PE women top wedding awards


A trio of Port Elizabeth women are thrilled after their businesses excelled at the Top Vendor Wedding Awards earlier this month in Johannesburg.

The annual competition recognises hard working professionals in the South African wedding industry. It was created as a place where vendors can showcase their work, compete online with their peers, receive recognition, grow in their field and build relationships with one another at our networking sessions.

Champagne Events was named top wedding planner and was ranked in the top three for an up-and-coming venue, The Plantation won elite wedding venue, winning for the second year in a row and photographer Niki Marusich-Peel won best scenic photograph.

Sarah Dirsuwei, co-owner of The Plantation, the only PE venue to have qualified for that paraticular award, said the accolade was significant as it had the most stringent criteria and “literally most of SA’s top venues were in the running”.

“Our main thing at The Plantation is customer service, we keep on delighting our customers because we’re passionate about them and also exceeding their expectations. Also, we’re always looking for new wedding trends and listen to what our customers want,” Dirsuwei said.

Niki Marusich-Peel, of Niki M Photography, said it meant a great deal to win the award. Marusich-Peel specialises in wedding photography but also has a large portfolio in other fields.

“One needs to be extremely attentive when doing weddings. I spend about 80 hours with my clients during the wedding arrangements. I do engagements, weddings, and pregnancy shoots with my clients,” Marusich-Peel said.

Marusich-Peel added that her winning picture, of Nicolette and Seam Allam in Kratzes, Morgan Bay, made it thanks to being at the right place at the right time.

“The weather was horrific, it was raining and eventually it died down, the sky turned purple and it just looked beautiful. It was a panorama that consists of seven individual images,” the photographer said.

Awarded top wedding planner, Mandy Watson, owner of Champagne Events, said she was proud and thanked her “amazing” team for their hard work.

“We’ve only been running a little over two years and this accolade means a lot to us. Kudos to my team. We didn’t expect to be anywhere near the top three because it was really such a mammoth task but I’m just bursting with pride,” Watson.

Watson added that Champagne Events had been running for many  years as an events and weddings venue but eventually decided to focus on weddings a few years ago.

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