As a wedding photographer working in Ireland and mainly covering the counties of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, and Tipperary, I have the pleasure of enjoying many beautiful wedding and hearing the back story. Here is just one.
Mairead and Chris, both from London decided to have their wedding in Wexford.
Their heritage and ties to Ireland are so strong that Mairead and her siblings have Irish names and even run their own Irish dance studio in London.
Both Mairead and Chris are of Irish heritage and have been coming to Ireland since they were kids, visiting family every summer in Wexford and spending those days on the local beaches and playing in the vast amount of fields.
The Church that Mairead and Chris choose to get married in was St Michael’s Church, a stunning stone church with beautiful stained glass windows and a lovely courtyard leading up to this beautiful Roman Catholic Church, situated in the centre of Gorey town in Wexford.
It is lovely to see them carrying on their grandparents’ heritage who both were born and brought up in Ireland hold their culture up to this day.
They arrived in style with 220 of their guests from London and their parish priest, also from London. Growing up in their parish had been where they learned Irish Dance.
The preparations started that morning with the boys who are massive rugby fans hitting the bar in Seafield’s hotel at 8am that morning to catch the rugby game between their team and its rival, as a witness I can say only coffee was drunk that morning even after their team won.
Whilst the guys were in the bar downstairs the girls were upstairs in one of the stunning suites that has a balcony running in an L shape around the room, giving stunning views of Wexford’s country side, the sea and a manicured golf course, defiantly a contrast from their home town of London and a great representation of Wexford in Ireland.
The girls had their makeup done by the fabulous makeup artists at Making Faces Salon in Gorey. It was a lovely environment to work in with family popping in and out during the morning and helping pop some champagne.
I like to work in the background and capture the real moments that happen between family and this environment meant a good cover for me to just blend and capture those real moments that happen during the wedding prep time, I always ask people to try forget I’m there and that is how it always works out, within a few minute of being in the room I’ve blended into the background and done my thing.
They had their London Parish priest say the beautiful mass, I’ve photographed hundreds of Catholic weddings over my time but this one was different in many ways, one of the most noticeable was that hymns were a big part of the service and that the entire wedding congregation joined in singing unlike the Catholic weddings I see said in Ireland usually.
It was lovely and bonded everybody together even more.
When the church service ended Mairead and Chris travelled back to Seafield’s hotel in the stunning cream Rolls Royce vintage car that wouldn’t have looked out of place 100 years ago driving out from this same church.
15 mins later they were back to Seafield’s hotel to enjoy their reception overlooking the stunning views from the out door balcony in the golf club.
What a perfect setting, the sun was high in the sky, the guest were chatting and enjoying a drink and the mood was joyous with all the guest sharing stories of the couple and their adventures with Mairead and Chris over the time they knew them.
I took this opportunity to take the couple away for 20 mins to have some couple photos taken.
The hotel had a golf buggy on standby for us to take us to the private beach at the back of the hotel, what a perfect setting it was to get to this beach.
To get here you have to drive in the golf buggy through around 1KM of wooded land with streams running down in parts of it and then at the end of the forest is this beautiful beach with white sand and lovely clear waters.
That day was a beach day and lots of locals were there sunning themselves but when they saw this stunning bride and handsome groom a new focus was had where everybody welcomed the wedding couple and congratulated them.
Chris and I had a game of skimming stones and seeing how many skims the stone could do, it brought back a lot of memories for Chris as he said this was what he had done himself as a child here, he must have played a lot as he won!
My approach when photographing a wedding couple is to do it in the quickest fashion as possible and as I already would of meeting the guys in the days previous to discuss their needs i would already know the area and terrain and had a plan in place to ensure the guys were excited and buzzing for those 15 mins and that happiness and excitement show in their images.
When we got back we spent another 10 mins and used the golf course and it’s lovely sea views to photograph our families which took about 10 mins.
In my preparation planning I’m always trying to have the wedding couple have the most possible time with their guests and for me to soak into that and create real memories and for the time I’m taking them away from their guests to be done in the minimum time as possible, which is usually 15 mins for couple photos and 10 for family photos.
From Wexford in Ireland Mairead and Chris travelled to New Zealand on their honeymoon to follow the rugby league and watch the next series live in New Zealand.