Shocked. Stunned. Surprised. Delighted. A little bit emotional and most definitely happy!! That was me for the majority of Thursday. As you may already know, on Wednesday June 12th 2019 I won the ‘County Brides Business of the Year’ at the North West Wedding Awards 2019, which were held at the The Mere Resort & Spa in Knutsford.
During 2018, I contacted Duane at County Brides and had a long conversation about my career as a photographer and what I was looking to develop. For those that know Duane, you will be aware the conversations with him are rarely short! We had never spoken before, but the time and advice he gave me made a refreshing change and helped me to frame a structure that I could work around over the coming months.
I decided that despite being a professional photographer all my working life, 22 years, there were still aspects of wedding photography that I wanted to develop, if I was going to achieve my aim of photographing a certain number of weddings in a year. This is an ongoing thing. So, along with wedding fairs across the North West and building relationships with suppliers, which I love to do, I took part in several Wedding Photography Workshops, which were fantastic. There were things involved that I had done many years before, but had pretty much forgotten, so they were a great way of rebooting my brain!
Fast forward to May 2019, and I received an email to say I had been shortlisted as a finalist for the Awards. I was chuffed to say the least. The drive of wedding fairs, contacting suppliers, promoting my new business, meeting potential couples and not to mention the expense of it all, finally felt as if it was producing something.
My aim had been, and still is, to make my Photography by Dave Thompson name more well known throughout the North West wedding industry.
Black Tie Dinner
I made my way with my wife Caroline, to the North West Wedding Awards 2019, the 9th year the annual awards have been held, which were hosted by County Brides at the Mere Resort, a venue I had only previously visited to photograph a wedding at. With over 340 guests attending the black tie dinner, a fabulous total of £6,503.50 was also raised for the children’s charity, Destination Florida. There was every wedding supplier you could think of, from florists to cake makers, registrars to jewellers, bridal wear to menswear.
Business of the Year award
Brides, bridegrooms and customers from across the North West of England had voted for the best suppliers in the wedding industry. From 7,500 votes, 458 companies were nominated. Following the 4 course dinner and the charity auction, the awards got underway, where the 32winners were presented with their crystal awards on the night. I was simply blown away, when at the end of the night, it was announced that I had won the Business of the Year award. As the final presentation was being addressed and Duane mentioned a ‘certain high profile wedding’ people at my table were convinced I had won, and they were right!
As many self employed people will know, there are days when you really have to try and drag yourself through certain barriers and you question if what you are doing is the right thing. Winning an award such as this has reaffirmed my belief that what I want to achieve is possible and has increased my drive to make it happen. I love meeting people, always have, and so to have a job, photographing people and their families on their wedding day, the most memorable day of their lives, is a huge privilege.
Well done to all those who were nominated, shortlisted and eventual winners and thanks to County Brides for putting on such a great wedding industry awards dinner.
Finally, thank you to my wife Caroline, who has been a constant support. A photographer’s hours have never been the most sociable and the patience and understanding she and my two sons have shown, is what has allowed me to do my job and for my business to grow. Thank you x
Full list of winners NWWA 2019
Best Cake – Jo’s Couture Cakes
Best Florist Joint Winners – Efflorescence floral Architecture and Barlow Bespoke Flowers
Best Accessory – Save the Date by Lily
Best Venue Manchester – Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Best Entertainment Act – DJ Darren Michael
Best Ceremony Provider – Cheshire East Registration Service
Best Venue Cumbria – Skitby House
Best Entertainment Agency – Ice Entertainment UK
Best Hair Stylist – Leigh Jordon Hairdressing
Best Venue Stylist – Flossie’s Weddings
Best Jeweller – Henry D Johnstone
Best Venue Lancashire – West Tower
Best Transport – Horgans Wedding Cars
Best Female Photographer – Helen Williams Photography
Best Male Photographer – Gavin Tomkins
Best Toastmaster – The Tall Toastmaster
Best Venue Cheshire – Sandhole Oak Barn
Best Beauty, Health & Well Being – Hair & Make-up by Anna
Best Stationer – Brown Rose Events
Best Artificial Florist – Foam Wedding Flowers by Joanne
Best Occasion Wear – Aubergine
Best Entertainment Non-Musical – Big Wow Events
Best Venue Merseyside – Thornton Manor
Best Videographer – Diamond Lights
Best Photobooth / Mirror – Boothtique
Best Menswear – L & J Formal Hire
Best Bridesmaid Retailer – Little Betty’s Boutique
Best Caterer – Ridgway Caterers
Best Venue – No Accommodation – The Monastery Manchester
Best Bridal Retailer – Puure Bride
New Business of The Year – Damian Kelly Wedding Host & DJ
Business of the Year – Photography by Dave Thompson