I was very proud to be asked to be a sponsor at the Ice the Cake The InCREDIBLE Wedding Supplier of the Year Awards and yesterday we had the event with all the finalists.
One of the things I love about my work is being able to meet and work with people who are passionate about what they do and how they do it. In the room yesterday were people who have made their work about creating and supporting couples on their most special day - their Wedding Day.
There was a wonderful energy and buzz all day as people celebrated their achievements and recognition from their clients and each other and there was much fun, laughter and a few emotional moments.
I for one enjoyed myself immensely and my only regret was that I didn't get to talk to everyone in the room. I was given time to tell a story (which is below) as I wanted everyone to recognise what they bring to their business and hope that they left knowing what they wanted their badge to say (that will make sense once you've read the story!)
I've also attached some pictures of the day - those that know me may be surprised to see that a) I'm not wearing a hat and b) I'm actually in a dress - don't worry normal service has been resumed today!
I am going to list all the categories, winners and highly commended finalists as I think they all deserve a mention and they were:-
Most Supportive Wedding Supplier 2011
Winner - Claire Ogden Designs
Highly Commended - Your Wedding at Loch Lomond and Danby Castle Events
Most Professional Wedding Supplier 2011
Winner - L.O.V.E. Bouquets
Highly Commended - Absolutely Divine Cupcakes and Lomond Beauty
Best on the day Wedding Supplier 2011
Winner - Eclipse Photography
Highly Commended - Beauty Weddings and Emma Lucy Photography
Most Beautifully Bespoke 2011
Winner - Kathryn Deeley Wedding Stationary
Highly Commended - CakeyPigg Originals and Flutterby Couture
Most Innovative Wedding Supplier 2011
Winner - Clevercow Cakes
Highly Commended - My Little Wrapper Chocolate Bars and Zankyou
Most Inspirational Wedding Supplier 2011
Winner - Cedar Events
Highly Commended - Something Special Flowers and Cerendipity Events
Most Entertaining Wedding Supplier 2011
Winner - Stick It On Wedding Services
Highly Commended - Creation Station and Timothy Lee Toastmaster
Special Recognition Awards 2011
Kate Lewis Design
My Little Wrapper Chocolate Bars
Sponsors Choice Awards 2011
The 'Credible and Incredible' Wedding Supplier of the Year 2011
Congratulations to everyone!!
So the story I told...
The Gardener's Badge - Author unknown!
A landscape gardener ran a business that had been in the family for two or three generations. The staff were happy, and customers loved to visit the store, or to have the staff work on their gardens or make deliveries - anything from bedding plants to ride-on mowers.
For as long as anyone could remember, the current owner and previous generations of owners were extremely positive happy people.
Most folk assumed it was because they ran a successful business.
In fact it was the other way around...
A tradition in the business was that the owner always wore a big lapel badge, saying Business Is Great!
The business was indeed generally great, although it went through tough times like any other. What never changed however was the owner's attitude, and the badge saying Business Is Great!
Everyone who saw the badge for the first time invariably asked, "What's so great about business?" Sometimes people would also comment that their own business was miserable, or even that they personally were miserable or stressed.
Anyhow, the Business Is Great! badge always tended to start a conversation, which typically involved the owner talking about lots of positive aspects of business and work, for example:
• the pleasure of meeting and talking with different people every day
• the reward that comes from helping staff take on new challenges and experiences
• the fun and laughter in a relaxed and healthy work environment
• the fascination in the work itself, and in the other people's work and businesses
• the great feeling when you finish a job and do it to the best of your capabilities
• the new things you learn every day - even without looking to do so
• and the thought that everyone in business is blessed - because there are many millions of people who would swap their own situation to have the same opportunities of doing a productive meaningful job, in a civilized well-fed country, where we have no real worries.
And so the list went on. And no matter how miserable a person was, they'd usually end up feeling a lot happier after just a couple of minutes listening to all this infectious enthusiasm and positivity.
It is impossible to quantify or measure attitude like this, but to one extent or another it's probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, on which point, if asked about the badge in a quiet moment, the business owner would confide:
"The badge came first. The great business followed."
A few special mentions as well for the following for all the work they put into making the event amazing.
Sue Page owner of Ice The Cake
Kate Seber of Seber Weddings and Events
Kate Lewis of Kate Lewis Designs
Ally Jones of My Little Wrapper Chocolate Bars
Natalie Trice of TallyPR and Sponsor
Leigh Quinnel of Leigh Quinnel Photography
Frank Miller of Frank Miller Photography and Videography
Jamie Page of Specialist Cars, Tring and Sponsor
and so to the photos!
Me with Kate Seber (centre) and Sue Page (right)
L.O.V.E. Bouquets - Overall Winners
Sponsors Choice Award with Natalie Trice (left) and the Winner CakeyPigg Originals (centre) and Me.
Me with Timothy Lee Toastmaster
Me with Stick it on Wedding Services
Me with Emma Lucy Photography
Me with Beauty Weddings
Me talking some more!
Me with the other Sponsors Jamie Page from Specialist Cars, Tring and Natalie Trice from TallyPR