Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards Winner 2018by Liz Gatherer
Last year I entered these awards and I came away empty handed, I was keen to submit a bigger, bolder and better entry this year and was hoping to walk away with the title of best newcomer… which I did!
Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards - Entry Process
I submitted my entry back in the summer which consisted of a number of questions (with no word count limit - hooray!) and the opportunity to send up to 10 photographs and one video of the product. Each entry is judged only by this content, the judges do not look at outside factors such as websites, blogs and social media accounts because all of this can be paid for and managed by third parties. The decision to have this process in place was to allow applicants to use their passion and evidence of their commitment to their job to persuade judges.
Blind judging process - Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards
All entrants must take care to avoid using their company name and address of the business, this ensures that the judges have absolutely no idea who’s entry they are reading. The judges will award marks for each answer which are then tallied up. The sum total of the judges scores are averaged and that is the final score for a business.
Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards - The questions
- Introduce your business to us…
- What made you decide to start your business?
- How does your company differ from your competitors and what is your USP?
- How has your business grown in success (both financially and in size) since it was established?
- How do you support other wedding businesses in Hampshire?
- Where do you see the future of your business?
A great set of thought provoking questions which I took time over a few days to answer, check, read through and amend until I felt they were winning answers!
Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards - Gala Evening
Last year I really enjoyed the event and this year was no different. I attended with my pal Lara from Love from Lila xx and we arrived in good time. First off meeting and chatting with the finalists in the photography category, Martin Bell Photography and Jessica Hayman Photography. Now here’s a couple of fun facts for you! Martin trained as a ballerina and that is how he met his wife! Jessica is a petrolhead and loves classic cars!
After the reception drinks we took our seats at the table with Lucy and her husband of Lucy Bernier Makeup Artist, husband and husband team Rob and Andrew of Creatiques Bridal Boutique with two colleagues. Andrew also owns The Hairdressir which was up for the bridal stylist award. It was fascinating chatting to Andrew about his glamorous alter-ego, The Fabulous Miss G. As Miss G, Andrew has raised thousands of pounds for Hampshire based charities. Andrew also loves to cook, and reached the 2013 semi-finals of ITV’s Food Glorious Food, he entered the competition as Miss G.
Winner of the Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards
Wedition had reached finalist status for the wedding extra category which was announced after the starters, the deserving winner of this was Baylily Bell Tents. Emily, Alan and the team provide luxury bell tents across Hampshire.
It was not long before the bridal stylist winner was announced, huge cheers from our table as The Hairdressir was crowned winner, Andrew did the most fantastic victory dance as he went up to collect his award! The last award of the evening was for outstanding contribution to the industry, this was won by Creatiques Bridal Boutique, more rowdy cheering from our table!
The newcomer crown was awarded to Wedition, such a thrill to scoop up this title, I did my own little victory dance, more of a wiggle, certainly not as fancy as Andrew’s performance!
Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards - the party!
Once all the awards had been received, it was time for the party to commence! I did take the opportunity to chat to last years winner of the newcomer category, Danielle from The Wedding Crècherz. They were in fact one of the sponsors of this year’s event. What an inspirational young lady, having worked with children for a number of years and mother of three, she started the business just 3 years ago. I asked her for her number one piece of advice. She told me to record the high moments, as you will need to reflect back on them to get you through the low moments. Running your own business certainly is a rollercoaster with plenty of highs and lows!
I then spoke with Kate Atkinson the founder of the Bridal Reloved franchise, one of the event sponsors. Another inspirational young lady! Kate used to be a casting director for West End shows, she got married and could not sell her dress, Bridal Reloved was born. 5 years later, there are 14 stores across the UK, 2 more to open before the end of the year and next year the first store will open in America. I asked Kate for her top tip, she told me to be social on social media. Which actually, is really good advice, I will try to interact more with my followers on Instagram and I will post more live videos on Facebook to engage more with my audience. Kate has kindly agreed to meet with me for a coffee in the new year so she can give me some hints and tips on being more social, she called it ‘social twerking’!
Judges comments of the Hampshire Wedding Supplier Awards
“An innovative concept that is entertaining, informative and unique.”
“I have never seen anything like this before! An absolutely fantastic and a unique idea. Wishing you all the success as you deserve it for such a wonderful new business venture!"