Occasionally in life certain opportunities are presented to you which you grab automatically with both hands like a toddler snatching at a new toy. They’re a magical punctuation in life that can lead you in any direction. These opportunities can also often spiral into a whirlwind of success- this is why you should never, ever turn them down. One particular opportunity which Rock My Reception leapt on was the chance to play the ceremony music for the regional finals of the prestigious National Wedding Industry Awards. A whistle-stop tour of England performing in a handful of the countries finest wedding venues and the chance to play in front of the industries top suppliers.

2014 has been a landmark year for Rock My Reception; our association with The Wedding Industry Awards beginning with us winning the best newcomer award, bookended by winning the North-East region for best entertainment category. We were certainly on a high and thanked organisers for their excellent organisation of the event and the how winning the best newcomer award earlier this year had opened up so many doors for us. It was during the conversation that they pointed out that they could do with some live music to announce the winners onto the stage to for the following regions. Would we be happy to play? Obviously, without missing a beat, our answer was a resounding ‘YES’!

The first task was to find out where we were playing. There were 6 more regions around the country to travel to and the itinerary sent to us gave us locations in Cheshire, Norfolk, Cambridge, Leicester, Bristol and Surrey. We were given the list for the evening of which there would be 24 categories ranging from best wedding makeup to best wedding caterers. Let’s have a bit of fun with this then, we thought. Why don’t we think of a song that will compliment each category. Say, for example, Drive My Car by the Beatles for wedding transport, Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini for best wedding stationary or Video Killed The Radio Star for Best Videographer. Some of the links were tenuous to say the least! We rehearsed a 10-15 second clip for each song to allow the winners to walk to the stage and receive their award.

Playing at the awards was a really big deal for us. For each of the regional finals there must have been between 150-200 finalists. After six regions covered that was a huge audience to play to and a great way of advertising Rock My Reception. We were approached by many people after the awards not only telling us how much they’d enjoyed the music, but also asking us how we’d managed to edit the songs to fit the time it took each supplier to collect their award. It was certainly a case of ‘winging it in the most professional manor’- giving each other a nod as to when to wrap the song up. One of the benefits of playing music together for so long is that you instinctively know how to end a tune without it falling apart.

Not only did our playing in front of nearly a thousand suppliers enable us to spread our name across the industry, but  the chance to chat to the suppliers at the post-awards party, swapping ideas and suggestions on ways in which to improve our respective businesses.

As the old adage goes ‘you’ve gotta be in it to win it’. That is certainly true and can be applied anything in life in which you want to succeed. But with TWIA the success isn’t only about winning an award. It’s about seizing the opportunity to turn up to the ceremonies and network with other businesses. Positivity breeds positivity in others. Hopefully, while we were chatting to suppliers over the six evenings, perhaps we were able to encourage those suppliers regardless of whether or not they’d won their region or not. We were keen to point out to those who hadn’t won an award that it was a massive success in itself actually reaching the finals and that how they should build on that success in the following years.

Myself and Kieran at Rock My Reception would like to thank the TWIA team who conceived the whole idea of the awards and brought it to fruition. Being allowed to be a part of such a hard working group was a real learning experience for us and a pleasure to be invited to be part of. There will certainly come a day in the not too distant future when TWIA will be regarded as being the definitive bench mark for high standards in the wedding industry- like a Michelin star rating or Kite mark. Personally, and from a business perspective, Rock My Reception cannot endorse them highly enough.


View from behind the mic at Farnham Castle

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