So, when a couple contact you about shooting their wedding and then add, "it's in Ireland, is that ok?", it's quite difficult to remain professional and not jump up and down squealing with excitement!! Then, just when you've regained your composure they show you the venue!!
Despite minor heart failure when my B&B booking cancelled on me a week before the wedding, all other planning went well. I was able to find a new B&B and didn't have to camp out in my hire car for the weekend!
With virtually just the clothes I was stood up in as all my weight allowance had gone on camera equipment, I began my journey at Birmingham airport. Security was less hassle the I anticipated with 6 lithium ion batteries strapped to my person and I progressed to the gate. Now, I had been warned it could be a propeller plane but actually seeing it sat on the tarmac next to a 'proper' plane did panic my 'not so good at flying' self. All was good though, if not a little noisy and I landed safely at Cork airport. Thank you Aer Lingus!!
After paying a hefty retainer on credit card (I hate car hire companies) and feeling very thankful I'd taken out my own insurance, I located my appointed Fiat Punto and headed off to the wedding venue to meet up with Emma & Rob and have my first look at the venue in all it's glory.
The drive was lovely, passing through pretty Irish villages but as I rounded the final corner to my first view of Gougane Barra I couldn't help but say "wow'! It was truly spectacular as Emma had said, stunning with a truly magical feel. The sky was blue without a cloud to be seen and the small oratory was centre of attention surrounded by a glistening lake and protected by a mountainous backdrop. The name Gouganne Bara comes from Saint Finbarr who was said to have built a monastery on the island.
Emma was busy finishing off her wedding cakes, which she was baking at her Aunt's house but came over with Rob to show me around and discuss ideas for the couple shots. With all the info. I needed I headed off to nearby Bantry and my new B&B, whilst Emma & Rob went through their wedding rehearsal.
The B&B, La Mirage, was fantastic with typically friendly and welcoming Irish hosts who even gave me a lift into Bantry that evening for food, and weirdly had photo's of Gougane Barra EVERYWHERE. Siobhan, the host came from the area and even got married there herself! I spent the evening in a lovely Irish bar jotting down my photo ideas.
The wedding day arrived and after a full Irish breakfast I arrived at the venue with preparations in full swing. Emma was hostage in her hotel room with her dress until Rob was safely out of the way and then her preparations began.
Hair and makeup was by two wonderfully talented sisters from Hair Passion in Cork and everyone looked stunning!
I then grabbed a few quick shots with Rob and his brother (best man) who was trying to sort out a lack of water in the cottage where his mates were staying, whilst trying to figure out how button holes are attached - who said men can't multi-task!!
The time came for everyone to wander the short distance to the oratory and once safely inside Emma made her way accompanied by her Mum and cousin (bridesmaid). Emma looked totally stunning in her Maggie Sottero wedding dress and the most incredible, hand painted wedding shoes!
The ceremony was beautiful with the lighting of candles readings by close friends & family, singing, vows and a very charming and engaging priest, all in a beautiful oratory decorated with pastel colours and gorgeous stained glass windows.
After the ceremony we grabbed a few group shots on the edge of the lake and I headed up into the forest park with the newlyweds for the couple shots. Emma even changed into some AWESOME green, sparkly hunter wellies for the occasion!!
On return to the hotel, Emma was greeted at the door and led up a red carpet to the reception where everyone was enjoying freshly baked scones and plenty of Guiness.
The wedding breakfast was next with a slight twist to tradition with the speeches happening first. Emma gave the first speech, followed by Rob and then everyone settled down to enjoy an amazing meal.
Meanwhile the band for the evening, Flog The Dog set up in the bar and a dance floor was laid.
The cake cutting came next to cheers and applause shortly followed by Emma & Rob taking to the dance floor for the first dance.
After a few more shots I made my goodbye's and left everyone to party like only the Irish can!
How very rude!!! :-)))
Emma & Rob thank you so much for asking me to ne your wedding photographer! It was an awesome, awesome experience and wish you both a lifetime of happiness together,