Tag Archives: ireland

A Laid Back, New Age, Irish Wedding: Britta & Oscar

When I grow up I want to be as cool as Britta & Oscar please. They not only  got married at their own home in Dunmanway, Ireland but they put the whole wedding together themselves including building their own marquee!

“We built the structure with ash poles and tied tarpaulin to the poles with zip ties and lots of rope,” Britta explained.” It would not have been possible without the help of our friends especially Will Dukes who pretty much did most of the hard work as Oscar had broken his leg a few weeks before the wedding…. convenient you might say!”

“Oscar wove some willow ‘chandeliers’ which we wrapped in fairy lights and hung to the structure,” she continued. “We were hoping to sew our own bunting but then we found some beautiful bunting at a stall in Waterford which were made from recycled saris. They were perfect. ”

“The food was made by us and our wonderful friends and family. Oscar’s Father gave us a present of a wild boar to cook for the wedding as we planed to have a pig on the spit. The pig was far to big for it to be done on the spit so our best man cooked it on the barbecue instead.”

The most important thing to the couple was that their wedding was fun for their guests and that there was no pressure to conform just because it was a wedding. “Our inspiration came from many different sources. We were engaged for 2 years so had alot of time to search for ideas,” Britta said.

“We mostly just gathered bits and bobs together as we found things from shops and stalls, there was no real theme or color scheme we just wanted to have lots of colour and be surrounded by what we found beautiful. As we started to plan the wedding we found ourselves saying oh we MUST do this and we MUST do that until we asked ourselves why…why did we have to do all those things? There are so many rules one must follow when getting married and we decided to break them all.”

The bride wore a Novia d’Art dress which she bought from Oxfam Bridal, and her groom donned a Social Suicide jacket and a shirt from Brown Thomas. “Our theme was just to have a relaxing, comfortable, non formal day. We had no colour scheme for our bridesmaids or groomsmen, nor did we have a dress code for our guests. Our number one priority was for everybody to feel comfortable and enjoy the day!”

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Debbie & Jamie’s Tattoo Themed Rockabilly Wedding

Oh Debbie & Jamie how I heart thee! This Belfast couple had their very own rockabilly wedding at Belfast City Hall, followed by a suitability rockin’ reception at The Printers Café.

“My name is Debbie and I run a vintage nail salon in Belfast called Dazzle Me With Your Tips,” the bride emailed me.  “In my spare time I sell vintage clothes, accessories and homewares at vintage fairs and arts and crafts markets and also work as a stylist with several photographers. Jamie my now husband is a Maintenance Manager for a cleaning services company and his passions outside of the 9 to 5 are Skating, and BMX and Metal Sculpture. We both love getting inked going to rockabilly nights and festivals and most of all touring around Ireland in our beloved  VW camper van Burt with our daughter Ellie.” I loved them already.

“The ceremony had a very intimate feel: each wedding guest received a handmade order of service, acoustic versions of our favourite songs were played throughout,” Debbie continued. “After the vows we revealed surprise tattoos we had gotten for each other!  I got a Volkswagen symbol as a private joke and the groom got ‘Always and Forever’ in an old skool sailor-style on his heart.”

“Our bridesmaid, Milene Fegan, and our daughter both wore rockabilly-style dresses made from tattoo print material and carried smaller versions of the my bouquet.  The guests dressed in their vintage finest. The reception had a cosy rockabilly theme with handmade gingham bunting, fairy lights, candle jars decorated with mismatched ribbon, antiqued paper flowers, and hand-written menus on vintage paper, all made by the myself.  The homemade decorations were matched with classic Cath Kidson napkins and big bundles of kitsch balloons.”

“There was a tattoo-yourself station and a dress-up box, which both went down a storm.  You could get your picture taken with a cardboard cut-out of Elvis when you signed in the guest book!  The food served consisted of homemade Irish beef burgers with hand cut chips and salad, with a selection of relishes, followed by cakes and cream with tea.  A local band, The Stetz, played some classic rock tunes, which was followed by an ipod disco of the bride and groom’s favourite tracks.”

“My dress was designed by myself and my friend Rose helped me put it all together….we aren’t dress makers we just winged it with her sewing machine! I made my veil as well! My shoes were by a northern irish designer called Minette. My leopard print coat was from Next.”

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Nicola & Steve’s Intimate New York City Wedding

Happy New Year!

I’m starting 2011 with a bang, and the wedding of loyal Rock n Roll Bride reader Nicola to Steve. The couple, from Northern Ireland, were married in New York and Nicola spent a lot of her planning time on Rock n Roll Bride – in fact when she emailed me her wedding submission, I actually recognised her name from all the comments she’d left along the way. It was almost like we were old friends, so of course I I said yes to featuring her gorgeous Rock n Roll New York wedding on these pages.

The ceremony took place in Central Park. The couple didn’t have a reception as such as only Nicola’s sister attended the wedding, however they did have a wedding dinner at The River Cafe under the Brooklyn Bridge. “The idea of being centre of attention brings me out in a cold sweat and as both of us are from different parts of the UK we just thought it would be a logistical nightmare trying to bring everyone together,” the bride told me. “We also selfishly wanted it to be about pleasing ourselves on our day and not about what other people would want or expect.  I think because we had both been married before we knew what we didn’t want and our families gave us their blessing to do it our own way.”

“The night before our wedding we went to a show on Broadway which was amazing. It was a last minute decision and a great one (even though I had planned an early night of pampering I’m so glad we went to the show instead!)  On our big day we walked from the hotel to Central Park with Brian (our photographer) snapping away the whole time!  It was the most beautiful Autumn day with just a hint of winter chill – no clouds, no wind, no rain which was really lucky as the Ladies Pavilion where we had planned to have the ceremony was occupied – a homeless man was sleeping there and so, rather than disturb him, we went round the corner to Hearnshead and got married on a rocky outcrop by the lake – Brian said he had never photographed a wedding there before so that made it all the more unique! Thanks to the wonders of Facebook a girl I worked as a holiday rep with years before and who I hadn’t seen since 1998 had seen my status update about getting married, happened to be in New York on a city break herself and turned up to watch us getting married – it was brilliant to see her after all that time and in New York of all places!”

“After the ceremony we flagged a yellow cab and went to Times Square – even though I hadn’t wanted to be centre of attention in a traditional church wedding I have to admit, it was pretty fabulous strolling round Manhattan in our wedding finery with Brian taking our photos!  So many people stopped to congratulate us or call out (nice) comments and we even got asked if we were shooting a commercial or was it a real wedding! We finished up at Grand Central Station and shared a bottle of Champagne with Brian before deciding we were hungry and had hours to go until our wedding dinner booked at The River Cafe.  So, Brian took us to Planet Hollywood in Times Square and it was really funny seeing the looks on peoples’ faces as we tucked into burgers in our glad rags!! We had only booked Brian for a couple of hours and really wished then we had him for the whole day as he was the most genuinely nice guy and an amazing photographer who, being a native New Yorker knew exactly where to take us for the best shots of the city. We then visited an Irish bar called the Playwright’s Tavern on Brian’s recommendation and had a couple of drinks perched on bar stools there with all the regulars! We then went to the River Cafe for dinner. It was the most amazing restaurant with views of the Manhattan skyline. It was honestly the most fun, relaxing, surreal day and New York is THE most amazing place on earth.  The fact that we got married there will always be so special and will of course be a reason to return for our anniversary at some point in the future!”

Nicola designed her dress herself and had it made by Alex Gillespie of The Wardrobe, a local dressmaker in Helen’s Bay, Co. Down. It was made using dupioni silk and lace in champagne and had hidden pockets. With this she wore shoes from Marks & Spencer and a faux fur jacket and retro handbag on from eBay.

“I love the glamour of the 50’s – when women looked like women,” Nicola told me when I asked about their wedding inspiration.” However in real life I am very much a jeans and jumpers girl andmost weekends will find us hillwalking or along the beach with our dogs so dressing up isn’t a frequent occurrence.  I knew that as we were having a city wedding I wanted to wear a 50’s style shorter dress andI wanted sleeves (which are strangely hard to find on the internet!)  As I couldn’t find what I wanted and unfortunately don’t have the 22 inch waist necessary to wear most original vintage dresses I came up with my own design.  I also love Sex and the City which was a big part of why we decided on New York as the location – we knew it would be cold as we were getting married in November and we liked the idea of a colder city break as opposed to a beach wedding.”

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Under the Spotlight – Dylan McBurney

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Today’s Under the Spotlight victim is Northern Irish photographer Dylan McBurney. I’ve fallen in love with not only Dylan’s beautifully naturalist approach to photography, but his passion for his work, his family and his clients. From speaking to him today, I’m totally convinced he’d be a great photographer to work with! So all your Irish brides who think there’s not enough Rock n Roll on the emerald isle…I beg to differ!

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Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Dylan McBurney and I’m a photographer.

Where are you based and what cities/countries are you available to work in?

I live in Carrickfergus just outside Belfast, Northern Ireland with my wife Caroline and daughter Corrina and I photograph weddings across Ireland, France and elsewhere in Europe.

You’re the first person I’ve interviewed from Northern Ireland? What is the wedding industry like over there?

Northern Ireland is a pretty cool place to get married. The people are renowned for their friendliness. That’s what I love most about working here.

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Do you get to work with a lot of great clients?

Fortunately the type of clients we attract are very much into photography and they can understand why my pictures look different to other people’s pictures. A lot of our clients have a relationship with the visual and creative arts – we seem to cover a lot of architects and musician’s weddings.

How would you describe your photography?

Unobtrusive, journalistic and moment-oriented. I shoot with my emotions – I like to capture the feeling between people and that’s generally not something you can pose or stage.

Who/what are your biggest influences? Whose work do you really admire?

Henri Cartier-Bresson for his sense of composition and timing. Garry Winogrand for his ability to make pictures out of the chaos of the street. And Joel Meyerowitz, again for his street pictures, but also for his fine art colour work of which I’m a big fan.

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Under the Spotlight – Dylan McBurney

Who are you and what do you do? I'm Dylan McBurney and I'm a photographer. Where are you based and what cities/countries are you available to work in? I live in Carrickfergus just outside Belfast, Northern Ireland with my wife Caroline and daughter Corrina and I photograph weddings across Ireland, France and elsewhere in Europe. You’re the first person I’ve interviewed from Northern Ireland? What is the wedding industry like over there? Northern Ireland is a pretty cool place to get married. The people are renowned for their friendliness. That's what I love most about working here. Do you get to work with a lot of great clients? Fortunately the type of clients we attract are very much into photography and they can understand why my pictures look different to other people’s pictures. A lot of our clients have a relationship with the visual and creative arts - we seem to cover a lot of architects and musician’s weddings. How would you describe your photography? Unobtrusive, journalistic and moment-oriented. I shoot with my emotions - I like to capture the feeling between people and that’s generally not something you can pose or stage. Who/what are your biggest influences? Whose work do you really admire? Henri Cartier-Bresson for his sense of composition and timing. Garry Winogrand for his ability to make pictures out of the chaos of the street. And Joel Meyerowitz, again for his street pictures, but also for his fine art colour work of which I'm a big fan. Do you have an ethos to which you stand by in regards to your photography? I like photographs that tell stories. To do that, you have to be in the background, quietly observing and then reacting to what's happening in front of you. What about formal group photographs? My formals are quick to do and my clients appreciate that. I usually cover about six to seven groups if required - often in a session lasting less than fifteen minutes. Most of my coverage is documentary. At a wedding I'm a reactive soul and I see my role as one of documenting what's going on rather than trying to direct things. How many weddings do you average per year? I shoot about 40 weddings each year. What or who made you get into photography? Seeing Lance Mercer's black and white documentary pictures of the band Pearl Jam in the 1990's inspired me to pick up a camera. Great pictures of a great band! Did you go to school to study photography? Only a part time City and Guilds course at my local college. My tutor was great though - he was a big fan of Cartier-Bresson, Don McCullin and others. I’ve found that that grounding in social documentary photography has served me well. I learned a lot about photographic theory and black and white darkroom work. Apart from photography, what drives you? What are you passionate about? Are you able to bring this into your wedding photography? I'm completely in love with Caroline. We married in her hometown in Brittany, France in September, 2003. Every week when I photograph my client’s weddings I’m reminded of our own wedding that day - all of the friends and family gathered together, all of the emotions, joy and happiness. And I think of all the precious moments that came and went in the blink of an eye. Who or what are your perfect clients? My clients all seem to be really good at living in the moment. Fortunately that's what's important to them and to me also. What do you love about weddings? No two weddings are the same because the dynamics of the relationships are always unique and I just love that. What do you think makes a great Rock n Roll wedding? Didn't John Lennon say the essence of rock and roll was to 'be here now'? I've always thought that that was a great declaration for having a great wedding! What would you say your greatest achievement has been to date? Hands down - meeting Caroline and getting her to marry me. Any real Rock and Roll moments that you can share with us? Going to check out of our hotel room in Rotterdam last year Caroline and I actually bumped into all of the members of Pearl Jam in the corridor (who unknown to us, were also checking out of the very same hotel at the very same time!). We got to chat about their tour, their new album and managed to successfully invite them back to Belfast to play a show later this year - something I’m really looking forward to! How important is an awesome website to your business? It's the single most important part of any photography business. In my opinion it's your shop window. I'm amazed at how many photographers have such poor sites. How important is Photoshop to your final images? It's absolutely essential. Every single image out of the camera goes through Photoshop at some stage, although I don't do anything that I couldn't do in the darkroom.

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All the Luck of the Irish

You might remember Maggie & Sean from their rockabilly engagements in an Irish pub. Well photographer Karen Lisa just sent me their wedding, which rocks just as hard!

The wedding ceremony was held at a small park across from the couple’s apartment in downtown Boca Raton and the reception was at the Spanish River Library outside on the terrace. For wedding favors, Maggie & Sean had custom labels made for their favorite Irish Cider, Magners, and they created a replica of their favorite pub to serve as the bar. At one point the couple even got behind the bar to tend and serve drinks themselves. The guests had a blast! The music was played by a rockabilly band, Slip & the Spin Outs. Aaron’s Catering of The Palm Beaches provided a unique menu of 50’s diner style food made elegant – mini slider burgers, lobster rolls, grilled cheese sticks in a mini martini glass, and delicious desserts. The cake was designed by a friend of the family and featured the bride and groom enjoying their Magner’s Irish Cider – complete with tiny bottles and labels. It was one of the most unique and personal cake toppers I’ve ever seen!

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Irish/Rockabilly Stylings

Maggie & Sean are having an Irish pub/rockabilly themed wedding next month so where better to do their engagement session than in an Irish pub with Maggie sporting some gorgeous rockabilly/vintage inspired accessories. Being half Irish myself I can’t wait to see this wedding. Sounds like it’s going to be awesome

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