Sunday, May 20, 2012

Maria & Michael - The Landmark Hotel

With all that was going on in the run-up to the big day, Maria & Mike didn’t make it to our planned pre-wedding photoshoot. Maria had told me that Mike was a little bit anxious about the photos and being in front of a camera. But even without a dry run in advance, there was no need to worry -he played a blinder.

Maria’s house was lively, with plenty of comings & goings through the morning. Flowergirl Rebecca was in the thick of the action, making sure the dresses were all correct and present, keeping everyone on schedule, and regularly checking the photographers work.

With a Gurteen ceremony and Landmark Reception, I was very much on home ground.  I’ve shot in Gurteen Church a few times before – it’s full of fluorescent lighting, which casts a green pallor in photographs. If you’re not ready for it, the results can be nasty. As always, I zoomed in for the handshake as Maria and her Dad, Joe, arrived at the top of the aisle. It’s a tricky technique that often doesn't pay off. Usually it’s a throwaway frame and the next one is the shot I’d use, but this time I like the zoom effect and the way the central point of the handshake is captured, as the rest of the picture is blurred due to the lens movement. 

After the ceremony, we stopped off at Lough Key, where, after chasing away a large troop of boyscouts, we took some romantic shots by the shore. Then it was back to The Landmark for pre-dinner drinks. There was plenty of time to mingle and chill out before dinner, and I had a wander around.  I haven’t  included many guest shots on the blog lately, so am throwing in a couple today – a very sharp Mohican, and Maria’s brother John & his mates. John had patiently chauffeured all day, and was well ready for a nice cold pint bottle of Bulmers when we arrived.

I know all the people who worked on the day very well – Grainne from Enhance did the girls’ make-up, flowers came from Chantelle in Pure, Eamon from Big Apple was alongside me on video again. Trish & Emma in The Landmark are outstanding at their jobs. Maria's beautiful dress came from Pamela in Dinagh Modes. The Conquerors provided the entertainment, I've written before how having good professionals can enhance a couple's wedding day experience, and this shone through again. It was great to see that all the suppliers were local too, and operating at the highest standards. The one thing that isn't local is the honeymoon - Maria & Mike have got away from it all and are sunning themselves in Mexico right now.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Annemarie & Damien - Glasson Golf & Country Club

I was off to Coosan Point on the banks of Lough Ree on Friday for Annemarie & Damien's wedding. Annemarie grew up in a beautiful upside-down house, with great gardens and a fabulous view across the lake, which is where we started the day. We ended it on the opposite shore, in the Glasson Golf & Country Club

While the bride is always centre of attention on the wedding day, there was another young lady who was attracting lots of notice - little Amelia was attending her first wedding, and enjoying every moment. Grandad John spent a distinguished career in the Defence Forces, but there's no doubt whose tune he's marching to these days.

A bright & sunny day always lifts the mood, and encourages people to linger in the churchyard and enjoy their pre-dinner champagne out in the gardens. It all added to the relaxed atmosphere as we arrived in style at the Country Club - the happy couple being chauffered in Damien's Dad Micahel's dashing Jaguar. After a little wander down on the golf course, it was time for dinner, where Annemarie made sure there'd be no stragglers, by enthusiastically joining in with the bell-ringing.  DSC_5173









Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fiona & Graham - Lough Rynn Castle

One of the many pieces of corporate-speak that surfaced during the Celtic Tiger era was "Wake up & smell the coffee!" It was a the type of slogan slick young management consultants would throw out at Clients they were billing their services to at a rate of hundreds of €uro an hour. Probably while advising them to leverage their businesses and "sweat the assets". Thankfully, it had a different meaning in Lough Rynn last week, as the aroma of fragrant coffees wafted beyond the castle walls and across the grounds of the estate.  The reason? Graham's Dad, Eamon,  runs the high-end coffee company, JJ Darboven, and had a range on offer for the wedding guests. I tried a couple myself, and can vouch for their quality. I probably hadn't fully appreciated the importance of the creme on the top of a coffee before, but it definitely adds to the enjoyment.

Most Irishmen do appreciate the head on a Guinness though, and Graham was no exception, sampling one of Arthur's best before heading for the Church. His father-in-law-to-be, Michael, seems to be eyeing that pint very enviously. I don't think consumption of Guinness or coffee can cause joint swelling, but Fiona definitely had a job to slip Graham's ring on. Keen to make certain he was properly married, Graham made sure of it.

After the ceremony, we returned to Lough Rynn, taking a wander through the walled gardens. Everyone's spirits were high - the bridesmaids looked great in their unique colours, Graham was literally jumping with joy, while Best Man Munch, who showed no signs of nerves about his speech, certainly wasn't camera-shy as he strutted his stuff in front of the lens. His "I'm a Tiger!" look is one of the finest I've seen. I should also mention the man known to all as "Dapper Dave". Sartorially elegant and perfectly-coiffured, I couldn't publish his picture on such a public forum, as the flood of females eager to view would probably crash my server.

I'm hoping Graham & Fiona were sufficiently isolated on their Argentinian honeymoon that news of the finale of the Premiership didn't filter through. As an avid Manchester Utd fan, news of City's last-ditch winner could be enough to drive him to drink. Or very strong coffee at least.












Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Valerie & Graham

When Val & Graham first came to see me, we joked about capturing an urban chic feel in their photos. Having had a quick scan through them, I think we can say mission accomplished. I don't travel to Dublin very often, and haven't done a wedding smack in the heart of the city centre before, so I'd been looking forward to this one for a while. The day began out in Bohernabreena where Valerie was in Danielle Mahon's make-up chair when I arrived. Danielle is a specialist MAC make-up artist and was just back from a stint working in Los Angeles, though showing no signs of jet-lag after her spell with the Hollywood A-Listers.

Excitement was building at the Church too, as Graham, best man Sam, and Val & Graham's little boy Dylan waited for the bride's arrival. Dylan visited us in Killaraght last summer & Julie fell in love with him while she was bringing hm around to meet the ducks, hens, horses and the other creatures who live here.  He made a big impression again, as one of the stars of the day, leading the processional up the aisle perfectly.

After getting back to Fallon & Byrne we took a little wander out into the busy streets of Dublin 2. They presented a different challenge to the ones I'm used to - I don't get too many people walking between the camera and my couples in some of the more remote West of Ireland locations, but they were everywhere on Suffolk St, South William Street, Exchequer St, et al. People move with purpose and often didn't even notice that there was a newly-married couple wandering in their midst. That hustle and bustle added to some of the shots, but ones of the back of a French tourist's head or a pair of bankers crossing the road are immediate deletes. We stopped into The Lost Society for a glass of champagne too, a bar I didn't know. The city is always evolving and changing, and I spotted several new bars and venues that I hadn't seen before. After a capital city wedding, Val & Graham were heading off for a capital city honeymoon in Paris - as romantic a destination as you can get.