Every wedding is unique, but even so, a lot of the time it’s perhaps not obvious which details in particular make them so individual. Enter the Belief Awards, awards for wedding professionals aimed at showcasing the most exquisite weddings around the world. Organised by the Belief Wedding Planners community, this event is perfect for becoming better acquainted with the ins and outs of wedding ceremonies, since the final result always hangs on the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
For the competition’s eighth edition, participants have been drawn from 22 countries across five continents. Giovana Duailibe, executive director of Belief Wedding Planners, voiced her delight for the event’s success: “We’re over the moon with the number of participants. Choosing our winners was difficult, but we’re thrilled with the results. I’m so proud of our community, especially since it brings together different wedding traditions and destinations from all over the globe. This is just amazing for the wedding world and for our members to see.”
The five categories which feature in the Belief Awards this year were Wedding Concept. presenting the best wedding experiences; Special Photo, highlighting a particular moment, detail, or unique design; Black & White, where light and contrast are played with; Cultural Wedding, to discover traditions from around the world; and Destination Weddings, to show case some of this planet’s most breathtaking locations.
The Destination Wedding Winners
The prize for Destination Wedding was taken home by Pilu Delgado for Guatemala; the wedding in question took into account the details that had defined the couple’s trips to the Central American country as missionary medics from the States. Elie Berchan also won big for Lebanon, with a Swiss wedding organised by a Lebanese wedding planner who made the most of the stunning locations the central European country has to offer. Over to Africa, where Niki Steenkamp came out on top with her organisation of a wedding in Olive Rock (Wolseley, South Africa). In the same country, Cara McLaughlin triumphed with a wedding she organised in a Stellenbosch chapel.
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The best Black and White photography
Mexico went away with two prizes; one of them, belonging to Guadalupe Álvarez, from the Black and White category for a stunning portrait of the bride. In Europe, French photographers Aurélie Olarte and Roman triumphed in the same category with a beautiful shot taken in the Alps, where newly-weds were dancing between olive trees. Also in Europe, Rui Mota Punto took home the same prize for Portugal with the help of a multicultural wedding which married Brazilian, Angolan, and Portuguese traditions.
The best Wedding Concept
In this category, wedding planner Ilse Diamant shone with a Mayan Riviera wedding. In Europe, Anna Laudanska from Greece took home the prize thanks to her ingenious use of flowers as a leitmotiv in a wedding. On the same continent, Italy triumphed with the help of Alessandra Marchetti, whose Tuscan wedding left no detail up to chance, achieving a chic, bohemian and romantic concept using olive green and grey as bases. Also for Italy, Sandra Santoro won big with her quintessentially Italian wedding, showcasing views to die for. South Africa took home a prize in this category, too, thanks to the work of Sunelle and Margaux van den Berg, and their wedding surrounded by flora.
The best Cultural Weddings
Anna Laudanska, the winner for Greece for Wedding Concept, also took home the Cultural Wedding prize thanks to her organisation of a Greek orthodox wedding in which crowns were exchanged (Stefana) and rice was thrown. Also in Europe, in Portugal to be precise, Rui Mota Pinto excelled again, this time in the category which celebrated a multicultural wedding: Brazilian bride, Angolan groom, tying the knot in Portugal. And Portuguese Cara McLaughlin, who also won in the Destination Wedding category, came out on top in Cultural Wedding with her combination of cultures in her wedding: a Hindu bride, a German groom, and a mix of religions.
In the Special Photo category, New Yorker Jacqueline Vázquez won for the US with a shot of a couple walking through the Big Apple, a shot which she repeated three times to get the money shot: that famed yellow taxi. Italian Sandra Santoro also won Special Photo for a particularly special moment before the ceremony, during which the photographer captured the atmosphere thick with nerves, emotion, and intimacy. To finish, Valentina Lombardi won for Italy thanks, in part, to the rain, an unanticipated element which caused a sensation and improved her shots with a beautiful dark sky. “The rain changed many of our plans we had for the day: enjoying an al fresco aperitif, a boat trip… But we did everything we still could, and Hannah and Kai had the best day!”, explains Valentina.
The current edition of the Belief Awards, the brainchild of Belief Wedding Planners, has shown once again that collaboration between industry professionals is key to celebrate multiculturalism, learning and growth in the field, so we might all continue enjoying the beauty of weddings around the world. Congratulations to all winners!