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Big days beckon for Buckie DJ as local firms head for wedding awards

By Alan Beresford

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Paul T proudly shows off his Scottish Wedding Awards trophy. Picture: Paul Tough
Paul T proudly shows off his Scottish Wedding Awards trophy. Picture: Paul Tough

A BUCKIE DJ is hoping to successfully defend his title at the prestigious national Scottish Wedding Awards (SWA) in a few weeks.

Last year saw Paul Tough – known professionally as Paul T – claim the SWA Wedding DJ of the Year crown, going one better than the Highly Commended recognition he earned the previous year. This time around he is aiming to retain the hard-won honour. He was also nominated in the category in 2020 and 2022, there being no contest in 2021 due to Covid.

Further silverware could be heading to Buckie if things go his way in the north-based Top Tier Wedding Awards (TTWA) where he is the sole DJ nominated in the Evening Entertainers of the Year section.

To make the finals shortlist in the SWA, Paul was initially nominated by brides and grooms before going to a public vote between last August and November. The winner will be decided by a panel of judges, with each finalist having to submit an extensive range of evidence, including social media reviews from brides and grooms and details of the work they do for the local community.

Paul said: "To win it two years in a row would just be amazing.

"Words couldn't describe what it would feel like to retain the title.

"I'm just going to go down to the awards ceremony and enjoy everything. I still haven't watched the video of my acceptance speech at last year's awards – I was just speechless when my name was read out – but I'll be prepared this year if it happens!"

Winning the award has put Paul very much on the national map.

He continued: "Winning the SWA has made a huge difference over the last year.

"I've been getting phone calls from couples in Glasgow, Edinburgh, even the Borders wanting me to do their weddings. It's really expanded my reach; to be asked to go all over Scotland is just incredible."

This will be the third year Paul has been nominated for the TTWA and is hoping to get off the mark in terms of silverware. In Top Tier couples nominate their top three wedding suppliers, with the top one receiving a gold vote and the other two a silver and bronze respectively.

The finalists are drawn from the suppliers attracting the most votes in each category. The victors will be determined by highest level of gold, silver and bronze votes. There will not be a judging panel to decide a winner unless there is a tie between two or more finalists.

Paul commented: "It's just couples who nominate and vote in Top Tier, so to be chosen by people who've used me as their wedding DJ is brilliant.

"Top Tier actually ask for quite a lot of information from them as part of the voting process based around why they're nominating certain suppliers, it's not just a case of ticking a box.

"Top Tier is something I'm putting a lot more focus on this year. It's a very Aberdeen-orientated award and looking ahead to my peak wedding season I'm getting a lot of couples from that part of the world, a lot more than over this side.

"If couples in Aberdeen and the surrounding area see you've made the finals in Top Tier, it really raises your profile.

"The awards are a very competitive field – in my category three of the bands I'm up against are previous winners. However, I'm looking forward to it. Having won the SWA last year I've got a lot more confidence.

"If I win both, well, you can't beat that for a double whammy!"

Avorio Bridal owners Leigh-Anne Murray (left) and Sonia Pozzi are delighted the firm is in the finals of both the Scottish Wedding Awards and the Top Tier Wedding Awards. Picture: Beth Taylor.
Avorio Bridal owners Leigh-Anne Murray (left) and Sonia Pozzi are delighted the firm is in the finals of both the Scottish Wedding Awards and the Top Tier Wedding Awards. Picture: Beth Taylor.

Paul will be joined in the finals of both awards by Fochabers business Avorio Bridal, who are shortlisted for the Wedding Boutique category in the SWA and Bridal Wear Supplier section for the TTWA.

Avorio Bridal is owned by sisters Leigh-Anne Murray and Sonia Pozzi, with this year seeing the business celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Retail Bridal Association accredited boutique attracts customers from far and wide as well as locally, with customers travelling from as far away as Orkney and the Central Belt to avail themselves of the special service the team there have to offer.

Leigh-Anne said the team were "excited" to be in both finals, the firm having previously won a Top Tier honour.

She continued: "It feels really good to be in both finals.

"On the back of Covid business has been hard in the wedding industry so being nominated for these awards is lovely.

"We're always about customer satisfaction and customer service, it's a really big thing at Avorio as most of our brides travel. We do local brides but so many of our brides travel from much further.

"Our focus hasn't really been about awards over the past couple of years, our focus has been about keeping Avorio going and getting brides to keep on coming back through the door. We're really excited about the awards, it's the icing on the cake and it means we must be doing something right."

Winning one or both trophies would, said Leigh-Anne, be recognition of the hard work and high standards of the seven-strong team at Avorio.

She commented: "We do try and work to our highest level for our brides and for ourselves, we hold ourselves to a high standard.

"I think the girls would say we're like a family, we're really close and work as a team.

"It'd be really nice to win and just to know that we're at the top of our industry, especially after Covid; we've worked hard to do that. It's what we set out to do when we started the business."

She went on to say that being nominated for the awards by the brides they have helped have their perfect day was "the most important thing" for the team.

Leigh-Anne added: "We do what we do because we love it.

"Every bride that comes in has a different story, buys a different dress, has a different venue. People come away from here and tell us they've had a wonderful experience, not just for the bride but for the mums and the bridal party.

"We always say if you come to Avorio Bridal then it'll be a really special start to your bridal journey and you'll make memories with us. Brides come back and say we've been one of the most exciting bits of their wedding, which is really special, it's what we're about.

"We feel privileged just to be a part of it."

Hoping to add a second Florist of the Year crown at the TTWA to her collection will be Caroline Holmes of Twisted Willow Florists, which was previously based in Fochabers. This is her third year in a row as a TTWA finalist.

The TTWA finalists will discover their fate first, with the awards ceremony scheduled to take place in the Sandman Signature Hotel in Aberdeen on February 25, with the SWA winners being unveiled on March 6 at The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Glasgow.

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