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So, not so long ago we were placed under lockdown! In Britain, we witnessed the true key workers of our country, and how much they really do mean to us as a Nation. I couldn't just say thank you! Thousands of weddings were canceled and key workers were put under pressure most of us will never experience in our lifetime. So this thank you, may still not be enough, but it is a start! I partnered with five amazing, individual businesses to host a competition specifically for the heroes of the UK.

Before I introduce you to our suppliers that took part in this wonderful giveaway worth £5000, I caught up with the amazing couple that won this competition. I really wanted to give them the platform to share their love story and introduce our winners as they deserve it!

Rikhael & Jay's Love Story x

Tell us how you met?

Jay & I met online, twice! Initially, we met on a popular dating site, we exchanged a few niceties but not numbers. I left the site because there were too many weirdos, and a year and a half later I joined Tinder where Jay & I matched :) - Some would say its fate, and I wouldn't disagree.

Tell us about your life before getting engaged, favorite date nights, anything memorable?

We lived about 35/40 mins away from each other, both had busy schedules in the week but always made time for each other at the weekend, usually Sundays. Dating was fun, we are both quite laid back - (Jay is horizontal if you ask me) so we went for dinner, cinema, and I beat Jay many times at pool or bowling, much to his denial. However, we would love spending time watching trash TV or Netflix and winding down after the weeks' events. Our most memorable holiday was Morocco where we had the best time exploring the country and quad biking in the desert, well that was until we were greeted by a peacock and I nearly died (I HATE PEACOCKS)

How did Jay propose and tell us about your announcement?

Jay proposed whilst we were in Ghana Jan this year - I did not expect it - after subliminal ring suggestions and multiple wedding questions I gave up and thought he definitely won't be proposing anytime soon because I kept going on. We were staying in a beautiful resort far out of the city, peaceful and tranquil. I couldn't believe it when he got down on one knee to propose, I legit thought I was dreaming. It was such a beautiful special time because my parents came on the trip with us and were able to share the exciting moments after I stopped screaming with joy and disbelief, and as a bonus, they were the first to know! Obvs I dropped it in the group chat after and the love just kept flowing for us. Its an unreal feeling being engaged and we are quite a private couple so we didn't plaster it all over social media, but when we shared it, friends and family, its the genuine happiness and support we got and have from them which makes it even more exciting to be getting married

Share your dream wedding visions?

Our dream wedding will be simple but classy with a hint of sauce! We don't take life too seriously and are always laughing, so we would like that to be reflected in our day. The main thing we both feel is that guests come to share our special day, to eat lots, drink more and be comfortable.

So, you won the competition, how did that feel and what does it mean to you?

I'm the planner in the relationship (Bride to be) and I am constantly looking for suppliers for the wedding or colour schemes etc, so the competition came up on my feed as an ad, I applied and asked literally our whole family and close friends to vote. I thought we may as well apply because you gotta be in it to win it no? As NHS workers, we hardly get any recognition for our hard work and felt it was our time to get something back for our dedication to the public. Initially, when the competition closed I was anxious and worried but thought I needed to chill out because I have no control over this. However, when the email came through I could not believe my eyes! I was so happy, and Jay felt the same when I finally told him the reason for my loud gasp!

I didn't realise how much winning would mean to us, apart from the obvious of saving money, it highlighted all those who voted for us believe in us as a couple and are thankful for our roles in the NHS too. I never win anything so feeling so blessed right now as the prize will help us create and complete our vision for our day!

Have you got any tips for our recently engaged couples?

For all couples engaged planning your wedding, our tips would be to stop stressing over the smallest things because they honestly don't mean anything in the long run. Make the day about you both not what the inlaws want. When deciding on guests, ask yourself if you would invite the person out and pay for their dinner tomorrow? If the answer is no then why would you invite them because essentially that's what you're doing when you invite them to your wedding! :)

Rikhael and Jay, thank you for your time and I cannot wait to embark on your journey with you for your wedding in 2021.

Akilah x

I wanted to say thank you to the suppliers, who came on board, no questions asked, and offered their amazing services for free. Please, be sure to visit their websites, follow them on their socials for further individual business updates and offers.

Corrin's Creations

Corrin is one of my favorite cake makers in London and Essex, the softest sponges are very difficult not to love. Definitely follow her journey on Instagram for all your ake desires:

What they won: Corrin has kindly gifted our winners their wedding cake, I will be sure to grab me a slice.

Gifty Dzenyo Photography

A true passion through her work shines with her creative and memory capturing photography. Gifty is very talented and is full of joy to collaborate with. Have a look at her website and Instagram profiles for her recent work, also to check out what she has been up to during lockdown:

What they won: The winning couple will have the opportunity to take part in a pre-wedding photoshoot and have Gifty for their wedding day.

Londons Mobile Nails

Tested and loved! Chikara, the owner of Londons mobile nails, is amazing. She is a true perfectionist and has made it known. Her nail styling is simple yet glamorous and will have you ready for any event. You can benefit from Chikara's mobile service if you are based in the M25 so no more long queues at your local salon.

What they won: Our lucky bride will be pampered with a classic bridal manicure at home before her big day.

Love and Lashes

When I came across this Lash bar, I just knew I had to get them on board. Their testimonials and the owner Deon says it all. If you want your classic individual lashes, then look no further. Visit her website and follow her Instagram today:

What they won: A beautful classic install .

White Blossom Events

A stylish wedding and birthday event stylist, they really do know the trends and their inspiration boards are great additions to helping you plan your next event. Be sure to check them out and follow their Instragram:

What they won: Our winners will receive their table centerpieces perfect for their dream wedding day.

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