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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Cumbrian firms shortlisted for awards in national wedding competition

Three local businesses are celebrating after becoming finalists in a national wedding competition.

Photos photo
From left, Carol Roberts, Susan Little, Lauren Roberts and Gill Musgrave

Chris Freer Photography in Cockermouth, Winder Hall Country House, Lorton, and Carol Roberts Couture Bridal in Carlisle, have been shortlisted for the 2013 Wedding Industry Awards. They’ve reached the north west regional final.

The overall winners in each category will go through to the final on January 9 at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, London.

They are the only businesses from Cumbria to have reached this stage in their category.

The awards are voted for by past clients and each company goes through a rigorous judging process by an expert panel.

Carol Roberts Couture Bridal has been nominated in the Bridal Retailer and the Menswear Supplier categories.

“I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out,” Carol said. “The only people who can vote are those who have experienced our service. They are the most important awards. Personal recommendations are by far the best you can get.”

Carol’s business, on Warwick Road in Carlisle, was launched in October 2010 and stocks wedding dresses, bridesmaids’ outfits, formal menswear, prom dresses and accessories and offers a dress cleaning service.

She said building up a relationship with customers was crucial to being successful.

“They’ve got to trust you,” she added. “My staff are amazing and I’m proud to have been nominated.”

Chris Freer started his business in 2005 and became a full-time professional in May 2010. He has photographed more than 220 weddings, six in just nine days in October this year, and he has had photographic commissions from The Sunday Times, The Irish Independent, BBC and ITV.

“I am immensely proud to be the only professional photographer in Cumbria to make it through to the finals,” he said. “Over the past couple of years I have really concentrated on providing 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.”

Nick and Ann Lawler, owners of Winder Hall Country House, celebrate their 10th anniversary at the venue this year.

“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,” said business development director Kate Wilson. “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.”

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