Rob Reaks , February 23, 2018
Thank you for all of your entries to Red7’s Britain’s Best Bridesmaid – 2018.
When we began the search, we knew that the competition would be as fierce as the dresses.
After perusing the wealth of entries, we can now proudly present the fourteen impeccable bridesmaids who have made it to become regional finalists and who are all in with a chance to win a trip for two to Bruges and Amsterdam!
Amongst our finalists are four sisters, one sister-in- law, one mum and a daughter.
From secretly flying to Las Vegas, to arranging a hen weekend in Paris, nothing was too much for these best bridesmaids, who went above and beyond.
Seven of our 14 regional finalists will go on to become regional winners. From these, we will crown Britain’s Best Bridesmaid 2018.
Here are the regional finalists and their stories:
Amanda Wane – Dumbarton
Bride Leanne was in the dark when it came to her hen do – literally! Amanda, was on a mission to surprise her friend, and so she picked her up from the train station, blindfolded her, put earphones in her ears and placed things on her head to distract her throughout the taxi ride to a secret destination.
When they reached Edinburgh Airport, Leanne was allowed to take off her blindfold. To her surprise, seven of her good friends and family were stood in front of her – all dressed in berets and neck scarves. Instead of a spa weekend Leanne was told they were actually off to Paris!
Kirstin-Anne Craig – Glasgow
Kirstin-Anne is no stranger to a wedding, after attending twelve last year, and having the honour of being a bridesmaid at four! For her sister’s wedding, she pulled out all the stops.
Not only did Kirstin-Anne hand make all of the wedding invitations, orders of service and flowers, but leading up to Rachel-Jayne’s wedding she made a wedding countdown book, which included a letter for every day for two weeks before the wedding. Every day, she would receive a new letter from someone dear to her. The countdown ended with a letter from Rachel-Jayne’s husband-to-be, on the day of her wedding.
Her chief bridesmaid duties didn’t end there. After the birth of Rachel-Jayne’s baby girl, Kirstin-Anne created a party dress for her first birthday out of her bridesmaids dress.
Charlotte Webb – Pontypool
Doting mother and psychiatric nurse, Charlotte, went above and beyond for bride Victoria, organising a surprise hen do in Newquay. Victoria thanked her chief bridesmaid for “being the woman I am today” by showing her what “true confidence, self esteem, unconditional friendship” was, as well as teaching her “how to chat up guys”!
Jennifer Wallan – Nottage
Jennifer became Deborah’s wedding day saviour when unreliable suppliers didn’t show up! Jennifer stepped in as chauffeur, driving Deborah’s step daughters to the wedding when the cars didn’t arrive. Deborah, says Jennifer – who is BFF with her husband – was consistently “selfless” leading up to and during the wedding day.
Sarah Tuesday Wilson – Manchester
Sarah’s father was terminally ill when she was a bridesmaid to bride Rebecca. But despite going through such a difficult time, Sarah was the perfect bridesmaid, attending dress fittings, sending texts, emails and suggestions throughout the run up to the big day. She not only “did everything and more” for the bride, but also supported the groom, checking he was OK, being the messenger between the two newly-weds-to-be.
The night before the wedding, in the bridal suite, Rebecca was giving her bridesmaids a special box of presents, but as she did so, the bed gave way from underneath them, turning “an intimate moment [into] a hilarious moment”.
First thing in the morning, Sarah run over to the venue in her bridesmaid PJs to ask them to fix the bed so the bride and groom didn’t have to sleep on the floor on their wedding night.
Val Hodge – Liverpool
Val, the Mother of the bride was also her daughter’s chief bridesmaid. Taking on two major roles in bride Emma’s big day was a big ask, since she was recovering from a major spine operation. But Val made it to her daughter’s wedding and still “powers through everything life throws at her”!
Teri Mallinson – Huddersfield
After being Teri’s bridesmaid eight years prior, when Rachel, got engaged, she had no doubt that Teri was going to be her maid of honour. “No-one knows me better,” says Rachel adding that the two girls had planned “this day together since practising at nursery school”.
Not only did Teri plan the “most amazing” hen party in Marbella with Red7 (excellent choice!) and kept her “bridezilla at bay”, but Teri – whose own husband passed away when she aged just 30 – lent Rachel her veil for her ‘something borrowed. It “must have been extremely difficult given the circumstances”, says Rachel. “(She deserves) to win this award 10 million times over.”
Nicole Hutton – North Yorkshire
Nicole had only three weeks notice to organise Elizabeth’s hen do as she was getting married in Vegas. The hen party was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas too, but Nicole pretended she couldn’t afford the flight.
Secretly she’d organised with Elizabeth’s fiance that would fly to Vegas before the rest of the group, surprising bride-to-be at the airport when the landed with a limousine and champagne. Nicole organised everything perfectly for the big day and more importantly “came dancing with me on a bar and fought to the death for the bouquet”. She then kept ten “‘fairly’ (!) drunk people together around Vegas without any of us getting lost or arrested”, and booked a party bus to take them all back to the Bellagio Hotel for more champagne.
Jamie Leigh Branston – Leicester
Jamie, sister of the bride and mother of five, “threw herself into my wedding helping me plan (…) every detail. She created the bouquet herself, as well as lending her house for hair and makeup.”Jamie also kept Rachel calm when the “unthinkable happened” and her wedding dress broke, coming up with a solution as the bride was having a “full-scale meltdown”. Jamie then helped convince the venue to marry the couple – after the bride was so late it very nearly didn’t happen!
Kirsty Pinchin – Evesham
Kirsty is the younger sister of bride, Kerry and took all the pressure off in the run up to Kerry’s big day, despite not being a “natural girlie girl” and working in the Royal Navy. Pulling out all the stops for a hen do to remember, and helped with all the big bridal decisions. On the big day she organised for all the bridesmaids to ‘gatecrash’ the speeches, by giving their own. Kirsty was supportive from start to finish, “especially as two weeks after my wedding my husband was deployed to America,” says Kerry. She’s supported me since.”
Amy Hookway – Newquay
Despite living so far apart, Amy was an “easy choice” for bride Abbie. She “made every effort to get all of the bridesmaids together for fittings, could tell when I was at my lowest and most stressed with planning and would just arrange a get together for everyone’s have fun!”
She also managed to organise thirteen hens from all over the country to book flights and hotels for Abbie’s hen party – no mean feat. Amy also “arranged for me to wear a bracelet that belonged to our beautiful friend who sadly isn’t with us anymore which was the icing on the cake for me”. Even after her chief bridesmaid duties were done, she still sends Abbie little photo reminders of her special day.
Madeline Langston Fagg – Highcliffe
Madeline has been a bridesmaid a staggering fifteen times and was nominated several times, with one of her friends stating that “every bride needs a Madeline”. Described as a “loyal, loving and a friend to everyone” who is “always smiling, you would never know she’s almost always in constant pain.”
Madeline – who has since found her own sweetheart and had a baby girl despite suffering health problems – was the last one to be ready at another wedding, “to make sure everyone else was ready first.” She suffers with her health and still gives her all “to make sure someone else’s day is the best it can be,” says one of her nominators, Leah.
Angela Bubb – Gillingham
Angela organised two hen parties for sister-in-law and bride-to-be Chelsea, as well as taking the time to create a “wonderful book” for friends and family to sign before her big day in Turkey.
Disaster struck when friends and family arrived a week before the wedding only to be struck down with sickness and diarrhoea. Then, two days before the wedding, Chelsea’s brother-in-law called her to let her know that Angela had slipped whilst running, had been sick and wouldn’t wake up. She was rushed to hospital where she was found to have fractured her skull and had bleeding on the brain. She was kept in overnight, and discharged the evening of the wedding. Chelsea thought that she wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding “let alone be a bridesmaid”, but “she walked down the aisle as my bridesmaid and stood there through all the photos with a smile on her face even though she was in so much pain.” It turned out she was also pregnant!
Lauren Talbot – Norfolk
Carrie chose her sister Lauren to be her chief bridesmaid, appointing her a body double whilst she worked on getting her perfect wedding body. It was a dress Lauren tried on, which Carrie fell in love. Carrie says it was Lauren and her mum who gave her the confidence to carry on with slimming, and by her wedding day, she’d lost an amazing 4st 6½lbs.
Lauren then “paid off the full £300 that I had left to pay” on her wedding dress and on the wedding day, when one of the dress straps broke, she came to rescue, sewing it up. Even after the wedding, Lauren didn’t give up her dutie when “many of my guests became ill”, offering out apologies on Carrie’s behalf because she was too upset to deal with it herself.
Best of luck to the final 14 nominees!
The winning bridesmaid will receive an incredible prize – a cruise for two to beautiful Bruges and happening Amsterdam. After taming the bridezilla, this mini ‘BridesmaidMoon’ is the perfect reward. For more information on Red7 and its services, please visit www.redsevenleisure.co.uk.
What you will win
The prize includes a four-night short break cruise to Bruges and Amsterdam with activities.The cruise departs Southampton on 30 June.
*The prize includes a four-night short break to explore medieval Bruges and laid-back Amsterdam. In Bruges (tours from Zeebrugge), sip a Trappist beer (with a side order of people watching), take a canal trip or do some serious chocolate shopping. Then on to Amsterdam, which delights with its gabled houses, world-famous museums and tranquil canal walks as you hop between the plentiful bars and cafés.
For more information regarding the competition please visit
For more information, please contact:
Flo Powell, Susie Riza or Emma Hynes
Tel: 01273 666 200
Notes to Editors
Red7: Bespoke group travel and events for all occasions
Red7 is an innovative group travel and event-planning business, creating bespoke group travel packages for all occasions. Created in 1997 by award-winning entrepreneur Ian Lucas, Red7 started life as the first company to specialise in stag and hen parties. Since then, more than 1 million hens and stags have travelled with Red7. Today, Red7 provides a full spectrum of luxury travel experiences and life adventures for couples, families, groups and business travellers. Red7 is an ABTA member, holds IATA accreditation and provides full ATOL protection.
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