Ballyscullion Park Wedding | Rachael & Glenn

Rachael & Glenn got married on the 29th of July at Ballyscullion Park in Bellaghy. It was a truly beautiful day with a lovely couple and it is easy to see from the photographs why Ballyscullion Park has immediately become one of our favourite wedding venues.

We met up with Rachael and her bridesmaids at her Mum and Dad's home in Carrickfergus to photograph everyone getting ready. It was a nice and relaxed morning, we knew it would be having got to know Rachael a little better when we shot their engagement session at Crawfordsburn Country Park.

After arriving at Ballycullion we met up with a very excited Glenn. The weather in the morning had not been great, but just before we arrived the Sun came out which allowed Rachael & Glenn to have a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony in Ballycullion’s Strawberry Garden. After the ceremony, the heavens opened and it absolutely poured down and everyone had to run for cover. Thankfully, it did not last long though and we were soon exploring the grounds around the venue.

Ballyscullion is a stunning wedding venue, an absolute dream to work in for a wedding photographer in Northern Ireland and the staff are very friendly and accommodating. The grounds offer many interesting places to use for photography, including a few areas that you can use when the weather is not ideal.

While the venue was amazing, the best part about this wedding was the couple themselves. Rachael and Glenn are childhood sweethearts and have already been together for a long time. There excitement for both their wedding and the love they have for each other was easy to see and was very infectious. Every single person that attended this wedding had huge smiles on their faces all day. We loved all the little details they had incorporated into their wedding day with our favourite being the story of our lives table plan.

Ballyscullion Park Wedding 01
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 02
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 03
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 04
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 05
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 10
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 11
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 12
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 13
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 14
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 15
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 16
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 17
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 22
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 23
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 24
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 25
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 26
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 27
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 28
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 33
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 34
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 35
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 36
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 37
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 38
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 39
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 40
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 41
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 42
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 43
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 44
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 45
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 50
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 51
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 52
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 57
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 58
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 59
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 60
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 65
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 66
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 71
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 72
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 73
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 74
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 75
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 80
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 81
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 88
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 89
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 90
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 91
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 92
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 101
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 102
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 107
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 108
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 109
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 116
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 117
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 118
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 119
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 120
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 121
Ballyscullion Park Wedding 125

Lagan Valley Island Wedding | Shannon & Glenn

Shannon & Glenn got married on the 30th of June at Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn. We have been looking forward to spending the day with them for some time, as it has been a while since we have photographed a wedding in our hometown and these two are such a sweet couple.

The girls got ready in Shannon & Glenn’s home, a short two minute drive down the road for us. Shannon was a very organised bride so everything was timed perfectly and there wasn’t any of the usual last minute concerns about running late for the ceremony.

After the ceremony, we made our way over to Lisburn Castle Gardens. Steeped in history, the gardens have been used by wedding photographers in Lisburn for as long as anyone can remember and it is easy to see why.

The day went past all too quickly and it was no surprise when Shannon & Glenn stepped out to the country music classic Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis for their first dance. Shannon is a huge country music fan and told us that slowly but surely, she is converting Glenn too.

Lagan Valley Island Wedding 01
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 02
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 03
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 04
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 05
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 06
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 07
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 08
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 09
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 10
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 11
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 12
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 13
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 14
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 15
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 16
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 17
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 18
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 19
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 20
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 21
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 22
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 23
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 24
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 25
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 26
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 27
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 28
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 29
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 30
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 31
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 32
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 33
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 34
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 35
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 36
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 37
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 38
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 39
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 40
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 41
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 42
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 43
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 44
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 45
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 46
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 47
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 48
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 49
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 50
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 51
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 52
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 53
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 54
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 55
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 56
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 57
Lagan Valley Island Wedding 58

Engagement Photography Northern Ireland | Bangor Castle Walled Gardens | Brooke & James

We met up recently with Brooke & James to photograph their engagement session at the Walled Gardens in Bangor. They will be getting married in September 2018 at the Temple of the Winds in Mount Stewart with their reception being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast.

The Walled Gardens in Bangor are part of the grounds for Bangor Castle and it is a popular place for photographers and families alike. At this time of the year especially, it is full of colour and has a real summer vibe going on. The forest area surrounding the gardens also helps make it a good choice for an engagement session.

Brooke & James as you would expect are excited about their upcoming wedding and have nearly all of their arrangements made already. We are really looking forward to capturing their wedding day.

Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 01
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 02
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 03
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 04
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 05
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 06
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 07
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 08
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 09
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 10
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 11
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 12
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 13
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 14
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 15
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 16
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 17
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 18
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 19
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 20
Engagement Session Bangor Walled Garden 21

Our top 10 first dance songs

Choosing a song for the first dance is different for every couple. For some couple’s it can be as easy as saying that is our song, job done. For others it can be much more difficult, especially if you have different tastes in music.

There are literally a million songs you could choose to use for your first dance, although some are definitely more popular than others. Just for fun, we have a standing bet between us on what our couples first dance song will be. (Laurene is currently winning this by a country mile.)

Top 10 First Dance Songs

Some couples choose their song because it has a special meaning to them, fits with the theme of their wedding or simply because their favourite singer sings it. However, you make your decision, if you have booked a band for your wedding always have a chat with them to make sure that it’s something they have sang before or is something they are happy to learn before your wedding.

Everyone will have their own personal favourites but this is our top 10.

10.  Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Over The Rainbow


This song is perfect for a summer wedding, everyone has heard it before as it's been featured in many movies. 


9. Etta James, At Last


A true wedding classic, this one is a surefire crowd favourite.


8. Christina Perri - A Thousand Years


Halfway between a pop song and a full on power ballad, a thousand years is a good choice for those who want to get a bit more energetic on the dance floor.


7. Michael Bublé - Everything


Michael Bublé is not just for Christmas! This is another that is fast becoming a wedding classic, everyone loves Michael Bublé


6. Bruno Mars - Marry You


The perfect choice for those who want to get their wedding party involved in your fast dance.


5. Adele - Make You Feel My Love


While this song has been covered by many artists, Adele's version is far and away the most popular choice for those who want to use this song for their first dance.


4. Lonestar - Amazed


No list of first dance songs would be complete without including this, the ultimate wedding power ballad.


3. Charlene Soraia - Wherever You Will Go


Needs no explanation for it's inclusion in our list, a beautiful love song.


2. John Legend - All of Me


This was last year's big wedding song and remains a popular choice this year too.


1. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud


Far and away Ed Sheeran's, thinking out loud is the song we hear the most at weddings we have photographed. It is a popular choice for a reason!


Father Daughter Dance

After the first dance what's next? Many brides choose to share a dance with their Dad. These two songs are favourites of ours if you decide to share a dance with your Dad on your wedding day.

Bob Carlisle - Butterfly Kisses


There won't be a dry eye in the house if you decide to play this one!


Heartland - I loved her first


A country classic that needs no explanation.


When you take to the dancefloor for your first dance everyone will be watching, including us if you chosen to book Pure Photo N.I as your Northern Ireland wedding photographer. Whatever your song choice, the most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy it!

Engagement Photography Northern Ireland | Crawfordsburn Country Park | Rachael & Glenn

We recently spent the morning with Rachael & Glenn at Crawfordsburn Country Park in Bangor Co. Down for their engagement session. They are getting married at the end of July at the amazing Ballyscullion Park.

We have photographed a few portrait sessions at Crawfordsburn before, as well as visiting the park to walk our dogs and play with our kids, but this was the first time we have photographed an engagement session here. The park has a beach with views across Belfast Lough as well as a forest area and a small waterfall, a good choice of location for an engagement session.  The park is full of great places to wander around, we are sure you could do numerous sessions here and never run out of ideas and new places to shoot in.

As we walked around the park chatting about the guys wedding plans, it was easy for us to see how excited they are about their upcoming wedding and we are really looking forward to spending the day with them. Rachael & Glenn like us are very laid back and like to have a laugh, so we know there wedding will be really good fun.

Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_01
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_02
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_03
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_04
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_05
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_06
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_07
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_08
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_09
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_10
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_11
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_12
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_13
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_14
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_15
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_16
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_17
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_18
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_19
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_20
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_21
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_22
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_23
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_24
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_25
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_26
Crawforsburn_Country _Park_Engagement_Session_27

Belfast City Hall Wedding | Sofia & Ryan

Sofia & Ryan got married on the 15th of May at Belfast City Hall. When they booked us to photograph their wedding they explained that they wanted a low key, intimate wedding day surrounded by their family and closest friends and it was just perfect.

We started the morning with Sofia and her bridesmaids getting ready in the penthouse at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast. The penthouse has wonderful views over Belfast including the City Hall. It was a very relaxed morning, with a lot of laughs and no sign of any pre-wedding nerves.

Once the ladies were ready we headed off to Belfast City Hall for the ceremony and to meet up with Ryan and his groomsmen. Photographing a wedding at the City Hall in Belfast isn’t always easy due to the amount of people that tend to be around. Sofia and Ryan must have chosen a good time slot though as it was reasonably quiet and the tourist group that was in looking around left shortly after Sofia & Ryan’s ceremony.

After the ceremony we spent a little time with the guys in and around the City Hall before leaving for Kitch restaurant. Sofia & Ryan love Kitch and we can see why the food was awesome and the staff are really friendly. Ryan also asked Sofia to marry him in Kitch, so it was the perfect venue for their wedding meal.

Sofia & Ryan chose to enjoy the rest of their evening at one of Belfast’s most iconic live music venue’s, The Belfast Empire Music Hall. The building was once a church so has its own unique atmosphere. Everyone had a really good night as you can see from the photographs.

Throughout the ceremony, the portraits, the speeches and the party it was an absolute pleasure to photograph their day and be made to feel so welcome by their family and friends. Congratulations guys! Again thank you for choosing Pure Photo N.I to be your  wedding photographers in Belfast.

Belfast City Hall Wedding 01
Belfast City Hall Wedding 02
Belfast City Hall Wedding 03
Belfast City Hall Wedding 04
Belfast City Hall Wedding 05
Belfast City Hall Wedding 06
Belfast City Hall Wedding 07
Belfast City Hall Wedding 08
Belfast City Hall Wedding 09
Belfast City Hall Wedding 10
Belfast City Hall Wedding 11
Belfast City Hall Wedding 12
Belfast City Hall Wedding 13
Belfast City Hall Wedding 15
Belfast City Hall Wedding 16
Belfast City Hall Wedding 17
Belfast City Hall Wedding 18
Belfast City Hall Wedding 19
Belfast City Hall Wedding 20
Belfast City Hall Wedding 21
Belfast City Hall Wedding 22
Belfast City Hall Wedding 23
Belfast City Hall Wedding 24
Belfast City Hall Wedding 25
Belfast City Hall Wedding 26
Belfast City Hall Wedding 27
Belfast City Hall Wedding 28
Belfast City Hall Wedding 29
Belfast City Hall Wedding 30
Belfast City Hall Wedding 31
Belfast City Hall Wedding 32
Belfast City Hall Wedding 33
Belfast City Hall Wedding 34
Belfast City Hall Wedding 35
Belfast City Hall Wedding 36
Belfast City Hall Wedding 37
Belfast City Hall Wedding 38
Belfast City Hall Wedding 39
Belfast City Hall Wedding 40
Belfast City Hall Wedding 41
Belfast City Hall Wedding 42
Belfast City Hall Wedding 43
Belfast City Hall Wedding 44
Belfast City Hall Wedding 45
Belfast City Hall Wedding 46
Belfast City Hall Wedding 47
Belfast City Hall Wedding 48
Belfast City Hall Wedding 49
Belfast City Hall Wedding 50
Belfast City Hall Wedding 51
Belfast City Hall Wedding 52
Belfast City Hall Wedding 53
Belfast City Hall Wedding 54
Belfast City Hall Wedding 55
Belfast City Hall Wedding 56
Belfast City Hall Wedding 57
Belfast City Hall Wedding 58
Belfast City Hall Wedding 59
Belfast City Hall Wedding 60
Belfast City Hall Wedding 61
Belfast City Hall Wedding 62
Belfast City Hall Wedding 63
Belfast City Hall Wedding 64
Belfast City Hall Wedding 65
Belfast City Hall Wedding 66
Belfast City Hall Wedding 67
Belfast City Hall Wedding 68
Belfast City Hall Wedding 71
Belfast City Hall Wedding 69
Belfast City Hall Wedding 70
Belfast City Hall Wedding 72
Belfast City Hall Wedding 73
Belfast City Hall Wedding 74
Belfast City Hall Wedding 75
Belfast City Hall Wedding 76
Belfast City Hall Wedding 77
Belfast City Hall Wedding 78
Belfast City Hall Wedding 79
Belfast City Hall Wedding 80

Win a free honeymoon with the BBC

How would you like to win a free honeymoon courtesy of the BBC?

Are you up for some fun challenges on your wedding day for a chance to win some awesome prizes?

The BBC are looking for engaged couples to take part in a brand new Saturday night entertainment show with a current working title of “Wedding Day Winners”. Each show will see two couples face off during their wedding day. Before the couple’s say “I do” their family and friends will be asked to complete a series of challenges to win amazing prizes on their behalf. Then each couple will go head to head to win the star prize of a luxurious honeymoon. 

win a free honeymoon


  • You must both be 18 years of age or over.
  • You must both be a permanent resident of the United Kingdom and currently living in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
  • You must not be currently or previously been employed by Panda Television, the BBC or subsidiary companies.

Entries close on the 31st of July. Just click on the button below to fill in the online application for your chance to win a free honeymoon courtesy of the BBC.

Best of luck with your entry! We would love to see one of the couples who has chosen us as there wedding photographer in Belfast win a free honeymoon.


N.I Engagement Session | Antrim Castle Gardens | Deborah & Kyle

We recently spent the morning with Deborah & Kyle for their engagement session at Antrim Castle Gardens. Deborah & Kyle will be getting married in December at the Leighinmohr House Hotel in Ballymena. We are really looking forward to being a part of their big day.

The guys are planning on using the gardens during their wedding day for their bridal party photographs so their engagement session gave us a good chance to have a proper look around. We have been here before but our previous visit was a short one and we hadn’t realised just how big an area this is!

Antrim engagement session 01
Antrim engagement session 02
Antrim engagement session 03
Antrim engagement session 04
Antrim engagement session 05
Antrim engagement session 06
Antrim engagement session 07
Antrim engagement session 08
Antrim engagement session 09
Antrim engagement session 10
Antrim engagement session 11
Antrim engagement session 12
Antrim engagement session 13
Antrim engagement session 14
Antrim engagement session 15

Wedding Insurance, Do you need it?

As professional wedding photographers in Northern Ireland insurance is a must have expense for us and we have comprehensive insurance for both public liability and for our equipment.

Northern Ireland wedding insurance policy

Have you thought about insurance to protect your investment in your wedding though?

When we meet with couples about their wedding they often ask us about our insurance but when we ask them if they have purchased insurance for their wedding many have not been aware that the option is available.

As everyone who has ever been involved in a wedding knows costs can be high so protecting that investment is something that you might want to consider.

wedding insurance northern ireland bride and groom

You should always check the small print but most wedding insurance companies will offer insurance against:

  • Venue cancellations or your venue going bust
  • A wedding vendor letting you down
  • You having to cancel because key people can’t make your wedding due to an accident or illness.
  • Wedding rings being stolen
  • Personal liability

Insurance can be bought 2 years in advance

If you decide to buy insurance for your wedding your insurance cover will start from the day you buy it which means that you would be covered, if for example you or a close family member developed a serious illness 6 months before your wedding and wouldn't be able to attend.

Cost of wedding insurance

Like any insurance policy the cost is based on the value of what is being covered but insurance can start from as little as around £50 depending on the level of cover you decide to choose.

The most common wedding insurance claims include:

  • Wedding dress damage
  • Losing the wedding rings
  • Wedding cars fails to turn up
  • The wedding being cancelled as the venue was double booked
  • Public liability and property damage
  • Stolen or lost wedding presents
  • Suppliers going bust
lost wedding rings northern ireland

Should you buy wedding insurance?

Wedding insurance is an additional expense and it depends on your own circumstances.  If you are  strongly considering wedding insurance talk to a financial advisor or your insurance company and make sure you understand what is on offer.  Websites like money super market etc. are always useful to get a few quotes. Always ask lots of questions about what may or may not be covered as well and read the fine print very carefully.

Belfast Engagement Session | Lady Dixons | Shari & Brendan

We recently met up with Shari & Brendan for their engagement session at Sir. Thomas & Lady Dixon Park in Belfast. Shari & Brendan will be getting married next September at Belfast Castle.

We have photographed quite a few engagement sessions at Lady Dixons, as well as family portrait sessions and a few weddings. We also visit the park ourselves regularly, so it’s somewhere we know quite well and the park is one of our favourite places. Shari & Brendan were really good fun to spend time with and we are sure they will have an amazing wedding day.

Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 01
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 02
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 03
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 04
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 05
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 06
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 07
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 08
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 09
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 10
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 11
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 12
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 13
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 14
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 15
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 16
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 17
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 18
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 19
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 20
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 21
Lady Dixons Belfast Engagement session 22

Superhero Themed Wedding | Lusty Beg Island | Kate & Michael

Kate & Michael got married on the 13th of April at Lusty Beg Island in Fermanagh. From the first time we met them to discuss their wedding plans, we knew that this was going to be an epic day. The guys had chosen a comic book theme for their wedding which is something we have wanted to tick of our bucket list for a while and Lusty Beg is a wonderful wedding venue.

Kate & Michael opted to have an outdoor ceremony and as soon as Kate started to make her way to the ceremony it started to rain, by the time it reached half way through the ceremony it was absolutely pouring down. The guys didn’t even seem to notice as they were so wrapped up in each other and in the moment, it was beautiful.

After the ceremony we headed off for a walk around the Island to shoot the Bride & Groom portraits. The guys were really good fun to be around and it’s always nice when our couples are happy for us to try out some new things. We even grabbed a few shots using a prism, to reflect light which is something we have been wanting to try out at one of our weddings for a while. We then headed back to grab some photos of the guys with their bridal party and their family and friends.

After the speeches and once everyone had been fed and watered Kate & Michael kindly agreed to head out with us again so we could try out a technique called the Brenzier method, sometimes called a Bokeh Panarama or panoramic portrait. Without boring you with the technical details this technique involves taking a series of images of a scene and stitching them together later in Photoshop to create a shallow depth of field (a blurry background) with a wide angle point of view. It’s not a difficult technique to master if you have an uncomplicated background and are comfortable with using the manual functions of your camera to meter and focus.

We loved all the little personal details the guys incorporated into their wedding, everything from Kate’s awesome Harley Quinn boots and jacket, the amazing flowers made out of comic books, the Lego superhero figures etc. really added to the day.


Wedding Traditions: The cutting of the cake


The wedding cake tradition has been around for many hundreds of years and is believed to have started with the Ancient Romans breaking a cake over the bride's head, for good luck. Similarly, in Ireland it was traditional for the groom’s mother to break an oatcake over the head of the Bride as she enters her house after the wedding ceremony to ensure good relations with her new daughter in law. For the new mother in law this was very much seen as the best part of the day! In Medieval England cakes were stacked as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over. A successful kiss meant they were guaranteed a prosperous life together.

The cake was originally intended to be distributed among the guests by only the bride, because it was believed that consuming the cake would ensure fertility. As weddings grew and the number of guests increased this task became a joint venture, bigger multi-tiered cakes became the norm so the groom needed to help cut the growing cake and distribute it among their guests. Layers of cakes began to pile up and the icing would need to support the weight of the cake making is very difficult for one person to cut. Once this tradition began the bride and groom would share a piece of cake each before distributing it to the guests to symbolize their union and their promise to forever provide for each other. This image below was taken by us at a reenactment of a traditional Irish wedding a couple of years ago at the Ulster American Folk Park.

irish traditional wedding


In the U.K, the traditional wedding cake is still mainly made from a rich fruitcake using ingredients that are long lasting. This allows the top tier to be stored after the wedding, to be eaten at the christening of the couple’s first child. Popular alternatives these days include wedding cakes made up from stacked doughnuts and cupcakes or naked cakes with no icing.

traditional wedding cake
cupcake wedding cake
wedding cake tiers


Traditionally wedding cake toppers are of the couple in formal wedding attire and are often the only part of the cake which can be kept over the years, apart from the photographs of course. Today there are many more designs available. You can use specific ones for the style and theme of the wedding, for instance, traditional toppers for a very formal wedding, or for less formal ones, many couples use comical wedding cake toppers sometimes based on the couple's hobbies.

wedding cake toppers


Customs have evolved with the times, and today the ceremonial cutting of the cake has become one of the classic elements of most couple’s wedding receptions. In addition to providing an opportunity for photographs, it is still symbolic as the first task the newlywed couple complete together as man and wife.

bride and groom cutting the wedding cake

The average cost of a U.K Wedding

We have just received the results from one of the largest surveys conducted on the U.K wedding industry in recent years. This is bang up to date information that has only been made available from today.

With social media and technology creeping into all of our daily lives, how U.K couples plan and budget for their wedding is evolving quicker than ever before.

● On average couples in the U.K are engaged for 20 months.

● The average U.K wedding size is 78 guests for the ceremony, 77 guests for the wedding meal and 83 guests for the evening entertainment.

● As you would expect the most popular wedding season is Summer with 49% of all U.K weddings taking place in the summer months followed by Spring at 27% and Autumn at 15%.

● The most popular month of the year to get married in the U.K is August at 18% followed by July at 16% and September at 14%. The least popular months for weddings are January at 1%, February at 3% and November at 3%. This matches up nearly exactly with our own wedding bookings for this year.

● The most popular day of the week to get married on is still a Saturday at 54%, however many couples are now choosing alternative days for their wedding due to the discounts offered by wedding venue’s. Friday’s earned 17% of the vote, Sunday’s 11% and Thursday’s 8%.


Wedding Budget Planning

A massive 39% of couples spend over and above their planned budget. Of those who overspend, most go over by 30% of the cost. 

If you are in the middle of planning your wedding be sure to download our wedding budget planner to help keep a track of your costs.

Most couples who go over their budget spend more than originally planned on food and drink for their guests, the honeymoon and the bride's wedding gown.


84% of couples make initial contact with their wedding vendors by email, we can attest to this ourselves, the vast majority of couples that contact us do so by email via the contact us section of our website. From our point of view, email contact is fine but we actually prefer when couples contact us by telephone as it's easier for us to get a sense of their personality.

88% of couples prefer email for ongoing contact with their wedding suppliers. This is a huge number. Email does have it's advantages, as there is a record of everything said there is less chance of any misunderstandings later on down the line.


72% of couples choose a wedding vendor based on recommendations from family and friends. This is also true for ourselves, the majority of our wedding bookings have came from couples who have had a family member or friend recommend us.

More and more couples are using online digital tools to find vendors and plan their wedding. According to the survey 41% of couples are using a wedding website and 29% have used online supplier directories.


The current average cost of a U.K wedding excluding the cost of the honeymoon is £26,989. The average cost of booking a wedding photographer is £1,211 which means that we are way too cheap! 

the average cost of a northern ireland wedding

Many couples are trying to find ways of keeping their costs down. 59% of ceremonies now take place at the reception venue. Hotel weddings are now very much the new normal with venues that have in house catering accounting for 70% of all U.K weddings. As mentioned above many couples are also taking advantage of the reduced rates offered by venue's for weekday weddings.

Another popular way couples are trying to reduce costs is by hiring a wedding D.J rather than a live band. The average price for a D.J is £513, booking a band has an average cost of £1411. Partly due to the cost implications 71% now choose a D.J over a band for their wedding.

The costs above may not seem affordable for many. We feel it’s worth pointing out though that your wedding is about you as a couple making a lifelong commitment to each other and enjoying the occasion with your family and friends. We have photographed plenty of weddings that have cost no were near the average costs mentioned above, those couples still had an amazing day and so did we.

Northern Ireland Wedding Photography | Leighinmohr House Hotel | Karen & Garnet

We photographed Karen and Garnet’s wedding on the 18th of February at The Leighinmohr House Hotel in Ballymena. This was our first visit to this hotel, but we will be back again soon as we have a few other weddings booked for here, both this year and next year.

Karen and her lovely bridesmaids had stayed at the hotel the night before so we met up with them at the Leighinmohr first thing in the morning to photograph the ladies getting ready.

After the wedding ceremony Karen & Garnet decided that they preferred to stay at the hotel for their portraits so that they could spend as much time as possible with their family and friends.

The speeches were funny and original and we got a mention, which is always nice. The evening itself went all too quickly, the D.J had the guys up doing party games and Karen even treated us to a bit of karaoke.


Wedding Tips: What happens if it rains?

The weather in Northern Ireland can best be described as unpredictable and even in the summer months there is always the chance that on the day you have chosen to get married there may be a little rain. Don’t panic if it does, with some planning beforehand a little bit of rain really isn’t that big of a deal.

rain on wedding day

Brides especially can get really worried about what happens if it rains. They get concerned about their dress, their shoes, their makeup, their hair and that of course is understandable. If it rains on your wedding day we will always be happy to proceed how you want too. If you are the sort of couple that is happy to just go with it and make the most of it, so are we! If you are the sort of couple that prefers to move indoors if it rains, then we are okay with that too. It’s worth pointing out though that dresses and shoes can be cleaned, make-up can be touched up, hair can be fixed, but you only have the opportunity to have your wedding photos taken once.

Don't worry about us

We are more than happy to get a little wet, all of our equipment is weather sealed and it wouldn't be the first time that one of us has held an umbrella over the other while we work.

bride arrives at church in the rain

Choosing your wedding venue

If you have chosen to have an outdoor ceremony, is there a back up plan to allow for poor weather? Many wedding venues that have the option of an outdoor ceremony will also offer you the option to choose a room to have your ceremony in just in case the weather isn't so good come the big day. To be on the safe side though, speak to your wedding venue about what options are available.

outdoor wedding ceremony northern ireland


Before the big day stock up on some matching umbrellas and wellies for the wedding party. We always bring a few umbrellas with us as well just in case.

wedding wellie boots rain

Allow extra time / Choose your location carefully

When working out your wedding timeline allow a little extra time for your portraits after the ceremony so that if there is a light rain shower you can wait it out. Where possible try and choose a location where you won't have to walk to far from your transport or that has a sheltered area where you can wait out the rain if needs must. For example we had to wait around 30 minutes for some heavy rain to ease off during this wedding a few months ago, however there was some shelter from the rain close by. There was still some light rain when we took this photograph, can you tell? We don't think so.

groom groomsmen wet wedding

Keep on smiling

Accept the weather and embrace the day, no one can change it, so don’t worry about it. Think about what really matters. It's not going to be a disaster if everything doesn't go according to plan and you do end up with some rain on your wedding day. This is about you as a couple sharing your love for each other with your family and friends and nothing including the weather can spoil that!

bride and groom rain umbrella

If you would like to be first to hear about wedding tips and all things Pure Photo N.I join our mailing list by entering your details below.

Name *

Download our free wedding budget planner

Staying within your budget can be one of the most difficult parts of planning your wedding. It can be difficult because there so many things to remember and possibly quite a few that you hadn’t initially considered.

Some of the most commonly forgotten wedding costs include:


When you agree your budget you may need to consider whether if you will include your Hen and Stag dos. If for example you want to celebrate with friends and relatives abroad this could have a large impact on your budget before you have even got married.


When you send out the save the date cards and invitations you will need to budget for printing and postage. The cost of a first class stamp is currently 63p so postage alone could be surprisingly expensive if you are having a large wedding.

wedding invitation


You are going to need to pay fees for giving notice of your intent to marry (currently this costs £35) and for legally registering your marriage (this currently £46 in a registry office but will vary at other venues), your marriage certificate will also need to be paid for.

wedding legal registration


Caterers usually charge on a per head basis and although this sounds like a really obvious one, you would be surprised just how many couples forget to include themselves in the head count.


Costs for ensuring sure your clothes fit perfectly can vary and can be more expensive than you might think. Plan to pay for any alterations closer to the big day. There is no point in getting your clothes made to fit perfectly months before but do book your appointment well in advance because good seamstresses and tailors are often in high demand.

wedding dress alterations


Hair and makeup costs are always remembered but other beauty treatments can often be overlooked. For example, teeth whitening, hair extensions, eyebrow shaping, facials etc. They all add up and you will need to include them in your budget.

wedding beauty treatment


Some couples like to buy each other a wedding gift, favours for your guests, possibly cash tips for staff and thank you gifts for helping out are all costs you will need to include in your budget.

wedding gift


Costs for hotel rooms before and the night of your wedding will need to be paid for on check out. Some hotels may require a deposit upfront when booking.


Some wedding venues have additional costs for things like delivery fees and corkage etc. These usually won’t be upfront costs so you can pay after your wedding but make sure you check if there are likely to be any.


Name *


Belfast Wedding Photography | Ten Square Hotel | Ashlee & Matthew

Ashlee and Matthew got married on the 26th of November at Ten Square Hotel in Belfast. After the ceremony we visited the Belfast Continental Christmas Market with the bridal party before heading back to the hotel for the reception.

We started the morning with a trip to Ashlee and Matthew’s home in Belfast to meet up with Ashlee, her bridesmaids and her awesome Grandad. It was a fun morning and everyone was excited to get to the hotel for the ceremony.

After the ceremony we went with the bridal party to the Christmas market. It was absolute bedlam, there was tens of thousands of people crammed into the market, we have never seen it so busy. Many thanks to the guys there for letting us jump the very long queue at the snow globe. Ashlee had also wanted a to get a few shots of the bridal party on the Carousel but due to the sheer amount of people we had to abandon that idea and head back to the hotel. On the way out of the market we thought we had lost our groom, but Matthew turned up a couple of minutes later. (He had sneaked off to get some dinky donuts.)

After we got back to the hotel the guys did their speeches and we had a lovely meal. Ashlee and Matthew had left out scratch cards as favours for both ourselves and the wedding guests and I believe we were the only winners! 

ten square hotel wedding getting ready shoes dress
ten square hotel wedding getting ready brides flowers
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bridesmaids dress
ten square hotel wedding getting ready brides tiara
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bride with veil
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bridal hair
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bride hair
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bridesmaids grandad
ten square hotel wedding getting ready flower girl
ten square hotel wedding getting ready flower girls
ten square hotel wedding getting ready flower girl bridesmaid
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bridesmaids
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bride with bridesmaid
ten square hotel wedding getting ready flowergirl outside the house
ten square hotel wedding getting ready flowergirl outside house
ten square hotel wedding getting ready bride bridesmaid flower girl
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom before
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast bride car
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast bride bridesmaids flower girls
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom crying
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom in tears
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom crying best man
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom crying bride aisle
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom crying bride
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom bride
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast bride
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast bride groom candles
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom bride
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom bride together
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom bride exchanging rings
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom bride kiss
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom bride together after kiss
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast groom bride aisle
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast city hall groom bride
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast city hall groom bride portraits
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast city hall groom bride portrait
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast city hall group photo
ten square hotel wedding ceremony belfast christmas market
wedding ceremony belfast christmas market
ten square hotel wedding belfast groomsmen and groom
wedding photographs ten square hotel belfast
wedding ten square hotel belfast room decor
wedding photographer belfast ten square cake
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel table arrangements
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel scratch cards
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel granda speech
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel grandad speech
wedding photographer belfast ten square groom speeches
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel groom speech
wedding photographer belfast ten square bestman speech
wedding photographer belfast ten square speech bestman
wedding photographer belfast ten square speech crying
wedding photographer belfast ten square gifts
wedding photographer belfast ten square gift
wedding photographer belfast ten square cutting the cake
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel bride and grooms man selfie
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel dancing kids
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel first dance bride groom
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel bride and groom first dance
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel first dance
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel first dance bride grandad
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel first dance bride granda
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel first dance bride bridesmaid
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel dancing
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel dancing men
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel dancing women
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel dancing everyone
wedding photographer belfast ten square hotel dancing everyone laughing



What should you wear for an engagement or portrait session?

The most common question we get asked when couples book us for an engagement or family portrait session is “What clothes should we wear for our session?”

Firstly, and most importantly only wear clothes that you are comfortable in. Don’t buy a new outfit that you haven’t worn before, because if you don’t feel confident wearing it, there is always the chance that this will show in the photographs from your session. Conversely, if you are wearing clothes that you are comfortable in, you will feel much more confident about your session, this will really show in your photographs and you will find the whole experience much more enjoyable.

lady dixons engagement session

Match your outfit to the location for your session. For example, if you have chosen to have your session at a local park that has lots of tree’s, don’t wear predominantly green coloured clothes. If your session is taking place in an upscale location, make sure your outfit matches that and it may be time to, suit up! If you have chosen a beach or forest area, casual clothes will be a much better fit.

engagement photos belfast

Don’t match up your clothing. Thankfully the days of everyone wearing matching jumpers for their photo shoot are long behind us. Having contrasting outfits will add interest to your photographs.

engagement session belfast

Avoid wearing clothes with large complex patterns, large logo’s and branding and overly busy patterns, these will look distracting in your photographs.

engagement photography northern ireland

N.I Wedding Photography | Tullyglass House Hotel | Emma & Thomas

Emma and Thomas got married on the 4th of November at Hannahstown Parish in Belfast. After the ceremony we headed off to the Tullyglass House Hotel in Ballymena for the reception.

We met up with Emma and her lovely bridesmaids at their new home in Glenavy to photograph the ladies getting ready. The couple's young daughter Hannah was a huge amount of fun and the morning went really quickly. After the ceremony along with the bridal party we headed for Thomas’s mum and dad's house, as that is where they had chosen to shoot their portraits. Unfortunately, as we left the ceremony the heavens opened and it rained very heavily so Emma and Thomas decided that they preferred to wait until we reached Tullyglass House.

Tullyglass House is a beautiful venue and they have a few areas that can work really well for wedding photographs. The heavy rain never really eased of for any length of time though, so we ended up using the inside of the hotel instead. However, we did manage to talk the guys into letting us grab a few shots outside in the hotel grounds in between the heavy showers.

Tullyglass House Hotel wedding dress in window
tullyglass house hotel wedding dress shoes flowers
tullyglass house hotel wedding dress
tullyglass house hotel ear rings
tullyglass house hotel wedding day balloon
Tullyglass House Hotel wedding mobile child
Tullyglass House Hotel wedding bride channel
tullyglass house hotel daughter of the bride getting ready
tullyglass house hotel daughter of the bride getting ready hair
Tullyglass House Hotel wedding brides daughter phone
tullyglass house hotel bridesmaid makeup
tullyglass house hotel bridesmaid champagne
tullyglass house hotel bridesmaid hair
tullyglass house hotel wedding maid of honour hair
tullyglass house hotel wedding bridesmaids getting ready
tullyglass house hotel wedding mother of the bride
tullyglass house hotel wedding father of the bride
tullyglass house hotel wedding bride make up
tullyglass house hotel wedding bridal make up
tullyglass house hotel wedding makeup bride
Tullyglass House Hotel wedding bridesmaid selfie
tullyglass house hotel wedding bridesmaids toast
tullyglass house hotel wedding bride hair