Thursday, September 30, 2010

Libby & Cormac

Libby must be the coolest bride I've come across. She lives in Manhattan, which is pretty cool for a start, but she hadn't just booked me without meeting me, she'd also booked Kilronan Castle without ever setting foot in the place, and didn't see either of us until a week or so before the wedding day. Luckily, she loved Kilronan, and we got along great too.

There was a good gang of girls still in the hairdressers when I arrived, so I hightailed it to the lads' house, where the morning's puck-around was just finishing. It's hard to keep these Waterford boys away from their hurls for long. As time ticked by though, you could see Libby and Cormac casting their minds ahead to the big moment - look how pensive they both appear as the time approaches.

The ceremony was celebrated by Libby's uncle, the Smyth family photo was the biggest I think I've ever done, and the trip to Keadue was interesting, especially for Cormac's brothers Neil and Emmet who came via Carrick, adding an extra 20 miles or so to their journey.

Once we arrived at Kilronan though, everything went beautifully, as Olivia, Recep and Ben welcomed the happy couple, while the guests relaxed in the Dungeon Bar before dinner. Cormac and Libby got a great reception from the crowd as they entered the ballroom, but were almost upstaged by Tomás and Hainey who were pure rock n'roll. The expressions on Cormac & Claire's faces say it all.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make the barbeque on Saturday afternoon - it would have been great to have a couple of beers with this gang. Hope you two are enjoying the Greek sunshine.











Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pamela & Stephen

Saturday dawned grey and miserable, and it didn't get better - it was real West of Ireland weather, with the rain down for the day. At best, a steady drizzle, at worst, lashing rain like you can see below, as Patricia and Daniel brave the elements to escort the guests of honour up the red carpet of The Landmark.

Luckily, it didn't matter a whit, as the mood remained sunny all day. Pamela, Stephen and the Bridesmaid's, Edel, Emer and Pauline even defied the rain for a quick stop in Drumsna on the way from Aughnacliffe to Carrick. The boys, a little more delicate, had headed straight to the comfort of The Landmark, but were awaiting Pamela's arrival in the Green room.

Stephen is a professional rugby coach and the biggest out-half I've ever seen. He only admits to being 6'2", but I think he's being modest. Pamela works in St Christophers, and is the third bride I've photographed from there.

Eamon from Big Apple was on video, which is always a pleasure. Other supplier details were -

Dress by: Maggie Sottero @ Liz Mahon Bridal Wear, Finea
Hair by: Tracy Nolan @ Laura's Longford
Groom's suit : Gerard Anthony, Carrick-On-Shannon
Flowers: Village Flowers Drumlish










Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trudi & Dominic

A double-header this weekend in Lough Rynn and The Landmark. I'd been looking forward to this trip back to Arigna for months, having met Trudi, Dom & baby Matilda Rose back in April at their house, high on the side of the valley across from Glen Church where they were to be married. When it came, the day didn't disappoint - the forecast showers mostly held off, the skies were dramatic, and when we got back to Lough Rynn the sun came out and the light turned magical.

I always try to ensure my wedding couples have private moments together over the course of the day. There's so much activity and excitement on the day that it's easy to forget to spend some time alone with the person you love. I keep a distance away, but sometimes sneak a picture or two if there's magic in the air. The shot in the church is one of those, after the ceremony and the family photos were finished. The sun broke through as Trudi and Dom sat quietly together, and the moment was there to capture. In the same way, I like the shot into the light by the fountain, complete with flare on the lens and the spray from the fountain backlit and sparkling.

I was blown away by the musicians in the Church on Friday, Colm O'Donnell & Maria Lynn. Colm's voice resonated around the unamplified church and held the congregation spellbound. The only other time I;ve seen that happen was when Claire Malone sang at Doireann & Dave's wedding in May. La Belle Fleur in Drumshanbo provided very funky flowers, while the six-tier wedding cake was all the work of Trudi & Dom themselves. Ciaran, Ellen, Peter & Michael in Lough Rynn looked after everyone in their usual fine style.










Thursday, September 16, 2010

Castles & Kilts

It was an All-American affair at the beautiful Markree Castle Hotel yesterday, as Mike and Lisa literally "tied the knot" in a ceremony conducted by Celtic Priest, Dara Molloy.

Mike looked every inch the Clan Chieftain surveying his lands as he took in the view from his room before hittting the bar for a quick nerve-settling brandy, while Lisa lived up to her reputation as she hurried to avoid being too late for the ceremoy.

The guests came from Alaska to Atlanta, from Seattle to South Carolina, all of them close friends of Mike and Lisa, though many of them didn't know each other beforehand. A pubcrawl in Sligo on the eve of the wedding is a great way of bonding though, and there was a lovely, intimate feel to the affair. During dinner, many of the guests got to their feet to tell their own tales of, and pay tribute to the happy couple, something I haven't seen at an Irish wedding.

The meal finished with a flourish, as Frank from Fairbanks decapitated a bottle of fine champagne with a sword. Someone elses flash went off while my shutter was open, whiting out Frank's face, but Lisa & Jennifers' expressions save the shot - you can see the top of the bottle and cork in flight just over Jennifer's head. After dinner, Celtic Rhythm dancers performed a whirlwind show. The feet were flying, and they got eceryone in the mood for dancing. As I was leaving, Tommy Byrne and the Big Jigs Band were teaching some very bemused Americans how to dance the Siege of Ennis, with mixed results....

Flowers by Micéal Feehily.











Monday, September 13, 2010

Louise & John

I was really back on familiar ground this weekend, popping up the road to a Gurteen Groom, a Bunninadden Bride, stopping for photos in my adopted town of Boyle, before heading on to the reception in my home town of Carrick's Landmark Hotel. What could possibly go wrong? Well, nothing really, it was a pleasure. There were wickedly heavy showers throughout the day, but we danced between the raindrops most of the time.

When I arrived, John was relaxing with his family over a glass of Buck's Fizz from Gerrys home bar, while in Bunninadden Louise looked beautiful in her dress by Ray Michael. With Louise's six sisters, a pair of brothers and lots of kids buzzing around, the house was hopping, but everything got done in time without hassle. Despite a short rain delay at the Church door, Louise came up the aisle on schedule. The Church music was provided not only by Helen Hunt, but Fr James McDonagh also played an instrumental piece on flute.

As the sun broke through in the evening, Louise and John took a quiet romantic stroll along the boardwalk in Carrick, before making an hilarious entrance for dinner, expertly choreographed by Patricia. I've never seen bridesmaids in builders hats before, but after this, I could see it catching on.

Caroline Clancy from Pink Lime was on video duty - it's the first time we've worked together, but I'm sure it won't be the last. Flowers were by Feehily's. John, Stephen Robert and Lee looked dashing in their suits from Lavin's in Ballymote, Louise's friend Eileen baked the fabulous cake, and Louise and John travelled in style in a head-turning classic American Buick.












Thursday, September 9, 2010

Niamh & Neil

Niamh & Neil had a small, intimate wedding in what is probably the smallest church I've ever worked in, the COI in Ardamine, followed by a drinks reception and dinner in Marlfield House Hotel. There was a big party planned for the next day in Donnybrook, where as well as the wedding, there was Niamh's brithday and her parents' Bernie and Leo's 35th anniversary to celebrate.

Thanks to the new Celtic Tiger motorways, I was in Polushone much earlier than I'd allowed for. Childhood memories of trips to Wexford are of entire days spent on winding midlands roads, through towns like Tullamore, Portlaoise & Carlow, but times have changed. It gave me the chance to have a wander along the beach and up on the headland overlooking Niamh's family's holiday home. It's definitely the first time I've seen one of my brides taking a swim in the Irish Sea on the morning of her wedding.

After the ceremony, we popped back to Poulshone for some photos and traditional sugary dolphins which Fiona and Yvonne supplied. Then it was off to Marlfield house for champers and lawn games. Turns out Niamh is a quite the shark on the croquet pitch, while Neil was definitely king of the boules.

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