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WEDDING AWARDS

Wedding Jeweller of the Year 2017 - Missouri

Esther Destiny’s Jewelry is a Kansas City based jewellers specialising in creating unique pieces which are ideal for creating a truly special day. We invited founder Ann Gray to tell us a bit more about what makes the company so successful.

Mark Gray Photography

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Welcome to the 2017 Wedding Awards Worth billions, the wedding industry is a vibrant and eclectic space encompassing everyone from wedding planners and decorators through to tailors, hotels, caterers and everything in between. With couples constantly looking for new and creative ways to share their special day, the market has become incredibly diverse. As such, The 2017 Wedding Awards were designed to showcase the very best across this fascinating market. We are not just interested in those involved in the big day itself; everyone from anniversary organisers to hen do specialists is welcome, and we are looking for nominations from across the world and the industry. The only thing linking them is their commitment to excellence.


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Contents 4 Wedding Photographer of the Year - Scotland - EBM Photography

5 Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 - England - Eternal Images Photography Ltd 6 Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 - Bristol & Bath - White Dove Photography 7 Best Wedding DJ 2017 - West Midlands - DJ Chris Mack 8 Wedding Jeweller of the Year 2017 - Missouri - Esther Destiny’s Jewelry 11 Toastmaster of the Year 2017 - England - Itoast2You 12 Best Private Wedding Car Company - South East England - Ag Classic Wedding Cars 13 Best Engagement & Wedding Photographer 2017 - Kent - Shelby Ellis Photography 14 Best Niche Wedding Entertainment Provider - UK & LUX Excellence Award for Christmas Themed Weddings 2017 - Hire Santa Ltd

16 Best Cultural Wedding Entertainment Business - England & Dance Group of the Year 2017 - London - Absolute Bollywood

17 Best Wedding Photography Company - Kent - Mark Gray Photography

18 Best for High-End Bespoke Tailored Groom’s Wear - South East England - Black Tie 19 Best Wedding Caterers 2017 - South West Ontario - The Steel Grill Catering Inc 20 Best Wedding Photographer - Southern Sweden - Mickael Tannus Photography 21 Best Wedding Ring Design Company 2017 - Alberta - Marlow’s Diamond & Design Ltd. 22 Best Wedding Stylist - Ontario - Uniquely Your Decor


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Wedding Photographer of the Year - Scotland

Company: EBM Photography Contact: Emma B Murrills Location: Cupar, Fife, Scotland Phone: 07590 012748 Email: info@ebmphotography.co.uk Website: www.ebmphotography.co.uk

Wedding Photographer of the Year - Scotland EBM Photography is the photography company of Emma B Murrills, based in Scotland. We invited Emma, founder of the company, to tell us a bit more about the company and what she believes is behind her achievements. Based in Fife, Scotland, EBM Photography specialises in classic, detailed and engaging wedding photography. They focus on beautiful bridal and couple portraits, in a “relaxed-pose” style, but also capture small details and candid moments throughout the day. The services the company offers cover the whole of the UK. Its founder, Emma spent two years learning the ropes as a wedding photographer, in the West Midlands, before making the move to Scotland with her husband, Chris. Emma believes that great customer service lies in the personal touch. Interacting with clients and understanding exactly what they need is important to Emma, as she presses to provide only the best service that the company can offer. “Focusing on the small details and engaging with our clients in a relaxed and friendly manner, allows them to feel at ease, so we can capture each wedding day in a way that reflects the uniqueness of the couple getting married. “It is important to make sure the client comes first in the photography industry, particularly at weddings. We truly value our clients and offer a tailor-made, flexible service. Our A La Carte Selection allows couples to create a bespoke package that suits their needs. We also offer various wedding collections that contain our most popular products, in the most sought-after combinations, but these can be upgraded or added to at any time.” Discussing the type of client the business usually deals with, Emma explains that although most clients are usually organised, the firm understands

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that arranging a wedding can be overwhelming. The company is on hand to help the process run smoothly, sometimes providing a selection of wedding tips. “In the wedding photography business, clients tend to be down to earth brides who like a bit of special treatment when it comes to customer service, as most are pretty organised, but perhaps a little overwhelmed with all there is to arrange. My website offers a selection of wedding tips; from dealing with the unpredictable weather to why you should get your pictures printed. I make an effort to keep in contact with my brides throughout the wedding planning, forging great relationships in the process. Many brides say it is like having a friend shoot their wedding.” The wedding industry is changing all the time. Emma explains how she feels the services EBM offer are unique, as with the technology industry constantly evolving, the firm retains a personal artistic touch to its photographs. “Some photographers feel that if you have the right equipment then anything is possible, and while technology is moving forward at apace, and is an important element, you still have to have the technical and artistic skills to really shine. Therefore, training and continual professional development is so important.” Outlining the variety of products which the firm offers, Emma explains how clients are realising that a high quality product will outlive any digital file. Keeping up with the industry, the firm is always monitoring

trends within the industry and will always provide the services that the client requests, offering advice on which product will suit each unique couple. “The wedding photography industry also saw a big shift towards digital products rather than printed items. However, I have noticed an upsurge in print product orders recently. I think clients are realising the value of having a tangible, high quality item that will far outlive a digital file. “Obviously, the traditional thing for wedding couples to purchase is an album of their images. However, print products could be a selection of high quality Fine Art prints that you can flick through, through to framed wall art. Imagine seeing one of the signature images from your wedding on the wall in your living room, there for you to enjoy every day.” Looking to the future, the firm is planning to build on the firms ongoing success and continue to aim for new heights, as well as continuing to offer excellent customer service and high quality images for its clients. The firm and Emma provide outstanding products to their clients, with Emma possessing a positive outlook for the future, with a mission to expand the business. “Moving forward, I am also hoping to expand EBM Photography, to incorporate new hubs across the UK. I’d like to say a big thank you to all the lovely couples that I have had the pleasure to work with over the last 5 years, and I look forward to welcoming more to the EBM Photography family.”


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Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 - England

Company: Eternal Images Photography Ltd Contact: Neil James Senior Website: www.eternalimages-photography.co.uk Contact Email: neil.j.senior@eternalimages-photography.co.uk Phone: 01709 554728 \ 0794474092

Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 - England Eternal Images Photography Ltd is an award winning photography firm based in South Yorkshire. We invited Neil James Senior to tell us more about the firm and the range of services it provides. Eternal Images offers a fusion of candid wedding photos combined with professional shots of the bride and groom. Neil discusses how he works to ensure that his clients receive the service they need on their special day. “Prior to contacting us our clients have usually accessed public galleries full of wedding images, purchased wedding magazines containing the latest bridal trends, visited Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The list of wedding day visual mediums available to potential clients is endless. As such when couples first contact me many already know what style of photography they are looking for and what photography services are important to them.” Offering the very latest techniques is central to providing clients with the service they need, as Neil identifies “Personally, I believe that my success comes from pushing boundaries and staying ahead with the latest photography techniques. Currently, modernist photography styles are a hot trend with the emphasis on a photographer’s creative style being far more important to my clients. Images that have high visual impact or coverage of natural reactions are often favoured over traditional coverage.

“Additionally, clients also prioritise full day coverage and often ask if there will be a second photographer present. My assistant and I average at least ten hours per wedding; from bridal and groom preparations until after first dance. This allows for a balance of formal and candid, including the more creative details and innovative Bride and Groom only images which I am recommended for. A combination of these carefully captured wedding images showcases a true reflection of the wedding day.” Overall, it is Neil’s passion for his work and dedication to excellence that makes him the best possible option for his clients, as he proudly concludes. “Ultimately, when a client invests in Eternal Images Photography Ltd I am the professional commissioned to capture and edit my client’s images. I do not outsource my editing to a larger company. I continue to individually post produce each wedding image, this way I am responsible for my own portfolio. My clients captured wedding images will remain with them, their family and friends for the rest of lives which is why I am solely committed to preserving those memories.”

“... when a client invests in Eternal Images Photography Ltd I am the professional commissioned to capture and edit my client’s images. I do not outsource my editing to a larger company. I continue to individually post produce each wedding image, this way I am responsible for my own portfolio.” LUX - Wedding Awards 2017 5


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Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 - Bristol & Bath

Company: White Dove Photography Contact: Paul Poynter Contact Email: paul@ whitedovephotography.co.uk Address: White Dove Photography, The Old Malthouse, Banwell, BS29 6DB Website: www. whitedovephotography.co.uk

Wedding Photographer of the Year 2017 - Bristol & Bath White Dove Photography specialise in unique and elegant wedding photography both in the UK and overseas. We invited Paul Poynter to tell us a bit more about the company’s recent success. Dedicated to providing its clients with the most picturesque photographs, White Dove Photography have photographed weddings in a variety of different locations, notably Tuscany, Venice, France and New York. Paul discusses the type of clients he works with and what services he and the firm offer. “Here at White Dove, we work with clients who appreciate beautiful photographs. We provide unique and elegant wedding photography anywhere in the UK and destination wedding photography services too. I am always looking for the photo that will wow my clients. I am looking to create something different and unique for my clients.” Despite the rise of digital cameras and phones being able to take high definition photos, Paul believes there still needs to be a personal artistic touch to wedding photographs. “The development in digital cameras and even mobile phones has meant that anyone can pick up a camera phone and take a reasonably decent photo. However, I believe that it is not enough to just point, shoot and hope for the best. Having a professional photographer with their photographer’s eye, along

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with the best equipment and experience of different conditions makes an invaluable combination.” In his concluding comments, Paul is full of praise for the staff at the firm, noting how they are fully aware of the company’s aims and can behave accordingly. The company is family orientated with Paul noting that the success of the company would not be possible without his loyal team. With his excellent staff behind him, the firm has been able to look to the future, expanding its business to a purpose-built studio. “There is a fantastic loyal and dedicated team behind me. My wife Eloise handles all my accounts and admin work, whilst my brother Richard and fatherin-law Jon are my amazing second shooters and my long-time friend Meg is my assistant. The job would be a lot harder without their help and support. Being a family fun business we all have the same ethos when it comes to the business values.” “I have just recently opened up a studio which will allow my clients to view their images from their wedding day in pure comfort with no distractions. There is even a glass of sparkles on offer too.”

“Being a family fun business we all have the same ethos when it comes to the business values. I have just recently opened up a studio which will allow my clients to view their images from their wedding day in pure comfort with no distractions. There is even a glass of sparkles on offer too.”


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Best Wedding DJ 2017 - West Midlands

Company: DJ Chris Mack Contact: Chris Mack Contact Email: djchrismack@hotmail.com Address: Kidderminster, Worcestershire Phone: 07985 681 376 Website: www.djchrismack.co.uk

Best Wedding DJ 2017 - West Midlands Chris Mack is a DJ who has been DJing for the last 25 years, having worked in clubs in Greece and for a Rock and Roll Bar chain in Hong Kong and Taiwan. We invited Chris to tell us more about what he does and what he puts his success down to. Since returning from South East Asia, Chris decided to concentrate on mobile Discos and has now been running his own business for the last 13 years. He tells us about the service he offers and why his clients appreciate him and the spectacle he provides. “Over the years, I’ve provided a professional DJ service to couples all over the UK; however, I’ve also been hired by couples from Sweden, Canada and New Zealand for their UK Weddings. The services I offer are tailor made to suit each couple and their guests; incorporating their personal music preference. As a DJ, I try to ensure that no two weddings are the same and I would describe my style as ‘out of the box.’ Specialising in Indie/Rock and a more eclectic style has taken me all over the country, and it is safe to say I am not your stereo-typical DJ. Personal service is important for Chris as a lot of his business comes from word of mouth. Providing a service with a personal touch, Chris promotes himself through the internet via his website, as he explains to us how he makes the day and night special for his clients.

“To ensure my clients have a great day, I do what I can to try and get to know all the couples that I am working for and what they do and do not want for their evening. Following the initial booking I keep in touch with all my couples in the weeks before their wedding and compile a complete list of must play songs and songs I definitely should not play.” In his concluding comments, Chris discusses how he makes weddings a memorable event. From high quality equipment to his personal touch, clients know that Chris will provide them with the perfect environment for their memorable day. “In my mind, it is always important to have the best equipment for the job, which I provide. A complimentary CD is also a firm favourite with the couples - a permanent reminder of their night including the first dance and any other songs that are important to them. In the future, I purely aim to continue doing what I am doing, meeting new people, making new friends and doing what I love the most.”

Personal service is important for Chris as a lot of his business comes from word of mouth. Providing a service with a personal touch, Chris promotes himself through the internet via his website, as he explains to us how he makes the day and night special for his clients. LUX - Wedding Awards 2017 7


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lux Contact: Ann Gray Contact Email: Ann@ estherdestinysjewelry.com Company: Esther Destiny’s Jewelry Address: Kansas City, Missouri, 64133, USA Phone: 001 913 602 7349 Website: www. EstherDestinysJewelry.com

Wedding Jeweller of the Year 2017 - Missouri

Wedding Jeweller of the Year 2017 - Missouri

Esther Destiny’s Jewelry is a Kansas City based jewellers specialising in creating unique pieces which are ideal for creating a truly special day. We invited founder Ann Gray to tell us a bit more about what makes the company so successful. Established in 2006, Esther Destiny’s Jewelry has remained unique, as all of its jewelry is designed and handcrafted by the Creative Director and Founder; Ann Gray. Each line is one of a kind and has been kept that way intentionally as Ann uses natural, exotic stones in every piece of jewelry the company produces. Furthermore, the stones are unique, handpicked from all over the world before being hand-cut and polished by trusted geologists. The jewelry is created from scratch, ensuring that from start to finish it remains natural. Each design is formed with the idea that the jewelry will become an extension of the wearer’s personality. Jewelry produced by Ann ranges from vintage Victorian styles to current trends. For any client and any customer, each piece is designed with the intention that it will last for generations, providing the jewelry as an heirloom. Ann outlines the company’s mission as well as discussing the unique jewelry that the business deals with. “Esther Destiny’s Jewelry’s mission is to create the idea for the client that they are not only purchasing a high end, handcrafted piece of Jewelry but they are also purchasing integrity, ethics, honor, honesty, and a guarantee. “As a whole, I specialize in wire wrap jewelry which is sculpted with a semi-precious stone or gemstone and Precious Metal wire. Usually, the entire piece of jewelry is done by hand, occasionally using the assistance of tools only for the framework or minute details. I also specialize in silversmith jewelry, where I strive to keep my designs eclectic and distinct. Part of my trademark is integrating filigree designs into my work. This is a technique that has been used for hundreds of years all over the world and is rare today, I have been able to take this art form and make it my own. Filigree design adds an elegant, bohemian touch to my work and although one may be similar to another, no two pieces are ever identical. This is because no two natural, hand-cut stones are ever identical, allowing the wearer to have a piece of jewelry that is entirely their own.”

predominately related to the unique nature of her and the company’s designs. This is important due to the jewelry being special for the bride on their special day. “Esther Destiny’s Jewelry has been described as eclectic as the styles can vary so drastically. The same can be said for the type of customers that are attracted to my jewelry. As the styles vary so much, so do the type of customers. Most customers have one love in common about my jewelry and that is that it is unique and natural. Customers, especially those that are looking for wedding jewelry like the fact that there will not be another person in the world wearing another piece of jewelry like their own. Their special day, they can truly look special. “The jewelry I make is usually distinctive for the bride’s dream day. Her styles are unusual, creative and unlike any others. I strive to create pieces befitting of a bride and if a bride is looking for a custom piece all on her own, I patiently work with her to find the right look she is trying to achieve. My jewelry is not limited to the bride, bridesmaids, and mothers of the bride, as even the men in the wedding can find something distinctive to wear to the wedding. From cufflinks to bracelets, they can be found at Esther Destiny’s Jewelry.”

“...clients love the fact that each piece is well thought out, articulately designed, and sturdy, and is a work of art, graceful, with curling metalwork.” With happy customers keen to show the world the stunning pieces that the firm has created, Ann also takes great pride in the work she undertakes, as she discusses. “Most of the jewelry I make is with stones that have been in the ground millions of years. They are beautiful, exotic, and all natural and each one is absolutely unique and there is not another in the world like it. There are vibrant hues of colors that our color palettes can only attempt to create. Most of these stones actually look hand painted. I look for these stones and create jewelry that is also one of a kind, eclectic, creative and unlike anything else in the world.

Making the company stand out within the jewelry industry can be difficult, however, the wedding jewelry range is something Ann is particularly proud of. Ann discusses customer satisfaction and the kind comments the business has received,

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“The enjoyment of my customers is the best thing about my role, and as testimony to the excellent level of service I offer the majority of my customers find me through networking and word of mouth. Referrals play a large role in my customers and I connect with a lot of people personally. Usually customers come back also after they have purchased something from me, and it is always enjoyable to work with them on several pieces and see them grow and prosper in their lives and relationships.” What customers truly enjoy about Ann’s work is the superb quality, excellent customer service and attention to detail, as Ann explains. “Frequently, customer feedback reflects on the personalised approach I give to my customers, as they know that I always have their best interested at heart. Additionally, clients love the fact that each piece is well thought out, articulately designed, and sturdy, and is a work of art, graceful, with curling metalwork. Customers feel special when wearing my jewelry, which is the main aim.” Alongside her work designing and creating gorgeous wedding jewelry, Ann also mentors and supports other designers, including Toni Brundage, who runs Creations by Toni. Although Ann no longer mentors Toni the two share a strong relationship thanks to the support and advice Ann has provided over the years. Ultimately, Ann is always learning new things and expanding her knowledge in order to expand the jewelry into more advanced, creative works of art. “I have added a part-time Design Assistant to do some lighter design work so that I can expand the business. One of the goals is to add more Hair Accessories such as Tiaras for Weddings but my designs are not limited to weddings as I want to expand the expertise in all areas of the business. Excellence is a standard that is not compromised. Growth within the industry is constant.”

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Toastmaster of the Year 2017 - England

Company: itoast2You Contact: Verity Bartlett Contact Email: info@itoast2you.co.uk Address: 10 Mallard Close, Bitham Park, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 3XR, UK Tel: 07754 193592 Website: www.itoast2you.co.uk

Toastmaster of the Year 2017 - England Itoast2you provides bespoke Toastmaster; Master of Ceremonies and on the day coordination services for Weddings, charity fundraisers, awards dinners and corporate events. We profiled the firm to find out more about its success and its recent achievements. Based in Wiltshire but available across the UK, itoast2you works closely with their clients, through individual and collaborative meetings, so that on the day, your event goes exactly how you planned it. With a broad range of clients including military charities, museum trusts, local government and community organisations as well as engaged couples; itoast2you will bring a range of skills, knowledge and experience to bear as the Toastmaster or Master of Ceremonies for your wedding, charity or corporate event. A dream wedding is on the wish list of many a bride after they have said ‘Yes’. With so many aspects to think about leading up to this most special of days, including venue, dress, photographer, guests, flowers, and food; when a couple gets to the big day, they will want it all to run without a hitch. The company will provide that unique service dedicated to you and your guests on your wedding day. With pre-wedding meetings available in the comfort of your own home, this is the ideal opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of your wedding day. In addition, the company always recommend a joint meeting at the venue, giving each couple the

chance to ask their Toastmaster any venue specific questions. Unlimited phone and email support are also available in the lead up to your wedding. On the wedding day, itoast2you will arrive early and be there to coordinate, control and compere the day from photos to first dance (and before if required). Within the wedding industry, the Toastmaster provides a service often seen as key by other suppliers to the overall success of a day. The Toastmaster will assist with group shots for photographs, help musicians and DJ’s to find and set up their performance area, and act as Front of House, for wedding guests, thereby allowing venue staff greater flexibility. The profession of Wedding Toastmaster and Master of Ceremonies is a solitary one; but as a member of The Association of the UK School of Professional Toastmasters (AUKSPT); itoast2you can draw on a national network of over 40 Toastmasters who can be called upon to ‘step in’ should the need arise. Itoast2you is governed and abides by the AUKSPT code of conduct.

“The Toastmaster will assist with group shots for photographs, help musicians and DJ’s to find and set up their performance area, and act as Front of House, for wedding guests, thereby allowing venue staff greater flexibility.”

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Best Private Wedding Car Company - South East England

Company: AG Classic Wedding Cars Contact: Anthony Gilsenan Contact Email: Anthony@ aga-marketing.co.uk Address: Ivy Cottage, London Road, Pulborough, RH20 3JR Phone: 01903 891413 Website: www. agclassicweddingcars.co.uk

Best Private Wedding Car Company - South East England AG Classic Wedding Cars provides wedding car transport for discerning clients throughout the south of England with an owner-driven 1959 classic Jaguar sports saloon (UFF325). We invited Anthony Gilsenan to tell us about more the car. Owned by Anthony for over 20 years, AG Classic Wedding Cars’ 1959 Jaguar features gorgeous black coachwork with wire wheels, acres of chrome, beautiful soft red leather upholstery with polished burr walnut. With wide opening doors, the car comfortably seats up to three in the back and one in the front. Anthony tells us how it feels to win this award and what makes the company unique. “To be voted by LUX as Best Private Wedding Car Company South East England 2017 is fantastic and a great honour which recognises the years of hard work that has been invested in developing the business and renovating the car. “UFF325 is unique and there is no other car quite like it thanks its smooth looks, comfort, performance and its Endeavour Morse TV history.” Anthony is keen to point out his wealth of experience in the industry, noting the attention to detail when preparing for weddings. “With over 300 weddings under my belt over the past 20 years, I know what it takes to help make a

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wedding day run smoothly. Detailed preparation and planning both behind the scenes and front of house is the route to a successful wedding.” Evidently inspired by the memorable occasions that he attends, Anthony emphased how much preparation goes into getting the car ready for brides, always looking for ways to prepare and overcome any challenging issues which may arise on the day. “Just to prepare and detail UFF325 for a wedding can take up to 2 hours, black wire wheels look great when clean but a shower on the way to collect the bride can put paid to hours of cleaning. “The boot of my car is full of cleaning clothes, polishes, spare parts, umbrellas, water and tissues to name a few – the list is endless. As a result, a shower of rain or a bride overcome by her big day never catches me out.” Ultimately, Anthony ensures that he delivers the best possible service to clients, both from himself and the car.

“To ensure everything goes correctly, I always arrive on time with a car that looks immaculate, introduce myself properly and make sure my clients feel like royalty.”

“With over 300 weddings under my belt over the past 20 years, I know what it takes to help make a wedding day run smoothly. Detailed preparation and planning both behind the scenes and front of house is the route to a successful wedding.”


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Best Engagement & Wedding Photographer 2017 - Kent

Email: info@shelbyellis.co.uk Website: www.shelbyellis.co.uk

Best Engagement & Wedding Photographer 2017 - Kent Shelby Ellis Photography is a wedding and engagement photographer based in Kent, but travelling all over the UK and beyond. We invited Shelby Ellis to talk us through the services she provides and how the company has earned such a sterling reputation. Shelby’s style is simple and documentary - capturing natural, candid moments as they happen, rather than orchestrating a series of posed of set-up shots. Shelby describes to us her experiences and the personal touch she employs when taking the perfect photograph, ensuring clients receive only the best service. “Having fallen in love with the very first photograph I took, I have now been photographing weddings for three years. It is just such a special feeling to have the privilege of capturing the most important day in a couple’s life. Taking natural shots of those beautiful moments which we otherwise might forget, my photography style is simple and unobtrusive – so much so, that I have been known to make a few groomsmen jump when I have unknowingly crept up beside them to get the perfect shot! “Every single moment of the client’s experience is completely personal with me. I don’t send automated emails, hire other photographers to shoot for me or outsource my editing. From the initial enquiry to the finished images, I deal with every aspect of client wedding photography. When clients book with Shelby

Ellis Photography, they know that the service, skill and style will be mine.”

so that is where I want to take my business in the next few years.”

Photographing weddings of any religions or styles and in any venues and locations, Shelby’s biggest achievement so far is being printed in Vogue Magazine, in their ‘Wedding Must Haves’ article. “Even since school it has been a dream of mine to one day have a photo printed on the pages of Vogue, and it actually happened. It was unbelievable to be seeing my business’ name in such an iconic publication.” Looking ahead, having secured her very first destination wedding in the South of France this year, Shelby hopes to take her business even further and travel all over the globe photographing a wide variety of different weddings. “Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular in the industry at the moment and I would really like to be a part of that. I love to travel, and the list of places I want to visit is just endless. It would be absolutely amazing to be able to combine my wanderlust with my love of photographing weddings,

“It would be absolutely amazing to be able to combine my wanderlust with my love of photographing weddings...” LUX - Wedding Awards 2017 13


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lux Hire Santa Ltd Contact: Richard Fraser Contact Email: info@hiresanta.co.uk Address: Franklin House, 2 Steppingley Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire MK45 1AJ, UK (Registered address) London Address: 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JQ UK Phone: 020 7125 0795 (London & UK Enquiry Office) Website: www.hiresanta.co.uk

Wedding Jeweller of the Year 2017 - Missouri

Best Niche Wedding Entertainment Provider – UK & LUX Excellence Award for Christmas Themed Weddings 2017

Hire Santa Ltd prides itself in supplying the UK with some of the World’s best Santa Clauses/ Father Christmases. We invited Catherine Harvey, Managing Director, to tell us more about how they help make many occasions memorable. Hire Santa believes in excellence without compromise. The marriage between the most magical personalities adorning the very best, impeccable and exquisite costumes is vital. Catherine believes that making the Santa realistic is the most important feature of a Christmas event, making it a memorable event for children and their parents. “As a company, Hire Santa is proud to redress the balance where the importance of getting the Santa right is frequently overlooked as the least important aspect of a Christmas event when it should be one of the most important - in grotto scenarios for example. It is essential at the very least that every child and adult has a beautiful and memorable time of seeing a Santa that brings the magic alive and keeps the belief in all things good.” “Santa’s appearance at a client’s wedding can make a wonderful addition to their special day, perhaps to meet and greet guests or be as creative, unusual and wonderful as you wish. Every wedding we attend is unique and we are delighted that our talented Santas (professional actors or performers) can improvise whilst adding their own distinct touches to your experience. All Santas are not the same. Everyone has a unique approach based on their own interpretation in bringing Santa to life.” Concerning the services the Santas are asked to provide by clients at weddings, Catherine acknowledges that the company get some unfamiliar requests, tending to shy away from any desires for a Bad Santa type. Catherine also discusses the company’s recruitment policy when hiring Santas, ensuring employees are right for the job. “There are many unusual requests, and we are happy to incorporate any of the client’s own ideas or special touches to add that extra special sparkle to your very important day. We do however avoid taking on roles such as Bad Santa as this can confuse people into believing that the Santa is not very good, especially in cases where some people do not quite understand that this is what the booker requested.”

“Employees who want to be Santas are hand-picked based on commitment, personality, attitude and shared values. After passing our rigorous checks, we believe that he has then earned his right to adorn such a responsible and influential position that gives children the inspiration that the role of Santa portrays. Due to our stringent requirements, we reject many applicants that do not fit with our business culture. Our Santas are passionate about what they do, seeing it as a special vocation and a privilege to be playing the role of Santa whilst bringing enjoyment and magic to people of any age.” The authenticity of the Santas provided by the firm is something Catherine seems particularly proud of. With specially made beards, the Santa provided to the client provides the real magic at weddings, performing with enthusiasm and a genuine attempt to make the wedding a special day.

“...the Santa provided to the client provides the real magic at weddings, performing with enthusiasm and a genuine attempt to make the wedding a special day.”

“We are proud of our real bearded Santas who have the costumes and personalities to go with them. Most of our Santas have not grown a real beard but they still have real hair beards that are specialist made. Santa, as a magical character does not need to look like a nice old man that can be recognised anywhere. Our Santas can arrive at your wedding, perform and then leave incognito. “Importantly, we do not employ unsuitable Santas just to increase our revenues. Special Santas are not

available in huge quantities. In some locations Hire Santa can also offer a Victorian Santa. We operate throughout the year and have Santa in a Summer outfit if preferred.” Looking forward, Catherine details how the company is expanding their services, developing their website and staff are even happy to travel overseas in order to provide quality service to clients. Catherine cannot speak highly enough of the staff, which is a testament to the exciting working environment at the firm. “Regarding the future, Hire Santa are currently developing a brand-new website and have great new systems within the business to ensure that we can monitor the booking from enquiry to delivery and to customer service. This is only possible by the team members that we employ and are very fortunate to have amazing people with superb skills and talents in creativity management, operations, administration and communication. We have a base in London and an operations department in Bedfordshire. Our Santas have their own bases throughout the UK and are more than happy to travel overseas if this is what a client requires.”

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Best Cultural Wedding Entertainment Business – England & Dance Group of the Year 2017 - London

Company: Absolute Bollywood Contact: Jennie Jethwani Contact Email: info@ absolutebollywood.co.uk Address: 16 Balderton Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6TN, UK Phone: 020 3621 1336 Website: www. absolutebollywood.co.uk

Best Cultural Wedding Entertainment Business – England & Dance Group of the Year 2017 - London Absolute Bollywood is an International dance company based in London. We spoke to Jennie Jethwani to find out more about the company and discuss what makes it so successful. Absolute Bollywood’s strong team of professional dancers and instructors offer an assortment of services to clients. The company provides entertainment for weddings in particular. The team offers professional performances and interactive workshops; specialities include first dance choreography and group wedding routines for friends and family. Jennie discusses what makes the company unique and original. “In the last few years, many new Bollywood companies have opened in the UK which has been challenging as the industry has become more competitive. Unlike many other dance companies, we do not have just one choreographer. Many of our dancers enjoy creating new routines for the team so we can diversify our content based on the many styles they have trained in. Our Bollywood Ballerina piece is a perfect example of a medley developed by our dancers who are trained in Pointe work. They were able to create something unique and artistically beautiful.” Providing a variety of options for clients to choose from for their wedding, the company is focused on

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putting the client first. Jennie explains how recently the team of dancers have been integrated into the dance with the bride and groom. “Essentially, our carefully constructed medleys give our clients a variety of options to choose from for their events. Each client has a different vision of what their dream wedding is and our job is to adhere to that and enhance it. Once we get a brief from the client we will make suggestions as to how we can tailor our entertainment to best suit them. “In the Asian Wedding Industry, it has become customary for the friends and family of the bride and groom to dance at wedding events for the couple. This can also include us performing with them or the couple. In 2015, Jennie produced her own Bollywood show “50 Years of Bollywood” at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith starring Ash King & Jonita Gandhi with the Absolute Bollywood dancers. The team were faced with many challenges, working under great pressure, but it was greatly received. This was a time of growth for the team and the company. Everyone

was extremely supportive and had a common goal to make the show a success.

“In the Asian Wedding Industry, it has become customary for the friends and family of the bride and groom to dance at wedding events for the couple. This can also include us performing with them or the couple.


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Best Wedding Photography Company - Kent

Company: Mark Gray Wedding and Event Photography Contact: Mark Gray Contact Email: weddingandeventphotos@ gmail.com Address: 69 High Street, Wouldham, Rochester, Kent, ME1 3XE, UK Phone: 07841 262962 Website: www.weddingandevent. photography/

Best Wedding Photography Company - Kent Mark Gray is a wedding and event photographer with aspirations to travel throughout the UK. We invited him to tell us more about the company and discuss his recent success. Based in Rochester, Mark Gray primarily photographs weddings and events within Kent. Mark explains his vision for his photography, highlighting the variety of pictures he takes and the vivid storylines he tells. “To ensure excellence for my clients, I prefer natural looking portraits and work with my couples to ensure the pictures truly reflect the couple on their wedding day. I love utilising rich vibrant colours in my post processing whereas my black and white processing has more of a soft vintage feel to it.” Mark comments on how he aims to always achieve excellence and ensure that he offers the best services to his clients. He explains how his images contribute to the wonderful events he attends, highlighting the true emotions in people on their special day. “Every wedding is unique; the people, the moments, the detail, the scenery and very often the weather, all play a part in creating an unforgettable day. I am always looking for those little moments that capture the honesty and pure emotion of a wedding day, each scene is captured perfectly as it unfolds.”

Mark notes how he has implemented technology into his work to keep up with the ever changing developments and advances of technology. The excellence of phone cameras has made a photographer’s life more difficult but Mark is more than willing to embrace the challenge. “To make it as a wedding photographer, it is no longer enough to point the camera and fire bursts of shots, hoping one will be ok. The cameras on smart phones now create amazingly good images. A wedding photographer`s work will have a little something extra so the images stand out. That extra something can include creative lighting, good composition and clever use of the variety of lenses available on modern full frame DSLR`s.” Looking ahead, Mark will continue to invest in whatever he deems necessary to provide the best quality pictures for clients. He will also attend workshops and look to learn new techniques which will help his business thrive. “Ultimately, I continue to invest in the latest professional equipment which ensures reliability and quality. To ensure I continue learning new

techniques and trends I attend workshops and enter many photographic competitions throughout the year achieving numerous awards for my efforts.”

A “ wedding photographer`s work will have a little something extra so the images stand out. That extra something can include creative lighting, good composition and clever use of the variety of lenses available on modern full frame DSLR`s.” LUX - Wedding Awards 2017 17


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Best Engagement & Wedding Photographer 2017 - Kent

Company: Black Tie Contact: Graeme Healy Contact Email: info@ blacktiemenswear.co.uk Address: 79 Church Street, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 7AW, UK Phone: 01344 778883 Website: www. blacktiemenswear.co.uk

Best for High-End Bespoke Tailored Groom’s Wear - South East England

Founded in 1985 by Chris Healy, Black Tie has been the number one choice for your formal menswear hire and tailoring needs in Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire for over 30 years. We spoke to Chris’ son, Graeme to find out more about the company. Since inception, Black Tie has flourished and today the company is split into two departments: formal hire wear and personal tailoring. The hirewear department is the leading formal menswear hire company in the South-East, catering for between 500 and 600 wedding parties every year. Graeme tells us some of the services that the firm provides in detail, listing how each garment is personally tailored to fit the client’s needs and how the firm is living up to its sterling reputation. “All garments are hand cut to an exclusive pattern for each customer, and at least one fitting is performed before we alter and hand finish in-house. The result is a garment with no limitations on style, cloth, cut or options as it is truly being made from scratch. Couple this to the beautiful and intimate setting of our Personal Tailoring Lounge, and it’s no wonder that we are fast becoming the company to turn to for Personal Tailoring with a truly bespoke touch.” Ultimately, drawing on the firm’s expertise and dedication to quality, the future for Black Tie looks

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to be in safe hands as Graeme believes that the company is unrivalled in the South East when it comes to the service provided by the company. “Thanks to our tailoring history, many contacts and long experience working with the very best makers in the industry, our hirewear department also has a very bespoke feel. We offer a wider range of suits and accessories than any other hirewear company, many of which is designed to own specifications for exclusivity, and can also custom make accessories to our customers own spec. “Boasting a wealth of experience, our tailoring history adds another advantage in that our attention to detail regarding the fit of each outfit is unparalleled. Our experienced team will ensure that every garment fits as well as it possibly can before it leaves the building, and we can also offer specialist alteration of hire garments at extra cost if needs be, something that still to this day no other hirewear company in the South-East can offer.”

A “ ll garments are hand cut to an exclusive pattern for each customer, and at least one fitting is performed before we alter and hand finish in-house. The result is a garment with no limitations on style, cloth, cut or options as it is truly being made from scratch.”


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Best Wedding Caterers 2017 – South West Ontario

Company: The Steel Grill Catering Inc Contact: Tami Collins Contact Email: thesteelgrill@rogers.com Address: 1674 Dundas Street, London, Ontario, N5W 3C6, Canada Phone: 001 519 453 8222 Website: steelgrill.com

Best Wedding Caterers 2017 – South West Ontario The Steel Grill Catering Inc. has been serving London and area as a Full-Service Catering Establishment for over 15 years. We spoke to Tami Collins to find out more about the company and what it does to entice clients. The Steel Grill Catering Inc. is a full-service catering company that cater to corporate and private catering functions as well as weddings. The company provides food, rentals, service and help with event co-ordination and wedding planning. Tami provides us with a breakdown on what the catering company plans to achieve. “Here at the Steel Grill Catering Inc., we only aim to achieve the perfect event for our clients. Building and maintaining relationships, we like to say we are caterers with personality, something clients love to get into, particularly in the wedding industry. “Importantly, our food is sourced from only the freshest and local ingredients and is all home cooked in our kitchen. Add to that the fact that our staff are personable, professional and always meeting and surpassing our client’s expectations.” With a wide range of culinary experience on the team, staff bring flair and skill to all catered affairs and events. Tami attributes a lot of the company’s success to her staff and clients, all of which have contributed in some way to making the Steel Grill Catering Inc. the success it is now.

“Ultimately, I personally always like to thank all of my staff and clients who have always been there to make us who we are today. We would not be the company we are without the trust of my clients and the hard work of all of our staff.”

“In the Asian Wedding Industry, it has become customary for the friends and family of the bride and groom to dance at wedding events for the couple. This can also include us performing with them or the couple. LUX - Wedding Awards 2017 19


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Best Wedding Photographer – Southern Sweden

Company: Mickael Tannus Photography Contact: Mickael Tannus Contact Email: micke@tannus.se Address: Befälsgatan 3, 253 55 Mörarp, Sweden Phone: +46 70 614 15 33 Instagram: @mickael_tannus Website: www.tannus.se

Best Wedding Photographer – Southern Sweden Mickael Tannus Photography is the photography business of Mickael Tannus, looking to be innovative and capture the true emotions of a wedding day. Mickael discusses what aspects of wedding photography he enjoys. Mickael Tannus Photography has been in business for almost 10 years now, and when the business originally established he was dedicated to shooting for magazines and commercial products. Covering a variety of bases, Mickael now shoots fashion, commercial projects, portraits, golf courses, travel, tourism, corporate, editorials and weddings. Mickael explains how he always aims to achieve excellence and ensures that he offers only the best service. “Still photography is my core focus. Capturing the essence of their day, with no fake smiles. I always try to do better, every time. And to be on my toes. Even though I am very laid back as a person and calm, I never let my guard down during the day, looking for new angles and events. It is exhausting shooting a full day, but I hate myself for missing out on a great shot.” Meticulous in his work, Mickael believes it is all worthwhile seeing the client satisfied. As a result of his success, he mentions that he would like to do some wedding photography in other countries, easily feasible for someone of Mickael’s talent and application.

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“Working alone, I provide a personal touch. I do not trust anyone else to do my work and since my firm is me it is very important that everything is done correctly. This applies to everything from photography to web design to graphic design, plus post production. It might take longer but clients will get a genuine Tannus-production, which they usually hire me for. I am hoping to do a little more work in other countries so that is probably what I’m aiming for right now.” Looking ahead, Mickael discusses what impact technology has had on weddings, and how he has adapted to this. However much he adapts to the future and upcoming trends, Mickael emphasises that he will continue to stamp his own style on his photography. “Technology plays a key part in wedding photography today; sometimes it feels like there is a drone on every wedding now days. As such, I got myself a crazy good drone to be able to get those impossible images. There is always some development in style and I like to keep up without losing my style and main focus.”

“Technology plays a key part in wedding photography today; sometimes it feels like there is a drone on every wedding now days. As such, I got myself a crazy good drone to be able to get those impossible images. There is always some development in style and I like to keep up without losing my style and main focus.”


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Best Wedding Ring Design Company 2017 - Alberta

Company: Marlow’s Diamond & Design Ltd. Contact: Marlow Marshall Contact Email: custom@marlowdesign.ca Address: 600, 630 8 AVE, SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 1G6, Canada Phone: 001 403 992 8452 Website: www.marlowdesign.ca

Best Wedding Ring Design Company 2017 - Alberta Marlow’s Diamond & Design Ltd provide the unique and intimate solution to finding or creating the perfect piece of jewelry for any occasion. We profile the firm as we look to find out more about the company and its attractive jewellery. Customers and clients are able to visit Marlow knowing they will get spectacular precious stones in eye-catching unique settings, designed to set new standards in style and design. The company’s stunning signature custom jewelry in Calgary Collections speaks sophistication. Each one of Marlow’s iconic pieces are crafted to perfection, with the team drawing its inspiration from nature. Designers use the purest gemstones and precious metals to create drama in every piece of jewelry it creates. Offering a wide variety of services, clients can approach the company seeking exquisite Wedding Rings in Calgary or even Diamond Rings in Calgary, knowing Marlow will deliver the perfect product. Marlow’s expert and skilled craftsmen use the sparkle of precious stones and the natural brilliance of precious metals to create pieces that have brilliance, life and fire. The team are passionate about the business, which is highlighted in the manner in which the company explores the undying appeal of nature, creating Engagement Rings for

men and women, as well as pendants and earrings. These designs are so unique, they will take the clients breath away. With an emphasis placed on creating magic in precious metal and gemstones, which help create the statement that the client wants. No matter what the choice is, the team endeavor to provide clients with traditional, classic, modern, contemporary, delicate or chunky designs, another sign of its ongoing success. Seeing the women and men that wear the stunning designs is the motivation for the team and staff to continue in their work, as more often than not, both the product and the person wearing it look stunning. Overall, Marlow’s Diamond & Design’s jewelry is a balance of grace and power, love and desire, affection and friendship and helps the company express itself, creating the style statement the client want. Never compromising on quality and design expertise, clients approach the company knowing that they are going to get the best product, custom designed to be a reflection of the client themselves.

“The team are passionate about the business, which is highlighted in the manner in which the company explores the undying appeal of nature, creating Engagement Rings for men and women, as well as pendants and earrings.”

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lux Company: Uniquely Your Decor Events Contact: Carol Pogson Contact Email: carol@ uniquelyyourdecor.com Address: 5-1960 Dundas St W, Mississauga, Ontario, L5K 2R9, Canada Telephone: 001 905 601 7501 Web Address: www. uniquelyyourdecor.com

The Business of Happiness

The Business of Happiness

Uniquely Your Décor Events is both a décor and flower company which strives to give brides their dream wedding. We profiled the firm and spoke to Carol Pogson as we look to discover what has made the company so successful and what her vision is for the future. Uniquely Your Décor spends time understanding its clients’ vision and dreams for their future, as well as for their special day. The company offers a wide selection of florals, décor, backdrops and linens, to name few of its products, all of which allow the firm to offer a one stop shopping experience. Within the wedding industry, it is important to be up to date with the latest developments within the market. As a result, the wedding season can represent any colour from purple and lime green to black, red and white. Uniquely Your Décor accommodates requests from a variety of people, and will even work with the clients’ own imagination or via a photo if need be. Decorating a whole wedding, the firm offers rentals of linens and chair covers, and can carry specialty items like crystals, backdrops and lighting. Always looking to satisfy the clients, the objective of the company is to meet the clients’ needs and expectations whilst keeping them happy. The firm maintains its relationships, being honest with the clients, never going over budget. Benefitting clients, busy brides are able to save both money and time, especially those who are already stretched in a variety of ways. Providing a high end look whilst saving money, Carol and the firm are able to deliver alternatives that can fit any budget. “Here at Uniquely Your Décor, our staff have known each other for several years and consider ourselves family. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and trust each with the jobs assigned to us. As we are each unique in our skill level we all have specific jobs we do, allowing us to prefect our craft. This provides a comprehensive and high-level skill based service.” Carol gives us an overview of the company’s ethos, outlining the mission which staff are all working towards, as well as telling us the slogan that is embedded into the company culture. The client,

which tends to be the bride is always put first and the product is essentially what they desire. “Creating a good working environment, the company’s slogan is that ‘we are in the business of happiness.’ This motto sums up how we feel each time we see a bride smile or hear them question how we were able to match and exceed their requirements and expectations. The staff and I work in this business because we love it, and understand a bride’s needs, whilst possessing a vision for the future and love to learn new things.” Ultimately, client relationships and trust are all key aspects of what makes the company successful. Uniquely Your Décor is able to provide brides with their dream wedding, on budget and will always be seeking to provide a memorable first impression for clients’ weddings, making it a memorable experience for their guests.

“...busy brides are able to save both money and time, especially those who are already stretched in a variety of ways. Providing a high end look whilst saving money, Carol and the firm are able to deliver alternatives that can fit any budget.” LUX - Wedding Awards 2017 23


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LUX Wedding awards 2017  
LUX Wedding awards 2017