It’s usually around Christmas time, when the light is all but gone by 4pm and it’s a struggle to even get to the venue by last light sometimes, that I remember all the reasons I love winter weddings. That light, while not long-lasting, can be sublime thanks to both the low angle of the sun and, if it’s a crisp clear day, the cloudless blue sky that often accompanies a dry winter day.
For Michelle and Jim’s wedding in the days after Christmas, we had just that kind of a day, and some of the most amazing light I’ve worked with all year. Blue skies and harsh sunlight do create their own challenges for a wedding photographer, but over the years I’ve learnt to work with the light rather than against it and I now love the challenge of working in that kind of light, as it also opens up creative opportunities with use of shade and shadow, as you’ll see in some of these photos.
My day started with a view – the bride’s back garden looks out over the Galtee mountains which were snow covered and looking fantastic and just had to be a backdrop for some photos before we left for the church in Glenroe (no not that Glenroe – this one they pronounce “Glen-roo” – which is a beautiful part of the world just the Limerick side of the Cork-Limerick border.
With the groom hailing from Kildorrery, just on the Cork side a few miles away, you could say this was a mixed marriage! I had a bit of a family connection to this wedding – the bride’s cousin Elaine is my brother Conor’s girlfriend, and Conor (piano) and Elaine (violin), together with Zoe (cello) and singer Cara O’Sullivan, provided the beautiful music in the church. After the ceremony it was straight to the village hall for tea and sandwiches (welcome on the cold day) where the bride and groom greeted their guests, and then onto Midleton Park Hotell for the reception.
We did family photos just before dinner, and I stole the bride and groom for two quick photos at that stage before the bell rang and guests took their seats. After some very good speeches we braved the cold for one last night time shot before The Aristocrats Wedding Band Cork got the dance floor full as they always do, with the party well and truly underway as I said my goodbyes at my penultimate wedding of 2017.