With the Wedding Ideas Awards launching next month, the biggest consumer wedding awards in the UK, we thought we would catch up with some of last year’s winners to see how scooping their accolades has impacted on their business throughout 2013.

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“It was a whirlwind,” says photography winner Chris Barber. “Not only has winning wedding photographer of the year raised awareness of what we do but it’s generated so much more interest in our work. We have also gained trust from our couples who are happy to give us full creative freedom to express our vision. It’s been an honour to win this and we’re excited to see how 2014 progresses for the next wave of winners. We’d like to experience winning this all over again, please?!”

Another winner from 2013 was accessory specialist Flo & Percy. “It was a fantastic honour to be crowned best hair accessories at the Wedding Ideas Awards,” says Kirstie Taylor. “Winning – and even just entering – is important for our profile as a company. The awards are definitely the highlight of our diary every year and are the most recognised in the industry. We can’t wait for next year. Wedding Ideas always throw the best parties, FACT!”

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“We were absolutely shocked and thrilled to win our award last year,” adds Michelle Hailey from twobirds Bridesmaid. “It meant so much to be recognised by both brides and our peers, especially against some of the biggest names in the industry. Having our award proudly on show in our showroom makes us so proud and shows brides they are coming to a reputable company. It’s definitely driven more brides to twobirds for which we are of course very grateful.”

Travel experts Thomon also picked up an award on the night. “We were completely blown away to win the award for Best Provider of Honeymoons and Weddings Abroad,” says Jo Adamek. “It was totally unexpected, and yet at the same time seemed great recognition for a year of hard work and improvements to our product. It’s motivated us to strive forward and aim even higher. I can’t wait for next year’s awards, and fingers crossed we can retain our title!”

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The Special Touches award recognises those companies who make the little finishing touches for the big day. “When our name was called out, I almost fell off my chair!,” says Heidi from 2013 winners Giddy Kipper. “We’d promised our two little boys (who were sitting at home with my Mum & Dad and watching the live streaming) that we would wave to them if we saw the cameras. We never expected to be waving at them from the stage! To be recognised for our work is a massive achievement for us. We’re a very small business and care so much for our customers – this really makes all the hard work worthwhile. Cannot wait for party time again in January. I’m already planning my outfit!”

One of the most hotly contested awards of the evening is always Best Bridal Manufacturer, and last year’s winners Maggie Sottero are hoping to win again in 2014. “This awards is an accolade to the dedication to design and fit that Maggie Sottero offers with each and every one of their beautiful gowns,” says Lyn Muselle. “The Awards ceremony is one of the highlights on the annual bridal calendar and the anticipation and excitement for the 2014 Awards is intense.”

Don’t miss your chance to vote!

Voting launches for this year’s awards on 30th October at weddingideasmag.com and any size of business has the chance to be nominated. The top five companies with the most reader votes then go forward to a panel of judges who decide on the ultimate winners. And this year the judging panel is made up of such esteemed industry names as Susi Rogol from Bridal Buyer Magazine and blogger extraordinaire from Rock n Roll Bride.

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“I’ve been blogging about weddings since 2007 and in that time I’ve certainly seen the good, the bad and the very, very ugly,” says Kat. “I also receive between 50 and 100 real wedding submissions a day so I know what makes an awesome wedding supplier and what certainly does not!

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So what would Kat’s top tips be for planning the perfect wedding?

“Spend as much as you can on a wedding photographer – after the wedding day you’ll regret it if you have terrible photos. Start any DIY projects early, they ALWAYS take longer than you think. And just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. If something isn’t your forte, don’t struggle through with DIY, hire an amazing wedding supplier to do it for you!
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And that’s exactly what the Wedding Ideas Awards are all about. Shouting about brilliant products and amazing customer service and helping to promote the bridal industry in the UK as a whole.

Check out more videos from last year’s event or come and share your recommendations for top bridal suppliers now on the Wedding Ideas Forum!

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