Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sinead & Kieran - The Ardilaun Hotel

Not since the hurlers won the county title 35 years ago, or since Sinead's brother Paddy rode Imperial Commander to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, has Ardrahan seen such celebrations as it did last week when Sinead married Kieran. At one point, it looked as though the entire village might go up in flames as the bonfires blazed to salute Sinead on her journey to the church in Spiddal. All was well though, and the party continued into the night at The Ardilaun Hotel in Galway City.

Sinead was just having the finishing touches applied to her make-up when I arrived, and after that she put herself entirely into the hands of her friend, and owner of Thistles Bridal Couture in Tuam, Owen Togher. He was Sinead's personal dresser/fashion adviser/florist/calmer-downer and wedding planner all rolled into one on the day, and he was there again at the church door to make sure she looked perfect as she walked up the aisle. Kieran too, had his own valet in Groomsman Eamon, who fitted his cufflinks, straightened his collar and got his groom shipshape.

The church in Spiddal was beautifully lit with candles, and the floral displays were gorgeous. It lent a great atmosphere to the ceremony conducted by Fr Barry Horan. The only drawback was for me - there was very little light - in fact I can say it was the darkest chruch I've ever worked in. I hate using a flashgun during the ceremony, so this meant pushing my equipment and technique to the limit. For any photo-nerds out there, that was shooting at 5000iso handheld at 1/30sec at f1.8 & 2.8 - something that wouldn't have been possible until recent technological advances. Thank you Nikon.

After the ceremony, we stopped on a very windy Silver Strand with the Bridal Party, and then nipped across the road to Barne Woods for some nice romantic shots of the happy couple. I've mentioned here a few times that the average Irishman isn't always great with public displays of romance, but Kieran was only too happy to get cuddly with his beautiful bride.

I had Ger with me again, and he put together a slideshow of images from the day that caused a few tears to be shed, not least by Sinead. That's always the reaction you like to see, as a wedding day should be full of emotion. A fine set of speeches rounded the day off for me as The Wondertones were setting up. John Murphy was alongside me on video which was a pleasure as always. I was delighted to get a call from Sinead to say thanks for everything from the airport before they headed off to South Africa - it's always nice to get positive feedback, and I can honestly say it was an absolute pleasure.

Sinead & Kieran Collage Blog

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