A Barkingside man who quit his job in IT to become a toastmaster after rescuing a friend’s wedding from descending into disaster, has won a prestigious award.

Jonathan Waterman, 41, of Ludham Close in Barkingside, has been named as the regional winner in the ‘Special Touch’ category at the 2013 Wedding Industry Awards for toastmasters.

He said: “I’m over the moon about this.

“The judges gave me the award because I offer an experience that goes far beyond that of a regular toastmaster.”

Mr Waterman quit his job in IT sales in December 2008 to train as a toastmaster after rescuing a friend’s wedding in Hertfordshire.

He said: “Everything was going wrong and the couple were getting very upset.

“The co-ordinator they had hired was actually being rude to people and everyone was having a miserable time.

“Even the DJs were drunk. I just jumped in and sorted everything out – announcing guests, making sure everyone was comfortable and MCing on the dance floor.

“I even grabbed three candles from one of the tables and got the mothers up to perform a special ceremony to symbolise the uniting of the two families.”

Inspired by the experience, Mr Waterman began training as a toastmaster soon after, and set up his own business The Complete Toastmaster six months later.

He has co-ordinated 200 weddings since then and already has 25 ceremonies booked this year at venues including Grosvenor House and the Royal Courts of Justice.

He said: “These are tough times, but people still want to splash out to make sure they have the perfect wedding.

“I aim to make sure that the bride and groom have a stress free day and I will handle everything from the itinerary to handling the party and the reception – it’s up to them.”

Mr Waterman has experience of organising and acting as toastmaster for weddings for a number of religions.

And while he has yet to be toastmaster at a civil partnership ceremony he is keen to do so.

He has also started a training course for aspiring toastmasters called the Modern English Toastmasters Guild.