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When I say "what a February 2017 wedding adventure", I mean it. This was all about a step into an old ruin of a house on the bride (Claire's) dad's land post ceremony. It was wet, dark and slightly treacherous but it was fun and not just different for sake of it - it was personal. I was up for a change of scene as were the bride and groom, there were many memories in that house, family memories and as a fearless photographer who loves a good story, it was to provide the backdrop for later, maybe even defining their day as the perfect photographic memento, and an adventure into the recent past.
I travelled from Dublin up to the townland of Derryleckagh to capture Claire for her bridal preparations, which were well under way when I arrived. I had visited the church (Mayobridge) to get an empty pew photo before checking out Derryleckagh and heading to Claire's parents. It was a jaunt up the road and I was well on time. There was a definite buzz happening which was noticed, and bridesmaids Amy and Niamh were in control of the situation!. I busied myself taking it all in while melding into the background and watching. I heard it mention that the ladies were up until all hours the night before but it certainly did not show in expressions or energy, that is the benefit of youth for you. Fiona, the makeup artist had her illuminated makeup mirror ready to go and it provided the catchlight for one or two gorgeous photos of the ladies. Pretty soon the cars arrived (one and Austin Westminster and the second a Beauford) and I left the smiles, laughter and banter for Mayobridge.
Sure enough, the lads had just arrived and I caught them climbing the steps, all dapper in the drizzle and weather that it was. Ruairi is a character and I caught a great shot of his sister in law (to be) dusting his jacket whilst greeting guests as they arrived. The weather would clear later, I knew it, I was confident. Ceremony over, we took some photos outside the Church and the guests scarpered to their cars and made a beeline to the reception. Bride and Groom, videographer and myself and headed to Derryleckagh for the fab photos that were envisioned. It took a bit of help to get Claire into the ruins and by the time we had taken our shots the rain outside had abated; result!. As I mentioned at the start Derryleckagh is a special kind of place and we did well to grab what we could inside the ruins as there was water dripping down and broken glass everywhere. The natural stone depth of the the window provided a super directional fall off in light for a few shots of the newly married - they looked so content, beaming in their youth. The excellent videographers (Declan and Caoimhe) from Filmitstudios requested a few shots outside Derryleckagh and I hung on the periphery taking the occasional shot when I spotted an ideal situation.
Photos over, we then went to the reception which was held in Darver Castle, Readypenny, a twenty something mile jog across the border off junction 16 on the M1. Mary (proprietor) was waiting with a couple of glasses of bubbly. The couple relaxed for a while and I headed to the function room to see and capture the layout. People were at this stage gathered in the ample reception rooms, orangerie and bar so there was some craic and conversation captured. We then flew through the family shots, Filmitstudios grabbed a few couple shots and then it was soon time for the meal. Everyone settled, the speeches started and they were brilliant, some real gems of statements and the wedding party was set alive and kicking. Claires uncle's Birthday was not missed and Claire presented her uncle with a birthday hat (and cake). I left them dancing to the tune of the fiddler and headed back to Dublin, delighted with day that had just flown. I wish them the very best for their future together.
The wedding gallery is just below:
Photographer: Aidan Oliver Photography
Venue. Darver castle
Dress. Creative Ideas Bridal, Armagh
Bridesmaids Dresses. Creative Idea Bridal, Armagh
Grooms. McCartan Bros, Newry
Make up. Fiona Murphy Makeup, Newry
Hair. Gloss Hairdressing, Newry
Flowers. The Flower Barrow, Newry
Cora and Sean are the perfect couple, and are honestly one of the most genuinely happy couples I have met in a long while. You'll see in the photos as you pan down the wedding collection. They were married in the postcard picturesque village of Inistioge, Kilkenny last October on a beautiful crisp Autumn day. Inistioge (the jewel of the west) is nestled in the Nore valley in which the river Nore winds an almost semicircle from Ballyduff to Woodstock and is surrounded by magical woodland and walks that take hours to complete, or you could just pop into the Woodstock Arm's, then O'Donnell's pub for a, (ahem!), coffee or latte. Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum, up the hill on the right is listed in Georgina Campbell's Ireland guide. You have many choices upon entering Inistioge, interesting ones, adventurous ones.
The couple held their ceremony in Saint Columcille's Church in the village, literally side by side with St Mary's Church. Cora had asked for a shot of the empty church, i.e., before guests arrived and I always find solace in sussing out a venue pre arrival of the wedding party - it helps to create the framework in my mind for each and every individual wedding story. After a coffee in the quaint "circle of friends" cafe off I drove to Mount Juliet to meet the groom. Sean had stayed the night in Mount Juliet and was chatting to his Dad when I arrived. I captured a few photos of the Manor House and the groom with his Mum and Dad and headed off to Maidenhill, Kilkenny to meet the bride.
Cora was as relaxed as can be and there was plenty to see and photograph so I watched and observed, took some time out to grab a few detail shots not forgetting to mention that her red dress was absolutely stunning, even more beautiful on Cora than I envisioned as it waited patiently upstairs. So unusual to see a bride move away from the norm, so refreshing. I wished them the best and headed back to Inistioge (yes, the miles were clocking up well!) to get guests arriving and see the lie of the land. There was plently of banter and Sean was enjoying being pulled left and right by his neices and nephews - they were as excited about the wedding as Sean. Cora arrived and most guests were settled in the church so a few adjustments (bride adjusting drivers necktie) and we were off.
Ceremony over we grabbed some family shots in the village and then some relaxed couple shots agains the varied backgrounds in Inistioge. Back in the car we all headed to Mount Juliet where we took a few couple shots at the walled garden then they were chauffeured off back to the Manor as requested, and to enjoy the celebrations, the canapés and the people gathered. Spending time with their guests was a prerequisite and I just knew we had some lovely shots in the bag. I spent some time moving around watching guests engage in conversation and capturing this emotion. Speeches were pre-dinner and in the Manor House, the stairs providing the perfect arched podium for some very funny anecdotes. Dinner was called and guests took a stroll in the evening sunshine up to Kendals restaraunt. This is where the guests were treated to a real surprise with the food - it was a mixture of Moroccan, Italian and Irish food, cooked at stations, both laid out and also served to guests - the smells were enticing. You chose what you wanted, spoke to other guests regarding what they are getting and what might tickle your fancy. You could feel the energy in the room, people were excited about what to try next, and there was a giddy anticipation for more. There was of course a star dish, it being a succulent minature beef wellington that people kept going back for. I captured the atmosphere of this very personalised and entirely unique meal and headed back to Dublin. Cora did surprise me with a doggie bag of goodies for my trip home. I thanked them both for being such wonderful people.
I do wish Cora and Sean the very best for their future together they were made for each other.
Photos: Aidan Oliver Photography
Venue: Mount Juliet
Dress: Miriam Rice
Grooms Suit: Louis Copeland
Makeup: Sarah Bateman
Hair: Antons hair Saloon
Church Flowers: Soah Flowers
Christina and Colm came over to Ireland last September from Canada to get married in magical Connemara. They held their civil ceremony in Clifden and I was asked to cover the reception side of their wedding which took place in Cashel House Hotel, just off the N59 Maam to Clifden road. September in Clifden, well you may take the weather with a pinch of salt and this day was a mixed one with that post rain smell lifting the senses and freshening things up a notch. The sun even made an appearance late in the evening which was most welcome.
Cashel House as a backdrop is absolutely beautiful, nestled against the rocks and directly across from the shores of Cashel Bay, a real retreat from the bustle of Clifden and similar townships. The wedding planner Christina and Colm chose was Samantha Harding and I've yet to see a more passionate person look after a wedding. Everything was finished to an absolute T and I really must do a separate blog about the flowers at some stage as they were the most beautiful seasonal arrangement of flowers, stems berries and leaves.
I had taken a stroll around the grounds of Cashel House earlier during the day and had noticed the wonderful herb garden along with an overgrown walkway up steps and into a canopied clearing that very much reminded me of a jungle. When the lovely couple arrived post ceremony at 17:05 we took this route for a stroll and as always I captured as unobtrusively as possible, letting the newly married chat about their day and have a bit of fun. It's funny, many couples tell me that they really value this small bit of time on their own, a chance to recap on the day and the busy weeks that have led up to this point.
A few family photos were captured, dinner was served, Colm and friends sang as a Barbershop Quartet and Christina shed a tear whilst they performed. I thanked them for being wonderful to work with, wished them the very best for their future and headed back to Dublin, and all along much reminiscing about the day that really had just flown.
Photography: Aidan Oliver Photography
Venue: Cashel House Hotel
Wedding Planner: Samantha Harding Events
If you are getting married and would like to have a chat about your wedding day give me a call on 087 2861544 or 01 4602617. Alternatively fill in the contact form here and I'll get back to you immediately.