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Brides Christmas Lunch

There is no finer place to be in the weeks leading up to Christmas than at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge for the Brides Christmas Lunch. It is always the highlight of my Christmas calendar and a date in the diary I always look forward to. From the champagne reception where all the gorgeous girls from Brides Magazine greet their guests, to the exquisite ballroom, all laid out with crystal glasses and silver and white crockery – it’s a sight to behold and not forgetting of course, the fabulous Christmas tree at the top of the stairs. Magical!
And the goodie bags are to-die-for; Jo Malone, lime, basil and mandarin scented candles. It’s going to be a fragrant Christmas at 6 Mortlake Road!

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The Wedding Industry Awards

Thank you, thank you thank you!

I still don’t think I’ve come down to earth after being awarded Regional Finalist – Wedding Dressmaker/Designer Of The Year, London And South East at The Wedding Industry Awards!

Monday, November 23 was such a magical evening from start to finish. In fact, the excitement started even before then with ‘What shall I wear?’. After much deliberation and several rounds of trying on, I settled on a black Armani dress (the tailoring is just incredible; the dress had an elegant cut-out neckline complemented by a sassy kick pleat at the back). I matched this with a pair of suede heels in a rich plum and set off the look with a faux fur number from Reiss that’s been gracing all the fashion pages recently. Hair – tick. Make up – tick. Uber – tick.

I invited my marketing consultant and longstanding friend, Caroline Gibson, to join me (who afterwards told me her heart was beating with anticipation/nerves so loudly, she was sure everyone in the presentation had heard it). Our taxi pulled into the stunning grounds of Morden Hall, which is a wedding venue set in National Trust parkland in south London. This country house was beautifully renovated as a wedding venue this year (brides take note – this place is Gorgeous with a capital G).

The event’s founders, Damien Bailey and his fabulous wife Anna, were at the door to greet everyone. We completely failed to resist the cheeky charm of the Beetle Juice guys who’d skilfully whipped up a very tasty cocktail. We eventually dragged ourselves away after taking a card (their cocktail bars are normally 1970s VWs) to savour the most delicious canapés provided by Galloping Gourmet.

The rooms were buzzing with chat and laughter: it was so lovely to meet the other regional finalists and learn about the services they provided, from a quirky VW campervan in the Transport category to the exquisite paper wedding decorations crafted by Laura in the Special Touches section – who won it!

I held my breath when the shortlist was read out for my category and leapt out of my seat when my name was read out. The most poignant moment was when Damien had read out an anonymous and very moving testimonial from one of my brides. So I want to thank everyone who voted for me – it’s so, so, so generous of you to have taken the time, and winning the award has absolutely made my year. Speaking of which, the accolade is now in pride of place on the table in my studio.

The evening continued on a high with photos, a video interview and was rather nicely rounded off with a glass of bubbly (of course).

Next stop: The TWIA National Awards in London this January at which the national winners of all 26 categories will be announced. Fingers crossed, and over a month to decide what to wear for it. I promise to keep you posted…….

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