Orlaith and I know each other since 1999 when we first met at a company where I was on a 6 month work placement and where she was a graduate engineer. A few years later our paths crossed again when my wife took a job with a firm of patent attorneys where Orlaith, coincidentally, was a trainee. Aoife and Orlaith have been close friends ever since, so when she asked me to photograph her wedding to Steve I was absolutely delighted at the prospect of being involved on her big day. The fact that their wedding was to be held at Ballymagarvey Village was an extra bonus. It’s a venue I’d heard lots about and really really wanted to experience from behind the camera. And when the big day arrived last Friday I wasn’t to be disappointed. Along with 120 or so other guests I was treated to one of those wedding days where absolutely everything – the bride, the groom, the bridal party, the families, the venue, the weather, the band, even the 4am sing song – was just perfect. OK, maybe “perfect” is overstating the 4am sing song. But definitely everything else. And on a day like that you just can’t go wrong with the photographs.

One of the really nice things about Ballymagarvey Village is that you get the run of the place for the day. In the morning, in particular, this was lovely as Orlaith and Steve’s families were able to gather in the kitchen downstairs and make themselves at home:

Meanwhile upstairs the girls were having their hair and makeup done, while checking messages and ensuring all was going to plan:

There was so much going on in the house, and so much worth photographing, that at times I could have done with three of me.  At one stage, I popped downstairs to see if anything exciting was going on and found Orlaith’s dad Brendan enjoying a spot of peace and quiet while reading the paper:

I came out of the room to see Orlaith standing in the doorway looking deep in thought and captured this candid before she spotted me – it’s one of my favourite images of the day:

The house was a treasure trove of places to photograph the details like the flowers and the shoes:

As 3 o’clock neared, the time came for Orlaith to get dressed and as her sister Muireann fixed the end of it I caught another candid shot which I also really like:

Meanwhile Steve had his own final preparations to deal with:

The sun was shining brightly at this stage, which was great for the bride and groom and guests, but encouraged me to use the softer light of the conservatory for a quick photo before Orlaith headed over to the ceremony with her dad and her bridesmaids Niamh, Muireann and – they won’t mind me saying – my favourite bridesmaid, Caoimhe.

Not every bride gets to walk to her wedding ceremony, but with the ceremony taking place across the courtyard in Ballymagarvey, Orlaith was able to do just that and with the sun shining and the setting looking stunning, it was shaping up to be a fantastic day:

All that, and the wedding hadn’t even started yet! I have some really lovely images to share from the ceremony, the formals, the speeches and the first dance – they’re coming in Part 2.

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