A few days after Christmas 2013, I first met with Nicola & Chris to discuss their wedding the following month. Everything had been done over the internet/ via post up until then so I knew very little about them both. However, when I arrived at The Clarion that afternoon, I very quickly knew that these two were two of the friendliest people & two people who were very much meant to be together. Their love & respect for each other shone.
We had a chat about their impending wedding & had great craic talking about how they met, the wedding proposal & the issue of one of the grooms party's jacket no longer fitting him (no names shall be mentioned to protect them). I had spent the morning in Carrickfergus looking at various spots for wedding photos & we went off on a rather cold afternoon to see what Nicola & Chris thought of the locations & to have a wee pre-wedding photoshoot. This is something I have for all my weddings where possible as its a great way to help camera-shy brides or grooms to relax on their wedding day.
The following month just seemed to fly in & before we knew it Nicola & Chris's big day had arrived. Unfortunately the weather forecast for that day was terrible.. very cold, wet & windy &, for once, the met office was correct. It was the kind of weather I had been dreading - my first ever wet wedding.
Becca, my assistant - who also happens to be my eldest daughter, & I arrived on that cold, wet morning to Nicola's parents house & the cold was quickly forgotten. We were warmly welcomed into their home & within minutes it felt like these were old friends who we were just catching up with.
After a lovely mug of coffee, it was time to get my camera out. The first thing I had to get a shot off was the beautiful bunch of red roses that Chris has sent his wife to be that morning. This was a long way from the classroom where Nicola & Chris first met. Chris was holding a training session where he & Nicola both worked in the Halifax, but Nicola wasn't scheduled to be in the training session. One guys computer login wouldn't work so he was replaced by Nicola... every cloud definitely does have a silver lining - I am sure Chris & Nicola will both agree.
Nicola was whisked away in style by Klass Cars, a wedding car company who's customers always come first.
I had already been to Nicola's church to have a wee look before their wedding so I knew that we were going to be ok despite the rain. It was a beautiful old red brick church with the most gorgeous stain glass windows.
The rain stopped for a few moments just on time to allow Nicola, her parents & bridesmaids to get a few photos taken outside before getting ready to walk down the aisle.
Inside the church Chris was waiting to see his beautiful bride & he certainly was not disappointed. Nicola was absolutely radiant as she walked gracefully down the aisle with her dad, Tommy. Closely behind were her bridesmaids & little Thomas.
The wedding ceremony, officiated by Rev Rachel Creighton, was beautiful. Some funny moments led to some brilliant candid photos. Following the ceremony we took the opportunity of our gorgeous indoor surroundings for the group photographs before heading off to The Clarion in Carrickfergus...
Despite the rain subsiding it was so cold outside - so the decision was made by the couple to take the rest of the wedding photographs inside. My feet and hands were definitely glad .
Anyone who follows my work on Facebook will know how much I love working with Berina from Blossom Wedding Studio. So there's no surprise that I was really looking forward to seeing the venue styling for this Cinderella themed wedding I wasn't to be disappointed... this wasn't an over the top fussy styling - this was classic, stylish, simple & had the wow factor... even down to the glass slipper wedding cake. A theme perfect for a princess.
I took this opportunity to take Nicola & Chris off for their private shoot. This gave them a chance to relax, to breathe, to spend a little time with each other before all the festivities started properly. The Cinderella theme was carried through into their photographs with Chris finding his own princesses dainty shoe on the winding staircase.
We stayed to photograph the speeches & I was so glad I did. It was extremely evident what everyone thought of Nicola & Chris as two individual people, as a couple who had just pledged their lives to each other & also as the parents of little Thomas. I laughed & cried during these speeches.
After the meal, Chris, Nicola & their guests danced the night away helped along by the band Superstition.
I am so honoured that I was able to play such a big part in this very special & personal day. Thank you both so much.
Their story doesn't end there either... they are looking forward to Thomas's little sister being born later this year... a perfect year for a couple who are just perfect for each other!
Dresses: Pronuptia, Wellington Place, Belfast
Makeup Artist: Cathy from Amour Beauty Clinic, Glengormley
Hair Stylist: Cass Noble Hair Salon, Newtownabbey
Transportation: Klass Cars, Newtownards
Brides Bouquet, Flowers, Venue Styling, Wedding Stationery & Cake: Blossom Wedding Studio, Bangor
Wedding Band: Superstition
Wedding Rings: Gardiner Brothers, Waring Street, Belfast
Wedding Photography: Caroline Smyth Photography
Wedding Venue: The Clarion, Carrickfergus