This intimate castle wedding comes to us from The Martins, a wonderful husband/wife photography team from Northern Ireland. I love their eye for compositions and was thrilled when they sent over this wedding recently. In the real wedding features I ask the couple and the photographers questions so it's a good mix of planning and what to expect if you're being photographed. You can also follow the Martin's on instagram and facebook.
Other Vendor Credits
Dress: Charlie Brear | Venue: The West Wing, Crom Castle | Cake: Lough Erne Cakes | Catering: Saddlers Enniskillen | Florist: Ruth Hood | Hair: Devon Casey | Makeup: Jill Wallace | Music: Janine Kinnear | Stationary: Sophie K Mitchell
From the Couple
What was the most important thing to you while planning?
It was important to us for the day to actually feel like us. That meant doing away with a lot of traditions and keeping things as laid back as possible. After deciding on which country to get married in (at the time, we were living in London but planning a move to Munich - yet I'm from the US and he's from Northern Ireland... I was even looking at Iceland at one point), finding a venue that let us plan a bespoke day was our biggest priority. We would have loved an outdoor wedding, but since we decided to get married in Ireland, we knew rain would probably be an issue. I became a little obsessed with conservatories and orangeries, and I'm so glad we went with one because our wedding fell during the wettest few days I've ever seen in Ireland, yet we still had lots of natural light for the ceremony.
How did you find your vendors?
We knew we would be planning the wedding from abroad, so it was important to me to find local vendors I could trust without having to give too much direction. Our venue gave us a list of people they had worked with before and I spent a lot of time on Instagram as well. Often I would find a vendor I liked on Instagram and then see who else they had worked with in the area. It led me to a lot of great people. Also, having them all in the local area meant that when we took a short trip over a few months before the wedding it was easy to meet and go over final details. The Martins were our only vendor who didn't come from the immediate area because we wanted photographers whose work we loved and who we'd get on with really well. Photographs are the one thing you're able to take away from the day and share for the rest of your life - so you want to make sure you get that one right!
What creative touches did you use throughout your wedding?
We moved countries eight months before our wedding and I was starting my own business, so we knew we wouldn't be able to put much into the wedding in this way. We made sure to choose a venue that wouldn't require much decoration so we could keep it minimal. We never did determine a "theme" for our wedding, but my tactic was pretty much to make something white and then throw gold at it. But I did manage to work with our wedding cake supplier to have some dessert flavours to represent where we were from. We had two different macaron flavours - one with bailey's for Ireland and one with chocolate and peanut butter for Ohio.
Did you forego any of the traditional aspects of weddings?
Absolutely. We'd been to our fair share of large, traditional weddings and knew that wasn't what we wanted. Our guest list was under 25 people, we didn't have a bridal party or even any dancing. Instead, we focussed on lots of good food, drink, music and conversation.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Lisa: I surprised my mum by not telling her that I was walking down the aisle to a piano piece that she always played when I was growing up (Debussy's Reverie). It was so worth it for her reaction, but I sort of wish I had thought through how emotional the moment would be - I barely managed to compose myself seconds before I had to walk down the aisle!
Lee: The prosecco reception after the ceremony - mostly for the relief of getting through the ceremony.
From the Photographer
How did you prepare your clients for your style of shooting?
We chatted a lot about expectations, styling, interests, our style and how we work prior to meeting. Lisa and Lee also chose to have a pre wedding session this is always incredibly helpful for getting to know each other and so that they could experience our style of shooting and get used to being in front of the camera. Its important for us to connect with couples on a deeper level than just being a hired vendor as this allows us to create a trust and bond with couples to document them in a way that is true to them.
What techniques did you use that were out of the norm?
We always look for alternative angles and pockets of light, for this wedding as a surprise for the couple we also chose to shoot parts of the wedding on film ( Nikon f5 & ilford 400). We took huge inspiration from Lisa's love of elegant vintage style, Wes Anderson and the incredible venue itself. We always aim to explore 1 new technique if we can at a wedding and film felt like like the perfect match for this couple.
Do you have any advice for other photographers or vendors when it comes to weddings?
Be open to going with the flow, we go into each wedding with fresh eyes, no assumptions or agendas and use the people/venue and vibe to inspire us, this way each wedding is unique and personal to that couple and we have the creative freedom to explore and create in a way that suits the couple.