Fundraising News

Face your fears for the Foundation!

It’s that time of year again – enrolment for the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation charity abseil!

If you fancy facing a fear of heights, or consider yourself a bit of an adrenaline junkie, please Naomi and the team today for details of how you can take part. The abseil is due to take place on the 17th May in North Devon. We always get a great response, so be sure to register your interest as soon as possible!

Not keen on abseiling?

There are so many ways that you can raise money for the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation – we promise that not all of them involve flinging yourself from a great height! Most recently Katie Ansley completed the Dalwood 3 Hills Challenge in our honour, while previous fundraising events have include Zumbathons, football matches, sponsored violin practises, and more. Whatever you want to do, we are just thrilled that you are choosing to support the Foundation’s valuable work.

Swim, run, sing, dance, or sit in a bath of beans – every penny counts!

If you would like more information regarding the charity abseil, or want to register your interest for any other fundraising events, please contact Naomi and her team: info@weddingwishingwell.org.uk

Thank you for your continued support.

 

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Fundraising News

Wedding Fairs Round Up!

We’ve had a very busy weekend; Naomi was in Chipping Sodbury for a fantastic wedding fair held in the Town Hall, which raised a brilliant £47.13 for the Foundation, while Claire was at Taunton School for their wedding fair. Jo stationed herself at the ‘Off To Wed’ event at Paintworks, Bristol, at which a raffle was held in honour of the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation. In total £115 was raised – wow! The Portishead Wedding Network held a fair at St. Peter’s Church on Saturday, which also raised money for us – thank you so much, everybody.

A huge thank you to everyone who came to see us, and congratulations to all couples who are getting married soon. It was lovely to meet you!

As the wedding season approaches we will be featuring at a number of upcoming fairs, the details of which can be found here. It is always great to meet engaged couples, as well as wedding suppliers from across the country – come and say hello!

If you are getting married this year and have yet to sort a gift list, please consider dedicating your wedding to the Foundation. Details for setting up a Wedding Wishing Well Foundation gift list can be found here.

Fundraising News

The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards: The time for tickets is running out!

Voting may have closed, but there are still two days left to buy tickets to this wonderful event.

The week of the Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards and Wedding Wishing Well Foundation’s Appreciation Awards is upon us – in just four more sleeps we will be announcing all of the winners at a fantastic ceremony at Wick Farm near Bath. Guests will be spoiled with a three course dinner provided by Strawberry Field Catering, as well as a full evening of entertainment – it’s not to be missed!

Tickets cost just £45 per person, with all money raised being donated to the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation. There has never been a better excuse to treat yourself to a night out. The dress code is Black Tie, so dust off those glad rags, or buy something new, and prepare yourself for Bristol and Somerset’s premier night out for the wedding industry.

It is important for all nominated suppliers to be in attendance for the evening; have a night off and prepare for some brilliant networking opportunities and bags of fun!

Tickets can be purchased here, but please don’t delay – the deadline for buying tickets is Tuesday 25th February 2014.

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Fundraising News

The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards: There’s still time to vote

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While nominations for the Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards have now closed, there are still four days left to cast your votes.

Numerous categories, including Best Bridal Boutique, Catering, Florist, Hair and Make Up, Photographer, Venue, Gift List, Wedding Planner, and Entertainer, will be represented at the awards, charting the successes of wedding suppliers across the region. If you are a bride or groom from the Bristol and Somerset area, and you wed between 16th December 2012 and 16th December 2013, you are eligible to cast your vote; be sure to visit the Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards website before the deadline on Friday 14th February.

You can vote for your favourite wedding suppliers here. Please be sure to cast your votes before the end of Valentine’s Day – your chosen wedding supplier is relying on you.

Tickets

There are limited tickets available for the Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards, which are due to take place on 28th February at Wick Farm near Bath.

This fantastic event will feature the unveiling of all winners, as well as the annual Wedding Wishing Well Foundation Appreciation Awards, a three course meal supplied by Strawberry Fields Catering, a great night of entertainment, and the chance to dress up and network. Tickets are on sale until 20th February, unless they are all snapped up sooner; get your tickets here and join in the fun.

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Fundraising News

“This would not have happened without you”; An incredible photoshoot for a very special lady

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“2013 was horrific, eye opening, and emotional, to say the least,” recalls Tasha Newland of Ikonworks Photography. “What did I learn? Strength, grace, and bravery. Who taught me? My gorgeous mother-in-law.”

In 2007 Tasha’s mother-in-law, Helen, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite undergoing treatment, secondary metastasis ultimately reached her brain and spine. What followed was a heartbreaking battle that both distressed and inspired those closest to her. Tasha and her family sat with Helen each day, watching this amazing lady who they described as, ‘a force to be reckoned with’, gradually slip away from them.

“I sat in the hospice as sunny days in August passed, watching over her, talking rubbish, helping the nurses, chatting to my kids, forever letting her know that in her darkest hours people love her.” Tasha remembers. “She was quiet, gentle, graceful and strong. I would tell her everything and anything to try and desensitise; to take her anywhere but that moment.”

Gradually Helen deteriorated and, on a beautiful Sunday morning in August 2013, Tasha’s inspiration lost her battle with breast cancer. She was a few months short of her 64tth birthday.

“For the next two weeks I helped to organise my first funeral, feeling as though I’d been punched,” Tasha recollects. “The day after the funeral I shot a two-day wedding for some gorgeous clients, Simon and Katy, which was utterly surreal. It helped to have something to focus on after Mum’s funeral, but at the same time felt odd to just carry on”.

It was then that Tasha’s mind turned to an amazing project; one that would produce beautiful and inspirational results.

All for Helen; the photoshoot

Just a few short days before Helen lost her battle with cancer Tasha, who had been browsing social media for anything to keep herself busy, had spotted a Facebook post by Kirstie Taylor of Flo and Percy, asking if there were any photographers reading who wanted to shoot their new collection. Despite Helen’s failing health, and her own reservations, Tasha had jumped at the opportunity.

“I thought, ‘Dare I?’ And I did. Why not; for a split second I think maybe Mum had something to do with it, pushing me towards anything that would take my mind off things.” Tasha recalls.

Following her mother-in-law’s funeral, and after a busy few weeks settling back into work, Tasha started to think about the Flo and Percy photoshoot in depth. First thing was research, and lots of it.

“I read a lot, and immersed myself in everything that said editorial shoot. I even bought a Jasmine Star Styled Shoots Course.” Tasha explains. “Then came the revelation; to create a shoot in Mum’s memory. She was strong and graceful, and I decided I wanted strong brands and graceful products to really portray her personality. I love Ian Stuart, Freya Rose, and the Tiara Boutique, and made it my mission to involve them in Mum’s photoshoot.”

Armed with a heap of ideas and suppliers she wanted for the shoot Tasha went on to enlist Sarah Cross, an events coordinator, via Twitter’s #weddinghour, as well as Kat Hoy, who at the last minute became her assistant for the day. Both women offered invaluable help and support, saving Tasha’s sanity along the way. And what of those suppliers that Tasha was so eager to involve?

“It remains a mystery to me how I managed to get the Four Seasons and all of these fantastic suppliers involved in the shoot; but I am eternally grateful that they all said ‘yes’!” Tasha says. “I think it came down to a lot of badgering! I decided on pink, peach and turquoise as colours for the shoot. Some of the last flowers I bought Mum were pink and peach, while one of her favourite t-shirts was turquoise. These colours really complemented Flo and Percy’s Indian Sumer collection too, so it worked perfectly.”

The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation

After meeting with Helen and Janet of The Blooming Workshop, who were to tackle the floral arrangements for the day, it was suggested that Tasha should associate the photoshoot with a cancer charity in order to dedicate the day’s events to her mother-in-law’s memory. One such charity immediately sprang to mind; The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation.

“I remember very clearly reading about Naomi Thomas on one of those days sat with Mum in the hospice. She founded the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, and I remember being inspired by her dedication and outlook on life, as well as the incredible work of the charity. Her positive, strong attitude reminded me so much of Mum’s. I knew I wanted to work with Naomi, and with the charity.” Explains Tasha. “I found myself in a layby on the A303 writing myself a reminder to contact her. At 4am I emailed Naomi and asked her to model for me. Her response was hilarious…”

Naomi picks up the story. “I receive a lot of requests to do various things, or attend numerous events, but Tasha’s shoot seemed a really lovely idea. I really felt for Tasha, having lost her mother-in-law, and I wanted to be able to help her with her grieving process in any way that I could. Her process was obviously the shoot. I was surprised that she asked me, as I am really no model, but the ladies on the day made me feel as glamorous as the other young size 10 girls! The venue was beautiful and the items she had sourced were simply stunning!”

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And so to the shoot…

Tasha says, “We deliberately used affordable high street and high-end luxury together, creating something elegant and beautiful, but completely practical.” The results, as they say, speak for themselves. The photoshoot took place at the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire; a truly luxurious setting for such an incredible project.

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What follows is just a selection of the striking images taken during that shoot; each of them a testament to Tasha’s talent, and her dedication to creating something beautiful in Helen’s memory.

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Ian Stuart: After much badgering via social media, Ian Stuart very kindly loaned Tasha Vaudeville, Bluebird, Rockafella, Bourbon, and Palmsprings wedding dresses; divine.

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TwoBirds: TwoBirds Bridesmaids supplied three gowns for the shoot; one each in mint and coral, and an ivory rosette ballgown.

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Blooming marvellous: The extremely talented Helen and Janet of The Blooming Workshop worked tirelessly for two days to create the fantastic floral displays for the shoot. Bouquets included Norma Jean, Sweet Avalanche and VuVuZela roses.

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Let there be cake: A gorgeous mock cake, which was created by pastry chef Sarah of Stoke Park, was dressed by Helen and Janet for the occasion.

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Playing dress up:
 Tiaras, hairpieces and bouquets were supplied by The Tiara Boutique.

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How it all began: The Indian Summer Collection, supplied by Flo and Percy.

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Stepping out: Shoes and shoe clips by Freya Rose.

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Ooh la la: Underwear and veils by Love by Susie, and underwear from Nod and Wink.

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Stylish shoes: Gorgeous hand painted shoes were created by Beautiful Moment Wedding and Occasional Art.

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Picture Perfect: Hair and make up on the day of the shoot courtesy of Amazing Face.

Dawn with rings on

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Helen’s engagement and wedding rings were used during the photoshoot, ensuring that she remained an integral part of the day.

The beauty is in the detail

Of course, an editorial photoshoot is so much more than the handsome gowns, stunning accessories, and gorgeous models. The beauty is in every little detail, carefully thought about before the shutter clicks for the first time.

Tasha explains, “We wanted to create an intimate and romantic feeling for the shoot. The Royal Suite at the Four Seasons was an absolute dream; giving us the room to be creative, while ensuring that none of the smaller details got lost.”

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The Four Seasons supplied all table linen, crockery, cutlery and glassware for the shoot. The candlesticks and crown holders were bought at Matalan and Dunelm Mill, respectively.

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This gorgeous pearl necklace is the photographer’s own and purchased from M&S.

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White Lodge Fabric supplied the gorgeous fabric, Artistic Brocade, used for these napkin ties.

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All stationery was created by Sarah Cross and Tasha; simple, yet stunning. Items used in their creation were purchased from Paperchase and Dunelm Mill.

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Reflections

Reflecting upon the photoshoot Tasha says, “There is a quote at the close of this piece which talks in the end about ‘shining brighter’, and this is exactly what I wanted to happen by way of this photoshoot. The people I worked with on this shoot are all amazing, and they enabled me to create images I am very proud of. These images are a constant reminder of someone extraordinary, who lit our families’ lives every day. Our photographs become our collections of memories, through which we can document more than faces, more than smiles, more than brief moments in our relationships and lives. Thank you to everyone involved I will have these images for a lifetime. They are a constant reminder of Mum.”

Naomi adds, “I was so excited to see the shots after the day and I was not disappointed. In fact I couldn’t really believe it was me! My husband absolutely loved one of the photos, and I think we will get it made into a canvas to go up at home. As I too have cancer we always surround ourselves with photos and this one would be a lovely one for my son, Devon, to keep.

Tasha is a lovely woman with a heart of gold. When she wants something she goes out to get it and won’t stop until she does. Lots of people could take a leaf out of her book. Tasha and myself were made from the same mold, and is certainly why we get on so well. I’m honored to have been part of the Helen Shoot. It’s just such a shame that it was under those circumstances. I’m sure Helen is looking down and is immensely proud of all that Tasha has achieved. I know that I am.”

 “When darkness falls, we can curl up with fear or turn on more lights. Be brave. Love deeply. Shine brighter”.

–      Liv Lane

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Words by Louise Baker, Avocet Editorial

Events, Naomi ~ The Founder, Our Weddings

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Kemp

Quendon ParkPhotograph courtesy of Quendon Hall

Emma and Jason’s story begins in April 2013, when they first contacted The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation and entered their application. Like so many other couples who contact the Foundation, Emma and Jason’s lives had been turned upside down by illness – in this case, on both sides of their family.

Naomi says, “Emma and Jason are a fantastic couple with three wonderful children. They have been through a really tough time in the last few years and, with both families plagued with illness, really deserved to have a little happiness in their lives. The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation was so excited to be able to make their dreams come true.”

Emma and Jason were quickly accepted by the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, and a date was set; Friday 10th January 2014.

The Wedding Day

The morning of the wedding dawned; and what a beautiful day it was for a wedding!

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Mr and Mrs Kemp 9Groom Jason arrives at the venue in an Essex Rolls Royce Phantom from the Park Ward Carriage Company

Kevin Masters, a member of the Executive Guild of Toast Masters, oversaw the proceedings for the Kemps’ special day. What a fantastic master of ceremonies!

Mr and Mrs Kemp 11Flowers by the Traditional Vintage Flower Company

The Ceremony; saying, “I do”

Mr and Mrs Kemp 4A beautiful entrance, provided by Wedding Aisle Runners

With the guests in place, it was time for the ceremony to start; and what a stunning, emotional day we were about to be a part of.

Mr and Mrs Kemp 5Harpist and singer Charlotte Dennis accompanied Emma down the aisle

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Jason’s wedding ring was supplied by Taylor and Co Jewellery

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Emma’s stunning gown was by Mori Lee/Madeline Gardener, with shoes by TLC Creations

Naomi, who was present at this stunning wedding, says, “Obviously, with every wedding we do, there are a lot of mixed emotions. In fact there has not been one wedding that has gone by where there has not been a tear shed by me! Some more than others! I do try and busy myself as soon as the day starts, but for this wedding I was just drawn in to watch the whole ceremony. Emma looked out of this world. Her dark hair against her ivory dress made her the elegant bride that she said she desperately wanted to be on the day. Jason looked handsome and so proud. Together they looked into each other’s eyes and the love they had for each other was clear for everyone to see. They both spoke their vows so clearly despite the nerves, and so did those giving readings. Seeing them walk back down the aisle as husband and wife was a really proud moment for the team and myself. We had worked for so many months on this wedding, and it was our first wedding that wasn’t because of cancer. We wanted to try something different to see if we got the same response from suppliers, which we did. It also gave us just as much pleasure knowing that Emma and Jason have time now to enjoy each other as husband and wife.”

Mr and Mrs Kemp 2Framed Sayings by Melissa at A PaperCut Above

Mr and Mrs Kemp 3Words of wisdom for the new Mr. and Mrs. Kemp

The reception

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Wedding stationery was provided by Inspired by Lisa

Mr and Mrs Kemp 17The table numbers, which included fun facts about the Bride and Groom

For the reception, guests were seated at tables inspired by Emma and Jason’s relationship. The couple’s eldest daughter gave an emotional musical performance, and there were plenty of tissues at the ready for Jason’s speech. Guests were kept amused with trivia cards, and also ‘words of wisdom cards’ , which Emma and Jason had provided for their guests to write for them. The final treat was a tasty Ferrero Roche; lovely!

Mr and Mrs Kemp 13A delicious cake baked and decorated by Cakes by Sarah York

Guests were entertained by tableside magician Richard Parsons, whose tricks went down a storm; his illusions certainly fitted in with Emma and Jason’s magical day. Garden games from Dream Occasions provided a little outdoor excitement. In fact, this stunning wedding day was full of fun, laughter and love; everything we could have hoped for, for such a special couple.

The evening’s entertainment

As the sun dipped below the horizon, magical fairy lights and glowing lettering created a stunning backdrop for the night’s entertainment.

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Sparklers lit up the night’s sky

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All you need is love: LOVE sign provided by Glow Love Lights

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Gorgeous lighting and decor into the evening

Mr and Mrs Kemp 18The DJ, Wayne of Spotlight Discos, kept everyone dancing into the early hours

The fantastic DJ, Wayne of Spotlight Discos, ensured that everybody got up to dance; the perfect ending to Emma and Jason’s perfect wedding.

Mr and Mrs Kemp 15The tiniest details: Pashminas and flip-flops from Dazzle Me Décor

“I do”

Of their special day Emma and Jason say, “Thank you again for everything. When Jay and I had time to finally sit down today and reflect on yesterday, we became quite overwhelmed. We’re finding it difficult to actually come to terms with the fact it has actually happened, as it’s like something from a dream! Nine months ago we thought marrying each other was a distant reality, and now here we are as husband and wife! We could not have wished for a more perfect day from start to finish; All thanks to Naomi and her and wonderful team. We’ll never forget what you’ve done for us.”

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Congratulations, Emma and Jason – You are a gorgeous couple and we would like to wish you so much love, and many a happy memory in your new married life together.

To our suppliers: THANK YOU!

The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved with Emma and Jason’s wedding; each and every one of you played an amazing part in the Kemps’ special day. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you to Suzi and the team at Quendon Hall; Eliza Mabel for the beautiful infant shoes; The Laurels Beauty Centre for the bridal party’s eyelashes and nails; Pudding Bridge for the fabulously fun photobooth in a box; The KVS Flower Group, and Claire and her team from The Traditional Vintage Flower Company for their equipment hire and extreme generosity in covering the flower bill and providing additional supplies at a fantastic cost; Kady Eliza for her fantastic video coverage of the Kemps’ special day; Kevin Masters, a fantastic toastmaster for the day; The Vow Sheffield for the wonderful CD sleeves and covers; Inspired by Lisa for the sensational stationery; The wonderful Stevie C Photography, who has helped to immortalise Emma and Jason’s special day; Hairdresser Dawn Taylor from Dawn Taylor Beauty; Bespoke Confetti for their gorgeous confetti; Harpist and singer Charlotte Dennis; Wedding Aisle Runners for the fantastic wedding aisle runner; Bride and Groom Direct for their novel matchbooks; The Park Ward Carriage Company for the stunning Essex Rolls Royce Phantom; Donna at Donna’s Bespoke Handmade Gifts for her gorgeous ring cushion; Melissa from A PaperCut Above for her beautiful paper craft gifts; Charlotte Doyle from the Jacques Vert Group for the mother of the bride’s beautiful outfit; Dessy for the gorgeous bridesmaids’ outfits; Sarah York for the delicious cake; Claire Pidwell from Pretty Little Ladies for the cute flower girl outfits; Mori Lee/Madeline Gardener and TLC Creations for Emma’s gorgeous outfit; Taylor and Co Jewellery, who supplied Jason’s ring; London Bride for the bridal alterations and fittings; The brilliant seamstress, Victoria, for her tireless work; Essential Events Hire for their wishing tree, chair covers, sashes and sweet jars; Dream Occasions for keeping the children amused with their great games; Glow Love Lights, who supplied the dazzling LOVE lights; Dazzle me décor for the pashminas and flip flops, which were greatly appreciated; Richard Parsons for adding a little magic to the occasion; Wayne of Spotlights Disco for keeping everyone entertained; and Giddy Kipper for their gorgeous plaques.

To all of those fantastic suppliers; Thank you once again. You came forward and offered your assistance and services when it really mattered; we are sure Emma and Jason will be forever grateful.

Naomi would also like to thank Wedding Wishing Well Foundation volunteer Claire, who assisted her on the day, as well as all the other volunteers who work daily to make the each and every wedding as special as it can possibly be.

Patron News

New year, new patrons!

Firstly, we’d like to extend our thanks to Rachel Morgan and Rachel Southwood of Wedding Ideas Magazine for their patronage over the last year. We’d also like to show our gratitude to Mary King MBE and Chris Dooley for their continued patronage. It has been, and continues to be, a pleasure to work alongside you both.

Secondly, we are thrilled to announce our patrons for 2014…

*drumroll*

Our first new patron is the voice of the wedding world himself, the Wedding Fairy George Watts. Recognised as one of the nation’s leading experts on all things ‘wedding’, George has amassed millions of YouTube views and made hundreds of television appearances, sharing his expertise on everything from popping the question to bridal etiquette.

George also writes the fantastic ‘Wedding Fairy SOS’ column in BritishMODE magazine, as well as managing a personal wedding consultancy; phew!

With such a wealth of wedding knowledge, we are sure that the Wedding Fairy will prove to be a perfect patron for us this year; we look forward to working with him!

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Of his new position as patron to the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, George says, “I am truly thrilled to accept this patronage for 2014 and feel so honoured to be given the opportunity to support the incredible work of the foundation.  I have admired everything Naomi and the team have achieved for quite some time now, so to have this chance to do my little bit to help is really wonderful. And for me personally, it is so inspiring to see the Great British Wedding Industry pulling together for such an amazing cause and I see it as my job as patron to keep spreading the word of what The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation is all about. In such a short space of time the charity has achieved so much, and I know in 2014 we will keep building on that inspirational work to support wherever we can.”

Our second new patron is the gorgeous Michelle Royle, Group Editor of Perfect Wedding Magazine. This brilliant magazine is a real one-stop shop for those planning their big day, covering everything from dresses to venues, and from real weddings to catering and hot new bridal trends. We are so fortunate to have Michelle, with her passion and expertise, on board.

Michelle Royle

Michelle says, “I was very honoured when I was approached by the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation to be one of their new patrons for 2014. The charity provides incredible support for couples who are battling though very difficult circumstances, and the work the charity does is very humbling. I’m delighted to be able to offer my services as patron and hope that I can help to raise the profile of the charity in any way I can.”

We cannot say how excited we are to be working with both Michelle and George this year; thank you for lending your support to the Wedding Wishing Well Foundation.