Weddings are always fun and emotional days, the fun usually comes from spending the day with the ones we love and the ones who make us laugh. The emotion comes from the waiting, from the build up, from the love we feel from friends and family and from that special someone waiting for us at the top of the aisle. Mark and Neil were married in the Loughrea Hotel and Spa on March 19th, and what an emotional and fun day it was, from start to finish.
Getting ready in the same hotel as your Partner has its difficulties, but luckily Karen and the rest of the crew at the Loughrea Hotel provided a helping hand in ensuring that neither Mark nor Neil saw each other on the morning of their wedding. I floated between both rooms and watched all the nerves and excitement that builds up as the ceremony in the hotel came closer. Each time I entered a room, I got the same question, “How is Mark doing” from Neil, and then in Marks room it was “How is Neil doing “. It was great to see the Mammies look after the guys, including the nervous Dads, fixing flowers and doing everything and anything to make sure both Grooms were as relaxed as possible.
With the guests gathered in the top floor of the Loughrea Hotel and the sun streaming through the windows, it was time for the ceremony. Mark and Neil were outside the room ready to go, only a doorway between them. The guys , escorted by their very proud mothers, walked down separate aisles at the same time, making an emotional meeting as the aisles met. The ceremony flew by, both fathers lighting candles and Mark and Neil partaking in a hand fasting ritual. With the exchange of rings the deal was sealed with a kiss, accompanied by a rapturous applause from family and guests. One of the most beautiful moments was outside the room as Marks father embraced both guys together, hugging tightly with a few tears of joy.
We took a little break from the hotel and headed the short trip down to Woodville Walled Gardens in Kilchreest where Marie was waiting to congratulate the happy couple. We spent some time in Woodville capturing some memories of the day before heading back to the hotel for some well deserved food and drink. After the speeches, and with the dance floor cleared, J90 took to the stage for Mark and Neils first dance and then it was time to toss the bouquet. To say a scrum developed amongst the guests as the guys prepared to throw the flowers would not be an overstatement.
This was my first time capturing a same sex marriage ceremony, and I have been told that Mark and Neil are amongst the first men to marry in Galway since the Yes vote last year. Every moment, from start to finish, was an honour and a pleasure to be a part of. Congratulations Mark and Neil and thank you so much for choosing me to capture your wedding day.
Flowers – Florabunda
Photography – Paul Duane Photography
Venue – Loughrea Hotel and Spa
Photo Location – Woodville Walled Garden
Band – J90