I hadn’t been at in the Connemara Coast Hotel in years, and all of a sudden I found myself back there two weeks in a row. Gemma and Jamie’s wedding at the lovely Galway venue out on the edge of Galway Bay was a perfect day, with perfect weather, great guests, a happy bridal party and plenty of fun along the way.
It was an excuse, too, for me to enjoy some time in Galway where I spent some very happy years back in the day, making it a city I never tire of revisiting.
The day started in Gemma’s family home – a B&B, as it turns out, right on the Claddagh and what a house to photograph in. Bright, spacious, and lively on the morning of the wedding day with Orla Duffy and Louise Kearney taking good care of make up and hair dressing duties. The minibus for the guests pulling up to be decorated with balloons by Gemma’s bridesmaids started to make everything feel a bit real I think!
I took a mid morning trip further west to Furbo to catch up with Jamie at his family home where he and the lads had a quick puck around with a few hurleys before heading for Claddagh Church in advance of the ceremony.
Back at Gemma’s house, the emotions peaked when Gemma’s Mum Pam (and then she herself) arrived down the stairs to her Dad Tony who embraced them both and gave me two of my favourite moments of the day.
At the church, Fr. Carroll presided over a lovely ceremony before Tony again stole the show, this time with a really lovely song towards the end of the ceremony. A funny moment (easy for me to say!) was when, during the receiving line, a seagull perched right at the apex of the roof decided to, eh, deposit a wedding gift onto Gemma’s dress as she greeted guests. Thankfully her bridesmaids were on hand to clean it up, but I was at least glad to catch a couple of photos of it. I’d spotted the bird moments earlier and photographed it, so I hope that wasn’t a performance just for the camera!
We popped across to the Claddagh for a few quick photos and then – at their request – took a spin out to the site where Gemma and Jamie were building their new house… as Gemma said, she’ll never get another chance to stand on the site of the house in her wedding dress. There was one last stop before the drinks reception so we kept things moving – calling briefly to the back of the Connemara Coast where the sea meets the rocks for a quick few bridal party and couple photos before the mingling kicked off inside.
We would revisit the same spot later that night after the speeches for A Shot In The Dark with a full moon making it all the more appealing as a location for that image. And as I left the party, even from outside you could sense how much fun everyone was having.