Hugh McCanns Wedding | Aileen & James

Aileen & James were married on the 15th of January at St. Pauls Parish in Lurgan with their reception held at Hugh McCanns in Newcastle.

Before the ceremony, we met up with Aileen and her family at her Mum & Dad’s home in Lurgan to photograph everyone getting ready. Aileen’s mum and James & Aileen’s lovely little daughter Robyn kept us entertained all morning. Everyone was ready on time and we were able to get too St.Pauls with plenty of time to spare.

From a photography point of view, St. Pauls Parish was ideal for us. There is plenty of natural light to use inside and we did not run into any of the normal issues you expect to have when photographing an indoor religious marriage ceremony.

After the ceremony, we made our way to the seaside town of Newcastle in County Down for the reception, which was held at Hugh McCanns. Unfortunately, James, Aileen and the majority of their guests where delayed by a jack-knifed lorry and arrived at Hugh McCanns a fair bit later than expected. However, there was enough time for us to get the photos of Aileen & James on the beach that they really wanted.

No trip to Newcastle is complete without hitting up the amusement arcades so we were pleased when Aileen & James agreed to letting us grab a few quick photos in the arcade as well. Big thanks to the staff at Kent Amusements for accommodating us at such short notice! This place is a bit of a local institution even our parents can remember going there as kids.

Once we got back to Hugh McCanns it was time for the speeches and the cutting of the cake. Before the first dance Aileen was serenadedby a young guest and then they had a fun game of Mr. and Mrs. 

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Engagement Photography Northern Ireland | Crawfordsburn Country Park | Laura & Andy

We recently met up with Laura & Andy for their engagement session at Crawfordsburn Country Park in County Down. They will be getting married in early 2019 at the Clandeboye Lodge in Bangor.

We normally prefer to let our couples choose the location when they book us for an engagement session and Crawfordsburn was not Laura & Andrew’s first choice. They had originally planned to use Portavoe reservoir in Donaghadee but unfortunately it is currently closed to the public so was not an option. They had asked us for recommendations and straight away, we thought of Crawfordsburn Country Park. It is somewhere we have visited a lot recently to photograph weddings and other things. It is one of the few local locations that offers both a beach and a forest area and always works well.

We chose early morning for the session, as Crawfordsburn can get quite busy even at this time of the year. We had a little bit of concern about the weather leading up to the session and although the weather forecast was for a dry day when we arrived, it had started to rain. Thankfully, it was not heavy and was gone before too long.

As you would expect Laura & Andy are both excited about their wedding and seem to be well on their way to having all of their arrangements made. This was the first time we had met them both so the engagement session gave us a good chance to get to know each other a little better before we photograph the big day. We have not doubt that their wedding is going to be a lot of fun.

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Ten Square Hotel Wedding | Rachael & Lee

Rachael & Lee got married on the 27th of December at the Ten Square Hotel in Belfast. Ten Square is a boutique style hotel right in the middle of Belfast city centre. In between the ceremony and the speeches, we made our way over to Belfast’s historic Botanic Gardens with Rachael & Lee.

We met up with Rachael in her suite at Ten Square in the morning to photograph everyone getting ready. It was a fun morning with plenty of giggles and everyone was excited about the day ahead. Later in the morning, Lee arrived in a huge stretch Hummer limo and we grabbed a few photographs with him and his groomsmen in the hotel bar.

It is rare to have a wedding and not have something go slightly wrong on the day and with so much to organise and remember it is not really a surprise when something happens that means the day does not go exactly to plan. For Rachael & Lee, it was the marriage licence as it was left at home. Thankfully Lee realised upon arriving at the hotel and arrangements were quickly made to send someone back for it. This meant that the ceremony was slightly delayed while we waited for the licence to arrive and everyone thought it was hilarious, well maybe apart from Lee.

After the ceremony, we made our way over to Botanic Gardens with Rachael & Lee. It was a bitter cold day and at one point, we had to take cover from the rain but Rachael & Lee where both good fun to spend time with and they did not let the not so good weather get in the way.

On arriving back at the hotel, we photographed the speeches and the cutting of the cake and then it was time for the dancing. Rachael & Lee had booked Skip Alexander as their wedding D.J so we knew straight away that we were in for a good night. Skip is one of the best around at getting everyone up and dancing. It was also nice to bump into David & Rachel whose wedding we had photographed a few weeks before.

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Malone Lodge Wedding | Carly & Alex

Carly & Alex got married on the 20th of December at Glengormley Methodist Church in Newtownabbey, after the ceremony we made our way to Sir.Thomas & Lady Dixon Park for photographs before heading of to the Malone Lodge Hotel in Belfast for the wedding reception.

We met up with a nervous looking Carly at her sister’s home in Ballyclare early morning to photograph everyone getting ready. Carly was not nervous about getting married to Alex of course but just about the occasion. The girls did run a little late getting ready but we had just enough time to grab a quick photograph of Carly in her dress before we left to meet up with Alex at the church.

Upon arriving at the church we had, a quick chat with the minister who was a concerned about how many people there was capturing the wedding. As well as ourselves, Carly & Alex had also arranged for two guy’s to video their wedding but we promised to be as unobtrusive as we could and throughout the ceremony we tried to stay in the background. We also explained that we never use flash during the ceremony so as not to be distracting. This is a pet hate of ours when we see other photographers doing this, professional cameras and lenses are so good now that even a dimly lit church can easily be dealt with by exposing correctly without having to resort to using a flash the whole way through the ceremony.

After our chat with the minister, we met up with a very excited Alex. We assured him that Carly was only running a little late and was on her way, but he was not worried and told us that he expected her to keep him waiting. After all it is traditional for brides to run a little late on their wedding day. The ceremony itself was beautiful and Alex even stepped up to serenade his new wife, it was a touching moment and Alex is a fantastic singer.

After the ceremony we quickly made our way too Lady Dixons, we were a little worried about time as at this time of the year it gets dark so early but it worked out okay although it was proper night time by the time we left to go to the Malone Lodge. On arriving at the hotel Carly & Alex did their speeches, cut their cake and had their first dance, as you can see from the photographs everyone enjoyed themselves.

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Leighinmohr House Hotel Wedding | Deborah & Kyle

Deborah & Kyle got married on the 12th of December at the Ballymena Elim Church. After the ceremony, we stopped off for photographs at Antrim Castle Gardens before heading to the Leighinmohr House Hotel in Ballymena for the wedding reception.

The journey to meet up with Deborah and her bridesmaids to photograph them getting ready at Deborah’s Mum & Dad’s house in Ballymena was less like our normal leisurely drive to a wedding and more like an episode of the television series Ice Road Truckers. The roads were chaotic due to severe black ice and along the way we seen many other motorists abandoning their cars and we also seen a few car accidents due to the poor weather. Thankfully, we arrived okay and although Deborah had been feeling unwell for a few days on the lead up to the wedding, it was a fun morning that went all too quickly.

Upon arriving at the church, we met up with Kyle and his groomsmen and it was easy to see how excited he was to get married to Deborah. We would be very surprised if there was a happier man in the whole of Ballymena on the day. When Deborah arrived at the church we got to share a very special moment between the two of them as each of them stood on either side of a corner in the church holding hands, while not being able to see each other as the minister gave them a blessing. This was a beautiful moment and we felt quite emotional ourselves as we made our way into the church afterword’s to photograph the ceremony.

After the ceremony along with Kyle, Deborah, their parents and the wedding party we headed of too Antrim Castle Gardens. With winter weddings you have to expect the unexpected and Deborah & Kyle's wedding was no exception. The weather was not ideal not only did it snow it also rained as well as being bitter cold. Due to preparation for an event that was, being held in the gardens large parts of the grounds were cordoned off and we couldn’t get access to the areas we would have liked to use. While it was unfortunate that we didn’t get to revisit some of the places we visited when we photographed Deborah & Kyle’s engagement session a few months back and that the weather wasn’t what we had hoped for it really didn’t matter. These two are probably the most loved up couple we have photographed and nothing could have stopped them from having an amazing wedding day. We had a lot of fun walking around the gardens with them and got some beautiful photographs.

Once we got to the Leighinmohr Hotel, it was time for the speeches, the cutting of the cake and the dancing. The room looked amazing, everyone had a good time and it was a fun evening for us to be a part off.

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The Old Inn Crawfordsburn Wedding | Rachel & David

Rachel & David got married on the 8th of December at the Crawfordsburn Old Inn. After the ceremony, we made our way to Crawfordsburn Country Park, before returning to the Old Inn for the wedding reception.

This day for us did not start as we had hoped. There was a snowstorm the night before so we knew that travelling conditions would be difficult so we left extra early. However even with leaving early, it took us over 3 hours to reach Crawfordsburn because of the traffic and the difficult driving conditions. It was absolutely worth it though as this was a really fun wedding to be a part of.

Rachel had stayed at the Old Inn the night before so we met up with her and the rest of the ladies in there room to photograph everyone getting ready. Throughout the morning, it was obvious how excited Rachel and everyone else was for the day ahead. David arrived a little later in the day and we were able to grab a few quick photos with him before the ceremony.

The Old Inn has its own unique atmosphere and with the fire roaring and the Christmas tree in the corner, the ceremony had quite a festive feel, which was perfect for this time of the year. After the ceremony we headed of too Crawfordsburn Country Park with Rachel & David. It was a bitter cold day and it rained and snowed but we made the most of it.

Once back at the hotel it was time for the speeches, which were funny and emotional. Rachel’s dad even brought along her favourite childhood toy for the party as well as presenting David with an elf’s outfit. (You had to be there to understand why) After dinner, everyone rocked out to one of Northern Ireland’s best wedding bands Fusion, who are one of our personal favourites.

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Review of 2017

We remember sitting down at this time last year and thinking about what was ahead of us in 2017 and how excited we were to get started and it did not disappoint.

2017 is a year we will look back on very fondly, this was a year filled with emotion, fun and craziness. We met some amazing people and made many new friends. During the year, we have visited some beautiful wedding venues and worked with some awesome wedding vendors. Many of the weddings we photographed this year where in Belfast as you would expect, but we also photographed weddings as far away as Enniskillen and weddings just around the corner in our home town of Lisburn.

Thank you to all of our couples! Every wedding we have photographed this year has had standout moments that we will never forget. When we say all of our couples, we mean all! Recommendations mean a lot to us, the majority of the couples whose wedding we photographed in 2017 booked with us because couples whose wedding we photographed the year before and further back had recommended us. Without you, we would not be able to continue doing what we love, thank you so much! We are extremely proud of this, hopefully it means that we are doing something right.

We wanted to share our favourite photographs from 2017 but It would be impossible for us to share all of our favourite photographs from the last year without including thousands of images, so instead we have shared just a few that we have picked at random from our favourites.

We hope you all have a very Happy New Year! If 2018 is half as much fun as 2017 has been, it will be amazing and we cannot wait for our 2018 adventures to begin…

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Tullylagan House Wedding | Roisin & Dale

Roisin & Dale got married on the 10th of November at St. Mary’s church just outside of Augher. After the ceremony, the reception was held at the Tullylagan Country House Hotel in Cookstown.

First thing in the morning, we made the trip to Enniskillen to photograph Roisin and her bridesmaids getting ready. It was a fun and relaxed morning with Roisin & Dale’s young daughter Ella keeping everyone entertained. The entire morning was well organised and everyone was ready with plenty of time to spare.

After leaving the ladies, we made our way over to St. Mary’s, a beautiful early 1800’s church just outside of Augher to meet up with Dale and his groomsmen. After seeing the church, we were both excited to photograph the ceremony but unfortunately when the Minister arrived he explained that he does not allow any type of photography. We explained that we are both very unobtrusive during the ceremony and he did agree to relent slightly allowing us to take a photograph of Roisin coming down the aisle and a couple of photographs while the hymns were sung on the understanding that we both stayed at the back of the church. Having photographed many different types of religious and civil ceremonies this was the first time we have come across this ourselves, although we know of other photographers who have had this happen as well. Roisin & Dale were aware of this before the wedding, so thankfully it was not an issue on the day.

Top tip for anyone reading this and still in the planning stages for their own wedding. It is always a good idea when you arrange for the officiant or celebrant for your wedding that you have a chat with them about their preferences in terms of your photographer and videographer. While it is unusual for them to ban any type of photography, it can happen. For religious ceremonies in particular, it is not uncommon for them to have some rules that they will want your photographer or videographer to follow. It is always better to know these in advance so that you can make sure this fits in with how you see your wedding being captured before you decide to book with them.

On arriving at Tullylagan we were both really pleased that even this late in the year that there was plenty of autumn colour around. Roisin had mentioned that autumn is her favourite time of the year and every wedding photographer in Northern Ireland loves autumn. We loved how they incorporated autumn into their wedding including the amazing autumn leaves confetti. We have photographed a few weddings at Tullylagan and the grounds here are wonderful for wedding photography. Returning to this venue also gave us a chance to play fetch with our wee mate Fitz, the hotel’s very friendly dog.

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