At wedding celebrations, we as Toastmasters are mindful to check the wedding cake and knife. I served as MC at a Bar Mitzvah recently and checked that the plaited bread (known as a challah) for the blessing was accompanied by a knife. However, when the Rabbi attempted to cut the bread (unsuccessfully) I realised that a cake knife had been provided, not a bread knife with a serrated edge, and quietly suggested that she tear the challah with her hands.
Grace and the Loyal Toast
If your wedding breakfast follows a religious ceremony, it is recommended that you precede the meal with Grace as most of the guests will probably expect it. The officiating minister, if a guest, should be invited to deliver an appropriate blessing. A Jewish wedding breakfast or Bar/Bat Mitzvah dinner will most certainly start with hamotzi and conclude with birkat hamazon.
If you are ever called upon to deliver the Loyal Toast: stand, raise your glass and just say: “The Queen”, not “God Bless Her” or anything else. By the way, if you are ever introduced to the Queen, she is first addressed as “Your Majesty” and thereafter, “Ma’am” to rhyme with ‘toast and jam’. At Jewish functions you may be called upon to propose a toast to “The President and the State of Israel”.
If you are selling raffle tickets it is usual for several officials to visit the tables, selling tickets singly or in strips of five. Another method is to place five random tickets in an envelope with the counterfoils stapled to the envelope, one for each guest, and leave them on the table well in advance of the function. The guests then remove the tickets and place £5 in the envelope, which is than collected with the counterfoils by the officials.
A word of warning, however: if selling tickets from more than one book, make sure you are using books of different colours. I have seen confusion reign at a fund-raising dinner when two books with the same colour tickets and the same range of ticket numbers were used.
Address to the Haggis
I had great pleasure in delivering the Address to the Haggis at the Farmhouse at Redcoats on Burn’s Night. I I was also delighted to present an essay entitled “Dux Magnus Gentis Veteris Saginati” describing the life cycle of the haggis, an ancient creature that inhabits mountainous regions of the world, including Scotland. The paper was well received by the guests, many of whom wore clan tartans and enjoyed an excellent dinner – and a wee dram.