Category Archives: Diary


Sorry I didn’t do a blog for 2017. I just never got round to it as I was busy with my part-time work delivering flowers for a local florist (which I have now  left) and attending nearly thirty weddings and events. They were all memorable in their own way but perhaps the highlight was my first Asian wedding at the Hilton Syon Hotel in Middlesex with Rekha & Aman. Working from 8am for the family breakfast celebrations through to the marriage ceremony and the evening celebrations with over 500 guests to control was certainly an experience I’ll never forget. Respect to toastmasters who do this regularly.

2018 has been another hectic year with fifteen weddings completed and a further fifteen other events both as toastmaster and town crier. U Helping from car 4 editThese included appearing on the local BBC East television (to do with local elections), a handful  of charity events, advertising for House of Fraser (they obviously needed it!) and a local insurance company.Being filmed by camraman Mark I welcomed dignitaries for the Norwich In Bloom and also hosted a trip on the open top bus to celebrate Norfolk Day. There were the usual appearances for Mayor making, Freemen of the City ceremony and the Lord Mayor’s street procession.

Once again I put on my third red outfit from mid November until Dec 25th. DSC_1937My now regular appearances in the grotto at Notcutts were a great success. I was so pleased to see many couples whose weddings  I had been toastmaster for bring their children. Some are now regular visitors to the grotto and others had very new babies. It brought a tear to ole Santa’s eye to see that so many happy couples have turned into happy families. Also for the first time this year we held a special ‘Santa Paws’ when aDSC_1970 number of owners brought their dogs in to meet Santa and get some treats. Santa Bob also visited a school and, on Christmas Day, guests at a couple of hotels had a surprise visit.

This year (2019) has started quietly except for the fact that I have received the Toastmaster of the year 2019 Award. winner-toastmaster-509x426That is  due to all the couples and fellow wedding industry suppliers who wrote glowing reviews of my services. Many thanks to you all and here’s hoping for another successful year for everyone.

Summary of 2016

Only a month late but here is a brief summary of how 2016 went for toastmaster bob.  

I attended many memorable weddings at a variety of venues, some of which were new to me. The service of the wedding teams and staff at all the venues was excellent and I hope to return to them in the future.B & BG & TMB  John Newstead photo I shouldn’t really single one out but the most unusual was the reception on the Mid Norfolk Railway. Afternoon teaThe train travels from Dereham to Wymondham and back again with afternoon tea being served – savoury on the way and cakes on the return journey. Speeches were made from the footplate of the engine and the band played for the evening reception on the station platform.

I also had some private function bookings and a handful in my role as town crier. These included shop openings, DSC_0031a few days in Holt advertising the annual festival and of course taking part in the Norwich Lord Mayor’s procession. The year ended with the official announcement that City Crier David Bullock was retiring and handing over to me. After six years as his Deputy I am very proud and honoured to take over this prestigious appointment.Bob & David on balcony edit







As is usual now, the last six weeks of the year were taken with wearing my third red uniform. No grotto in the Castle Mall this year for reasons unknown, although they did employ me to switch on the Christmas lights.Santa switching on lights I managed to get some shifts in the Notcutts GrottoDSC_0197 as well as some on the Lapland Express (Mid Norfolk Railway) and at the Fakenham races. I even did an hour at an hotel Christmas Lunch on the 25th! All good fun and, now that I have my own outfit, I hope to repeat my role again next year.


Bookings for 2017 are a little down on last year at this stage, but as usual, there have been several enquires and bookings in this first month of 2017. These are mainly due to the wedding shows that have started up again and continue to the end of April. Details on my website events page.

So I continue to juggle my role as toastmaster, town crier, Father Christmas15355789_10155440508590828_4340436690939487742_n and of course as granddad to six year old Grace, who has finally sussed that Granddad dresses up as Father Christmas but of course is not the ‘real’ one.

Have a great 2017.

August / September blog – wedding shows

August/September blog – Wedding shows

As we are coming up to the start of the wedding show season I thought I’d just do a short blog this month (a little late) about them.

wedding show pic

In this technological age where you can find everything you need on-line, attending a wedding show may seem a bit old hat, but they are the best place to meet a wide variety of wedding related companies and see what they have to offer. You can’t beat talking face to face and getting to know suppliers.  When I meet with couples who have booked me, I ask why they chose a particular supplier, a photographer for example, and it is nearly always because they not only liked their style of photography but because they liked the photographer. A friendly working relationship with the professionals you choose is essential.

showground 2016

The major wedding fayres / shows are traditionally held twice a year – between January & April and then in the autumn months of September & October. Most suppliers are too busy with weddings during the summer months but there does seem to be a growing trend for summer fayres. Some of the smaller fayres give venues the opportunity to showcase their facilities and are attended by suppliers the venue recommends. I am involved with the Dunston Hall showcase days which are held every six/seven weeks. Only a handful of preferred suppliers attend, but it does give couples the chance to see the venue set up for a wedding, instead of the suites being full of exhibition stands.

If you are looking for something completely different there are also vintage wedding fayres which have suppliers you don’t usually find at the traditional shows.

St Andrews catwalk edit

Some of the major shows have so many exhibitors that you may feel a bit overwhelmed but it will give you a chance to compare quality and prices. This will especially apply when it comes to some of the must haves – venue, dress, cake, photographer etc. as there will normally be more than one exhibitor in these categories. However, it’s not always about price. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for, so ask around and try to make informed choices.  You will be handed many leaflets and see a lot of ‘stuff’ that you probably hadn’t even thought of. Pick the brains of everyone you can and make sure you keep a note book. I’m probably telling you things you already know because, having spoken to hundreds of brides during the past 8 years, I know you will enjoy planning your wedding almost as much as the day itself. So have fun and enjoy.

There are many shows happening in the next few months but here are the ones that I will be attending.  Hopefully I will see you at one or more of them and offer you advice on planning your own memorable wedding day.

Sunday 21st August – Dunston Hall showcase 10am – 3pm

Sunday 4th September – Wedding Prom & Party @ Holiday Inn Norwich-North 10am – 4pm

Sunday 11th September – Wedding Spectacular @ St Andrew’s Hall 11am – 4pm (includes fashion shows at 12.30 & 2.30)

Sunday 25th September – EDP show @ Dunston Hall 10.30am – 3.30pm

Sunday 9th October – EDP @ Ivy House Country Hotel 10.30am – 3.30pm

Sunday 9th October – I will also have a presence at the Mercure Hotel, Boundary Road Norwich but will not be there in person

Sunday 23rd October – Dunston Hall showcase 10am – 3pm


July blog – walking down the aisle

Walking down the aisle


My blog this month is about the first special moment of any wedding – when the Bride makes her entrance in to the ceremony and walks down the aisle.

Music choice is very important for the Processional (entrance of the Bridal party) and the Recessional (exit of the Bride & Bridegroom). The Bride can choose something as a surprise for her husband to be for her entrance, or they can choose together music that has meaning for them both.  At a church wedding many – but by no means all – still choose the traditional Bridal Chorus (Here comes the Bride) by Wagner for the processional and Mendelssohn’s Wedding March for the recessional. Both can be played on the church organ, or you may book a string quartet, harpist or pianist to play modern arrangements. When the ceremony is held in an hotel or wedding venue – usually the same place as the celebrations are to take place – there is a lot more scope to choose more contemporary music. Worth noting that you are not allowed anything religious and the music should be cleared with the Registrar’s office before the day. You can have a singer, string quartet, harpist, or prepare your own CD to be played. Bear in mind that you will also need music to be played during the signing of the register.

 Entrance of the Bridal party

It used to be that the Bridesmaids followed the Bride and her Father, but these days it is more often the Bridesmaids who precede the Bride. If there are page boys and flower girls they will go ahead of the Bridesmaids. The flower girls may scatter rose petals as they walk down the aisle. You should have a rehearsal at the church or the venue before the day to make sure everyone knows the order they are to enter and also where they will be sitting. Your wedding planner or toastmaster can assist you in sorting these details and ensuring there are the correct number of seats left free at the front.

The Bridal party should take their time entering, allowing the music to play a little before starting to walk down the aisle. If it is a short aisle try taking one step at a time in sync with your father (left, together, right, together etc.). This will avoid walking out of step and help you savour the moment by making it last longer. At ceremonies held in the same venue as the wedding breakfast your toastmaster can announce you into the ceremony – “Ladies and Gentlemen would you please stand. Accompanied by her Father and attended by her bridesmaids – Your Bride”. Cue music and away you go!

Don’t forget that the Father (or whoever is giving the Bride away) is on the Bride’s left arm.
When they reach the front the Bride will have the Bridegroom waiting on her right hand side.  My tip for remembering which side is ‘The Bride has left her Father for her right hand man’.Royal couple and father

 Conclusion of the ceremony

At the conclusion of the ceremony when held in an hotel or wedding venue, the Registrars final act is to hand over the wedding certificate. They will then introduce the new Mr & Mrs However, if you have booked toastmaster bob he may, with the permission of the registrars, come forward at this point to advise guests of what is happening next i.e. where drinks and photo’s are happening, and then introduce the new Mr & Mrs. The recessional music will then start and he will lead the Bride and Bridegroom from the ceremony. The rest of the Bridal party – parents, bridesmaids etc. will follow.

There is much more advice and help that I can give you, both on my website and in person, so please do get in touch either by ‘phone 07872 114235, via my website contacts page or email me

Wedding day timings

This month we will talk about the timings of your wedding day. I will always meet with couples a soon as they book me to give some guidance in planning their wedding day. One of the many things I advise on is the timings for the day. There are a number of factors to take into consideration, especially if you are getting married in a venue (e.g. church) that is separate to the wedding breakfast and subsequent evening celebrations. You will need to allow time for the photographs outside the church and time to travel to the venue where the celebrations are taking place. Try not to have your ceremony any later than 1pm to allow for this. If you are getting married at the same venue you can allow a later start for the ceremony. I always recommend allowing time, not only for the photographs, but also time to mingle with your guests before your big entrance into the wedding breakfast. Something else to consider is whether or not you want the receiving line. This is when you greet all your guests as they enter for the meal. What about the speeches? Do you want them before or after you have eaten. Some, who may be nervous about giving their speech, may prefer to get them out of the way prior to the meal. If this is what you choose I always think serving canapes at the drinks reception is a good idea to keep the hunger pangs away. You’ll find that the day goes very quickly and it will be time for your evening guests to arrive before you know it. They are usually invited to start to arrive from 7.30pm onwards so if you can end the wedding breakfast
formalities for around 7pm it will give you (the Bride especially) a little time to freshen up before the evening guests arrive and your go into your first dance together as husband and wife. There is much more information, including suggested timings of events, on the wedding page of  my website. Hover over ‘weddings’ and a drop down box will appear. A guide to the timings is just one of the pages where you will find much more help and advice to help you in planning your wedding. Do take a look at John & Rachel with TMB TB
Of course it is your day, and you can do whatever you want whenever you want. I can only advise but if you want to chat with  me about your plans, and how I can serve you on your wedding day, do get in touch via the contact page or give me a call on 07872 114235.


January – December 2015

2015 has been another busy year with well over 30 bookings undertaken. These included charity balls, weddings, town crier events and a talk at one of the local Women’s Institute groups. Of course the year ended with another stint as Santa in the grotto at Castle Mall Norwich followed by seeing in the New Year at Potters Leisure ‘Zest Rooms’ in my role as toastmaster and, at midnight, ringing out the old and ringing in the new as Town Crier. Rather than write about everything I have produced a short picture video of some weddings that I have had the privilege of taking part in. You can view it here.

August – December 2014

August – December 2014

I was so busy for the last 5 months of 2014 that I hardly had time to do a regular blog. I’ve had bookings as town crier and toastmaster as well as my regular work delivering flowers for Margaret Emms florist and some shifts at the Holiday Inn Norwich-North. Santa outside grotto with sack edit 1 2014 Add to that pre wedding planning meetings, wedding shows and of course spending time looking after my beautiful granddaughter, you can see that it’s been a fairly busy month. The final six weeks of the year I also had my ‘seasonal’ job to do – I hope you all got what you wanted for Christmas this year Ho! Ho! Ho!


Town crier duties included the WW1 commemoration at the Forum when I had to read out proclamations made by the King and an appeal for horses to be given to the war effort. Later in the month I also strolled about the city proclaiming the opening day of the new Alba Rose jewellery shop in the Chapelfield shopping centre.


The weekend of the 16th/17th August was a double whammy of weddings. Greg and Mel had Waxham barn 1 edit croppedhired Waxham Great Barn for their celebrations. It is one big empty space so they had totally decorated it for the day. It looked great (see pic) and to add to the occasion they arrived in a splendid Cadillac. The pictures are courtesy of photographer James Powell who did a splendid job.Greg & Mel car edit Anita and her team from Classic choice catering worked under difficult conditions to provide the ‘up market’ burger and chips meal and we were well entertained by magician Martin Hinchcliffe. In the evening the Joe Ringer band really got the party started and a great time was had by all.



As Sunday dawned I made my way back along the A1064, this time turning right to go down to the Boathouse on Little Ormesby Broad. Come 3pm, Lee was waiting in the arbour on the decking as Pinar arrived, having travelled by boat along the broad. Following the ceremony Matt of ‘I do photography’ took them both out in the boat for a half hour trip around the broad while he took some photo’s.Lee & Pinar kissing on boat  Then some of the guests were able to go for a short trip before everyone lined up on the decking for a group shot. Following my call to dinner, we enjoyed an excellent meal provided by Belinda and her excellent chefs at the Boathouse. blowers-295 edit 2Then it was first dance time with great band Party X providing the entertainment. Pinar and Lee had rehearsed a special first dance, but Pinar had to somehow pin her dress up as it was difficult to dance in!  I have come across this a couple of times so it may be something Brides might like to think about when choosing their ‘dream dress’ – A) can you sit down for your meal easily and B) can you dance in it without too much difficulty. Is that a man being too practical!?


At the end of the month I returned to the Boathouse for Lauren & Gregg’s celebrations following their church wedding. Our photographer on this occasion was Luis Holden and entertainment provided by the fabulous Connections. Being a hot August day it was a nice touch to not only have drinks available on arrival from the church but also ice cream provided by Ronaldo’s ice cream cart.Ronaldo's




September was a quiet month for bookings but I had a couple of popular wedding shows to attend. The first was organised by the Wedding Prom & Party at Sprowston Manor  and the second by the EDP at Dunston Hall. Bookings came in at both these shows including my first for 2017!


October saw me attending two weddings. The first was in the lovely Tithe Barn at Brome Grange where I am the recommended toastmaster.Guests enjoying meal Sadly Kristie & Robert’s wedding was marred by poor weather. Taking photographs was difficult in the rain but photographer Matt Wilkinson made the best of the circumstances and did an excellent job. (This pic from my phone). Entertainment came from the Steel Revolution disco who certainly got the party started.


There was more ice cream and also crepes at Emily & Matt’s celebrations in Hickling Barn also in October. Another new thing I had not come across before was the provision of a polaroid camera for guests to take selfie’s and post them on a large board. There were official photo’s as well of course taken by the lovely Katie Hart.Emily & Matthew October 2014





November began with Charlotte & David’s wedding at the beautiful Chaucer Barn. It is one of the most popular venues in Norfolk and I have recently become their recommended toastmaster. It was a long day full of lots of entertainment and fun. Catering was provided by Tresal, wedding cake by Iced Jens, Candy Cart by Vanessa, entertainment including first dance was singer Lee Vann and a great Fun Casino by Mark and team. Photos were taken by top photographer Jamie Groom and Charlotte & David, together with all their family and friends, had a day to remember.


I managed to squeeze in some planning meetings with some couples before starting on my ‘seasonal’ job as Santa in Castle Mall. Santa with presentsThis is the third year I have been in the grotto and I really love it. There are of course quite a few ‘screamers’ who, although they want to see Santa, are suddenly scared to death abut meeting this big bearded character in his tiny grotto. With the help of the elves we do manage to calm some of them down, but the great joy is those who run in to give Santa a big hug and can’t wait to tell him what they want for Christmas. Boys still seem to want ‘cars’ or fireman Sam, while this year 95% of the girls wanted ‘Frozen’ stuff….and of course I sang a little bit ‘Let it go, let it go….the cold never bothered me anyway’. I think the elves got a bit bored with it after a while but the kids and parents loved it. Santa meeting grace editMy granddaughter Grace came to visit again and still has no idea that it is granddad behind all that hair! By the way, I’m amazed just how many boys are named Alfie!


Rounding off the month I was back at Dunston Hall for Rachel & Jonathan’s wedding celebrations. It was good to work with photographer Andy Austin again,Rachel & Jonathan resize and the wonderful Vivace String Quartet. I’m pleased that a number of  couples, Rachel & Jonathan included, are friending me on face-book, so I am able to keep in touch with them before and after their big day.



Two weddings to squeeze in between flower deliveries and Santa shifts in December. On 6th December I travelled to another top venue in Norfolk, namely, Voewood at High Kelling just outside Holt. I’d spent a lot of time with Laura, Ish and the family in helping to plan this day – or rather weekend. A beautiful setting for a beautiful wedding. It was great to work again with top photographer Katherine Ashdown,Laura & Ish Dec 2014 Katherine Ashdown resize the Accafellas singing group and taste a piece of an amazing cake by Kelly of Eventiss cakes.Eventiss cake 2 edit We were also entertained during the ceremony and drinks reception by the lovely Mary of UK Harpists. Of course the highlight of the evening was a visit from Santa! Laura & Ish had bought a book for each of their guests as a wedding favour and it was Santa’s job to arrive (strangely after toastmaster Bob had disappeared) to give them out. This meant a late finish so I was pleased to take up the hosts offer to be accommodated for the night in the ‘chocolate room’ at Voewood.


The final wedding of the year took place on the 20th at Elms Barn. elms barn This venue is also very popular and you can see why. There is always excellent service by Alison and her team in a lovey venue. The gardens are beautiful (especially in summer) although Kelly & Lee did get a bit cold while Helen White took some outdoor photos while Xenia Horne entertained on her harp (inside). Another cake from Jenna of Iced Jens and A&M events provided a popular Baileys fountain for the evening guests to enjoy.

2015-01-05 17.01.18My final Santa shift was the following day and then, with three more flower delivery shifts done, it was at last Christmas Day, and I was grateful to be able to enjoy a four day break with family and friends.



Finally in 2014 I was as usual in Toastmaster and Town Crier outfit at the Zest New Year’s Eve Party, acting as both host and ringing in the New Year at midnight. Excellent entertainment was provided once again by Munch, who traveled all the way from Liverpool, and I enjoyed an extremely delicious four course meal into the bargain.


So a fairly busy year comes to an end, and already the work on all fronts seems to be non-stop for 2015. Bookings for 2016 and even one for 2017 are already in the diary. Glad I retired back in 2009 or I wouldn’t have been able to do (and really enjoy) so much work!!!!


Blog for July 2014

Once again it has been a fairly busy month with a variety of events as toastmaster and town crier, as well as my usual shifts at the Holiday Inn Norwich-North, and delivering flowers for Margaret Emms Florist.

Elsing hallThe month got off to a good start with dry weather (rain had been forecast) for Emily & Steven’s wedding celebrations. Following the ceremony at Bawdeswell Church, a bus ferried the majority of guests to the moated Elsing Hall. This venue is privately owned and they only hold a couple of weddings a year in the beautiful grounds. The wedding guests are allowed over the moat for a group photograph at the back of the house, but then it’s drinks and canapés in the walled garden followed by the wedding breakfast in the marquee. While Craig Jacob took some photographs and guests enjoyed their drinks, entertainment was provided by ‘Miserable Man’. Don’t ask me how he came up with that name but his singing and guitar playing was anything but miserable. He was really good. A wonderful meal was catered for by chef Tristan and his team from Julie Abbs Catering. In the evening, more guests arrived and I led the customary, cake cutting, throwing of the bouquet (the lady who was meant to catch it did so) and of course the first dance. This was Adele singing ‘Make you feel my love’. No guest book for Emily & Steven, but each guest found a pebble in their place setting which they were asked to sign. It was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed serving such a lovely couple together with their families and friends.


The following week I spent an evening with Charlotte and David as we went over plans for their wedding in November at Chaucer Barn, and then finished my preparation for Jarnan & Amanda’s wedding on the 12th at the Oaklands Hotel in Norwich.
Arriving from the church the guests enjoyed the customary drinks on the lawn and also had the opportunity to play some garden games as well. Although there was another wedding being held at the venue, the guests never clashed and we enjoyed another very warm day. It was good to work again with Richard and his team at the Oakland’s and I had the pleasure of joining guests for and excellent main course and dessert. Amanda & Jarnan had been taking dance lessons at Dance Devotion so it was nice to see a couple do more than just smooch around the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. Well done you two for taking the time and effort to show how it should be done.

The following day (Sunday 13th) I joined many other exhibitors at the Holiday Inn Norwich-North for a Summer Wedding Show. I met Nicole and her team from Alba Rose, a diamond jewellery company that will be opening a new shop in Chapelfield Shopping Centre on August 22nd. They have since booked me in my role as Town Crier to help raise the profile of the new shop on that day and also when they have their official opening in September.


On the 16th it was a pleasure to be part of ‘Lunch on the Green’ once again. This annual event held in the grounds of Clapham & Collinge on All Saints Green is co-organised by Best of Norwich. Many companies have displays and money is raised on behalf of the Break Charity. The sun shone yet again and one or two glasses of wine were downed. Thankfully, ice cream was also supplied thanks to Norfolk Farmhouse Ice cream.


Carlie& Chay 4Next up was a day at the Zest Rooms for Carlie and Chay’s wedding. This was a long day as it included ceremony, wedding breakfast and up to first dance in the evening. ActualIy, I do love to do the whole occasion, as it’s a privilege to be part of the Bride and Bridegroom’s special day.  Paul Peek did a brilliant job once again taking the photographs, and it was also good to catch up with Victoria Westgatge the wedding organiser at Elms Barn. On this occasion Victoria played the important role of Chief Bridesmaid. We had fun throwing the bouquet again before Carlie & Chay started the party with their first dance together, ‘Wonderful Tonight’ by Eric Clapton.Jill & TM Bob @ Zest rooms 300pxs Jill and the team at Zest really do an excellent job and we work well together making sure everything runs smoothly both front of house and behind the scenes. The couple and guests are able to relax and really enjoy the special occasion.


I took a late booking at the end of the month in my role as town crier. I was contacted by Norwich in Bloom and asked to welcome the judges for ‘Britain in Bloom’ when they arrived at the Assembly House in Norwich. Norwich in Bloom editAfter posing for pictures we viewed a video of the work that the Norwich in Bloom volunteers have been doing, and then I accompanied the judges on their first few views, taking in the Assembly House, City Hall and St. Stephen’s Church.


So ends a pretty sunny July. August has started out fairly warm as well, but I have a feeling it’s not going to last! See you next month.

Toastmaster Bob.

June 2014

Although not as busy as June last year, there still seemed plenty to do. I started by meeting with Emily & Steven on Wednesday 4th to go over the final plans for their wedding celebrations at Elsing Hall near Dereham in July. That was followed by the Dunston Hall showcase evening on Thursday where I met some couples who are holding or thinking of holding their wedding at the venue. Friday I took a trip over to Elsing HallElsing hall to check out the venue. It is a beautiful moated house that is privately owned. They only hold a couple of weddings a year, and it does involve hiring a marquee and everything that goes with it.



Zest-Wedding-2In the evening I also took a trip over to Lowestoft to go over plans with Carlie & Chay for their wedding at the  Zest Rooms, Potters Leisure.

Now it was Saturday 7th and I met with Lauren & Gregg in the morning to discuss their wedding plans for August at The Boathouse. They agreed to meet me at Dunston Hall as I was to be toastmaster for Georgia & Henry later that day. Henry & Georgia June 2014The sun shone and we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on the terracing with photographs being taken by Bob Thompson of RT photography. We were also entertained in La Fontaine by Greg Bish with his guitar. Gregg was also the leader of the band ‘Abyss’ who sang Georgia & Henry’s first dance – ‘Drops of Jupiter’ before helping the party to really get started.

On the Sunday I also had to do my banqueting host job at the Holiday Inn Norwich North, and again the following Saturday.

On Monday 16th I met with yet another couple, Amanda & Jardin, whose wedding is also in July at the Oaklands.

Tuesday I had my first speaking engagement at a funeral. Last year I had spoken at a birthday celebration on behalf of a Paul who lives in the USA and could not make it over for the party. Paul contacted me again to ask me to give a eulogy on his behalf for another close friend who had died. The church was full and it was a privilege to represent Paul at what was obviously the funeral of someone who was much loved.

Barclays bank TMDuring the day on Friday 20th I was at a branch of Barclay’s Bank in Norwich for a free ‘pop up’ display. There was quite a lot of interest and I even got a booking for next year to speak at a WI meeting on my role as a toastmaster.

On Sunday 22nd, surprise surprise, I met with yet another couple, Greg & Mel to go over their wedding plans. They will be celebrating at Waxham Great Barn which will be a first for me, so I will have to check it out before August. Apparently it is just a big empty space that you can decorate your own way.

Although Natasha & Philip are not getting married until May 2015, I met with them on Friday morning to have a preliminary chat about plans for their marquee wedding. It is being held in the grounds of their parents home so I was able to advise re the logistics and timings of the day.

mary murrayIn between all these meeting I was of course delivering flowers 3/4 days a week for Margaret Emms florist and fitting in another couple of shifts at the Holiday Inn. What did I say about June not being quite so busy this year!?

Coming up in July are some weddings – mentioned above –  and also a Summer Wedding Fair on 13th at the Holiday Inn Norwich North. Perhaps I will see you there. If not, see you next blog.


May 2014

Now that we’re into June it’s about time I posted a catch up blog for what I’ve been up to in May. First up on the 10th was the Keeping Abreast ‘Sweet Charity’ Ball at the Holiday Inn Norwich-North. I have supported this charity since my early days as a toastmaster but unfortunately for the past couple of years I had weddings booked before I knew the date of the annual ball. It was good to be back guiding everyone through another very successful event. Once again it was great to work with top photographer Julia Holland and you can see photo’s of the event here KA Ball pictures. Money was raised through a raffle, heads and tails and an auction conducted by Bryan Baxter from Auction House. After a great meal served by the Holiday Inn banquet hosts resplendent in pink KA tee-shirts, the evening was rounded off with entertainment from The CollectiveThe Collective one of Norfolk’s favourite wedding  and function bands.



The following week-end (17th) it was wedding time with Daniel & Laura and their guests at The Brook Hotel in Norwich. Laura & Daniel’s little girl stole the show. Laura & Daniel 17th May 2014This is the first time I had been toastmaster for a function at the Brook and I am pleased to say it was a pleasure to work alongside their team. It was also the first time I have worked with photographer Paul Watts of Portraits Plus and I have no hesitation in recommending him. The table plan was ‘interesting’ to say the least. Each one was named after a super hero or group – Batman, Spider Man, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, X Men, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk and the Sinister 6. Thankfully the guests weren’t expected to dress accordingly!


After a Friday and Saturday night working for functions at the Holiday Inn, I traveled on Sunday 25th to the Brome Grange wedding show. brome grangeJulie & Sarah had done a great job in preparing the venue and it was good to meet up again with photographer Lisa North and also make some new friends. Three bookings from Brome Grange for next year is a result!

I met the following week with Lee & Pinar to go over plans for their wedding in August. Pinar is originally from Turkey and Lee works off shore so we had to fit a meeting in when he was home for a few days. All sorted now so looking forward to another lovely day.

I managed to fit in a lunch time get together with fellow Norfolk toastmasters John Driscoll and Kim Sheldrick.
Bob John & Kim edit It was good to swap stories and ideas with each other and we plan to do so again in July. On the table next to us were a group of young ladies and we quickly found out that one was getting married next year. She left with three business cards of course!!

Finally this month I was toastmaster for Louise & Leon wedding at Elms Barn. elms barn it was a fantastic day with a lovely couple and a great bunch of guests who were really up for enjoying the day. It was also a very emotional occasion as, without going into details, one year ago to the day, Leon woke up from a coma after an incident on a night out in Norwich. Louise and his best man had never left his bedside all the time he was in the coma, so as you can imagine, there were tears all round during the speeches. It was wonderful to see how all their family and friends had supported them through a very difficult time. Together with the photographer, Paul Peek, and videographer, Richard Howes,  we all commented that this would be a wedding we wouldn’t forget for some time to come. Louise & Leon May 2014The guests were so enthusiastic that after the first dance, when I said my goodbyes, they all started chanting “Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob……” A bit embarrassing but nice to know they appreciated my services. Elms Barn is a lovely setting, with a wonderful rose garden for photo’s. Julie, Alison and her team run  a tight ship, and we worked together well. I look forward to returning there later in the year for another wedding.

Well that’s it for May. My first week of June has already been busy with seeing couples, a wedding showcase and a wedding. Hopefully I will blog about that and more in the first week of  July. In the meantime, the diary is filling fast for 2015 so if you are considering booking my services, please don’t leave it too long. See you soon. TMB