SUPPLIERS to the weddings industry were in the spotlight at a ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Swindon, as the first ever Whitewed Directory Awards announced its winners.

The winners - Elizabeth Donovan Photography, Georgia Yates Weddings and Venues Covered - took home accolades in Business of the Year, Startup of the Year and Most Inspiring Person of the Year respectively, as three top judges from the local industry cast their votes.

Business of the Year Elizabeth Donovan Photography scooped the award thanks to the owner and proprietor’s commitment to running her business single-handedly. The judges were impressed with her attention to detail and willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ on her own, despite also raising a family. Euphoria Entertainments and Beauty Call were also commended, coming second and third respectively.

Georgia Yates Weddings was honoured in the Startup of the Year category due to the rapid expansion of the business, which wowed the judging panel. Despite being a relatively young startup, the business is already expanding overseas and investing in new equipment, thanks to the ‘ruthless customer focus’ of its owner. The winner beat off tough competition from DB Wedding Cars & Executive Travel and The Middle Green, who were second and third.

The Most Inspiring Person of the Year Award, saw the husband and wife team behind Venues Covered take the prize, after a glowing performance in their sector. Having already been nominated for a Guides for Brides customer service award, and been named in the UK’s top five venue dressers, the couple have battled personal tragedy to keep their business on track and thriving. Rachel Neate and Wendy House Flowers made up second and third place.

Natalie Lovett, founder and managing director The Whitewed Directory, said: “The judges were overwhelmed with the exceptional level of entries. It was a very difficult decision all round to select the winners, and I wish huge congratulations and a thank you to everyone involved.

“I’m now looking forward to next year when we’ll again recognise a whole new array of suppliers to the wedding sector who provide such a good service to newlyweds across Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.”