Friday 28th May saw me back out on the road again and travelling to my home county of Laois in the Midlands. A visit down home is always a welcome distraction and getting to photograph a couple`s special day while there is just a bonus. I packed both my Nikon D750 and D610, 3 lenses (24-70, 70-200 and the " nifty fifty " 50mm 1.8), 8 memory cards, Macbook, hard drive and spares for everything.
On this day, it was Catríona and Leo getting ready to tie the knot. I landed in the bride`s home place called " The Rock " just before 10am, and the preparations were well underway. Make -up being applied, sandwiches and sausages on the go and a generous dose of hairspray in the air, all the hallmarks of the morning of a wedding.
Mother of the bride, Gillian, was sitting in the midst of it all in great form and the bridesmaids were in full flight all around the house, excitement was building. Father of the bride, Paul, arrived home soon after with more supplies and seemed to be relaxed and ready for the day ahead.I shot some great images here while I chatted to everyone, including lovely Ava, who was extremely busy colouring in some Teletubbies for everyone.
From here I went to the church and checked to see how the lighting was looking for the day. It was decorated to absolute perfection and the light was excellent. I shot some detail images and some wide angle images before everyone descended for the ceremony.
Next stop was Leo`s house to check in with all the fellas and see if the nerves were kicking in. I found a great atmosphere up here, everyone was laughing and joking, spirits were high, I knew it was shaping up to be a great day. I have no doubt that Leo`s late Mam Sadie would have been a very proud lady on this day. I spent some time shooting and chatting and then left for the bride`s house again.
Catríona arrived into the sitting room in her dress and I could see the pride and happiness in her parents and sibling`s faces. It was a lovely moment, and I`m sure their late sister Angela would have been just as proud, she is hugely missed by the family and indeed the whole community around Rathdowney.
The ceremony by Father Martin Delaney was beautiful as always, plenty of genuine sentiment and humour in equal measure, all wrapped by a haunting backdrop of pure vocals and harp provided by Carmel Minogue and AnnMarie Delaney.
Next stop was Heywood Gardens in Ballinakill, a stunningly serene and scenic spot for photos. We had brilliant fun here, but I didn't keep the bridal party long here as it was getting quite chilly. Ensuring the couple enjoy their day comes before all else on a day like this.
The reception kicked off in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, and was expertly executed by the staff there, as always. I stayed shooting right up to 5 minutes before food was served. Now was my only chance to take a small break and back up all files to the Macbook and external hard drive so I made a break for the lounge and proceeded to transfer all files to safe keeping.
I returned to the reception shortly before the music kicked off to mingle and chat with the guests, most of whom I know anyway. It is always nice to catch up with people from my local area, the warmth of people from my hometown and it`s surrounding areas is second to none. The first dance was lovely, and was soon followed up with Midnight Run launching into Galway Girl, Wagon Wheel and Walk of Life. The dance floor was soon rocking, adults and the kids bouncing around like you should at a wedding. I continued to shoot for the next 9 or 10 songs and then had to call it a night. I`m sure the craic was only starting when I was leaving. I was delighted to be part of such a special day for two lovely people, and I wish them all the best for their future together.