There wasn’t long between meeting Paddy & Anne and their big day, it was only a matter of months. They both called out to my studio to discuss the sorts of pictures they wanted, and to discuss the album and design choice they had in mind. They were to have their wedding just over the border from where I’m now living, which was great, as it wasn’t too far away for change. Not that I mind, but it’s always nice to work on your doorstep from time to time (I class an hours drive on my doorstep these days, as I’m shooting weddings across the whole of the UK and Ireland now).
I’d taken a scoot out the week before, just to familiarise myself with the area, as the chapel was on the same road as another chapel, and I really didn’t want to find I’d been taking pictures of the wrong couple on the day, and the road signs in County Donegal are ambiguous at the best of times, so I wanted to have a little peace of mind.
The morning of the service at Anne’s mothers was the usual foray of activity, bridesmaids running round looking for hairspray, lip gloss, shoes, and the usual order of things on any wedding morning. Anne however was cool, calm and collected. We’d done a few pictures of them in their Bridal dressing gowns, a few candid shots of them all getting ready before I set off for the Chapel to meet a nervous Paddy on a glorious sunny day.
The service went smoothly, a few tears of emotion from the bride (dutifully caught on camera) and then a ‘High Five’ moment between Paddy & Anne after their vows which had their guests applauding (I nearly missed it, as it was completely unexpected, I stress the word ‘nearly’).
We then headed off to some gardens of a friend of theirs, where we did the bridal party pictures. The grounds were immaculate, with a man made lake of sorts, with a bridge spanning over the water, none of which could be seen from the front of the property, and a real surprise and delight to work in. We were all treated to copious amounts of tea, coffee, biscuits, cakes and sandwiches from our hosts.
Next stop, Redcastle Hotel, County Donegal. I’d been to the hotel a few weeks previous, and was given a tour of the complex by the wedding coordinator who showed me some of the usual spots that photographers used. This only spurs me on to look for something different, which I found behind the hotel. I’d told the drivers to follow me down past the service entrance where there was a jetty of sorts and to position the wedding car in reverse so I could use the Foyle Lough as a backdrop to the image. It was a bit windy, but I used the wind to my advantage, with a perfect picture of Anne in Paddy’s embrace, with the wind taking the dress to dramatic effect.
Having got the shots I was after, we then headed off to the reception, where they had a singer belting out some tunes until they’d all be called for the reception dinner and speeches. I covered the event until the first few dances, which I think look great at the back of the wedding album, as they show the newly married couple dancing to ‘their song’ in such a way that it’s as if nobody else exists in the room… As it should be…