Last Thursday was the first ever UK Dating Awards and what a night it was!
Dress finally sorted, shoes brought the night before (always last minute!) and blow dry and make up done at the brilliant Blow bar here in Canary Wharf and I was finally ready to go.
We started with pre drinks at Mcqueens bar in Shoreditch, just myself and a handful of girls to start the celebration off with a glass of champagne. With the Christmas tree up and lights twinkling it certainly got us warmed up and excited for the night ahead. I knew we were in for a great night.
At 7pm we headed to the Honorary Artillery Company (HAC) where the awards were held. How had I not noticed this building before? Absolutely stunning.
We were greeted with a glass of champagne after walking the red carpet and whilst the girls were ushered to have their photo taken I took my spot ready for my live interview with TV Channel ‘London Live’. All I can say is thank gosh I had only had 1 glass of bubbles!
I babbled on at the presenter and my opening line is “we work with people under 50, so people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s” – are you glad I clarified that for you? You can check out the interview here: London Live Interview
It was now time to network and with over 270 of the UK’s dating professionals in the room it was a fabulous opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones. From online dating websites, to dating platforms, matchmakers, singles event companies and many more it was awesome to see so many people gather together from the industry. What was even better was that is was a mixture of small, medium and large companies – nobody was left out. The awards were hosted by Rick Edwards who turned out to be quite a hit (sorry ladies he’s taken – I asked!).
But less talk more pictures which highlight the very best parts of the night. First off, the judges….
The UK Dating Awards Judges
Now onto the night itself….
Natalie from City Matchmaker and I first met at the Matchmakers training course, we were sat next to one another so lots of time to catch up.
The gorgeous ladies from online dating website Strictly Dating who I blog for
It was then time to take our seats ready for the award ceremony and I was lucky to be sat with some of the most amazing people including members of the Mutual Attraction team, Saskia our photographer, Katy who blogs for the Metro and match.com, Natalie from City matchmaker, Sue from Elect Classic and we made new friends with the team from Table 8.
As the awards began it was clear we were a winning table. First Table 8 took the crown for Best Food & Drink Event. They arrange dinner parties for single people who want to dine at some of the top restaurants in London and meet interesting single people at the same time. Split evenly with men and women, they host either tables of 8 or 16 and from Hakkasan to Paramount, they go to all the top places.
Lydia Davis from Table 8 glowing after collecting their well deserved award
Next up this happened……..
Well done Katy on being Blogger of the year AND Best Dating Blog
Katy is a blogging pro and this girl says it how it is! She writes for the Metro, match.com and The Huffington Post to name a few, as well as her own blog All Sweetness and Life being highly recommended by Cosmo. Katy took home not 1 award but 2, winning Blogger of the Year and Best Dating Blog. Go Katy!
Then it was this incredible lady’s turn to take to the stage winning Best New Dating Individual. Saskia is the founder of Saturday Nights Alright the only UK photographers dedicated on dating. She takes photos of all Mutual Attraction members, took my professional shots and she fricking rocks! As you can tell she much prefers taking the photos to having hers taken!
Saskia, Mutual Attractions official photographer
Matchmaker of the Year Award
Not long after, and with no nails left I was so nervous, Rick Edwards announced the category for Matchmaker of the Year. Yowza I was one nervous lady! The shortlist was:
- Lemarc Thomas (Seventy Thirty)
- Mary Balfour (Drawing Down The Moon)
- Picnic Project
- Sue Sherring (Elect Club Classic)
- Vida Consultancy
First up was the highly commended and that went to CEO of Drawing Down the Moon Mary Balfour who has been in the industry for years.
Then it was time for the biggie – who was the winner? Well………………
Matchmaker of the Year 2014
I did it – I won Matchmaker of the Year 2014! Can I get a serious kick ass whoop whoop?! I wanted to shed a tear or two but I didn’t as I have a rep to protect (who am I kidding?) but I really was quite honoured to win and was up on the stage faster then ive moved in my life! Now the party could really get started…..
Celebrating with dating coach Des O Connor
Recognize this Harry lookalike? He’s the fake Harry (aka Matt) from TV show ‘I wanna marry Harry’
The team from dating agency Drawing Down The Moon celebrating Mary Balfour’s Highly Commended award
dating website Christian Connection celebrating their win
Best dating journalist highly commended
Looking good guys from Loveflutter
What a night! There were so many deserving winners, and with 25 categories too many to mention here but do check out the list of winners over on the official UK Dating Awards website: UK Dating Awards Winners 2014
Credit to the judges who worked so hard, 25 categories to judge is no mean feat! The venue staff at the HAC were amazing but most of all, a big thanks to Charly Lester who tirelessly got this event off the ground, spent her nights planning it and lets face it, took a huge gamble – and one that paid off better than any of us could have imagined.
Charly Lester – founder of the UK Dating Awards
Signing off to go celebrate so bye for now.