Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kathleen & Donal - Lough Rynn

Sometimes, on a cold windy winter's day when the light is fading fast and you can't get outside and things are running late and nobody can find Uncle Mick for the family photo and the chef is throwing a wobbly because the souffl├ęs are sinking and somebody has stood on the bride's dress and torn it and your flashgun has shorted out from the rain that's been pouring all day and there's still a dozen groups to be photographed and you realise you've left your tripod in the Church 25 miles away, then you wonder why the hell you ever decided to photograph weddings.

Then there are days like last Saturday in Lough Rynn, when you realise what a pleasure and a privilege it is to do this for a living. A fantastic day, a handsome couple, happy to devote a little bit of time to their photographs, and the beautiful grounds of Lough Rynn Estate to wander around. Having Cathal Farrelly alongside me on video was an added bonus.

The wedding itself took place in Granard, where the Church sits overlooking the town. The lighting is challenging, a deep orange, reminiscent of sodium streetlights, with some more natural light filtering in around the alter. Kathleen was much-admired in an elegant high-neck dress and dramatic headpiece, while all six feet seven of Donal looked very dapper indeed. He opens champagne like a Formula 1 driver - I'm not sure how much was left for them to sip on the way to Lough Rynn.

Kathleen & Donal Blog Collage

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Michelle & Chris - The Ardilaun Hotel

Hot hot hot.... the soaring summer temperatures were at their peak on Friday for Michelle & Chris's Galway wedding. Everyone was using their mass booklets as fans in an attempt to keep cool in the Church. I felt for Chris and the lads in their ties and three-piece suits, no doubt they'd have given anything to get into a t-shirt and shorts. Meanwhile, Michelle and her bridesmaids were wearing beautiful dresses made by Michelle's mother Mary, who as well as being a designer, is a former Rose of Tralee. Michelle's dress had a spectacular train that just had to be photographed from the gallery as she walked up the aisle.

As we were in town, we decided to take a stroll up Quay Street & Shop Street, which were thronged with tourists and locals alike enjoying the Sunshine. Michelle walked into one pub as a Murphy and out of another as a King. Very appropriate, though who knows, she might decide to go double barrelled - Murphy-King has a certain ring to it. Chris met an old girlfriend of his on the way back - there still seemed to be a bit of a spark there from Helga, but Michelle has well and truly stolen Chris's heart now.

Michelle & Chris Blog Collage

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Orla & Daniel - Broadhaven Bay Hotel

Orla told me she'd like me to do a Blog post, as long as I didn't write too much about her, so I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. Suffice to say, there was more than a touch of inter-county rivalry and references to the Sam Maguire as this Mayo girl married her Donegal beau. The last time I was over in Belmullet, we were battling a storm sweeping in off the Atlantic, so it was great to be able to hit the beach in sunshine last week. We must have looked as though we were filming an ad for Land Rover, with three Discoverys barrelling along the beach. Mine was definitely the poor relation though. Ger Haughey, my sometimes second shooter, was on video duty as part of his new venture with Discreet Wedding Films, and I'm glad to report he lived up to the name beautifully.

Orla & Daniel Blog Collage

Ann & John - Landmark Hotel

This was an all-Longford affair, and my second Grattan's wedding in the past year. John takes his football seriously, as was evidenced by his playing in a big match less than 48 hours before the big day. The Child of Prague looks after the weather, but I'm not sure which saint or statue Ann had to pray to in order to make sure he came through injury-free. Whatever it was, it worked, as not only did John come through with flying colours, Grattans picked up their first win of the campaign too.

The ceremony was conducted by the still wonderfully-named Fr Pierre Pepper, who tells me his apellation comes from his Wexford-French ancestry. After a stroll along the canal in Ballymahon we headed for Carrick and The Landmark Hotel, where as usual Trish & Emma were on hand with a warm welcome. Just before dinner, we popped up to The Black Mint Bar, where Ann got all demure on the daybeds. Everyone's allowed to be a little camera-shy sometimes!

Ann & John Blog Collage

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Eimear & Mickey - Lough Rynn Castle

My third wedding in a row at Lough Rynn was a little bit different, with the coming together of two cultures - West Cork, and what was the old East Germany - now of course just Germany. Mickey hails from the town of Gorlitz on the Polish border, while Eimear is from Macroom. They met quite a few years back when Eimear went to Gorlitz to improve her German. Her initial homesickness dissipated quickly once she met Mickey, and before too long he arrived in Ireland, where he's stayed ever since.

I've done plenty of weddings in Bornacoola Church, so was taken aback to discover that a pretty section of birch woodland had appeared around the entrance that was never there before. Not only that, but two 20-foot high Hornbeam trees were growing either side of the alter. It was the work of Ciaran & Keilin of Leitrim Flowers, and it looked fantastic. I don't know if the idea for the trees emanated from Macroom or Gorlitz, but there were plenty of cross-cultural touches to this wedding, including the welcoming of the bride & groom with traditional foodstuffs of bread, salt & oats, the couple demonstrating they can work successfully together by sawing a log, which they did with Mickey's Grandfather's old saw, and a ritual downing of schnapps after the meal. There was also a special fireshow after dinner which set the rest of the night up beautifully.

A few things will stick in the mind from this wedding - Dad Dennis's tears, the way the rain started every time we so much as thought about going outside, Dad Gerhard's poignant speech, and best man Eoin's understated dry-witted speech, where he took the Mickey out of everyone, especially Mickey himself, in a way that offended nobody, but had the audience rolling in the aisles.

Eimear & Mickey Blog Collage