Photographing weddings isn’t just a job, it’s a real privilege. A lot of wedding photographers say it. Every time I get to witness a couple in love make the amazing commitment to each other and share their joy and happiness, I know this statement to be true. This year I was delighted to return to the amazing setting of Darver Castle for Jennifer and Brian’s Christmas Wedding.

      One of my favourite parts of a wedding day is actually hearing the wedding speeches! I’m not one for the stereotype that wedding speeches are long and boring. I actually believe they are a really important part of the day, a chance to tell stories, to give more context and to say the wonderful things we sometimes forget to say without an excuse.

      So I was really excited when Jen said she’d be doing a speech.

      She grew up in a big family, a house with older brothers she truly admired. Her mother, a strong loving woman, has always been her hero. But surrounded by these giants she always felt she couldn’t keep pace with them. Her parents taught her that it’s ok to be quiet and introvert. It was part of who she was. But it’s easy to feel small and insecure surrounded by so many amazing people.

      She said that she never thought she could meet someone who would love her as much as her family. So when he came into her life it felt like a miracle. She couldn’t believe such a kind a generous man existed, and that he loved her as much as he did.

      On her wedding day, she got up to say these powerful words in front of all their family and friends. It was a tribute to her family, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped her become the person she was. But it was also a testament of how much she had grown, the strong and beautiful woman he’d helped blossom.

      In a room full of people, as she turned to her husband Brian and thanked him for the life they’d built together, Jen’s smile shone brighter than all the Christmas lights of Darver Castle.

      Christmas Wedding Tips

      • decorate your house for Christmas 🙂 Don’t wait for the last weekend to put up your tree, a festive home will look amazing in your wedding pictures.
      • plan for an early ceremony! Jen and Brian had theirs at 12.30 at the local church, so even though it was a full mass, greetings afterwards and an hour’s drive to Darver Castle, we still had plenty of light for some photos.
      • Christmas lights actually look best in twilight, not at night! Make sure you leave a little bit of time for some couple and family portraits outdoors before the sun sets – usually before 4pm.
      • Timing is the trickiest aspect of a Christmas wedding. Even if you’re planning a big church mass you can save some time by picking the venue close to the church, or skipping the greeting line and catching up with everyone during the drinks reception. Check out more tips of Winter Wedding Timeline here.
      • there’s no better time for sparklers than winter! Get your bridal party out for that refreshing break after dinner and have some fun 🙂