We look back at the 2017 Bridal Buyer Awards - see all the winners and finalists here, and find out what happened at the after party!
This year’s Harrogate Bridal Show was truly wonderful – we met so many different designers and retailers and it felt like we were constantly re-stocking the famous Bridal Buyer sweet cart (who knew jelly snakes were so addictive?!). However the highlight of the event had to be the 2017 Bridal Buyer Awards.
With 600 of the most fabulous industry figures all in one place for a glitteringly glamorous party to celebrate all things bridal, you always know you’re going to be in for a good night. Georgina the Bride made a hilarious host, and the Rush kept everyone dancing until the early hours.
We look back at our talented winners and some of the best moments from this year’s ceremony. Enjoy!
With over a decade of experience in bridal retail, Birmingham-based bridalwear boutique were the obvious choice to win Bridalwear Retailer of the Year – England. The award was sponsored by Alexia Designs, and the finalists included Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room, Bellissima Weddings, Creatiques Bridal Boutique, Mousetrap Bridal Boutique and YAP Bridal Boutique.
For the second year in a row, Enzoani scooped the prize for Bridalwear Manufacturer of the Year. They beat stiff competition in the form of Allure, Essense of Australia, Justin Alexander, Maggie Sottero, Morilee and Paloma Blanca. The award was sponsored by the Retail Bridalwear Association and was collection by the husband and wife team behind Enzoani’s success – Jeanette and Mark Stevens.
Find out more about stocking Enzoani in your boutique.
It’s important to acknowledge retailers from across the United Kingdom, and Eden Bridal of Belfast were crowned Bridalwear Retailer of the Year for Ireland at the awards. Their award was sponsored by bridalwear brand Ronald Joyce, and the finalists were Belle Marie Bridal, Castle Couture, Cinderella’s Closet, Petticoat Lane Bridal and Verona Bridal.
The lovely Maids to Measure won the award for Best Bridesmaid Manufacturer. This category was sponsored by bridal shoe brand Rainbow Club and the other finalists consisted of Alexia Designs, Dessy Group, Kelsey Rose, Private Label by G, Special Day and Twobirds Bridesmaid. The award was collected by a representative of the sister act that run the company – India and Sinclair Sellars.
Rachel Scott Couture scooped the award for Scottish Bridalwear Retailer of the Year. The Edinburgh-based bridalwear boutique beat finalists Alison Kirk, Perfect Bridal Rooms, Point Nouveau Bridal, Simply Bliss and Weddings by Charlotte Boyd. The award was presented by Martine Harris, CEO of the sponsor, Essense of Australia.
The wonderful Ian Stuart won the award for Best Occasionwear Manufacturer – and the award was sponsored by London Bridal Week and presented by our very own Wendy Adams. The finalists included Dynasty, Irresistible, John Charles, Mascara and Ronald Joyce. We love this snap of Ian and Wendy on stage!
The winner of Bridalwear Retailer of the Year – Wales was Sentiments Luxury Bridalwear. It was presented by sponsor Morilee. The Pontyclun-based boutique beat other finalists Allison Jayne, Cariad Bridal, Laura May Bridal, Tlysau’r Briodas – Wedding Belles and Victoria Valentine Bridal to claim the award.
It’s important that every bride feels special and beautiful on her wedding day, regardless of her size, and we were delighted to reveal that Callista won the award for Best Plus Size Collection. It was sponsored by Ireland’s Wedding Journal and presented by Mark and Lesley Monk, the husband and wife team behind bridalwear brand Mark Lesley. The finalists consisted of Bonny Bridal, Casablanca Bridal, Private Label by G, Sonsie and White Rose Graceful.
Find out more about stocking Callista in your boutique.
This award is a huge accolade for those just starting out in the bridal industry and it goes to a retailer who has been in business for less than two years. This year’s winner was Suffolk-based boutique House of Snow, run by Harriet Moore. The award was sponsored by Hayley Paige Occasions by JLM Couture, and the finalists included Dotty Bridal, Iconic Bride, Kimberley Anne Bridal Boutique, Louise Perry and One1.
This is a truly prestigious award for an ambitious student designer. Unfortunately our winner couldn’t be in attendance on the night but Eilidh Morrison from Grays School of Art was named Student Designer of the Year for her beautiful creation. The award was sponsored by the BBSA and the winning design was picked by Amanda Bradwell of the BBSA and our Editor-in-Chief, Susi Rogol.
There was fierce competition for our new award, Best Accessory Manufacturer, but it was Richard Designs who claimed the prize. Ladybird sponsored the category and the other finalists consisted of Bianco Evento, Claire Austin, Ivory & Co, Joyce Jackson for Rainbow Club, Jupon and Miranda Templeton Designs.
Find out more about stocking Richard Designs accessories in your boutique.
This award recognises the boutiques with years of experience – Bellissima Weddings won, thanks to 16 years’ experience of making brides’ dreams come true. The award was sponsored by Millie May Bridal and the other dedicated finalists consisted of Andrea Bambridge, Allison Jane, Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room, Morgan Davies, Pantiles Bride and Perfect Bridal Rooms.
This award went to Tony Mentel of Justin Alexander – and it’s not the first time the talented designer has won it! The award was sponsored by the Scottish Wedding Directory and Tony beat Jason Jennings of Veromia, Martine Harris of Essense of Australia and Winston Yeh of Private Label by G to claim the prize.
Customer service is crucial when it comes to serving brides, so it’s important to recognise excellent examples of it. Abigail’s Collection & The Groom’s Room won the award, sponsored by Casablanca Bridal, due to their 11 years’ experience of customer satisfaction. The finalists included Bellissima Weddings, Creatiques Bridal Boutique, Rachel Scott Couture, The Little Pearl Bridal Boutique and YAP Bridal Boutique.
Morilee won the award for Supplier Customer Service of the Year, beating fellow finalists Enzoani, Essense of Australia, Ivory & Co, Justin Alexander and Ladybird. The category was sponsored by Belle Bridal magazine, who presented the award to the winner.
Find out more about stocking Morilee in your boutique.
It’s so important to have an easy to use, attractive website, which is why it is a category at the Bridal Buyer Awards. The winner was MiliMili and the award was presented by sponsor Justin Alexander. The finalists included Lulu Browns, Kimberley Anne Bridal Boutique, Sentiments Luxury Bridalwear, The Dressing Rooms and The White Closet.
Bridal shoes have come a long way since ivory satin kitten heels and there are plenty of beautiful designs to be celebrated. This year, Rachel Simpson won Best Shoe Collection and her award was presented by Mark and Lesley Monk of Mark Lesley. The finalists consisted of Charlotte Mills, Florence, Freya Rose, Paradox and Rainbow Club.
The design of your shop adds so much to the experience for your customers. This year, Dotty Bridal won the award for Best In-Store Design and the category was sponsored by Rachel Allan. The finalists included Creatiques Bridal Boutique, Heritage Brides, Perfect Bridal Rooms, Verona Bridal and The White Closet.
The Wedding Dress of the Year is decided by brides! Votes are cast via The National Wedding Show’s website, and this year they chose Style D2174 by Essense of Australia as their award-winning gown. The category was sponsored by Love Our Wedding magazine and the other contenders were Style C389 by Allure, Style BT17-03 by Blue by Enzoani, Style D2174 by Mark Lesley, Style BE377 by Mark Lesley and the Maribella gown by Morilee.
Finally, it’s time to reveal the British Bridalwear Designer of the Year! This year the award went to Marguerite Hannah for Alan Hannah, and the category was sponsored by the Textile Forum. The other finalists included Gil Harvey for Eliza Jayne Howell, Ian Stuart, Phillipa Lepley, Sassi Holford, Suzanne Neville and Temperley London.
We want to say a massive congratulations to all our winners and our finalists and a huge thank you to all our sponsors – check out a few more pictures of the fun we had on our Facebook page!