I arrived at Shirley's house, just outside Ballymartin, to the most relaxed bride I have ever seen. Everyone was calm, and looking forward to the day ahead. It was a lovely atmosphere to be part of. The girls were dressed in matching Bambi PJs and went outside to crack open a bottle of champagne.
Unbeknownst to Shirley, a camper van and beetle had been hired for transportation throughout the day. Martin and Shirley are huge fans of campers (they even had one on their invitation), and their children had thought this was the perfect surprise. After getting changed and coming downstairs to the first looks of her parents, Shirley was in shock at this lovely surprise. She hadn't suspected a thing and she was delighted!
She arrived in style to Annesley Hall where the ceremony would take place. Throughout the service, Martin and Shirley couldn't contain their excitement. Afterwards, there was a chance for the guests to chat to the bride and groom before they headed off for photos.
Our destination was Tollymore, and we first stopped to get some photos at the beautiful entrance with the VWs. What started with one car behind us, ended with about seven or eight cars being backed up - all in a days work for a photographer!
The bride and groom were about to get another surprise when they arrived in Tollymore. Being avid campers, their tent had been pitched in their spot with a personalised picket beside. One of my favourite shots of the day was taken here! I think Shirley and Martin were overcome with gratitude.
Upon heading to the reception venue, I got the group shot as well as close family and friends' photos as requested by the bride and groom. Guests were milling about enjoying the spring weather when dinner was called.
The speeches were met with laughter and cheers, especially from best man, Michael, who wanted to dish the dirt on his dad without compromising himself with his own wedding ahead of him.
After dinner was the customary cutting of the case, and while the room was being set up for the first dance, I took the bridal party out for some photos along the promenade. After getting some more photos with the bridesmaids and groomsmen, Shirley and Martin got some portraits with the backdrop of the Mournes.
As I was driving home, I reflected on what was a lovely, family day out celebrating the love of two lovely people. My heart was full.