Wedding Inspiration

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, aidanoliverphoto@gmail.com or send me your details here: http://www.aidanoliver.ie/contact/

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.