As a freelance copywriter I have the pleasure of collaborating with lots of talented, driven and creative individuals. None more so than the dedicated band of professionals who brought my single most important collaboration to life: my wedding day.
So, as an homage to a certain well-known awards ceremony, I’ve devised a purely fictitious set of awards – known by all (me) as ‘The Grantys’ – to pay tribute to some of Southport’s most exceptional, and deserving, business people.
For this inaugural year of The Grantys, I’ve based my selections purely on a list of independent entrepreneurs whose excellence in their field, outstanding service and attention to detail make them tough acts to beat for anyone planning to tie the knot in the Sefton area of Merseyside.
So without further ado, here are my 2015 Granty winners:
Best Wedding Photographer
Joe Topping Photography offer the very best in wedding and portrait photography. Their style of photography – a combination of fine-art and photojournalism – perfectly captures all those special moments in the best possible light. Joe, and his camera assistant (and father) Tony, are an absolute pleasure to work with. From start to finish, Joe was passionate, well researched, diligent and responsive to ideas. We chose Joe because he is an exceptionally gifted photographer. He has that uncanny knack of capturing those precious moments of human warmth and emotion that no photography course or manual can teach. We would recommend him in a flash…ahem!
Best Hair Stylist
Olivia, and her talented team of stylists, are passionate about hair. Their depth of knowledge is unsurpassable, both in terms of the science and technicalities that form the bedrock of a brilliant haircut, and with regards to all the latest trends and styles. Not only that, they are an incredibly welcoming and friendly bunch. All of which combined, made them the natural salon of choice for Mrs Simon Grant Comms and her bridesmaids for a relaxing pamper before they walked down the aisle together.
London trained craftsman, Keith Riley, is somewhat of a rare gem in the jewellery trade and wider wedding industry. Because this mild mannered artisan from Essex is as honest and reasonable as they come. As soon as we walked into his first floor studio – above The Wedding Rooms, Formby – we were instantly taken with Keith’s warm, laid-back manner and zero fuss approach. Not only did he produce two beautiful, bespoke rings, quickly and more economically than high street competitors, but he even polished Mrs Simon Grant Comms’ engagement ring, and the wedding rings of our friends, for nothing. He even recommended I went to a competitor to engrave a keepsake because it would work out cheaper. Top man!
When it came to sourcing such a mouthwatering hog roast, one name cropped up time and again: Graham Eyes. Rightly so because, once again, here is a Churchtown business who deliver highly on customer service. Every visit to their Cambridge Road butchers was met with incredibly friendly staff, who were genuinely interested to chat about our event. The hog itself was expertly cooked and butchered, and drew breathless adulation from all our assembled carnivores. They were even so kind as to refrigerate and bag the remaining morsels or pork and crackling for us to enjoy long after the wedding.
Best Venue Decorators
Michelle Roberts, who runs and owns Parties For You, is a consummate professional. We were constantly impressed with her can-do attitude and common sense pricing. Her picture perfect chair covers, sashes and tablecloths transformed our reception venue into a fairytale setting. From the outset, Michelle asked the right questions and always had the right answers for us. She prices her services fairly, refreshingly believing that a couple’s special day needn’t cost them the earth, and was readily available for any advice we needed. Her teenage son even pitched in, demonstrating superhuman strength to help carry innumerable stacks of chairs.
These two young seamstress sisters, based at 12 Hoghton Street, know a thing or two about dressmaking, alterations and repairs. Both are graduates in Fashion Design, from the University of Central Lancashire. Sophie won the prestigious title of the Clothes Show’s ‘Young Textile Designer of The Year 2009’ and saw her winning dress print design sold in New Look stores nationwide. While Anna completed a paid work placement at the design department of high street giants, Matalan, which saw her designs brought to life in store. Needless to say, when it came to dress and suit alterations, they were swift, friendly and competitively priced.
Thanks to all our Granty winners for 2015. While we unfortunately don’t have any statuettes to present, we hope that you’ll bask in the glory of a job thoroughly well done! Please look them up, dear readers, if you’re in need of any of their superlative services.