I recently had the pleasure of 'second shooting'. alongside Jay Doherty Photography at Harvey's Point.
It was the ideal scenario to really focus on documenting candid moments throughout the day.
Starting with that early morning realization from the groom that today really was the day; the tears at the service as his mum watches as he met his bride at the top of the aisle; through to the fun of the afternoon in the conservatory at Harveys Point while Storm Lorenzo did his worse outside, finishing with laughter from the bride & bridesmaid at the speeches.
I couldn't be prouder after picking up a Pathfinder Award at the Learning to Fly Irish Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards in Dundalk last week...
It was a genuine pleasure just to have attended the Inspiration Workshops, and a slightly surreal feeling while heading to the stage surrounded by so many amazing photographers whose work I have looked up to over the years...
Thank you again Learning to Fly & Jay Doherty Photography - the man behind the curtain making the magic happen....
Nadine & Paddy lead their families and friends on an August exodus from Belfast to County Donegal for their wedding in The Ballyliffin Lodge and Spa... and they were blessed with the, far from guaranteed, appearance of Inishowen sunshine, meaning their guest were able to spend as much time inside as out.
Having their ceremony & reception in Ballyliffin Lodge gave them that bit more time to spend with those they'd invited along, and meant everyone could get into a celebratory mode as soon as they arrive - be it by Rolls Royce, Helicopter, or a never quite explained detour via Donegal Town!
t was my pleasure to document the day from the morning prep, through to the packed dancefloor, (thanks to Three's A Crowd) as it happened, with little interference and no fuss.
Here's a selection of photographs showcasing Nadine & Paddy's day.
While recently documenting Maria & Kevin's Ballyscullion Park Wedding I got chatting with owner Rosalind Mullholland about an article I had written, a few years ago, for Essential Travel Magazine - unfortunately no longer online.
At the time of preparing the article I was fortunate enough to get a behind the scenes look at Ballyscullion with Rosalind & BBC Radio Foyle Gardener Gareth Austin; including the chance to listen first hand to Rosalind's plans for the, at that stage, fledgling wedding venue, and to hear of a relatively new TV series, Game of Thrones, that had recently been filmed in the grounds.
What a difference six years can make...
Anyway after bit of delving here's the text from the original article.
Ballyscullion Park, a 400 acre estate, is located in the heart of Northern Ireland, and now offers itself as an exclusive wedding venue. It’s ideal location, being almost equal distances from capital Belfast, and second city Derry/Londonderry, and its scenic setting make it an enticing proposition. (Boutique weddings, civil ceremonies & civil partnerships are conducted within the house,) small ceremonies are conducted in the Ringrose Room while the walled garden can accommodate marquees to suit larger affairs.
The current house dates from 1840, designed by renowned architect Sir Charles Lanyon; his other creations include Queens University, Crumlin Road Goal & Courthouse, Belfast's Custom House, and Belfast Castle; it’s hard to dispute the assertion that he is the most important local architect of the Victorian age. And Ballyscullion House has all the country house grandeur you’d expect from Sir Charles.
The original site was first developed by Bishop Hervey of Derry, known as the Earl Bishop, an eccentric Bishop with an expensive taste in properties. Ballyscullion Palace was to compliment his Palace at Downhill on the North Coast. While Bishop of Derry his Bishops Palace stood inside the Derry Walls, and his Summer Palace stood outside the Walls less than a mile away on the same street!
The Earl was also responsible for the first bridge in Derry and legend has it originally built to make it easier for him to visit a close ‘lady friend’ Lady Mussenden without his wife finding out. This friendship inspired Hervey to build Mussenden Temple in Castlerock in her honour.
Ballyscullion was said to be the most extravagant of all his Palaces. However, when Bishop Hervey died his heir decided to live at the Palace at Downhill; and incredibly Ballyscullion was knocked down – one possible explanation is the potential expense of paying window tax for it. The remaining ruins of one wall of the Palace still stand in woodland adjacent to the house today.
Ballyscullion Park also boasts two surprising connections with Hollywood, the first dates back to the Second World War – when Ballyscullion became a military base with US Military stationed there in 1943 and 1944 – including the battalion immortalized in Saving Private Ryan. The story goes that the grandparents heard on the radio of the Normandy landings and ran to tell the Marines only to discover the base had been totally abandoned overnight. More recently the woods were used for location shoots on the hit US television series Game of Thrones.
While not open to the public on a daily basis house and garden visits are possible by appointment, and the site is a regular on BBC Gardener Gareth Austins garden tours. The house, walled gardens, and woodlands really are a sight to behold and will impress anyone lucky enough to visit.
Tradition says a Child of Prague Statue in your garden guarantees good weather on your wedding day – Maria & Kevin’s day showed that he can also work his magic from a glass cupboard in the kitchen…
I arrived at Maria’s family home under a clear blue morning sky, and it stayed that way, more or less, throughout their day. Inside final preparations were made – to a very personal soundtrack DJ’ed by Maria herself – regardless of complaints from the rest of her bridal party that Scooter wasn't very wedding appropriate!
A quick drive St Patrick’s Church, Loughguile enabled me to catch up with Kevin & his Best Man & Groomsmen, who only had a short wait before the big event began… after a slight delay as the back rows of the congregation were ‘encouraged’ by Fr Gillen to move forward for a better view.
After the wedding ceremony it was straight onto the picturesque Ballyscullion Park which provided the sunny landscape for the rest of the day; with a quick spot of Gaelic Football & Hurling the bridal party really made the most of the wide open green spaces; The Gribben Girls, as in the church earlier, provided the soundscape throughout the afternoon – with Infinity Wedding Band taking over the evening duties.
So anyway, that’s more than enough words from me – I know you're here for the photos!!