27/09/2018

Winter wedding in Ireland Armada Spanish Point A&S- MrsRedhead Photography Ireland

By MrsRedHead In Weddings

Winter wedding in Ireland Armada Spanish Point A&S- MrsRedhead Photography Ireland

Wedding highlights by S.E.S videography 

 

 

„By choosing a March date for our wedding, we always knew we were playing with fire a little bit as you just can’t predict the weather in that month.

A year before, the Armada Hotel had a ceremony on the lawn in the sunshine around the same time as our wedding so there was a chance we would be lucky too. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be playing with ice (literally!) instead of fire. About a week before our wedding, Met Éireann began to talk of Storm Emma and a snow and ice warning. We left Naas together on the Thursday and barely made it out with the snow drifts. Driving on the motorway was treacherous for most of the journey until we got to Limerick where it was clear blue skies and not a flake of snow in site. We got to Loop Head under the same circumstances. That evening there was a light dusting of snow but nothing major. Of course it wouldn’t snow on the west coast with all the salty air! „

” No words could ever sum up how appreciative we are to Olga for the memories she has given us on film and especially the sacrifice she made by being there for us given the circumstances. We honestly recommend her to anyone who wants to remember their wedding day with light, life and happiness—so everyone!

After checking out the websites of the photographers on the list we decided to send Olga an email to see if she would be available to cover our wedding day. It was not only the detail in the photographs that caught our eye, but also the colour. Everything seemed so vivid and bright and brought the photographs to life. Luckily for us as it turned out, Olga was available and we were in the book.

A few weeks before our wedding we met Olga in Lahinch to talk through the day and she outlined everything that was required. We knew that day that we had made the right choice both from her bubbly personality but also the sample wedding albums she had brought which got us so excited for our own. On the day of our wedding, Lahinch was almost completely blocked. Aislinn’s uncle John had offered to give everyone who was stuck a lift down if they could walk to the top of the hill. Instead of staying inside on one of the coldest days in living memory as was recommended, Olga and Alex hopped in to John’s jeep and braved the journey to capture our memories. It was lucky they did because none of the lads had any idea how to put on a flower or a pocket watch so Alex had to assist in dressing us! Olga and Alex became part of our families that morning, covering the preparations. They fitted right in, as if we had grown up with them all our lives. After that it was to the church.

They were never to be seen for most of the day after that, in the church or at our reception, like ghosts and part of the fabric of the room around us we never noticed them. And yet when we got the photographs Olga and Alex had been everywhere, capturing every moment in detail and in the most vivid way possible. We know that there is absolutely nobody else in the world who has the clifftop scenes we have on our journey to the hotel all of which were chosen by Olga. And it was not just the location or the action that Olga captures but also the moment, like the split second a windswept veil created the image of an angel’s wing”.

 

 

Aislinn and I first met over ten years ago surrounded by the magic of Christmas in Larch Hill Scout Campsite in the Dublin Mountains. Every year the volunteer staff on the campsite known as the “Meitheal” invite Santa Claus to visit the Beaver Scouts in Ireland. A replica of Santa’s workshop is constructed on the site which the Beavers get to visit escorted by elves while trying to avoid Jack Frost before they meet the Big Guy himself. We had the pleasure and honour of being one of Santa’s helpers and from it we gained the lifelong pleasure of each other’s.

When I first met Aislinn, it was in the middle of the Leaving Certificate year. She was studying Tóraíocht Diarmuid agus Gráinne as part of her Irish course. Not being a fluent Gaelgóir she was struggling a little bit understanding the story. I had an old copy of the book in English—The Hunt for Diarmuid and Gráinne—as it was one of my favourites in the Irish mythological cycles, something I have had a lifelong interest in, and lent it to her to get her over the line.

The Tóraíocht tells the story of Gráinne, a daughter of King Cormac Mac Airt who was to marry the great Fionn Mac Cumhaill. Only on her wedding day did Gráinne discover that Fionn was now aged and white-haired, not the golden-haired strong young warrior of legendary renown. One of the guests at the feast was Diarmuid Ua Duibhne. Gráinne fell in love with Diarmuid and had everyone at the feast drink a sleeping potion except Diarmuid. She tried to convince him to elope with her but he was too loyal to Fionn so she put a geis or a spell on him which forced him to go. When Fionn awoke he was furious and gathered the Fianna together in order to track the fugitives down. On their flight around Ireland, Diarmuid and Gráinne had to overcome many challenges and outwit Fionn and his supporters on many occasions. They rested and slept in or on many archaeological sites and caves across the country which are known as “Leaba Diarmuid and Gráinne” in many areas. Over time Diarmuid grew to love Gráinne also and in time a truce was declared between the pair and Fionn. It was Fionn who had the last laugh however, although he lost the support of many of his followers. Diarmuid had a lifelong geis upon him whereby he could not hunt wild boar and forbade it on his lands. One morning, Fionn encouraged his hounds to chase a wild boar. When Diarmuid came to investigate the noise the boar attacked him mortally wounding him. Fionn had the power to save his life by allowing Diarmuid to drink water from his hands. On the first two occasions Fionn remembered Diarmuid’s betrayal and allowed the water to slip through his hands. After a threat from his son Oisín, he kept the water cupped on the third occasion however, it was too late and Diarmuid breathed his last breath.

 

 

Aislinn’s grandparents Bríd and Michael Russell bought an old cottage as a holiday house in Ross, Kilbaha on County Clare’s Loop Head peninsula in the 1960’s. This has been a place of retreat for their family since then surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. At the very tip of the headland, beyond the lighthouse is a large sea stack flanking the northern cliff. Home to sea birds today, according to the legend it was once a resting place for Diarmuid and Gráinne on their flight around Ireland. They jumped across to the sea stack to sleep for the night, hiding their scent from Fionn’s hounds giving the gap between the local name of “Lover’s Leap”. Similarly, the Irish name for the whole headland is Ceann Léime or “Leap Head”. The width of the gap between the main land and the sea stack attests to their legendary strength. Nine years to the weekend after we first met, I surprised Aislinn at her childhood retreat beside Lover’s Leap by asking her to take a leap of faith by agreeing to marry me.

On a side note, another legend associated with Loop Head and its name is attributed to Cú Chulainn. A witch named Mal fell in love with him but he did not feel the same way. She chased him all over Ireland and eventually cornered him on Loop Head. Seeing the sea stack, he jumped across to try and escape but she managed the jump as well. Summoning the last of his strength he jumped back to the mainland. She tried to do the same but was unable and fell down the gap and was killed. Her head washed up along the coast where it is still visible today at the Cliffs of Moher and known as “The Hag’s Head”. Her blood washed into a bay known as Milltown Malbay and it was here my grandmother Teresa O’Halloran grew up. By proposing to Aislinn at Loop Head, I was not only making links to our early days but also hoping for third couple lucky!

 

 

Friday morning, we opened our curtains to a complete white out and our first thoughts were if it is this bad here, what is it like at home?

Then the reality began to set in; how would everyone get there and safely, would the church or the hotel be closed, would the photographer, videographer, hairdresser etc. be able to make it through? Guests started to contact us to tell us they were snowed in and wouldn’t make it and everything seemed like it was starting to fall apart. After a few conversations and few phone calls to our priest Fr. Michael Casey, the Armada Hotel staff and our close friends and family we finally relaxed. It would go ahead no matter what and we would just make the most of our situation. Our rehearsal was done in the comfort and familiarity of the kitchen table. Naturally, some of our guests were unable to make it from the east anymore and in the end, it was close to half our original number, but our immediate relations had already made it to County Clare and that was the important thing. There was simply nothing to be worried about anymore—except for the best man Thomas, who was coming from work Friday evening. I had given him (a perfectly accurate) Google location drop pin and directions to the house. Later in the evening we got an angry phone call from him wanting to know where we had sent him, he was stuck in the snow on a narrow roadway. He tried to describe it and his surroundings but they made absolutely no sense. Eventually he sent his location with a Google drop pin which my sister Clare and I followed to look for him. Without modern technology we would never have found him. He had turned up three laneways leading to a bog which was so narrow the briars scraped the sides of the car and not just the wing mirrors. We had brought shovels to dig him out and the first two lifted only snow. The third shovel full was also soft and when it was lifted we found there was no road beneath but just sod! Eventually we got him out and here I was thinking the best man was supposed to look after the Groom and not the other way around.

Saturday morning dawned bright and white with no clearance in the snow. The locals kicked in to action straight away clearing the snow from the front of the church. Our photographer, videographer, hair and make up couldn’t get out so Aislinn’s uncle John collected them and brought them to the houses for us. They were still willing to chance the roads for us despite the circumstances! Our hired car couldn’t make it either so Bernie Keating provided his John Deere tractor so Aislinn could be brought to the church. Many of our guests also pushed through the snow to be there with us for the most peaceful and wonderful ceremony we could ever have dreamed of. As it was a long journey back to the Armada we had planned to have crisp sandwich packs for everyone. On the weekend where there was a national bread shortage we managed to achieve a miracle and make it a reality. Afterwards we were driven around the west coast by Aislinn’s uncles Diarmuid and John where Olga and Declan got the most amazing photographs and shots of us with snow filled cliff edges and the wild Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. Shivering in the snow with a sea wind billowing across us in a wedding dress and suit with the ice melting in to your shoes does not seem appealing but it was absolutely worth it. Especially when you have a photographer with an eye like Olga’s. When we got to the Armada Hotel the staff had pulled out all the stops to make sure everything was perfect for us. Our band J90 finished the night off in the most fantastic way possible.

What seemed like a disaster of epic proportions at first turned out to be a fairytale and a legend of our own which we will never forget and we are so so grateful to absolutely everyone who made it possible.

 

 

As for advice to other couples; Don’t plan for the weather, just go with it!

But it’s not just the weather, its everything. Aislinn is now a Murphy and she now lives by our law; “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”! You can have everything planned perfectly like we had but life happens and things can always go wrong. Instead of getting wound up about it, just go with it and make do with what you can. People are so very generous, more than you have ever realised, even the people you don’t know and will look after you and make sure they can do whatever it takes to help you out. At the end of the day, you have to remember that a wedding is not about putting on the best show or having the perfect hair or dress or the best band but it’s about being together with the one you love. Your wedding day is one you will never forget so embrace what comes and we guarantee your apparent disaster may yet be your favourite memory.

 

 

•     Photographer: Mrs RedHead Photography 😊

second shooter : Aleksandra Skibniewska

•     Videographer: Declan Gleeson SES Digital

 

•     Venue : Armada Hotel Spanish Point

•     Wedding Dress: Áibhéil of Adare, Limerick

•     Bridesmaids dresses: Beau Bride, Naas

•     Shoes: Dune

•     Flowers: Daisy Days by Shirley, Kilrush, County Clare

•     Groom(smen)’s suits: Mardec Clothing, Naas

•     Accessories: Bramley’s Jewellers Carlow (bracelet and necklaces) Jules Bridal Jewellery (earrings), Ellie Ellie (cufflinks)

•     Cake: Confetti Cakes, Crecora, Limerick (Niamh)

•     Car: To the church – Aislinn in Bernie Keating’s John Deere tractor, Kilbaha, Clare

•     Wedding Favours DIY crisp sandwich packs and teabags

•     Stationery: Grace events

•     Make Up & Hair: Bodytreats, Ennistymon, Clare (Deirdre and Camille) & Bridget Haran Hair and Beauty, Ennis, Clare (Nicole)

•     Wedding Bands: Bramley’s Jewellers Carlow

•    Music: Harpist Cathy Potter, Ennis, Clare

Band : J90, Cork

 

Winter wedding in Ireland Armada Spanish Point A&S- MrsRedhead Photography Ireland

Winter wedding in Ireland Armada Spanish Point A&S- MrsRedhead Photography Ireland

Winter wedding in Ireland Armada Spanish Point A&S- MrsRedhead Photography Ireland