact him direct as our wedding was local to him and we didn't incur any travel charges at all.
Contacting Graham Reader is very easy, obviously we booked him following our visit to a wedding fayre, however he does have a website www.toastmasterforweddings.com which contain both his contact details and an online enquiry form which is emailed direct.
When it comes to booking something for a wedding nothing comes that cheap, however I was pleasantly surprised at how much it cost to hire Graham for the day, we paid approximately £260.00, we had to pay a small deposit to secure our date with the balance payable just a few days before the wedding, we actually paid a week or more before the wedding as we wanted to get it all over and done with, however there was no pressure at all.
I would definitely recommend Graham Reader to anyone either getting married or that is having an event where they require a toastmaster, we were so glad we hired him for the day as the whole thing went perfectly and he work so hard to keep things to time as well as making our day stress free, I think if we hadn't had Graham there things would have been more stressful for us, our parents and the best man as all of the announcing and decision making would have come down to us, with Graham there we didn't have to worry about any of this.
If you are organising your wedding in Suffolk and the surrounding areas I would recommend Graham Reader to you as a toastmaster he is well worth the money. Graham is part of the Toastmaster and Master of Ceremonies Federation and he is pleased to recommend certain colleagues should he be unable to secure your date. In our opinion Graham Reader was the perfect toastmaster and well worth the money we paid.