TWO local businesses have been nominated for a coveted award at the Confetti Wedding Awards in January.

The Flower Shop by Sandra and Pulze Photography are one of 10 finalists in the florist and photographer of the year categories respectively after wining through two rounds of public voting.

They will now be up against the best the country has to offer at a glitzy awards ceremony at the Hilton in Glasgow on January 28.

Sandra Ahern runs the Flower Shop and has provided flowers for countless weddings and it was her satisfied customers who felt she deserved to win recognition for what she does.

“I was nominated for the awards and had to try and get votes,” Sandra said. “I got through to the last 20 and I had to get more votes. I’ve just found out that I’ve done enough to be in the top 10 and there is a glitzy do at the Hilton in Glasgow.

“The Confetti awards are everything to with weddings, it’s bands and photographers and dress so it’s not just florists. It’s a big thing for a wee town like Cumnock.

“I’m chuffed to bits because it’s a wee shop in Cumnock. I think it’s amazing.”

Having already achieved so much by reaching the final, Sandra admits she’s a little nervous about what the future holds. She added: “I don’t know if I’m looking forward to it. It’s glitzy and glamorous so it’s not my kind of thing. I’m quite nervous but excited at the same time.”

Taking a photo as a favour for a friend has snowballed for Auchinleck photographer Robbie Muir who is one of 10 finalists in the photographer category for the second year running.

Nominations come from satisfied customers and clients which gives the awards more stature among professionals in the wedding business.

It all started in a low-key fashion for 28-year-old Robbie, originally from New Cumnock, and now based in his own studio in Auchinleck.

He said: “There are nominations from all over Scotland so to get into the final 10 is an achievement, especially as it is my clients who have voted.

“Initially we were told that I was in the top 20 and got the confirmation that I will be going to the final at the Hilton in Glasgow in January.

“There are different categories among the finalists and I am in the final 10 photographers.”

Now trading as Pulze Photography, Robbie started off five years ago when his friend’s son was born and he took pictures of the new born baby with a pop-up camera.

Things have snowballed since then, with his first wedding three years ago, again it was people he knew, and he was on his way.

Spotting a gap in the local market, he used put his five years experience in graphic design and food photography, with Browns of Kirkconnel, to good use.

Business has continued to grow for Robbie, who is essentially a one-man operation with two assistants, with his wedding assignments going from 12 to 32 in just two years.

Away from the camera lens, he lives nearby with his fiancee and two children and regularly does work for schools and nurseries in Auchinleck, New Cumnock and Sanquhar.

Variety is the spice of a photographer’s life and he now captures new born babies, pets, entire families and more.

“I am self-taught and, even now, at weddings there are things that I pick up on and I am still learning,” Robbie added.