Thursday, December 13, 2012

Siobhan & Ronan - The Landmark Hotel

Tulsk was abuzz with excitement as Siobhan & Ronan got married - they both grew there, so the entire place was involved in the celebrations. The local pub even had special signs made up for the big day, and became the focal point for the post-ceremony celebrations before everyone headed on to The Landmark Hotel for the reception.

Again we were fortunate with the weather, the morning in particular was bright & sunny, though things did take a turn for the worse later. Siobhan & Ronan's little son, Matthew was busy helping Mammy get herself ready for the wedding, checking her out in the mirror and making sure every little detail was was in place. Meanwhile Ronan and the lads were taking it easy in the sunshine - Sandy even got out for a quick pre-wedding walk.

After the ceremony, there was time for a quick one in O'Connors, before heading on to The Landmark to really get the party started.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Michelle & Killian

Getting lost on the way to Michelle's house wasn't an option. Killian makes his living as a navigator. He is the leading provider of Pace Notes for Irish Rallying as well as being a co-driver of international renown. He has been widely featured in the media, most recently showing Senator Marie-Louise O'Donnelll the ropes in a feature for the Pat Kenny Radio Show. As I write this, he's competing in the WRC Series Rally in Spain.

Michelle is a specialist Theatre nurse, responsible for safely delivering little bundles of joy to their parents, but that was far from her mind as I arrived to a bustling house on a lovely Autumn morning. Her bridesmaids were all pretty in pink in their tea-length dresses. Not everyone could carry it off, but these four looked like a 1950's girl group. Sarah had travelled all the way from Australia via her new home in Dubai, so was able to show off a natural bronzed look that you just can't get in Mayo. On another day, a bride could be upstaged, but there was no danger of that with Michelle.

The other girl to take the limelight was Tiffany, Michelle & Killian's Bulldog, who made an encore appearance after the wedding. She flounced in, threw a few poses for the camera, before retiring for the evening. Meanwhile, we headed to Mulranny Park Hotel.

After dinner & a speeches, guests were treated to a fine fireworks display fired from the beach below the hotel by my former next-door neighbour, Gary from Rocket Pyrotechnics. It took a while to get them settled down after Best Man Paul's knockabout comedy speech, but the display was a great way to let the dinner settle before the dancing to Sean Slattery got going. started. It was good to work with Cathal Farrelly on video again.

M&K Blog

Finally, I thought several times during the day that the new Mrs Duffy reminded me a little bit of someone. Then I twigged it.

Mrs Duffy bears more than a passing resemblance to Duffy, the Welsh popstar. I don't know if Mrs Duffy has quite as good a voice, but I definitely reckon she's prettier.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Niamh & Alan - The Landmark Hotel

Alan is a neighbour of mine, Niamh isn't from too far down the road either, their wedding took place in Boyle, with the reception in The Landmark in Carrick, so this one was really on home turf. Alan and his Dad Ernie were still in their wellies when I popped by on the way to Niamh's house- a farmer's work is never done - even when there's a big wedding on in a couple of hours' time.

Following Josephine & Lindsey, Niamh completed my hat-trick of beautiful beauticians - she works in the Ciúnas Spa in Cromleach Lodge, another fine local venue. Again, Gráinne was busily at work when I arrived, on what was a fine sunny morning. If the sun comes out, Autumn light is beautiful to work with. There is a quality to it that you just don't get in June or July, when it tends to be almost too bright and contrasty. And the afternoon sunshine is great as the sun is lower in the sky, casting a warm glow and long shadows.

If you're travelling from Boyle to Carrick, it's a no-brainer to stop in Lough Key Forest Park, so that's just what we did. Then it was on to The Landmark and the usual warm welcome from Trish & Emma. By the time we hit The Black Mint Bar all the hubub of the day had eased away and Alan and Niamh were able to completely forget about the camera and take a romantic few minutes together.

In the Facebook era, people often post pictures from weddings almost as they happen. Sometimes these are, frankly, pretty crap. So Niamh asked me if I could post one on her Facebook page. It's not something I'd ever done before, but it was nice to see them getting lots of "likes" and especially to see that Niamh is now using one as her Profile Pic and another as her Timeline Front Cover. So to all my future brides, (and there were two at Niamh's wedding), if you want to go to my woefully underused JR Photography Page and "Like", I'll do the same for you if you want.













Lindsey & Peter - Kilronan Castle

When we were kids, we'd be brought to 9.30 Mass in Jamestown every Sunday morning. Often, my Dad would stop and give a lift to Patsy McGovern as she walked to the Church. Patsy is Lindsey's grandmother, and it was good to see her again after all these years. It made me quite feel old to think Lindsey wasn't even born back then though.

Like me, Lindsey has moved away from Jamestown, but only as far as another lovely village where her and Peter have just bulit a fine new house, in Keadue. It might be on the wrong side of the Leitrim/Roscommon border, but it's very handy for her commute to work in the Spa at Kilronan Castle. And everyone at the Castle put on a fine show to welcome one of it's own to Lindsey & Peter's reception.

Unusually, I hadn't met Peter before the day of the wedding, so called in to his Mother's house in time for breakfast on my way to Lindsey's. Peter told me he wasn't too keen on posing or spending the entire day modelling for a photographer. I told him that was why Lindsey hired me, and from that moment on, we got on great.

Back at bridal HQ, Grainnne from Enhance was putting the finishing touches to the girls' make-up, Helena from La Belle Fleur had delivered the flowers, including Lindsey's striking Heirloom Bouquet, while videographer Paul Noone was filming all that was going on.

This was a nice relaxed afternoon, everything happening within a mile or two's radius. There was time for a stop in the Gardens in Keadue, for a pint in McCabes, a few photos at Lough Meeelagh, and to still be back in lots of time for the champagne & cocktail reception in Kilronan. We even squeezed in a visit to the Spa and a little walk in the Castle grounds before dinner.













Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mary & Gareth

If you don't recognise Mary in these photographs, then before too long, you'll be able to say you saw her here first. She's a rising star of the Irish media scene - after a stint presenting a successful talk show on i102-104, she is now a regular contributor to TV3's Midday programme and a high-profile blogger. She's smart, she's witty, she's young, she's beautiful, - watch out Tubbers.

Gareth too, was looking as dapper as Tubbers. He was just putting the finishing touches to his wedding day outfit when I arrived, fitting a natty pair of braces to his smart Paul Smith suit. It wasn't always that way though - he went through a hairy period when he was working in the wilds of Clare, sporting the kind of beard every man secretly wants to wear, for a while at least.

Mary & Gareth were married in a Humanist Ceremony in The Diamond Coast Hotel. I always enjoy Humanist weddings - they're more meaningful than the short civil ceremony, and allow people to shape the format for themselves, without the rigid structure of religious ceremonies. I've met Brian Whiteside a few times, but this was my first time to photograph a ceremony conducted by Billy Hutchinson, who did a fine job.

We were on the edge of the wild Atlantic in Enniscrone, and though the sun was shining, the wind was howling in off the ocean. We made a couple of brief forays to the shore, but were beaten back each time, so took refuge in the pub, where Gareth and his identical twin, Best Man Derek, had a pint of plain each, Catherine opted for an appropriate Bacardi Breezer, while Mary & I had a lovely cup of tea each before heading back to the Diamond Coast to start the party proper.

There's been a load of articles on "Photobombing" in the past few days after this photograph hit the web. Apparently it's become a bit of a craze. It had passed me by, but then I spotted the one below. It seems sometimes even your own bridal party can be stealth photobombers.













Monday, October 15, 2012

Josephine & John - Kilronan Castle

Josephine was the first of three weddings I had in a row where the bride works in the beauty business. Josephine is with Enhance, and Grainne, the owner, was doing her make-up when I arrived. Grainne did the make up for all three of the beauticians, which obviously says a lot about how she's rated in her industry.

Joesphine wasn't the only one to be pampered in the run up to the wedding either. You often hear it said that "It's all about the bride!" but Josephine was happy to share the spotlight, not just with John, but with Theo, their beautiful black labrador retriever, who had been brushed and groomed to a fine shine and was sporting two blue bows for the big day. There's no doubt Theo is a very pampered pooch.

John runs the successful Pro-Trans logistics operation with his brothers, and I met the lads at the depot on the morning of the wedding. I wondered if they'd arrive at the Church in an 18-wheeler, but it turned out to be one of Davy Connell's limos.

After dinner, the guests were treated to a fireworks display outside Kilronan Castle, courtesy of Joesphine's mother Joanie. There's nothing like the noise & colour of a good fireworks show to put a smile on people's faces. Then it was time for dancing to the sound of Gobsmacked, who had the crowd on the floor as I slipped off home.