The June bank holiday weekend brought me to Westport, Co Mayo for a couple of days for the wedding of Denise and Jimmy. Denise a local girl and Jimmy also a native of Westport is the son of Matt Molloy of the world famous Chieftains. Matt who owns the almost equally world famous Matt Molloys Bar in the town ensured that the pub was always going to feature in the wedding day but more about that later. Bridal preparations took place in the beautiful family home of the bride which enjoyed stunning views across the bay. Denise is a perfectionist and her meticulous planning was instrumental in ensuring that her preparations went without a hitch and resulted in one of the most chilled out and enjoyable wedding mornings I’ve experienced for a long time. My 2nd shooter and assistant for the weekend was my lovely friend Dena (denashearerphotography.ie) and when I raced off for a while to cover Jimmy's preparations, Dena remained with the girls to ensure nothing was missed. So onto Jimmy’s dad’s house where all the guys were getting ready and where things were equally calm and good humoured. Even his dog known who apparently has a habit of biting photographers was in great form and kept his teeth to himself thankfully..…!
The wedding ceremony took place in St Mary’s Church in the centre of Westport which has a very very very long aisle for Denise and her bridesmaids to walk down. Just as well because The Chieftains & Coda provided the music which gave everybody time to savour some incredible sounds. Denise looked stunning as she walked down the aisle with her father to her slightly apprehensive groom. What followed for the next hour was an emotional ceremony with brilliant live music that had many people in tears. I have to say this was one of the most enjoyable church ceremonies I’ve had the pleasure of photographing.
After the ceremony, all the guests took a short walk around the corner to Matt Molloy’s pub for a celebratory drink and to congratulate the happy couple. It significantly was also a chance for Denise and Jimmy to be reunited and congratulated by their cute little dog with the obligatory photo of all three…!! Following some quick photos outside the pub it was a 20 minute drive to Tourmakeady for some photographs of the bridal party and the new married couple. It was hot and blue skies throughout the day but we had loads of shade from tall trees to work with which is the perfect combination to produce some fantastic photos. When I first spoke to Denise back in 2015 about her wedding plans she did mention that she was planning on arriving to her reception venue by rowing boat and to be honest, I kind of though to myself - great but it probably will never happen for a variety of reasons. However, how delighted was I (and everybody else) when it did become reality. Denise and Jimmy were brought in a rowing boat by Denise’s father (a former lighthouse keeper) to the beautifully quaint thatched Paddys Bar where a large marquee had been set up for their lakeside wedding. By this time all their guest were there to see them arrive across the calm waters of the lake with the beautiful mountains in the background against a blue sky. Just beautiful..... As you would imagine with strong Irish folk music links from the grooms family, there were various impromptu trad sessions on the lawn in front of the lake by some of The Chieftains, friends and family. A perfect outdoor summer wedding celebration....
Dinner was served buffet style during which Denise & Jimmy took a short time to go down to the lake shore for some casual photos as the sun was setting behind the mountains. Also a few quick informal family photos and then back to dinner and some hilarious and touching speeches.
As you can see from the photos, the amount of details and planning that went into this wedding were huge but it all went off perfectly thanks again to Denise and Jimmy's careful planning. Along with a stunning setting and incredible weather, this is a hard one to beat and guests and probably all of Westport will be talking about this one for a long time.
I wish Denise and Jimmy the very best for the rest of their lives together and thanks for letting me document their day. I know I’ll be seeing them again and will always enjoy talking about this wedding.