Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Elaine & Donal

I took a trip to the Midlands for Elaine & Donal's wedding which took place in Durrow. Not the one in Laois, the one in Offaly. All was nice and relaxed at Elaine's house beforehand, with lots of time for a few photos before I headed for the Church. I'm not sure how relaxed Donal was at 5 to One, but he kept a brave face, depite the slagging of his three brothers who were his Groomsmen.

Someone had left a bicycle at the church door - I had visions of Elaine & Donal re-enacting the Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head scene from Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, but Elaine wasn't too keen on sitting on the handlebars in her slinky designer dress.

So we drove rather than cycled to the old Abbey which contains the High Cross of Durrow. Local legend has it that if you can reach around it and touch your fingers together, you'll have a long healthy rewarding life, with loads of children. Donal succeeded with a little stretch, which augurs well for the future.

They have a great sense of the theatrical in The Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore. It was my first time to do a wedding here, though I've been to the hotel on a few occasions before. Elaine & Donal were greeted at the door with champagne, and led by a piper into the imposing foyer with its grand staircase. Waiters bearing canapés and sparklers served them, and their entrance to dinner was something to behold. A fanfare is sounded, a great curtain is drawn back to reveal the happy couple sitting on thrones high above the crowd, where they soak up the applause of their guests before descending for dinner. All of this expertly choreographed by Anne Starling and filmed by Eamon. It left me quite breathless.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mary & Damian

When Mary & Damian came to the Studio for their pre-wedding photoshoot a couple of weeks ago, Mary was very relaxed. She assured me she'd be completely dressed and ready for photos by 12 o'clock on the day, saying "sure, what is there to do?!" She was so confident that she offered me a €5 bet on it. I was so confident, I accepted. Needless to say, I won the fiver. She's a good sport though, and was a pleasure to be around on the day. Especially after I waived payment of the wager.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly, (and I know there are a few of you out there), knows I am a bit of a dog-lover. We have three of them at home, so I'm always happy to see them on Wedding Days. In England or America, dogs often get to go to weddings, but that rarely happens here. Mary's Jack Russell, Skip, took a keen interest in the build-up to the ceremony, particularly in the shoes. I had visions of a bridesmaid's shoe being buried with his stash of bones in the garden, but all survived intact.

While Mary organised all the tasks and details that go in to planning the wedding day, Damian also used his time to good effect, brewing three different wedding-themed ales for the champagne & beer reception. He wasn't drinking his own produce in The Harpers before the ceremony - I think it might have been a nerve-settling brandy - but I'm told they were top-notch. I don't partake when I'm working, but was hoping to bring a bottle home to try it later. Not a chance though - they went like hot cakes. I heard they packed a bit of a punch too, more in the Trappist style than "lite" lagers.

It was also lovely to meet Catriona & Fiona, two of my recent brides, enjoying themselves at the wedding as well as the other newly-weds Ciara & Nick. No doubt Mary & Damian are chilling out on a Thai beach somewhere now sipping cocktails - unless that is, Damian packed a supply of homebrew...











Monday, September 10, 2012

Tara & Will

It was an All-American Affair at Tara & Will's wedding in Cloghan Castle, with a gathering of guests from New Jersey, San Diego, Chicago & beyond. In the US tradition, the wedding took place much later then we're used to in Ireland. Whereas Brides & Grooms go to great lengths to avoid seeing each other here before the ceremony, in the States it's common to meet beforehand, with a formal "first-look". Tara took Will's breath away as she emerged from the Castle in her beautifully detailed lace dress.

This was a relaxed and fun wedding, everyone was open, warm and friendly. Will & best man Dan had a ball, fooling around and having a laugh - even during Tara's romantic portrait session. As Will himself said, when you survive two bullets from Al-Queda, you tend to gain a positive outlook on life afterwards.

The ceremony was lovely and intimate, and concluded with a Celtic ritual where all the guests cast a pebble into the lake on the Castle grounds and made a wish for the happy couple. Then it was on with the partying, which was due to carry on for a few days, before everyone headed up the rocky road to Dublin for the Navy v Notre Dame game. Unfortunately, that one didn't go quite as well for Will, with Navy going down heavily to the Fighting Irish.


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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cath & Shane

I celebrated my own wedding anniversary by photographing Cath & Shane's marriage at The Millhouse in Slane. I usually meet my Clients a couple of times before their big day, but as Cath & Shane live in London we communicated by Skype. Despite the grainy time-delayed on-screen images, I recognised both of them immediately.

It was my first time in this fantastic venue on the banks of the Boyne, and there were great backdrops everywhere I looked. Cath had given me a pretty specific brief - she wasn't keen on photographs using the derelict Mill Building, make up application or Groomsmen with pints. So inevitably, we had some shots on the old metal stairs, pints appeared in front of jazz musicians instead of groomsmen, and we had a hairdo in lieu of a makeup pic.

There was a cosmopolitan mix of Irish, South Africans, and a strong London delegation in attendance. Cath's Dad performed the marriage ceremony in a great room, after which everyone walked back acrosss the courtyard to the main house. With champagne corks popping, cool jazz from The Quartones, and delicate canapés doing the rounds, the atmosphere was very mellow. Shane's groomsman Shane (or Kav) is a dead ringer for Nicholas Cage, and apparently a bit of a legend with the ladies. I'm pretty sure he was coming out of the gents in the picture below though. The evening was rounded off with a fine set of speeches, the highlight being Cath's, as she moved not only herself, but a good proportion of the audience to tears.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sheila & Paul

Sheila & Paul kicked off a little run of overseas-themed weddings for me, with New York, New Jersey, Chicago, London and South Africa all featuring. Sheila and Paul have lived in the Big Apple for six years now - if you've visited the famous O'Reilly's Bar on 31st Street, Sheila may well have been your barkeep. Killoe is a long way from Manhattan though. Many brides might have had second thoughts about taking the horse and trap to the church as the drizzle got heavier, but Sheila wasn't put off, and she braved the elements to arrive in style. It took a feew people to help her dismount in the dress though.

After extracting a couple of Groomsmen from Begley's Bar it was off to the Glasson Golf & Country Hotel. The weather was too dodgy to chance the trip down the golf course to the lake, so we used the tree-lined avenue for the romantic shots. Appropriately, Eamon from Big Apple was doing the video, and he told me that Night Fever had the dancefloor on fire later on. Sheila & Paul came to see me the following Tuesday and they had only just about recovered from it all!


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