Belleek Castle Summer Wedding by Aidan Oliver Photography by Aidan Oliver Weldon

The wonderful Belleek Castle was the choice for Katelyn and Michael to get married in June just gone and what a month of joyous Summer sun it was. The couple both live in Canada and many emails crossed the pond before we met. Michael hails from Belfast so the three of them (including  their little guy Killian) arrived over to visit Michaels family prior to their wedding. When you have a kid and live in Alberta and have organised a wedding remotely you have to be saluted for the sheer effort in pulling it all together.

As a photographer my aim is always to help where and when I can by communicating as clearly as possible, putting peoples mind at ease then pulling out the stops to deliver the very best I can. We started our conversations a year prior to the 8th, the day they got married. 

I asked Katelyn where they met and she told me this "Michael and I met st. Patrick's day at a small pub in Brandon Manitoba. I was a student trying to avoid studying and he was fresh to Canada and not looking for a girlfriend", brilliant, and very real of course. I am fascinated by stories of how folks initially meet. Katelyn continued with the story "We instantly had chemistry and started talking. The relationship was on and off the first year as we both weren't too sure what we wanted in life but life kept drawing us together. The cheesy line "absence makes the heart grow founder" is very true to us as once we started distancing from each other we knew we only wanted each other".  What a lovely few words said just there. 

I arrived for the bridal preparations and not before I took a walk around the castle to capture the esscence of the grounds and also wanted to check out the 19th century Knox-Gores stables where the civil ceremony was to take place. They also have a café in the same courtyard where guests can have a coffee outside, and prior to being called to sit. I headed up to say hello to Katelyn and the day oficially began for me. It was very relaxed and I moved between the bridal suite and outside as Michael and Killian were around, the hurl's were taken out and some frendly pucks were made between the lads on the green, a great way to ease them all into the exciting day ahead. As usual  watching it all unfold and capturing all that goes into making each day unique, the lads getting ready the restrained excitement in the bridal suite, Killian being dressed each day unfolding in its unique way. I could not resist getting a His 'n' Hers shot of the couples favourite tipple, his being Jack Daniels and hers, being Fireball. Bridesmaids pressies were handed over and Mum shed a tear which I manage to capture. There was also a giddy moment on the stairs with Katelyn and her dad Michael right before they made their way over to the stables.  

The photo of Katelyns Dad Michael just after greeting her hubby to be Michael Gough while hubby to be catches a coy smile from Katelyn is one of my favourite of the day. The stables is such a rustic place to get married and the ceremony was full of life and laughter and thoughtfulness it was a sheer pleasure to have captured. McGarry's florists did a wonderful job at arranging the flowers with Daragh Gillen entertaining the guests with his mystical harp playing. 

After the ceremony the couple greeted their guests in the grand entrance hall of the castle while siping on a glass of bubbly, Killian was also in on the action and it was such a pleasure to see him so involved in the day, celebrating as a trio. 

We headed off for some couple photos on the grounds of Belleek and as a large estate you get to see something different each time, each season, each week in fact. I had photographed a smaller wedding in Belleek a few weeks prior and was delighted that the weather had kept - surely the best Summer we have had since 1976, well it felt like it. We walked through the small forest adjacent to the castle and right up to the shore of River Moy, the couple sat and watched the moored boats bob in the sparkling water, chatting about the fab day it was. There is something magical about forests and the estate surrounding Belleek is a wonder to walk around with its approximately 1000 acres of woodland to traipse around in. 

 Katelyn also wrote me a line that said "We have a amazing son together and so glad he was there to celebrate our day with us. We had the most dreamy day for our wedding and can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together". I do wish Katelyn and Michael the very best for their future together.

Suppliers list: 

1. Venue: Belleek Castle 

2. Photographer: Aidan Oliver Photography

3. Cake: Mayo Wedding Cakes

4.  Florists: McGarry Flowers

5. DJ: Midland Djs

6. Harpist: Daragh Gillen

7. Hair and makeup: Bella beauty

If you would love to chat about your wedding I would be delighted to sahy hello. You can contact me on 00 353 87 2861544, or send me your details here:

Johnnie and Joanne's Dublin City Engagement Photo Shoot by Aidan Oliver Weldon

Johnnie and Joanne are getting married this August in the picturesque Kenmare, Co Kerry and I can't wait to photograph this wedding. I suggested an engagement photo shoot to them last October when we met up (most couples chose me at least a year before they get married) and straight off the bat we got on well which is half of any battle when couples decide on a photographer and vice versa. 

Cue eight months later and we have fixed a date for their engagement shoot. Normally I give two options, urban or rural and they decided on an urban shoot. I knew there was a lot going on down the North East Quays heading towards the 3Arena, so we picked the coffee shop (you know the one!) adjacent to the Gibson Hotel as a meeting point and a 7:30 start. Eye opener coffee's were a requisite to start. 

We headed on a loop around the block, starting off on Mayor Street, took a left at Guild Street, a right onto North Wall Quay and back to the 3Arena. A couple of kilometres of a walk but with plenty to see. I am delighted that the old unfinished Anglo building is now under construction as the New Central Bank. It was an eyesore and a testament to the most ridiculous legacy we have ever seen in this country, period. Some of the images we captured included people as it was early morning, and people were going to work, some with suitcases, which means they had travelled here for that purpose. The IFSC (Irish Financial Services Centre) is close by. We also nipped onto the MV Cill Airne for a shot or two on this working restaurant boat which really made the shoot special. 

Simply put we, had a bit of fun and it shows in the shots I captured. That is the main reason why I am chosen as a photographer - I make it easy for people, I know what my art is so I bring a bit of excitement to each shoot. 

Later that night I took the Luas (Dublin's tram system) in to see Hans Zimmer right back to the 3Arena where I witnessed a concert of epic proportions. A very satisfying day overall.

Roll on August, Johnnie and Joanne - we will have some fun!. 

August Wedding Celebrations IN the Dean Hotel by Aidan Oliver Weldon

Think about getting married in Rotterdam, in Great St Lawrence Church - Grote of Sint- Laurenskerk, then the SS Rotterdam for a meal and celebrations. A couple of days later fly back to Ireland to have a celebration for the Irish, and then throw a christening into the mix while you are here?... well that it is exactly what Carl and Kim did in August just gone. Their little fellah Eoin was christened in Shankill earlier that day. 

I was asked to photograph the Irish celebrations part as I photographed Carls brothers (Micks) wedding a few years previously - which was a four day wedding and a magnificent one at that. The venue chosen was The Dean Hotel, Dublin's newest boutique hotel. If you have not been here so far well all I can say it that it is well worth a visit. The bridal suite was full of great music, books, and fabulous decor. Something to see around every corner and an ideal place to get ready for the ensuing party. Photographing the getting ready bit was wonderful, so much to capture, a lot to take in and process, quality problems for my good self as snapper!. I just love the B/W shot of Kim standing in the hallway of her room, right before she sprayed her hair. 

Room shots covered, we headed downstairs for a shot outside as I wanted to capture an image of them both through a passing Luas, to tie it all in with Harcourt Street and the Hotel.

Carl and Kim were well up for a little walk into Stephens Green for a couple of photos on the bridge, as Carl had noted the night before that a certain sliver of light passed through the trees around 19:15. It did bathe a streak of warm evening sunlight on the happy couple just as evening crowds ambled by with kids, shopping, life.

We then went back to the hotel for the celebrations, the dancing and some Dutch style selfies which I could not resist capturing. A little spin up to Sophies for a push on the swings and what about that captioned insect picture frame on the wall, done Irish style? - it was all there. What a thoroughly enjoyable wedding it was to photograph. I wish Carl, Kim and Eoin the very best for their future together.