Family Celebrations

image by 3Aphotography

As your Master of Ceremonies, I will ensure the smooth running of your family celebration; for example, renewal of wedding vows, wedding anniversaries and significant birthdays. I am sometimes told that the celebration will be informal, so I can, if required, put aside the traditional Toastmasters’ livery and wear less formal attire; you will still receive the same professional service. I could also provide some entertainment that can be played at tables after the meal, for example a fun quiz tailored to suit your guests.

B’nei Mitzvah

A Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an important milestone in the Jewish lifecycle, and you will want to celebrate this simcha with family and friends. As a Jewish Toastmaster, I can help with all the ritual and tradition expected on such an occasion and ensure that all guests have an enjoyable time. If you wish, I will organise and present the ‘Ceremony of the Thirteen Candles’, a wonderful way for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah to acknowledge and honour the important people in their lives.

 The ceremony requires a cake with 13 unlit candles, and up to ten guests, who have been offered the mitzvah of lighting one or more candles. Each candle represents a particular attribute of a Jewish person. As the name of a guest who has been offered the mitzvah is called, that person lights a candle on the cake. The last three candles are lit by the Bar/Bar Mitzvah and the parents. When all the candles are lit, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah makes a wish, blows them out and cuts the cake.

Aa’ishah & Imran, Royal Nawaab, London

image by Q Mughal

Another first for Toastmaster John: a Pakistani rukhsati reception and dinner signifying the ‘sending out’ of a Moslem bride from her family home to her husband. The event was held at the Royal Nawaab, a popular halal banqueting suite in West London. I had only four weeks to prepare for this, and when I asked if there were any speeches, Aa’ishah and Imran said they would like me to deliver the speeches on their behalf: a little about the couple themselves and messages to members of the family present. I was honoured to do this, contributing quotes from an 18th century Jewish mystic and a Lebanese poet, which were well received. I was also invited to share the meal with the guests, which made a change from the light meal that I usually have when working at weddings. The evening concluded with the veiling of the bride with the traditional dupatta, a red chiffon scarf held by her mother.
Aa’isha writes: “We would like to thank John for being an amazing toastmaster at our rukhsati event (Asian reception). It was his first time doing such an event, and he done a grand job in gaining insightful information regarding the rukhsati, getting to know us better and overall giving us reassurance with his toastmaster experience. He done a splendid job in greeting our guests, doing speeches and ensuring all guests are looked after well – a true gentleman and wish him all the best for the future.”

Gillian & Robin, Shendish Manor, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

image by Stephen Swain Photography

Gillian writes: “We asked John to be our Master of Ceremonies at Jonathan’s Bar Mitzvah. We found him very helpful and professional. After our initial meeting, he came up with several ideas, and suggested an overall agenda to the evening. He was very prompt in replying to our discussions and gave us some excellent ideas for the evening. On the night he was very helpful in ensuring the evening ran smoothly, and he was hard at work all night! He was also flexible, which was important, as because of the bad weather, the agenda had to be modified. Finally, we were impressed as he personally congratulated our son on his performance at shul and had taken some (streamed) photos which he sent to us after the event. What a lovely and thoughtful touch.”

Rest assured; I will always work with your best interests in mind. If you have any questions or would like further information about the services I offer, contact me for a no-obligation chat, so that I can fully understand your requirements and we can begin planning your event.

John Ashmele FGPT
Fellow of the Guild of Professional Toastmasters
Graduate of the Professional Toastmasters’ Academy
m: 07710 400412 e: john@ashmele.co.uk