One of the most stress free ways to have a wedding (at least for those opting for a civil ceremony) is to book a venue that allows you have your ceremony and reception in the same place. It makes for a more relaxed afternoon, more time spent with guests and, if the venue is Brook Lodge at least, a quick and easy post-ceremony photo shoot in beautiful surroundings. If you go for the triple whammy of also getting ready at that venue, your photographer gets a good opportunity to scout in the morning which, if its their first time there, can be beneficial for all concerned also. Given that Heather and Darren went down this road at Brook Lodge, I really couldn’t go wrong.
Let’s follow the route I took the bridal party as we strolled from the chapel on the grounds to the reception room across the gardens. First of all we came to a bridge, so we stopped and posed for a moment:
Just over the bridge there is a bench, and with the chapel in the background and some lovely light it made for a nice photo of the happy couple which would, ultimately, make the front of their Thank You card:
On to the main lawn where the lodge itself made for a lovely backdrop:
Next stop (having sent the bridesmaids and groomsmen to go enjoy some champagne) was a covered walkway which I would certainly take advantage of on a rainy day – it was here I got the photo up top, and switching to a longer lens, this nice relaxed portrait:
A few snaps as Heather and Darren walked to the drinks reception hand in hand, but that was pretty much it. Quick and easy.
While they mingled with guests I gave them some downtime from the camera to photograph the function room – their layout was unusual in that they only had four large tables – Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connaught as it turned out – and that worked well in the space available:
This was also a chance to get a photo of the cake topper – I love the different types you see these days, and the fact that the groom here was (appropriately) wearing bermuda shorts.
I took the usual mix of candid shots at the drinks reception, but as a detail liked this alternative angle on the champagne:
While the guests were seated, best man and Darren’s brother Gavin reviewed some literature ahead of his speech:
The speeches themselves were great, and gave me the opportunity to grab what I think of as classic speeches photos:
The night finished (for me at least) with the traditional first dance. I photographed this (as I do if I’m staying until then) with off camera flashes, taking advantage of the balconies overlooking the function room to place them high and out of the way:
A good day for all concerned at Brook Lodge, then, on my first (but hopefully not my last) visit there.