Lurgan is fast becoming the country’s top destination for all things wedding - having scooped up three top bridal awards last month.
Perfect Day, Ciaran O’Neill Photography, and Hair by Stephen International were each crowned winners at the Wedding Journal Reader Awards, held in Dublin’s glamorous Gibson Hotel.
More than 32,000 votes were cast to decide the winners of the Wedding Journal Reader Awards, and the three Lurgan wedding specialists were declared the best in their category across the whole of Ireland.
Bernie O’Neill opened Perfect Day thirteen years ago on Lurgan’s William Street, and has been making dreams come true for brides and wedding goers ever since. Her business was voted Ireland’s Bridal Retailer of the Year 2015, having claimed the very same award two years ago.
“We’re absolutely so excited,” Bernie said. “We were voted the top retailer right across Ireland. Our award was the last to be given out on the night, so my nerves were wrecked! I had a girl from Finland in the shop last week. She was over for the weekend and bought her dress here just before flying home!” Sharing success with his wife, Ciaran O’Neill has been working as a professional photographer for 23 years and his business, Ciaran O’Neill Photography, was named Wedding Photographer of the Year at the same Dublin ceremony.
“We’re really pleased,” Ciaran shared. “We’ve won seven UK awards before, but this is our first time winning an all-Ireland prize. We work all over Ireland, and have photographed weddings in Spain and France. I’ve also run seminars in Germany, Austria, Holland, and England.”
Also returning to Lurgan with an award was Stephen McCusker, whose business, Hair by Stephen International, was crowned Wedding Hair Stylist of the Year.
“It’s really nice to be recognised,” explained Stephen. “That was my second time winning the award - after winning in 2014, as well - and I was one of two businesses from Northern Ireland to be nominated.” Stephen opened his Lurgan salon 30 years ago and quickly became internationally renowned:
“We specialise in bridal hair. I’ve recently styled a wedding in Cyprus, and have two more coming up in Malta and Lake Como, Italy.”