My apologies this has taken a little while to get to you. I wanted to get my hands on some of the professional images before sharing the night with you.
Thanks to you, my gorgeous readers, I was nominated and shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘best wedding blog newcomer’ category, at Wedding Magazine Wedding Blog Awards held at the opulent Ritz London in October 2013.
I’m a bit of an excitable creature, so as usual, I could not contain my excitement when I received my pretty pink invitation by Abigail Warner and found out I was shortlisted as a finalist and would be going to THE RITZ!!!! (Although I’m pretty sure hubby was even more excited, when he found out I could take a plus one).
We decided to make the most of the event and arranged to get ready and stay the night at a gorgeous favourite of mine, the Wyndham Grand, Chelsea Harbour – the only 5-star luxury all suite hotel in London.
SO! With a little help from my industry friends, I knew I would be appropriately dolled up and worthy to make my Ritz entrance.
Images: Wyndham Grand
Lucy Tammam, couture designer and founder of eco-friendly atelier: House of Tammam, generously offered to dress me for the event. Lucy picked out a gorgeous sexy, lower-than-low back, dress. The glamorous red-carpet number appropriately named; New Peacock, was made with peace silk, british tulle, with hand stitched embroidery. Plus, my favourite feature of the dress was the elegant train, which was cleverly formed with cut-offs from previous designs.
After rushing around north to south west London like a madwoman, (of course Mr Nu Bride was already dressed and waiting and chilling in the lounge, which irritated me no end lol), it was time for make-up queen Joyce Connor of Brides and Beauty to take to the stage and work her magic.
After taking a look at my dress and shoes, I gave Joyce free rein to pimp me up with suitable hair and make-up and in just 45 minutes, she turned me from my dishevelled, ‘running-late-as-usual-self’ – into this: (Love the pink lipstick!)
With Green Tomato (eco-friendly) cars as my chariot, we arrived to an illuminated Ritz welcome and entered to discover one of the most opulent and exquisite venues, delicately sprinkled with guests enjoying a quintessential afternoon tea and a string quartet as a backdrop.
Image source: Jermyn Street.net
As nervous as heck and grateful for the support for my husbands strong manly arm. (Whilst I was desperately trying to walk elegantly to avoid showing any signs of a VPL. Coupled with the slender fit of my dress and 5″ Jimmy Choos….. Think I deserved an Oscar for balance!) We then entered the William Kent House where, to my relief, we were welcomed by a warm smiley trio of ladies from the Wedding Magazine team, with gorgeous live music and Ritz champagne.
And then I noticed something….most of the people around me were wearing short, sassy cocktail dresses, and there I stood with my floor length sexy back, cut off train dress. ‘Oh crap. I’m overdressed’ – I whispered to hubby. But what could I do? Get undressed? (LOL! The Ritz is NOT that kind of place!) Sod it. I’m at The Ritz, I thought and I’m going to rock Lucy’s dress for her! Then I spotted Ciara (former) Wedding Magazine Editor in a floor length beautiful glitzy number and relaxed, a little.
My usual networking nerves, were irritatingly, in full swing in a room full or strangers and as if by magic, I spotted the warm friendly face of Sonia from Want that Wedding with her delightful husband who put me at ease in no time.
The night had a classy but relaxed feel, buzzing with excited bloggers and wedding industry professionals, mixed in with bubbly Ritz Champagne (Elderflower for the boring non-champagne drinkers like me), PLUS the most delicious canapés I have ever tasted and most importantly, genuine lovely company. (Sorry, I didn’t get any pictures of the canapés, I was too busy eating them!)
The William Kent House was set up for a wedding banquet and decorated with The Ritz’s finest crockery and for a split second, I thought we were getting a surprise treat for a sit down Ritz meal! Wishful thinking.
After some networking and catching up with the wedding industry’s finest – a particular highlight of mine was having an honest and genuine conversation with the delightful Ciara Elliot – former editor of Wedding Magazine about Nu Bride and the wedding industry.
I enjoyed my usual cheeky ramblings with Kat of Rock N Roll Bride, (who, appropriately, wiped the floor with all of us winning in 2 categories) rocking her sequined cat ears. Only Kat can pull off sequined cat ears, in a cocktail dress, at the Ritz. It was also lovely to meet Georgia from Before the Big Day (who won editors pick), Julia of Brides Up North (who won Best Big Day inspiration), Rebecca (2014 bride!) and her fiance of new blog; Urban Flip Flops and the lovely Laura and Kelly of Festival Brides.
L-R, Moi eating as usual, Guess who? Kat – of Rock N Roll Bride, Team Wedding, Claire-Fashion Stylist, Danielle- Assistant Editor and Rachel – Publishing Coordinator – Wedding Magazine
As I continued to exercise my palate with tender monk fish and chorizo canapés, it was soon time for the winners to be announced…..Cue heart pounding out of my chest!
Having a chat with the ladies from Sandals Resorts, checking out a masterpiece from GC Couture
Wedding Magazine (former) editor, Ciara, elegantly took to the stage to start the proceedings. With bated breath, the buzz of industry noise in the William Kent House quietened down to a murmur, as we listened to the winners being announced by Made in Chelsea’s, Mark-Francis Vandelli.
As the newcomer category was announced, I froze when I heard Nu Bride’s name called from Mark-Francis dulcet tones, I hoped I would win, but knew I was up against stiff competition! In the end, I missed out to beautiful fine art wedding photography blog; Wedding Sparrow.
As each blogger and winner was announced, I secretly hoped each nominee would have been given a little more ‘air time’, or a short introduction as to why they had been shortlisted / what their bog was about…..Think the Oscars – where they show a highlight of the nominees in action, before announcing the winner. Winners also got off lightly – and only had to pose for a quick photograph and weren’t asked or expected to give a speech. Something that would be nice to be introduced in the future.
After the awards were presented, it was time for more champagne, canapés and networking, plus an invitation to exclusive night club; Whisky Mist. After the Wedding Blog Awards at The Ritz had finished, Mr Nu Bride and I headed back to our hotel for an outfit change and some dinner. Showing my true geriatric colours, I didn’t quite make it to Whisky Mist. This was as a result of being well fed with a late hearty meal at the Wyndham Grand, my Jimmy Choo’s burning my feet and the calling of a warm bath and the curiosity of my Ritz goody bags taking over. Much to Mr Nu Brides annoyance (who was keen to celebrity spot) we ended up missing the after party. lol! (I felt slightly relieved when I heard others missed it too due to ID issues)
Alas. Oh what a night! For several days after the awards, my twitter feed had never been so active, with a stream of bloggers equally excited about the morning after the night before.
I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Wedding Magazine plan for next years Wedding Blog Awards! A job beautifully done for a debut by the Magazine and sponsors!
Thanks again to every single one of you who voted for me. I adore you. :o)
To see the full list of winners and to see more images please visit Wedding Magazines website or pick up a copy of the Dec-Jan 2014 issue which is out NOW! (plus you may even see an article in there written by me!)
Fuzzy images: courtesy of my iPhone.