Park farm Hotel believe a good professional toastmaster is an essential asset at any function especially when entrusted to the smooth running of the wedding breakfast of a Bride and Bridegroom.
It is a special day for them and every effort is made to ensure that their wedding breakfast runs smoothly according to their wishes.
Our resident toastmaster Graham is a dedicated professional, fully trained, experienced, enthusiastic and presents his service smoothly and with good humour.
The work of the toastmaster originates from the Middle Ages in Britain when his title was master of the toast. When wine did not always reach the standards found in today’s vineyards, he added small portions of toast which had been fortified with herbs and spices to make the wine drinkable.
Today’s toastmaster duties are miles away from burnt bread and his knowledge of etiquette, protocol, titles, forms of address and overall procedure has to be extensive. Some of these aspects do not form part of a Banqueting Managers role but their role is extremely important to the hotel and its clients. Graham has taught over 200 professionals many of whom now practice in 5* hotels nationally and internationally.
Graham has had over 20 years experience at many functions requiring a wealth of knowledge of social, corporate and civic events, but his speciality comes to the fore when officiating weddings.
He always contacts the Bride and Bridegroom and/or their representatives prior to the wedding so that he can prepare the correct introductions and announcements for speakers and also be prepared for any changes made or unforeseen. His training also ensures that he can officiate at many different types of wedding to include civil partnerships.
On the day, Graham arrives at the venue at least one hour before the start of the function and is working with and for the wedding party from the time of their arrival to the end of the wedding breakfast. He will stay later if requested.
There are traditional and historical ‘rules’ for the running order of a wedding but if a Bride and Bridegroom wants a different running order, Graham’s experience enables him to follow and confidently present their special day accordingly. At the same time he liaises with the Banqueting/Events Manager and teamwork is ensured accordingly.
He dresses immaculately in the traditional uniform or livery of the toastmaster. His red tailcoat and crisp whites stand out and people look to him to be able to answer any questions or give directions.
Graham is also a trained officer swordsman of The Order of the Golden Sabre and is able to add to the entertainment of the day by striking open a bottle of bottles of Champagne with his Sabre.
Graham’s contributions to the work of the toastmaster throughout the country have been recognised by professional colleagues and he has been awarded the presidency of three national organisations and Fellowship of one of them. Many of his students have taken his studies forward and now hold prominent consultant positions in the ‘umbrella’ organisation of professional toastmasters, The Toastmasters General Council.
It is very important when selecting a toastmaster that he or she is a member of such an organisation as there are some who feel that they can don the red coat without essential training and as such, reliability cannot always be assured. An added asset is that membership of professional organisations includes full personal liability insurance.
The impressive and immaculate organisation and presentation by The Park Farm Hotel Norwich, its senior staff and other staff members all take special care to ensure that guests are well looked after. The hotel deservedly enjoys an excellent reputation for hospitality and accommodation within the County of Norfolk and beyond and Graham is immensely proud to have been part of this hotel’s service for many years.