Whenever I get to spend some time with my couples before their wedding day I always look forward to photographing their day. After all, it’s like attending your friends’ wedding! I got to meet Rachel and Tom back in May as we enjoyed this amazing sunset in Killiney Hill. Their engagement shoot was super fun and relaxed. I could immediately see the true love and affection between them. We chatted for literally hours (we found out that Rachel and I both love to talk, haha!). They told me how they met through playing tag rugby and how they loved to travel. They planned their Ashley Park House wedding for early January to be able to have all their family around from overseas. I was delighted when they asked me to photograph their Ashley Park House wedding.

Mission Impossible

Now, as much as I love a good winter wedding with Christmas lights and open fires, I’m also not a big fan of those short days! Rachel & Tom had over 200 guests attending, and their church was an hour away from the venue. They wanted to stop for bridal party photos on the way, and they were definitely doing the greeting line! Sounds like Mission Impossible when it gets dark at 4pm. Yet, knowing the guys, I somehow knew it would be fine and things would go smoothly. And they did!

Rachel and Tom both got ready in their homes. Kathy of Kathy Silke Photography was having a banter with the lads. I captured Rachel’s relaxing morning with her sisters and parents on the family farm. The ceremony was lovely and personal, with lots of hymns, beautiful speeches and Rachel’s sister performing a few surprise songs. The greeting line went by smoothly, and we got to do all the family photos right there at the church! As I jumped into the car ready to continue on the journey I couldn’t believe how much daylight we still had ahead of us.

King Oak

The special place Rachel and Tom wanted to visit is the King Oak at the entrance to Charleville Castle. It was one of Rachel’s favourite places to play as a kind, and also happened to be Ireland’s 2013 entry for European Tree of the Year! I have to say, it is a truly majestic tree, and seeing it in real life was really exciting. Rachel went and climbed the branches in her wedding dress! Only to go on and toss the rugby ball with Tom and their bridal party. You know what they mean when they say they are having a relaxed wedding!

Ashley Park House Wedding

Ashley Park House was the perfect spot for their beautiful reception. With the gorgeous country house overlooking the lake, the guests could enjoy the views and the delicious food. They even served cups of soup as part of their canapés, I love the idea for a winter wedding! The place was warm and buzzing, the speeches fun and emotional. Rachel and Tom went on to do an amazing first dance – I was sure they’d taken lessons, but it was pure improvisation! I heard the party went on till 5am, and I’m certain it was great craic.

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