West Cork Wedding Photography – Katie & James

bride and groom walking across the road in castletownbere

Well isn’t this exciting?  I’m blogging my very first destination wedding!  Ireland counts as a destination wedding, right?  I had to use funny money and go on a boat to get there – so I’m counting it!

Now, I know when you think of destination weddings, you think sunshine, big blue skies and palm trees.  Well this destination wedding, in Ireland, in February… had all of that.  Despite being warned by just about everyone I know, that the weather was going to be “wild”.  It wasn’t.  It was gorgeous!  For those of you who like to keep score, that’s Lucky Umbrella 25, Rain 0.

I met up with Katie & James the day before to have a chat and a quick tour around the town. Katie recommended the food their hotel, so after a delicious dinner at The Beara Coast Hotel, my wife and I headed back to our B&B (Island View House a lovely B&B that serves a monster breakfast!) for a early night before the big day tomorrow.  The wedding party had different ideas, they were up until the early hours having a ‘quiet one’.

It was a gorgeous morning and the forecast predicted sunshine all day – perfect!  I arrived and Katie was calm, but not long up so after a quick chat I headed across the hall to start work in the bridesmaids room. It’s really convenient having everyone getting ready in the same place.  As you can see, I covered the Bride, Bridesmaids, Mother of the Bride, the Groom and the Groomsmen all getting ready. Being able to photograph so much of the morning by myself works really well with my style of documentary photography – plus you get to see both sides of the story.

The morning was a game of two halves.  On one side you had “The Girls”.  They were drinking Prosecco, eating strawberries, laughing, joking, taking selfies and generally looking gorgeous.  On the other side were “The Boys”. They were half naked, drinking pints of Guinness, doing shots of rum, dancing, pulling pants down and generally being idiots. I had sooo much fun and haven’t stopped laughing editing this wedding. I was offered a pint as soon as I arrived, but politely declined. I was also encouraged several times to get my trousers off so I would “fit in”. I did consider it for a minute… But decided to remain professional, mostly because I didn’t have that pint.

Lavinia (from Lipstix in Castletownbere) did a beautiful job with everyone’s make-up and Olivia (from Terence Paul Hairdressing, Manchester) did a stunning job of Katie’s hair.  Everyone was ready on time and looked gorgeous.

After the serene chaos of the morning prep we headed to the church in Castletownbere.  Sacred Heart Church is a beautiful, imposing building just up from the pub of literary fame – MacCarthy’s.  After the ceremony (and some serious confetti throwing) Katie & James headed off to the Golf Club for a few photos of just the two of them.  It was then back to The Beara Coast Hotel for the rest of the day, but not without stopping off at McCarthy’s for a swift one.  Once back at the hotel, we did a few formal group shots before heading into the wedding breakfast.

One thing that struck me during Katie & James’ wedding, was how close everyone seemed to be. Their parents knew all of their friends well and were laughing and joking with them all day.  All of Katie’s friends loved all of James’ mates – but they all loved Katie & James the most. So much so, that when they made their wedding breakfast entrance to the Champions League theme tune, and everyone was cheering and chanting, and standing on chairs waving their napkins around, it felt like this was the welcome they got every time they entered any room.

Katie’s Mum made a lovely speech (as did everyone) but the speech that stole the show for me was the Best Men’s. Chad was nervous before hand, not that you could tell once he was on stage – and he had no need to be.  Chad and James absolutely nailed it.  With the help of a projector they retold embarrassing stories from their time growing up and drinking with James. And although they disguised it well, they did manage to say a few nice things about him.

I don’t think I need to say too much about the party.  I’ll let the photos do the talking.  The band were awesome and the dance floor was packed all night. These guys party hard – just how I like it!


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I’m a Documentary Wedding Photographer, that means I have a natural, unposed approach to wedding photography. Real smiles, real moments, real memories – that’s what it’s all about!

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