Back in the Middle Ages when British wine was not noted for its taste, those that could afford it had a ‘Master Of The Toast’ in their household whose job it was to add herbs, spices and toasted bread to improve the flavour when wine was served. It is doubtful that it did much good but the practice continued for many years.
In 1649 at a banquet in the Pump Room in Bath the first ever ‘toast’ to a person was carried out. Two Beaus wandered into the spa next to the pump house with their glasses empty of wine, but still containing the toast, when they came across a naked ‘lady of the night’ taking a dip. One of the two friends was ready to jump into the water to join the lady, when his friend stooped him, placed his glass into the spa water and said ‘Nay, though I likest not the beverage, I will take the toast to this lady’. He raised his glass containing the herbs, toast and spa water, honoured the lady with it and drank. This was later recorded in the Tatler magazine under the heading ‘Toast To The Ladies’ and so became the first recorded ‘toast’ and also the start of a traditional name for honouring people with wine – the toast.
In 1705 Beau Nash became the official Master of Ceremonies for Bath, this role evolved into that of the early Toastmasters. Ordinary dress clothes were worn until in the late 19th Century when William Knight-Smith became the first to wear the now traditional red coat and thereby started the tradition of the trade that we are all now familiar with. The story is that although William had a powerful voice, he was vertically challenged and his wife came up with the idea of making him a red coat to help him stand out from the crowd.
Today a properly trained Toastmaster is not just a Master Of Ceremonies. That is part of what they do, but they bring much more to an event than that. A large part of the role at weddings is to help organise the reception, liaise with caterers and make sure things run as they should to make the bride and bridegroom’s day as special as possible.
Of course, a toastmaster will also be seen at civic functions, Masonic Ladies nights and corporate events and their role is no less at these than at a wedding. Planning and preparation are key to any successful event and a Professional Toastmaster such as Chris, covering Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales, in fact anywhere should he be asked to attend, is the Professional Toastmaster you can rely on. Call today on 07758241411.