Two Cockermouth businesses are celebrating after hearing they are finalists in a national wedding competition.
Chris Freer Photography and Winder Hall Country House have reached the last stages of the 2013 Wedding Industry Awards – the only independent competition of its kind in the UK. They are shortlisted as regional finalists and are the only venue and photographer in Cumbria to have reached the ultimate stage of the contest.
The nominated companies are voted for solely by past clients, then each company goes through a rigorous judging process by an expert panel, which means the finalists are the cream of Britain’s talent and venues.
The overall winners will be announced in January at a black-tie event held at the stunning Art Deco Bloomsbury Ballroom in Central London.
Kate Wilson, Business Development Director at Winder Hall, Lorton, has experienced Winder Hall weddings first-hand. She got married there in 2004, before she had the opportunity to get involved in the business, so is perfectly placed to help create special occasions for the venue’s clients. She said: “We’re really proud of what we do at Winder Hall and have tried to make it the most intimate, romantic and personal place to celebrate a wedding. We’re also careful not to offer a ‘wedding package’ as we believe the couples who choose to get married here should have a day which is totally unique and individual. Our visitors have described us as a hidden gem and a secret treasure so we must be doing something right!
“We were so pleased to hear that Cockermouth has two businesses in the finals of these very influential awards, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised as it’s testament to the quality of the independent companies in this part of the country. The added bonus is that we are also the only Cumbrian venue to reach this stage which is amazing news considering the wealth of fabulous places in the county. It’s amazing news for Chris too – his place in the final is very well deserved.”
Chris Freer added: “I am immensely proud to be the only professional photographer in Cumbria to make it through to the finals. Over the past couple of years I have really concentrated on provided a truly professional and comprehensive service and as a result the business is going from strength to strength. The feedback I have received from clients has been outstanding and I hope this is testament to my imagination, creativity and customer service. Despite taking most of August off this year due to the birth of our second child I will have still photographed 43 weddings this year and the future is looking very promising with the majority of 2013 prime dates already booked.
“It’s fantastic news that Winder Hall has reached the finals too. I’ve worked with the great team there on numerous occasions and it’s a really lovely venue, so it’s no surprise that they were nominated. I think we’re all looking forward to a great party at the Wedding Industry Awards finals in London in January!”
The judging panel for the 2013 Wedding Industry Awards was made up of a range of experts, from the editor of You and Your Wedding magazine to some of the country’s premier wedding planners, designers, writers and photographers, as well as the Director of leading entertainment company Sternberg Clarke who counts two of the Spice Girls’ weddings among his successes, and Sky News presenter Sarah Hewson, who anchored the station’s coverage of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.