Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fiona & Chris

Most people are aware that Lough Rynn Castle was the home of the notorious Lord Leitrim, whose assassination in 1878 was met with much celebration by the natives, but prior to the British aristocracy getting their hands on the land, it was the main seat of the Mac Raghnaill (Reynolds) Clan. Well, the MacRaghnaills were back in force for Fiona & Chris's wedding. Fiona is a Reynolds, I was taking the photos, and Eamon Reynolds from Big Apple was making the movie. It was like we'd gone back 400 years to 1612.

Often, things can be pretty hectic in the bride's house, with time at a premium, but it was quite the opposite at Fiona's. We were well ahead of schedule, and were able to take a few of photographs without pressure. Fiona's Dad runs a Plant Hire business, so we just had to get a digger into a picture.

I'm not sure if either Fiona or Chris are superstitious, but if they are, they'll be happy to see the image of the black cat crossing the road in front of them as they arrive at Lough Rynn. Despite being a Meath man, Chris is naturalised in Leitrim at this stage, and is a key player in the Annaduff football team. After a tough Championship draw, which sees them facing Kiltubrid, Carrick & Ballinamore, he might need a slice or two of luck. No doubt he's keeping the fitness level up with regular training runs while he honeymoons in New York.

There were some dramatic skies, but the rain held off, and the sun popped out later in the evening as we had a wander in the gardens, gifting me some good light to work with. After dinner, Late Nite Radio had the crowd dancing til the early hours, and I'm sure the party continued in The Green Rooster the following day.

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Marcella & Martin

I already knew Marcella was going to be stunning on her wedding day, but I wasn't prepared for the fabulous dress & veil and the vintage hairstyle that supplied the finishing touches to her look. I don't think I'm allowed to tell you who designed the dress, but his name would certainly be familiar to any fans of Sex & The City. The sculpted bodice, dramatic bow and intricate lace detail might provide some clues for fashion fans.

Martin and his pageboy Tomás were cool and collected when I arrived at the church, not showing any of the nerves you sometimes see as the minutes tick by before the ceremony. He did opt for a pre-dinner brandy later, which suggested that the prospect of the speech might have been a little more daunting.

The gardens at Lough Rynn were in full bloom and looking splendid in the sunshine that stayed with us for most of the day. Eamon from Big Apple made the movie as I shot the stills. Just before I left, I switched my attention from the stars of the day to Martin's sister Mandy, who was keen to show me her "America's Next Top Model" moves, which she carried off beautifully. Speaking of America, Marcella & Matrin are living it up in Florida & The Caribbean right now, the lucky things....

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Natasha & Jeff

It's not easy to steal the spotlight from a bride on her wedding day, and most people wouldn't dream of trying. Harry, Natasha's cheeky Cocker Spaniel isn't most people though, and not content with making himself the centre of attention at home before the wedding, he turned up in the church in a splendid red bowtie. There really aren't enough dogs at weddings in Ireland, so it was great to have Harry as a special guest.
Natasha lives so close to the Church in Coolaney that she was able to walk to the ceremony. Jeff is a keen cyclist, and despite recently buying a high-end road bike recently that helped him smash his Tour of Sligo personal best, he swapped his lycra for a sharp suit and took a chauffeur driven car to the church.
After a stroll by the river in Coolaney, it was off to Cromleach Lodge. Groomsman James had been keeping a close eye on the weather, and satisfied that nothing was going to rain on our parade, he broke out the cigars.
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Catherina & Diarmuid

Rock & Roll. Or just Rock. Well, metal really. Diarmuid is the legendary guitarist from "Of Fiction", Ireland's foremost heavy rock band. Think Pearl Jam, with a smidgin' of Nirvana and a good dash of Metallica, and keep a close ear out for "Fractals", the band's upcoming new album. They're already big, but they could be huge!

Catherina doesn't strike you as a typical rock chick though, and she looked like she'd be more at home in a chic Parisian salon than a mosh-pit on her wedding day. Carrick Church was the venue for the ceremony - always great to work in, with its dramatic steps and open interior. With The Landmark only a couple of hundred yards away, it made for an easy journey for the guests. In between, we popped out to Jamestown with the bridal party, where we took advantage of the beautiful surroundings by the river & canal. Niall Magaghy was filming the day, and Ger was with me to put together a slideshow over dinner. As always, he had the guests oohing & ahhing at some of the images from the day, and this was definitely the first time we've used a Pearl Jam song in the soundtrack. You never know, it might not be the last. 300_7859 DSC_3201 DSC_3307 DSC_3413 DSC_3459 DSC_3487 DSC_3972 300_7735 300_7809
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Blathnaid & Adrian

My memories of Monaghan are of long hot summers on holiday at my Grandma's 30+ years ago, so the road to Clones was familiar in a very nostalgic way as I headed off to Blathnaid & Adrian's wedding. Of course, the Slieve Russell wasn't there in 1979, but it was the venue for Blathnaid & Adrian's celebrations. I hadn't been in the Slieve Russell for a while, and had only done winter weddings there before, so it was a very nice surprise to get to wander through the specially-designed gardens by the hotel, which are perfect for photographs.

Before that, it was a case of the missing bridesmaids when we stopped at Annagh Lake. The Groomsmen filled in nicely though, with Chris demonstrating his credentials as an excellent dress-arranger. When we were all reunited back at the hotel, best man John disapppeared for a few minutes, before returning with Jimmy McGuinness, Manager of the Donegal team, who were staying in the hotel ahead of their semi-final clash against Tyrone. I'm not sure who brought whom luck, but Donegal are now Ulster Champions, and I'm sure the Sligo/Monaghan combination will be a great success too.

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