Fundraising News

The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards: A night to behold!

A month on, people are still talking about The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards; a true testament to the success of the event. Held for only the second year, The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards are a fantastic way for local talent throughout the wedding industry to be recognised and applauded. Until 2013’s launch, there was no other award ceremony to cover this region; we considered this a travesty, and sought to reward the most dedicated and talented wedding suppliers in the region – no mean feat when you consider the absolute wealth of suppliers in and around Bristol and Somerset, many of whom are small, independent businesses.

Following on from the success of last year’s event, 2015’s Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards was held on 27th February at The Bristol Hotel, Bristol, and was the subject of much secrecy during the lead up; a Cirque de Soleil theme was kept a carefully guarded secret until the night itself, and really added to the glamour and fun of the evening. Alongside sumptuous food served by The Bristol Hotel entertainment was provided by Sebastien Valade the Creative Juggler, Cherry Ve’Dore Burlesque Dancer, and The Duchesses on Stilts, as well as Darren Campbell and Richard Parsons, both close-up magicians. Guests also enjoyed facial art provided by Grace Kingsley, a fun photo booth, DJ, and photography by Eve Dunlop and Samantha Jane Photography; in fact, photographs of the evening were available for purchase in the days and weeks after the awards, with all payments being donated to The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, in whom the awards were held in honour.

While everybody agreed that the evening had been a roaring success, some guests were able to sample canapés, a goody bag, and their own intimate magic show upon arrival, thanks to VIP tickets, which sold like hot cakes prior to the event. Also in attendance was celebrity patron Oliver Farnsworth, who can be seen in Coronation Street currently – he was certainly in demand for photographic opportunities! Amongst the frivolities, though, were the awards themselves, presented by The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation’s Naomi Thomas and the charity’s ambassador Lee Bishop, of Strawberry Field Events and Catering Ltd. Awarding in categories including transport, wedding blog, venue, floristry, entertainment, bridal wear, accessories, and catering, no stone was left unturned when it came to celebrating Bristol, Somerset, and the surrounding area’s incredible wedding talent.

Of course, as well as applauding some truly amazing and individual talents, the awards also had another incredibly important agenda; to support the work of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, a charity that finances and organises weddings for those affected by terminal and life-limiting illnesses. Amongst all the fun and frivolity was a truly emotional epicentre, and those in attendance on the night did Naomi and her fantastic team proud, raising over £3,500, with more money yet to come from photography purchases. Although the event is still in its infancy, this total is an incredible leap from last year’s handsome amount of £1,200, and was only achievable via attendees’ generous donations, ticket sales, and a range of activities, which took place during the night. These included a raffle and auction, with incredible prizes such as Cristiano Ronaldo’s boot, a signed 50th Anniversary Coronation Street Live Script, gorgeous limited edition artwork, hotel breaks, and signed paraphernalia; while everybody had fun bidding, it was important to remember that not all couples can be blessed with the wedding of their dreams. Thanks to The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, though, many special brides and grooms have gone on to marry against all odds, and it is fantastic that so many of our cherished suppliers were there to help the charity to recognise more of its goals for 2015.

Plans for The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards 2016 are firmly underway and, as we head into the wedding season, now is the time to start thinking about your business, and the service you provide; keep an eye on the official website,, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, for details of this year’s nominations, entry information, and the ceremony itself. Whether you’re a florist, photographer, baker, or venue decorator, your contribution to our region’s wedding industry is absolutely vital; let’s show the rest of the country that you really are the cream of the crop.

The organisers of The Bristol and Somerset Wedding Awards would like to thank their sponsors, Wedding Monkey, The Bristol Hotel, Strawberry Field Event and Catering, and Jo and Co, as well as The Circle of Toastmasters, Noisy Atmospherics, Essential Event Hire, Charger Plate Hire, Samantha Jane Photography, Grace Kingsley Make Up Artist, Eve Dunlop Photography, Bristol Photo Booth Hire, Bright Sea Print Group, Atelier Giraud Graphics, Darren Campbell Magician, Richard Parsons Magician, and Oli Johns Videography; without your generous assistance, ideas, and support, the event would not have been the success it was – or half as enjoyable! /