Wedding Photographers Ireland

When will you marry me?
For your complete History of Irish Wedding Traditions click here
If you haven’t yet decided when to tie the knot; here are a few dates that you should keep in mind. It is believed that the last day of the old year is especially lucky for weddings. The month of May is thought to be an unlucky month for weddings, yet it the most popular! Christmas and New Year’s Eve are also lucky times to tie the knot. All you have to do is commit.
The Four-Year Leap
For women, Independence Day really falls on the 29th February when they have the “right” to propose to a man.
This tradition stretches back centuries to the time when English law disregarded the “Four Year Leap” and as a result, everyday traditions and norms were ignored also, i.e. that only a woman can pop the question.
A much more romantic idea is that the Leap Year is not only an opportunity to right this discrepancy between the calendar year of 365 days and the time it takes for the earth to rotate (365 ¼ days) but as an opportunity to rectify an unjust and totally sexist tradition.
Superstitious…… Not me
Ireland is renowned for its superstitions in all areas of life, and marriage is not exempt from this generalisation. Around the 18th and 19th centuries, it was believed in Ireland that a man not a woman should be the first to congratulate the new bride. Other widely held beliefs include:
It’s lucky to be awakened by birds singing on the morning of your wedding.
It’s lucky if a woman who is happily married puts the veil on the bride, and bad luck if the bride does it herself.
It is good luck if the stone in your engagement ring is your birthstone.
If your wedding dress is accidentally torn on the day it will bring good luck.
Who goes there!
The origin of the wedding veil is ambiguous. There are several schools of thought:
During the times of arranged marriages, it is thought that the bride’s face was covered so that the groom would not be given the chance to back out!
It was also believed that the veil was used as a shield against evil spirits.
These traditions all transpired to create a tradition for modern times where the bride’s face is concealed by the veil until the couple are pronounced man and wife.
Let’s Toss The Caber
As a tradition, the tossing of the bouquet dates back to the 14th century and most likely originated in France. The tradition is the same; the woman who catches the bouquet is thought to be the next to marry.
Mammy, Where Do I Stand?
During the wedding ceremony, the bride stands on the left and the groom on the right. The first marriages were by capture, when the husband was fighting off other warriors who wanted his woman, as well as her family. He would hold her with his left hand and fight with his right.
Something Old, Something …..
The full rhyme: “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”.
Something Old
This refers to the bride wearing something that links back to her old life. It usually takes the form of a piece of jewellery or the wedding dress, which may have belonged to the mother of the bride.
Something New
Wearing something that is representative of good fortune or success for the bride, and is usually the wedding dress itself.
Something Borrowed
This is meant to bring good luck to the bride, particularly if it comes from another happily married woman.
Something Blue
In biblical times the colour blue was associated with purity and fidelity. Over time this tradition has evolved from the bride wearing blue clothing to wearing a blue garter.
I’m Wearing White. Right!
Although the white dress is the focal point of a traditional wedding, its arrival is relatively new in comparison to other traditions. In country weddings dresses varied in colour and it wasn’t until Anne of Brittany donned her resplendent white Gown in 1499 that the tradition was established.
Darling, would you please carry my……………
The carrying of the bride is one of our favourite traditions. One belief of its origin is that the husband must carry the bride over the threshold to protect her from evil spirits.
Another belief holds that if a wife stumbles over the threshold this would bring bad luck to her marriage.
Which Finger?
The wedding and engagement ring are traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand, although the origin of this is not altogether certain.
One belief originates from an Egyptian belief that this finger is aligned with the Vena Amoris, the vein of love that runs directly to the heart.
The other belief dates back to the 17th century when the priest touched the three fingers of the left hand when saying “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”, the fourth was then set aside for the ring.
See our selection of Jewellers
Time to Go Home
Centuries ago, the bride would take an entirely different route home from the wedding to the journey she took to the church, symbolic of her new life ahead.
The Noisy Parade
The firing of rifles was often used to mark the occasion. This has now been replaced by the sounding of horns from cars.
A Little Help From Your Friends
The origin of the bridal party dates back to Anglo Saxon days. When the groom was about to capture his bride to be, he would call on his friend to make sure all ran smoothly. The bride also had women to help her – her “Brideswomen”.
No, You Go First
During the evening reception, it is traditional for the bride and bridegroom to dance to the first song together. During that song, the groom then takes his new Mother-in-law, and then his mother for a dance. Simultaneously the bride dances with her new Father-in-Law and then her father.
Darling, that’s not Dandruff, is it?
The tradition of throwing confetti goes back to before the time of Christ. The pagan ritual involved the throwing of grain onto the newlyweds as an act that would precipitate a “fruitful” union. Pagans believed that the fertility of the seeds would take effect on the couple.
The actual word “confetti” is Italian for sweet meats- sugar coated grains of seed and nuts. Recently these have been replaced by coloured pieces of paper. This tradition however, could be on its last days as churches and registry offices are much more stringent about the mess created.

it was back in July so I’m a bit slow with the report!!

The week before the wedding we had set aside time for making our cake- we had done a few trial runs which paid off because it all went fine. This was a total team effort and it made the cake something special for us since we’d made it together.

I had a bit of a disaster with Shellac nails two days before the wedding- I got a really sh*itty job done so I ended up having to go back in and she cleaned it all off. I then went to another salon, The Nail Bar in Blanchardstown and they did a much better job. Lesson learned- don’t try something/ somewhere new for things like that two days before your wedding

We had the rehearsal the night before and then went our separate ways. Dinner and a few glasses of wine and it was almost 12 midnight so I went to bed. Luckily I fell asleep straight away though I did wake at 6am which was a bit early!!! Couldn’t sleep again so I got up and walked the dogs and made myself an omlette before the hair ladies came.

The time just flew by then and before I knew it we were all heading out the door! I was adamant I wasn’t going to be late but sure so many people were only parking when me and my dad got to the church that we had to do a lap to waste a few mins.

Walking down the aisle with my dad was nice and it’s really short, it’s nothing to be nervous about!! I was shaking when I got to the top though everyone told me I didn’t look nervous. The ceremony was lovely- I really took it all in. I had read here that the ceremony can be a blur, that you don’t remember it but I haven’t found that to be true at all. Though for some reason I simply didn’t fully relax until we had the vows done- not that I thought he was going to leg it or something I just really breathed a sigh of relief once we go that part done.

We got photos taken outside the church and chatted with guests- we were lucky it was a nice dry day! Going to the venue from the church was really nice- it was lovely to have that time to ourselves!

From there really it was just about relaxing and chatting with guests at the drinks reception and at dinner. The weather really made the drinks reception so nice- I actually got sunburned!!

I was nervous about our first dance but once we got started I realised I was worrying over nothing. We didn’t practice at all and we can’t really dance but it was actually really really enjoyable!

If I had any advice it would be to be as organised as possible- don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you’re doing things too early. Our day went so smoothly because we put lots of thought and effort into it, waaaay in advance of the day itself. You don’t want to find yourself printing mass booklets or racing around shops looking for hair clips or underwear the week before the wedding. Do everything as early as possible.

If there was anything we’d do differently it would be that we’d have seated our parents beside each other on the top table- neither of us knew that the tradition is for the bride’s mother and the groom’s father to sit beside each other at one end, and the bride’s father and groom’s mother sit together at the other end. I think the meal would have been a nice time for our parents to spend together chatting but instead they were separated!!! They had just taken those seats when we came in so there was no point moving them.


No 5 at the National Gallery of Ireland is centrally located in the heart of Georgian Dublin’s cultural quarter, on Merrion Square. Restored to its former glory in 2008, the house adjacent to the Gallery is furnished with beautiful and historic furniture and paintings from the collection.

The ultimate venue.

No 5 South Leinster Street provides the ultimate venue for those seeking a private, intimate and elegant civil ceremony. From the moment you step on the red carpet and walk through the magnificent doorway, you realise you are somewhere special. This is a venue steeped in tradition, with a cosmopolitan feel, set in the midst of the National Collection.

A handsome stairway leads to a suite of rooms – the Lavery, the Maclise and the Purser. The Lavery can host a ceremony for 40 people, the Purser can accommodate up to 20, and the ceremony can be followed by a reception or dinner in the adjoining rooms.

The special extras :

Dedicated wedding planner.
Red Carpet on arrival.
Cake table and stand.
Chair covers and sashes.
Fabulous photographic backdrops, either in No 5 or the adjacent Merrion Square Gardens.
The extra special :

Choose your own favourite image from the National Collection, which can then be used for all your stationery – invitations, order of service, menu cards, thank you notes etc.
Our Gallery Shop will organise all your printing for you.
Our approved calligrapher is available to finish your invitations in beautiful script.
Please contact our Wedding Planner who will be delighted to organise a private viewing, and help you plan your special day.

t’s no secret that I love a good wedding day portrait session, but as I have said in previous posts, probably my favourite part of photographing a wedding is the ceremony. It’s such an honour to be part of that moment when two people come together and make those vows – sometimes (and I know it will shock those who know how manly and tough I am) I even get a bit emotional myself.

Bella and Stu’s wedding ceremony was one of those times – there was a whole lot of love in that room and it’s difficult not to be moved by it. One of my best friends commented that, looking at theses photographs, I really made them understand Bella and Stu’s feelings for each other. As a wedding photographer that must be one of the best compliments somebody could pay me – and it’s my biggest goal to achieve at every wedding I shoot.

Bella, our beautiful bride, looked amazing in her 50s styling and gorgeous shoes and I loved her slightly bee-hived hair-style (girls, it never fails!). In my mind, it suited Bella and Stu’s fun approach to the day and made this wedding such a blast to shoot. Stu was just as well turned out (and I think it was his emotions that got me in the end!)

Big thanks to both families who made me feel a big part of the day :)





I love it when a bride has a real sense of style. I also love it when a bride has a wicked personality. Add in that this particualr bride is another ex-pat Scot in London AND chooses a RED CANDY ANTHONY dress AND looks like something from the golden age of Hollywood AND wants some edgy wedding portrait shots and, oh my goodness me, you’ll only go and have exactly the type of weddng I’d love to shoot :)

It was also lovely to meet somebody who understood, and with whom I could indulge in, my Scottish sense of humour – Bonus!

Lindsay and Milke had a relaxed ceremony on a sunny Monday at the beginning of August. With a red London bus to transport everyone from the church in Chiswick to the reception in Ealing, and plenty of kilts on display it was the perfect marriage of North and South, and made me more than a little homesick.

After the ceremony I knew Lindsay and Mike wanted to mix up some safe shots with something a little more urban – something that suits me down to the ground. Shooting in Chiswick is always fun, especially near the A4 as there are some wonderfully gritty locations to choose from. It also helped that Lindsay and Mike gave me so much time for the shoot, and I think it shows in their finished set. Thank you!

Some weddings try to break the mould, but Katharine and Sim planned a wedding that really did break the mould by them doing everything exactly the way they wanted. When couples do this I always love seeing how their interpretation of a wedding comes to life – it’s such a joy to see!

First thing was organsing the portrait shoot around Birmingham city centre before the ceremony. When couples do this it really gives me so much time to create a full set of images that look fantastic. Birmingham city centre provided a great urban backdrop for the uber-cool Kath and Sim. A floral dress instead of a typcial white one for Kath, and a slick modern suit for Sim. Definitely, without a doubt, one of my coolest couples of the year!

A ceremony and reception at Hotel Du Vin was followed by a great tasting meal at the couples favourite Thai restaurant. All of this added up to a very chilled out, relaxed and informal day to celebrate their wedding.

Wedding Photographers in London, Surrey and Hampshire

I’m Allister, I create a particularly personal style of documentary wedding and portrait photography for customers throughout the UK and overseas, I also train and mentor other photographers in both business ethos and photographic approach.

I’ve been a professional photographer for many years now and my style has developed into distinctly natural, honest and authentic coverage. I tend to work with available light only and look to create timeless, emotive images that capture the true narrative of an event. I’m also a mentor to associate photographers that work under my brand who are established documentary wedding photographers in their own right.

I produce a specific style of wedding photography known as ‘Reportage Wedding Photography’. There are also a few other names that can be used to describe this approach such as ‘Documentary Wedding Photography’ or ‘Wedding Photojournalism’.

If you want to keep up with me on a more regular basis, you can also follow me on Twitter.

Reportage Wedding Photographer
‘Reportage is a technique of documentary or photojournalism that tells a story entirely through pictures’

My interpretation of a reportage wedding photographer – or wedding photojournalist for that matter, is that they have a finely tuned, well-practiced eye for storytelling – almost a natural ability to be in the right place at the right time. Elements such as composition and lighting will be second nature and instinctive with practice. Most importantly however, they will understand their customers and their subjects. They will successfully create personal, enduring images and not just banal, stereotypical snapshots of the bride’s shoes and isolated mugshots of the friends and family.

Documentary Wedding Photography
True documentary wedding photography is so much more than just a pretty picture. I fully appreciate that aesthetics come into play, such as the undefinable instant wow factor an image may have. However, that only lasts so long. Documentary images need to have more to them, they need to provoke an interpretation or an emotional connection if they are to stand the test of time – something that I strongly believe mainstream wedding photographers fail to achieve.

As a documentary wedding photographer, I get to travel a lot. I’ve documented weddings in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Surrey, Wiltshire and overseas.

Surrey Wedding Photographer
To start viewing my Surrey wedding photography you can check out my Wedding Photography Portfolio, take a look at my latest work on the blog or pick a gallery link from the sidebar on the left.

You can also read a bit more about my style in the Wedding Photography Style section.

As a brief summary, I approach weddings as an unobtrusive observer. I don’t boss you around, don’t bother you about posing or looking at the camera, I just work to capture the days events in an honest and discrete manner so that you can get on with the business of enjoying yourself. After all, it’s not a photo shoot.

Hampshire Wedding Photographer
So, take a good look around the site, there are plenty of photographs to view in the Galleries and lots of useful information to read – particularly in the Style, Advice and Approach pages.

To find out more about the packages available, to check my availability or if you would just like to chat through your wedding plans before making a decision, please get in touch through the Contact Form where you can send me and email and find the telephone numbers for the studio.

The first and most important task of the new year was to shortlist the very best from the last few seasons of work to create my 2012 portfolio. I always aim to update my portfolio every four to six months which makes the process less draining but inevitably, it’s still one of the largest edits of the year with over 50% of the images being replaced.

I find this edit and cull process invaluable, it not only reminds me of all the fantastic events I’ve had the privilege of documenting but I also get to reevaluate and sharpen my approach and style, check it’s on course, remove images that just don’t represent it well enough and get a clear sense of where I am and where I want to be in a further year.

Your portfolio is your bread and butter, it’s your substance too, a photographer is nothing without a strong, fluid and comprehensive body of work to prove their pedigree. I’ve chosen to have quite a heavy portfolio this year, perhaps 25% up on last years. I want the diversity of my work to shine through; the customers, locations, faiths and cultures. This variation is by far my favourite element of the job.

2012 is set to be a busy year and will see us travelling throughout the UK and oversees for commissions. Regardless of these commitments, we’re making time for causes that we feel particularly strongly about. This year will see us raising as much money as we can for children living in poverty. We want to make a difference to children without a voice, children who do not know what it’s like to have security in their lives or even know when their next meal is coming. We’re in the final stages of preparing a section of the blog to promote our efforts, so keep posted.

I urge you to press play on the music bar before you visit my 2012 portfolio, it’s a beautiful track from one of the best movies ever made. Take five minutes out, adjust your volume and when you return to switch the music off, it’d be great to hear what you think of them.

We’ve got to know many great couples from all walks of life over the last twelve months. In fact, it’s been a spectacularly busy and exhilarating year for us all. We’ve worked incredibly hard – something I’m exceptionally proud of. Between us we’ve shot over 60 weddings and a handful of other interesting and quirky commissions. We’ve also made many significant changes to the business; hugely improving both customer experience and our own processes and productivity. We’re all primed for our busiest year to date with 2012 seeing us travelling the length and breadth of the country as well as parts of Europe and who knows, maybe even further afield.

I find this variety of work invaluable as it keeps us fresh, challenged and inspired. We’ve documented many memorable weddings at numerous venues and locations with an array of interesting cultures and faiths. Moreover, families have entrusted with us the responsibility of accurately and genuinely documenting such a momentous and pivotal point in their lives, and of this we are incredibly proud.

Throughout the year we have never ceased striving to document commissions powerfully and authentically. Our customers are people serious about having an accurate record to look back on; no fairytales, no banal shoe shots or tedious requests for posed photographs, just an honest record created with our hands off approach. Photographs can and should be so much more than just pretty pictures, after all, when you’re old and wrinkly what will be valued more, a picture of your Jimmy Choos on a table or an emotive image of an embrace with a relative? Powerful moments don’t always make aesthetically ‘perfect’ photographs and sadly not too many wedding photographers have the capacity to appreciate this. We value a body of work that truly reflects an event, this strong sense of value and responsibility is why our customers choose to invest in us.

One of the best business decisions I’ve made in recent years is the addition of associate photographers. Associates ensure there is a continuous flow of creativity into the brand. I’m not just talking about image creation but hugely important elements such as infrastructure, business framework and processes and overall effectiveness – elements of such magnitude and scale that I simply couldn’t implement them in addition to maintaining the day to day running of the business. Working as a collective and being able to bounce ideas between likeminded individuals has helped us to all grow as photographers in a tough industry. I’m very aware of just how much my work has improved whilst training associates, not only has each associate brought something unique to the table but it’s also forced me to practice what I preach!

My first associate photographer, Joshua Archer, will be moving to Germany in mid 2012. Joshua has made a huge contribution and commitment to the company since early 2010 and I’d like to thank him for this in addition to wishing him, his wife and his beautiful new baby girl all the very best for the future. He’s become an astounding documentary wedding photographer in a very short space of time.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are my favourite images of 2011…

To all the amazing couples we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last few years, we’re now taking final print orders so that we can produce and dispatch in time for Christmas. So, if you’ve been sitting on the fence about purchasing one or two of your favourite images, now’s the time…

Our popular print sizes range from 6×9 through to 12×18 and we offer two types of print:

Fine Art – images printed onto heavyweight photo rag or photo rag pearl papers producing beautifully soft and natural tones, these prints are ideal for framing and have an incredibly long life.

Archival Lustre – Fuji archival lustre paper represents images with supurb accuracy of colour, tone and clarity.

If you’re very quick with your order we’ll also be able to frame your print products making the most of our in-house, bespoke framing department. Simply get in touch for details.

The quickest and simplest way to order your printing is to access your client gallery, your login details were emailed to you several weeks after your wedding but if you get stuck just email and we can send them through again.

Speak shortly

It’s been another successful day of one to one tuition, this time I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Chris Seddon – a pro wedding photographer who travelled down from Derby to spend the day fine tuning his approach to very specific areas of his business.

Rather than researching into tuition courses that only offer a very general ‘leaf through’, Chris was keen to have his tuition focus on key areas that he felt he needed more comprehensive and targeted advice on.

Predominantly, Chris wanted to improve the narrative and storytelling aspect of his documentary wedding photography; to strengthen his hit rate of significant storytelling images and to not just settle for taking the odd great photograph here and there – as do many wedding photographers. Documenting the entire wedding effectively and consistently, throughout each of the many chapters of the day, is what makes a good documentary wedding photographer reliable. There are strong techniques to abide by in order to ensure you do all you can to achieve this.

A lot of time was spent discussing workflow or more, having a highly productive series of workflows. ‘Workflow’ is an incredibly general term that covers an array of business chores in a variety of methods – all requiring a different set of actions. The most obvious of these action sets is backing up, editing and post production. But really, these actions, or chores, start much earlier. Take the management of enquiries and quotations for instance, so easy to neglect but so critical to the success of your business. Workflows continue long after the wedding too such as marketing techniques that ensure the images continue to work for you rather than just being stored, not forgetting general customer care. By being highly productive within each workflow you can free up valuable time that could be spent building other areas of your business. A productive and efficient workflow ultimately keeps you in control of your business, even in the most chaotic of months.

My reportage wedding photography coverage started at The Landmark Hotel on Marylebone Road for Katy’s bridal preparations, the Winter Garden Restauraunt in The Landmark is a truly spectacular sight with its huge glass ceiling many feet above the tables.

The wedding ceremony took place at Old Marylebone Town Hall and Katy and David’s civil ceremony ran without a hiccup. This is much thanks to perhaps the most laid back registrars I’ve ever worked with, it’s true to say I’ve never had an issue documenting a ceremony at the Old Marylebone Town Hall, so why do other registrars in many of the more rural parts of the country get their knickers in such a twist? If you’re in the planning stages of your wedding, please be sure to ask your registrars what their policy is on photography as some won’t allow any photographs to be taken other than mockups, which completely defeats the purpose of authentic doumentary wedding photography!

We arrived at 11 Cavendish Square mid-afternoon, this place oozes class and elegance, it also has exceptional available light thanks to the large orangery.

I find reportage wedding photography in London at its best when you’re forced to be on foot; there was no way I would drive to these three venues, I just wouldn’t take the risk. It was tube and cab throughout the day. But because of this type of city travel it’s in your favour to only carry the necessary equipment. This not only frees you up physically but also, because you have fewer options than you would perhaps have if you were driving, your focus turns even more to image creation and quality. This is one of the reasons I’m so fond of city weddings and I’m off to do another in the next few hours, only this time it’ll be an Indian-Chinese wedding at Number 4 Hamilton Place in Mayfair. To be blogged soon…

In the meantime, below are my very favourite London reportage wedding photographs from David and Katy’s well planned day.



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