Crom Castle Wedding in Picturesque County Fermanagh : Jude & Colin
Being a native originally from County Fermanagh, I jump at the chance to visit my homeland and photograph weddings that take place in the lakeland county. This summer Hannah and I had the pleasure of doing just that and photographing Jude and Colin’s big day at Crom Castle near Lisnaskea in County Fermanagh.
The day started with me meeting the groom, Colin and his best man at their digs in the stable yard. I had met Colin before at the couple’s engaement shoot, but it was a good chance to get some snaps of the boys as they got ready.
It was then back in our little car for a small trip to the big house. If you are not familiar with Crom, it is a beautiful privately owned country house – one of the finest in Ireland. The grounds are leased to the National Trust, but the house and wedding business belong safely in the hands of the ancestoral owners… also called the Crichtons (sadly no relation!)
At the house, in the West Wing, the bride, Jude was getting ready. We quickly got a couple of snaps as she had her hair and makeup done, and then took ourselves off to the brdial suite to get those all important details shots (of the dress, flowers etc.) – one of my favourite parts of the day.
Jude posed for a number of shots as she got ready and didn’t mind us being there one bit. As she sttarted to slip in to her dress, I took my leave and headed down to the jetty to meet the boys as they headed to the boat to travel over to the island where the church was. (It isn’t every day you have to get a boat to a church!).
It only took a few minutes to get to the island, and off the boys got (with Hannah and I) to get some shots of them before they met the minister. As quick as we arrived, we got back on the boat and headed back to the castle to get some shots of Jude as she finished getting ready. Jude was great, and only a few minutes late for the ceremony… perhaps because I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of her in this great surrounding.
So once again, we all headed down to get the boat over to the island. I must say, it is quite nerveracking getting on a boat with thousands of pounds of camera equipment around your neck!
Before we got on board the boat, there was a minute to take advantage of the old pier and get a shot of the bride on the jetty waiting to board. Once again the trip only took a minute, but this time as we disembarked, we could feel the light Fermanagh rain on the back of our necks… Quick as we went, we got some beautiful shots of Jude and her dad as they headed to the church and in we went.
Colin looked nervous, but his best man was there to keep him calm. I am sure his heart was racing when he turned around to see Jude walk up the aisle. The church was cosy and there wasn’t much room at the front, but it is always important to me that I am not in the way and not a distraction. The minister, a cannon, was brilliant and helped me to feel right at home.
After the couple took their vows, in an interesting change, we headed outside once again to do the register signing shots outside – the rain and come, and gone. You never would have known it had even been.
As the couple exited the church, the guests were ready with rose petals (handed out by the two little groomsmen). The guests formed an avenue and the couple were greeted with a beaautiful sea of red rose petals. It was beautiful.
As the guests then headed to get the boat back to the island, Hannah and I remained with the bride and groom to get some intimate shots of them before they too headed for the boat. As we disembarked back on the other side, iit was a great chance to get some unique shots of the couple sitting on the pier and the bride dipping her feet in to the water. We too, then got back in the boat and spent the next fourty minutes going around the lough and to Crom’s famous boat house. It was the first time I got to do wedding photos in a boat… I kept having to ask Hannah to move as she kept nearly falling in the water!
Finally, we got to dry land and took some pictures of the couple at the boat house and the Temple of the Winds. I really love the part of the day where I spend time with the couple together. It is what makes this job worthwhile.
I left the couple behind and ran on to the castle to give them some time on their own. It was a great chance to get some brilliant shots of the guests and children having fun. A while later, the couple arrived and the guests were crazy with their cameras – all enjoying themsleves and getting their own unique pictures that the bride and groom would love.
It wasn’t long until the bell was rang for dinner and the guests headed in for their sumptuous meal (catered by the Horseshoe and Saddlers in Enniskillen). In a somewhat of a change to the norm, the couple decided to have their speeches in between courses, which worked really well, and meant no one got bored of any long speeches!
The dinner was scrummy with salmon to start, followed by rack of Fermanagh lamb… from the estate itself. With the groom being Scottish, desert was a very very tasty creamy cranachan. Something I must try and replacate at home.
After dinner, as the sun went down, the party began witht the couple having their first dance, followed by an Irish-Scottish ceoli. It was now Hannah’s and my time to say our goodbyes and get on the road to head back home to Belfast. With a fully belly and a bunch of memory cards filled with the efforts of a great day, a happy Hannah and Graham finally arrived home – ready to do it all again the following week.
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