Any opportunity to shoot a wedding celebration along the coast of the Wild Atlantic Way is not to be taken lightly. It's kinda daunting being a Renvyle house wedding photographer knowing that natural beauty lies pretty much everywhere. The venue is located in such an idyllic setting. What could possibly go wrong? Just put the couple anywhere and shoot. To the left Connemara Mountain backdrop. To the right is the freshwater lake. To the left we've woodlands, walk along the bend and you've got the gardens. I mean, anyone can do this job right? But what if it's so windy my bald head feels like it could do with some hairspray! What if there was torrential rain the night before and into the next morning (I was bricking it!) Thankfully, that was of no concern to Aine and Thomas was indifferent.
Aine and her sisters (bridesmaids) grew up along the coast, their house was more or less on the beach, the view from their living room was nothing but majestic, each window framed the landscape beautifully. As soon as I set foot in the house I could hear the laughter from within the rooms. That special sister laughter, nothing like it and it was evident that these three shared a very special connection. They teased their dad as they helped put on his suit. He did his best by keeping out of the way and took it in his stride with the luggage requests called out from each room. Occasionally he'd just stare out the window. I'd do the exact same if I had a house with that view. I was really happy to catch him in that moment of reflection. He could have been thinking about the latest GAA game, I'd like to think he was thinking about Aine leaving the nest.
Thomas was in Paddy Coynes pub, across the road from the church. It was in Tully's cross - pub, church, hotel, credit union, thatched cottages. What more could you ask for? We put in the buttonholes and met the guests. Thomas was in flying form, nervous but the good type of nerves, chatty and with the energy of a sliotar. Hopping from guest to guest. The camera's focus was working overtime. Aine was no different when she arrived but had to remain in the car as the latecomers shuffled into the church.
After the ceremony, we frequented the pub again, it was the done thing along with serving the first pint to the husband and then threatening him with a baseball bat. Must be a Galway thing. Then it was off to the beach Aine grew up on. Herself and the sisters threw off their shoes and just ran across the rocks. The lads and me took our time, not used to the slippery rocks and scuttling sea creatures that scarpered into their craggy safe houses. Upon reaching 'safe' slow sinking ground, a bottle of bubbly was opened in style - all shook up! Then came the selfies, the lads raced each other across the sand and the ladies strolled with their backs to the sun. After the bridal party photos, it was just Thomas and Aine with the Connemara mountains hogging their limelight. I couldn't have been a happier Renvyle wedding photographer. Honestly, the sun was shining but the wind was howling and the bride didn't care. As a photographer who loves the unexpected this most certainly wasn't the norm. A lot of time (and money) is spent on the hair and to see Aine without a worry was contagious, the whole party was rocking to this carefree wonder. I was so close to asking Thomas and Aine if I could somehow get them to do a 101 course on how to not let the weather be the deciding factor on your wedding day!
Back at Renvyle House, there was a full on garden reception with croquet and canapes. This was also the wedding where I was introduced to "flossing", a dance move that still to this day I cannot pull off without looking like I have ants in my pants. Family photos were taken on the garden grounds and soon after dinner was served and the Sam Maguire Cup introduced to the party. It wasn't the first time I got to photograph the famous Cup at a wedding. After the speeches I convinced Aine and Thomas to head outside to catch the sunset over the lake. Great way to end the photos!