Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentina & Declan - Broadhaven Bay

They say it never rains but it pours, and on Valentina & Declan's big day it didn't just pour - the rain whipped in sideways with such ferocity that umbrellas were useless. Still, when you set your big day for January, you're prepared for the worst, so it didn't dampen the spirits in the least. Valentina's house was buzzing with excitement and preparations. Bridesmaid Noelle was taking it all in her stride though - she even had a little nap after she was finished with the hairdresser.

In contrast, Declan was pacing the floor, and might have been looking just a little bit nervous when I arrived at the Church. He was in good hands with his Groomsmen though, who kept the craic going all day. "Bull" in particular played a blinder, and took all the slagging in good spirits. After the ceremony, we decided to take on the weather, and stopped off at a nearby country house. With it's long avenue, there was a touch of Downton Abbey about the place. Thouugh we made a brave attempt, the rain beat us and we couldn't even manage a single shot of the bridal party together outside, apart from the chaotic one below.

By the time we reached Belmullet, the wind was roaring in off the Atlantic, so we were very grateful for the warmth and hospitality provided by David Tyrrell, who busily escorted many of the guests in from the storm outside. Niall from Complete Weddings was alongside me - we were both soaked and so was our gear. I had to switch cameras after water effected the flash contacts - luckily I carry four to every wedding, so always have back-up for the back-up.

The Bridal Suite is always the last refuge for the photographer when the weather goes badly wrong, and the one in the Broadhaven Bay is perfect for the job, with lots of space for an eight-member bridal party, photographer, videographer and lights. The it was down to dinner, which kicked off with a very nice set of speeches, including one from the star of the show, Valentina herself.

Valentina & Declan Blog Collage

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jennifer & Andy - Kilronan Castle

The last day of the year was one of the biggest ones of 2012 for Ballaghadereen. The town emptied out and headed for Kilronan Castle for the wedding of one of its favourite sons to one of its favourite daughters, as long-term sweeethearts Jennifer & Andy tied the knot. If the groom looks familiar to you, it's because he's the Mayo County Captain, and though the team went all the way to the All-Ireland Final without him, after he ruptured his cruciate ligament in the Quarter Final, many experts believe Sam Maguire would have crossed the Shannon and returned to Mayo if he hadn't been injured.

Sometimes, calling to the groom's house on the morning of a wedding, you might encounter a couple of sore heads, or a groomsman having a little stiffner for the day ahead. Not so with these lads. They'd just come back from a vigourous 90-minute workout at the local gym. Meanwhile, Jennifers house was buzzing with activity, and Milly the Puggle was in the thick of it. Once David finally got his hair just right and vacated the bathroom, the bridesmaids got a chance to get themselves ready. Jennifer looked fantastic in a spectacular dress adorned with swan feathers and cathedral-length veil. The lads smartened up nicely too in their black tie gear.

Marguerite, Jenni's Mum, is a florist, and she'd done a beautiful job of decorating the Cathedral. She even took time to put the finishing touches to Andy's buttonhole in the porch on her way in. After the ceremony, we had a quick stop in the grounds of Abbey House in Boyle, dodging between the showers. Amanda & Catheriona were a fine pair of feisty bridesmaids, so there was plenty of banter flying around as they showed off their "America's Next Top Model" moves. Back at the Castle, the Mayo Squad assembled for a team photo with the happy couple. Straight after the wedding, the team was heading for Miami for some pre-season R&R, which they obviously enjoyed thoroughly, judging by their first defeat in 20 years at the hands of Leitrim when they got back. Jennifer & Andy didn't make the trip to Miami, they flew off to sunny Mexico instead. Alan Kelly was alongside me on video for the day, while Bumblebee Honey got the dancing going well past midnight and into 2013.

Jennifer & Andy Blog