Jennifer and Jason's Engagement & Castle Durrow Wedding by Aidan Oliver Photography by Aidan Oliver Weldon

I met Jennifer and Jason when I was photographing Cora and Sean's (their friends) wedding last October. Jennifer liked the way I went about photographing and asked me if I was free on the 17th June next year and I told her I'd check and get back to her when home, which I happily did. Thankfully I was. 

We met up in late January to have a chat and also to design a wedding package for their big day. The months did fly by and before we knew it June had arrived for their engagement shoot which I've included a few pictures of below. I nipped down to Kilkenny Castle and we went for a walk around the interesting grounds. The jagged sculpture at the east end of the park provided a great backdrop for a bit of fun as I snapped way. 

The morning of their wedding I headed over to Jennifer's mum's house not too far from the Curragh for some bridal preparation shots. These shots always help to tie in the wedding story together. What a day it was, sunny as I've seen it over the last year and methinks (up until then) it was the hottest day of the year. 

First item I saw on the way in the driveway was the was the U.S. style post box which just had to be taken!!!. 

Although Jennifer had not yet arrived back from the hairdressers it was great to see makeup artist Ellie Murphy again so we said hello again and I followed the mornings flow as unobtrusively as possible. I did catch a lovely shot of the bride with her dad Mick through the window in full smile. Jennifer did not hang around putting her dress on and given the day outside we decided to take a few portraits and family shots. She looked absolutely stunning in the dress she picked from Truly Bridal in Naas. When the Limousine arrived there was time to catch a toast before heading off to Castle Durrow which was about 40 mins drive away, most of it along on the M7. 

While I was travelling down to Castle Durrow I was thinking about the day ahead and how it might pan out and this gave me a smile. I arrived at the gates and some guests were already there looking suspiciously like they were going to head over to the Castle Arms for a drink - after all it was sweltering out. I was ready to join them!!!. Having parked up at the Castle I noticed the Model T Ford ready for action, and the jump leads on the ground close by as a contingency. Jennifer was to drive up to the castle in the Model T all things going according to plan. We don't always get a chance to see the chef who cooks the wedding meal so I took a snap of himself which I believe is now pinned up on the canteen wall. Jason (the groom) was in fine form and I said hello captured a few photos and headed over to the ceremony room to capture this room before guests arrived. Billy Hutchinson (celebrant) was ready to go - all we needed were guests, bride and the goorm of course!. A few photos here and then I headed back to get the guests arriving. Jennifers early arrival put us into good shape so pretty soon the ceremony which included sand pouring was underway. After the ceremony there was a greet halfway over to the Castle reception (under the arch) and this was a chance to capture the sentiment as hugs were given and exchanges made. 

As the day was so warm it was ideal for all to convene on the veranda which is to the back of the Castle. We managed to use the shade to our advantage for the bridal shots and the few family photos that were captured. As you walked down the steps to the garden the smell of lavender was enticing. The reception room looked amazing as it always does, I had created a signing frame alongside the picture net where people were asked to pen their best wishes on card for the happily married couple. Jason asked me to grab a shot of himself and Mick which I was only happy to do. I then took them both around to the front of the Castle to catch some of that lovely evening sun and post photo op they relaxed in the private reception room while the guests were called for dinner.

Soon the feast was under way and it was time to retire to the Hunting Bar for a bite to eat. The food is always something to look forward to here and the service exceptional. Once I took my cue to head back in to capture the speeches you could feel the energy, the buzz - people were happily chatting, having been fed and watered - the doors open, it could have been a country hotel in Savannah, Georgia or the Villa Dievole in Italy it was that kind of surrounding and weather.  Speeches over we waited for the Usual Suspects (band) to lighten up the night with sound and pretty soon Jennifer and Jason were up for their dance and the party started. 

I do wish Jennifer and Jason the very best for their future together.

Caroline and Jim's Trim Castle Hotel Wedding by Aidan Oliver Weldon

Caroline ands Jim’s August 2015 wedding was a real treat to photograph. Caroline comes from a rural picturesque village called Donaghpatrick which is a few miles outside Navan town. We had the bridal preparations in her parents house, which is an extended red brick schoolhouse dating back to 1883. Her dad had added on to this fine property some years back and looking at it you would not think it was done as such. My assistant for the day was Eamonn and we watched and observed as the morning unfolded - a very relaxed affair. Her Dad, a hardworking farmer is very proud of his refurbished and painted farm machinery which he proudly exhibits in the side garden of the house; we could not resist a shot of of him alongside this restored equipment. Caroline’s uncle runs the grocery shop next door so I dropped in and grabbed a photo of the good man himself with his wares was a backdrop. It all added to the day. Eamonn brought along his instamatic camera and handed over some wonderfully candid shots to guests as we went about documenting the day. 

Caroline was soon ready, appearing in her beautiful designer dress and I caught a couple of photos of both mother and daughter as they chatted both delighted and excited. We observed, capturing peoples interaction and snapping shots of family and friends as they went about preparing for the day ahead, from loading their cars, to ticking off their lists, some light conversation, everyone anticipating looking forward to this wedding celebration..  

The ceremony took place in Kilberry Church, a few miles away. On the way back to her parents house (for a drink and a few photos in the garden) we had to stop to let the cows cross the road - this provided an ample opportunity for a rural shot, something different and another photo to add to the wedding story. 

On we went to Trim Castle Hotel for the reception and a walk around the castle. Jim is big into Elvis so I suggested he bring a few albums along and we feature these in a couple of shots. The craic was mighty here. We let the bridal party head off and headed across the river Boyne to St Mary’s Abbey & the Yellow Steeple backdrops for a few shots that the couple had envisaged prior to their wedding day. You could smell the late summer air and the reeds along the hill provided a wonderful texture to the shots. 

Back we went for the meal, for Tropical Storm’s wonderful renditions of Elvis’s songs as they serenaded each table of smiling guests. Instead of a first dance, the couple sang a tune, then danced late into the night. 

I wish Caroline and Jim the very best for their future together and thank them for taking me on to capture their unique wedding.