A FAMILY-run bridal wear company in Huddersfield has celebrated its own big day by winning two national awards.
Limelight Occasions, of Lepton, was recognised as best new bridal retailer and also won the trophy for best retail website at the internationally-recognised Bridal Buyer Awards held in Harrogate.
Some 600 guests from across the UK, Europe and the USA joined forces to celebrate the winners in 17 categories.
The categories included ones recognising excellence in retail, design, manufacturing, innovation and export in a competition which attracted thousands of entries.
Limelight managing director Haley Guest said: “We have only been trading for two years. We were very surprised to win – and to be told that nobody has ever won two awards before.”
Limelight Occasions, founded in 2008, is a family business involving three generations.
It won the coveted best new retailer award after impressing judges for its “innovative approach to the bridal buying experience”.
Haley said: “Your wedding gown is the most important dress you will ever buy, so we designed our shop – a beautiful convertedMethodist chapel – to incorporate a full-length catwalk under crystal chandeliers. The girls who come for fittings absolutely love it.”
Helen Bradley, design director of Batley-based White Ash Creative, helped Limelight design its award- winning website which has resulted in customers coming from all over the UK and Europe – and even as far away as Thailand.
Haley added: “We are very proud of Limelight and especially proud of our talented team of consultants and seamstresses who work so hard to ensure that our clients enjoy a perfect wedding day.
“As a family we are very creative. Limelight is the result of our individual and collective talents.”
Haley’s father, director Steve Brougham, designed the stunning shop interior which was decorated by family and friends.
His cousin, Karen Sykes, of Mirfield-based CR Interiors, created the soft furnishings and Haley’s mother, Sue Brougham, who is marketing director, collaborated with Helen Bradley on the design of the website and the firm’s glossy magazine.
Frank Lockwood, Haley’s grandfather remains active in the business and at the age of 85 maintains the grounds and buildings.
“It’s all hands to the deck at Limelight,” said Haley. “My husband, brother and friends have all been roped in for numerous jobs, including modelling and clearing the large car park of snow every winter!”
Haley said brides-to-be had cut back on some of the trimmings for their wedding day as a result of the spending squeeze.
They were also more wary about who they hand their money to and how far in advance of the wedding they paid for their dresses.
But she said: “We are getting ready for the spring wedding season.
“We are overjoyed at winning the Bridal Buyer Awards. It has made all the hard work and stress of opening a new business during a major recession worthwhile.
“We are now even more determined to build on our success and establish a business that will be here for the generations to come!”