Today we’re looking back at one of our favourite May weddings ever that has bought us much joy over the years. Jo and Tom got in touch wanting us to shoot their Ireland wedding photography after seeing us in action at their friend’s wedding.
Neither of us had been anyway near the emerald isle before so we jumped at the chance to go. Everyone told us that shooting in Ireland would mean a wet wedding so we were prepared. Thankfully mother nature was very much on our side…
Cherry blossom and bra throwing
Pretty much every wedding we shoot starts with Tom dropping Lina off with one party, and in this case Lina arrived at Jo’s parents house to be greeted by an absolute beaut of a cherry blossom tree, worthy of any Japanese postcard. Next a beautiful red doggie and all the smiling faces of Jo and her sisters. The morning was relaxed and happy, and the sun was shining away. We always love to keep an eye on dad when at female heavy bride prep, he always likes to find a quiet moment to escape and Jo’s dad was no different.
Meanwhile over with the boys at the wedding venue, the beautiful Georgian country house hotel that is Rathmullan House Tom was faced with a rather hungover namesake. We’ll spare you the very first shot Tom took, of groom Tom sat looking green in nothing but a towel, but let’s just say he needed to ease into his prep. As the boys got ready and they started to enjoy the stunning sunshine on the balcony, the colour returned to our groom’s face and things started to get exciting. The venue suggested an outdoor wedding – brilliant – and chairs began to appear on the lawn in the sunshine. Turns out the weather surprised everyone, so we like to think it was us bringing it over!
Ready to go
The nerves kicked in for Jo as she put her beautiful lace wedding dress on, but the cheers and tears from her family reassured her how stunning she looked. Lina remembered the blossom, and we had some lovely family photos alongside it before it was time to get in to the car. Jo sensibly took a drink to keep herself hydrated for the journey…
Outdoor wedding ceremony and a beach paradise
The wedding ceremony outside Rathmullan House was beautiful, with a family member singing as Jo came up the aisle, her elegant veil blowing in the breeze. Any sign of peekiness from Tom was gone and all we saw was pride. It was a jovial ceremony with much laughter and our couple practically skipped back down the aisle.
The sunshine continued as guests enjoyed drinks in the garden, our bride enjoyed a much needed Guiness and family photos were taken. Then it was time for a little adventure with our couple and their wedding party. We headed down a little path, through more blossom, to Rathmullan House’s hidden gem… It sits right on the western shore of Lough Swilly and the pretty little path opens up to Rathmullan Bay Beach. All of a sudden, we were in a beach paradise that could have easily been Italy or beyond. We knew Ireland was beautiful but we were in photographer heaven! Our Ireland wedding photography was suddenly elevated to sandy toes and salty kisses for our couple – although not before having a little fun with their wedding party on the beach.
A lesson in proposal planning
Our couple were welcomed into the banqueting room to much applause and whooping, and then it was time for speeches. Wonderful musings from dad and the brides friends, and then it was the best man’s turn. The main inspiration for the wedding decor was skiing, and in particular out couple’s engagement on Whistler. An envelope was passed around. If there is one thing we have learnt in over ten years of shooting is that an envelope passed round by the best man is going to be a great moment for a photo.
He recalled Tom’s planning on how we was going to ask Jo, and this included asking a fellow skier to take a photo to capture the moment. The envelope gets opened and awww there’s the proposal. And then the penny drops. There is not a hint of beautiful mountain, but rather the grey industrial ski lift behind them. The view, we assume, was behind ‘the photographer.’ The room erupted into laughter and it made for a brilliant moment and story – see, it’s good to always be perfect!
Back to paradise
Still not quite believing the weather, we headed out after dinner back to the lough, and the light was perfection. This time we just let Jo and Tom have a stroll and enjoy each other’s company – and hopefully the romance of it all. We knew these guys were going to party hard, so it was great to see them cuddling up and making each other laugh. It’s always great to go into the evening party at a wedding knowing the couple’s portraits are totally in the bag, and you can hit the dancefloor with everyone and let them go for it.
Like the ceiling can’t hold us
After cutting their cake of cheese that also had a layer of pie (genius!) it was time to hit the dancefloor, and boy did these guys hit it. They danced all night as just as the main wedding began to come to an end, Tom was launched up to the ceiling. This became a defining moment in our Ireland wedding photography, with (our) Tom going on and winning a number of awards for the last shot above. It remains a favourite and we think it always will be! Not to be outdone Jo demanded going up there too and the couple crowd-surfed their way out of the last song. Legends.
Of course with this lot it was never going to be the end, as we all shuffled downstairs for the basement afterparty…
Jo + Tom clearly have all the luck when it comes to sunsets, check out their beautiful Battersea Park London pre wedding shoot.