Having photographed one All Ireland-winning Camogie legend’s wedding in Cork in May, I found myself in Galway on a wet and windy Saturday in December photographing another All Ireland-winning camogie legend’s wedding. This wedding was that of Emma to Kevin – himself an accomplished hurler – in Emma’s home place of Kinvara, with a journey up around Galway bay to the Ardilaun Hotel for the reception. With all those GAA connections (and I haven’t even mentioned Emma’s nieces) it was little surprise that we emerged from the church to a double guard of honour from team mates of both the bride and groom.
The morning preparations were in one of the most homely places I’ve seen a bride get ready – her family home, a cosy cottage at a bend on the road, had some beautiful light and fast became a bustling hub of activity as more and more of Emma’s many siblings and nieces and nephews piled in ahead of the ceremony. Overseeing everything the matriarch of the family, Catherine, was the least stressed mother-of-the-bride ever, and great craic too. The best you can hope for in a bride’s house in the morning is lots of laughter and very little stress, and Emma’s house ticked both those boxes with ease.
Indeed, as the photos hopefully show, there was lots of laughter all day – not least from the bride herself. Fr. Larkin returned to Kinvara to oversee the ceremony, having celebrated Emma’s communion and confirmation, and he completed the set with a warmth and personal touch that was obvious throughout.
Following the ceremony and the aforementioned guard of honour Emma and Kevin greeted their guests before we popped into the warmth of the church for a quick set of family photos. With close to 40 in Emma’s family photo I must commend them on their organisation skills and we got some lovely photos of the full clan in record time. We had a few stops to make between there and Ardilaun – the pier at Kinvara was first during a break in the rain, followed by Conole’s pub in the village for some champagne, and finally a short detour to Morans at the Weir in Kilcolgan for some Oysters and Guinness.
Maureen and her team at the Ardilaun Hotel are always a pleasure to deal with, and greeted us warmly as we arrived with about an hour to spare before the dinner bell. Emma and Kevin mingled for the hour, while I captured details and candids of the guests. When the dinner bell rang we took one last bridal party photo before they were announced into the magnificent function room for dinner.
The rain persisted throughout the evening so I didn’t suggest an outside night shot, but instead got creative in the function room as Emma and Kevin tucked into dessert, creating the shot you see at the top of this post – it was one way of isolating the bride and groom in a photo as they sat in a room with their 280+ guests.
Those guests did a great job of filling the dance floor once the music started, and as I said my goodbyes everyone looked to be ready to party. It was lovely once again to be working alongside Fergal Nannery who was videographer for the day and good company as well as a pleasure to shoot with.