Summery wedding at Finnebrogue Woods by Belfast Wedding Photographer Crazy Happy Love

Sarah & Garth’s Finnebrogue Woods Wedding

Welcome to the stunning Finnebrogue woods

As a Belfast wedding photographer I love the chance to photograph weddings at venues I’ve not been to before. Finnebrogue was one of these – I had admired it from afar and never been. Until Sarah and Garth got in touch with just six weeks to their wedding day! Yup this awesome pair pulled off the wedding of their dreams in just 6 weeks. So to anyone stressing about not having enough time – don’t worry you can do it!

Sunny Summer Vibes

Sarah and Garth had no reason to rush, but also no reason to wait! So they decided to go for it and planned a stunning summer wedding at Finnebrogue .With a bit of help from friends and family of course. Their gorgeous humanist ceremony by Helen McIlveen was absolutely wonderful as the sun shone down on them, though we did have some serious showers and the tipi was a life saver! After the ceremony We got a spin in the Finnebrogue landrover around the stunning grounds to take some portraits. We even met some cows. Then as the rain really came on we headed back for some absolutely hilarious speeches in the tipi. Sarah had planned and decorated it beautifully to give a really colourful summer vibe.  We even managed to grab some sunset portraits later on making this photographers dreams come true!

Sarahs stunning gown was just perfect for the setting and Garth and his groomsmen went with a nautical inspired look found in his love of sailing with yellow bowties (Sarahs favourite colour). The bouquets were explosions of colour made by Wild thing in Donaghadeee, just down from the couples home!

So even though I’m a Belfast based wedding photographer I am more than happy to travel! So far work has taken me as afar as France and as close to home as Titanic Quarter (4 minutes drive to be exact) so hit me up whatever your venue!

Here are some photos to make you crave some sunshine!!

Quirky Weddings Wed Talks – It’s me so it is!

WED TALKS  – going unplugged

Forgive the most unflattering freeze frame in history for the start of this (breaks my heart even looking at it!!!) but here’s me and the lovely Cate from quirky weddings hacing a wee natter about changing your plans and things to think about with regards to your photography. Also a good chat about people with phones and ipads at weddings…

 

https://www.facebook.com/QuirkyWed/videos/651293925416130/

 

 

If you enjoyed it they are posting more on their facebook page so check them out!

dog at wedding photograph by Crazy Happy Love

Hannah & Conor (& Loki) QFT Belfast Wedding and Empire Party

QFT Belfast wedding – get your popcorn!

When Hannah & Conor got engaged they decided they weren’t going to do a big wedding. It was going to be a small family affair. Then they ended up having not one or even two – but three weddings! Two of which I was lucky enough to photograph. The first wedding at City hall, the second at the QFT in Belfast. The other was only their closest family so no photos required.

We first met for the legal bit. Humanist weddings are legally binding now but last summer when they tied the knot we weren’t quite there yet. The couple said their vows with only a few family and friends at Belfast City Hall. It was a gorgeous, intimate ceremony but they had another epic one planned for later that summer.

So we met again in the Jeggy Nettle to start with first look photos before their ceremony. Loki the dog tagged along as best man and best friend. I Love getting pets involved in photos it was so much fun and it instantly relaxes couples. Bring some bribery dog treats and it’s easy peasy. Of course we needed a dog friendly venue so the Jeggy Nettle was perfect. We walked from there through Botanic Gardens snapping all the way. Then headed to the QFT for their ceremony.

Making an entrance with Loki leading the way, the ceremony was a mix of family and friends telling stories, sharing laughs and of course the couples vows. It was such a personal and fun wedding – all about them and the things and people they love. It was such a fab venue for something so different.

Band-aid!

After the QFT part of the day the evening do was set for The Empire which I love. It is simply a stunning venue for! Instead of a traditional first dance Hannah and Conor went for a live band for karaoke! Getting their guests up to sing songs and rewarding their nerves with a free pint! What’s not to like

Check out some pics below and get thinking about some great tunes for your own big day! There’s a helpful blog post here if you need some inspo! And if you’re into your movies then why not think bout a QFT Belfast wedding yourself!!

 

Dancefloor Photos

Til Death Do Us Party – Dancefloor Photos!

Let’s Dance – Dancefloor Photos to make you want to move!

I LOVE wedding dancing! there is nothing better in life than people absolutely losing the run of themselves to a bit of Abba at a wedding! Music is so important to Dee and I so we really put the effort in to make sure our dancefloor was packed. If you are into your tunes you cannot beat the dancing at the end of the day! You are there to celebrate after all. Great wedding bands and DJ’s are an absolute must have for any wedding party!

If you are struggling to come up with great ideas for first dance songs then take a look at this blog post from last month for some ideas. No matter what type of music you are into, you can find some absolute dance floor fillers! Remember to mix it up with songs to suit everyone at your wedding. You may love a bit of Lizzo but will your aunty margaret? OF COURSE SHE WILL! Everybody loves Lizzo!

This is just a few fave dancefloor photos from recent weddings to get ya in the mood to boogie. You can see more on my This is Reportage site here and in my After Dark gallery too!

 

Alternative first dance songs

Alternative First Dance Songs

Do ya like good music???

Not into Ed Sheeran? Westlife not really doing it for ya? First dance’s are tricky enough without having to shuffle to a song that doesn’t get you in the mood to party. Alternative first dance songs are a great idea for couples who want to be a little more themselves! Music is a big deal for us so when we were planning our wedding this was a big one. What should be our first dance. All the songs we liked were about drugs or breakups. All Dee’s songs were indie brit-pop and I wasn’t dancing to Oasis. all mine were glam rock cheese and he wasn’t willing to grow a mullet. Neither of us can dance so in the end we picked Chuck Berry Teenage Wedding (and yes we did the pulp fiction dance)

All this really did get me thinking about first dance songs if you’re not into pop music and mushy tunes. We have fairly eclectic tastes as this list will show. After doing all that research through our record collection, I feel like it’d be a waste not to share it so here’s my Crazy Happy Love Top Ten picks for alternative first dance songs (in no particular order)

 

I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty

This is a song about mad love – mad, desperate, misanthropic and possibly a little drug fuelled love. Sure everyone will be watching you dance they won’t figure out the lyrics if you don’t tell them!!

 

You never can tell by Chuck Berry

disclaimer : We did not look anywhere near this cool

 

Time After Time by Cindy Lauper

this was also in our wedding playlist, though a rather heartbreakingly beautiful cover played by a group of friends that made me cry my eyes out!

 

I Was Made For Loving You by Kiss

I can’t help it I know Gene Simmons would sell his own granny for money but this is an epic tune. Air guitar your first dance, throw about that bouquet and give it stacks!

 

Make it Wit Chu by QOTSA

Can’t even listen to this without wanting to dance, it’ll totally fill the dancefloor after ya!

 

Such Great Heights by Postal Service

This one brings me back -I listened to this song so much at first I risked ruining it forever!! Released (terrifyingly) in 2003!

 

Stand Inside Your Love by the Smashing Pumpkins

I saw the Smashing Pumpkins at a tiny show in SXSW in 2013. Having spent most of my teenage years playing their back catalogue on repeat it was so good I actually cried. That may have been caused by the heat exhaustion after queuing outside a tiny venue for the guts of 14hours to get in but it was worth it! this one’s a long one though – are you prepared for 4 and a half minutes up there

King Of Spain by The Tallest Man on Earth

I am a huge fan of this tiny man 😀

 

Make my Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates

I’ve seen this a few times as wedding exit music and it is the best!!!

 

and last but by no means least

I Like by The Divine Comedy

This was a reading at our wedding made perfect by our buddy Sam’s great Oldham accent.

So there ya go some fab alternative first dance songs to choose from – if you have any more ideas please comment them below so others can see or send me an email so I can update this post! Hope you enjoyed the tunes!!

this is reportage

This is Reportage – Weddings during corona virus

Weddings during corona virus

As many of you know the current pandemic has hit the wedding industry hard! So many of you are affected and it sucks! Having to change all your plans for weddings during corona virus is not easy. We photographers understand and are trying to work together to help you. I’m a member of an awesome community of Photographers called This Is Reportage. It features all documentary style work. It is such an inspirational site full of amazing images by amazing photographers. I’m genuinely proud to be in there. We are all trying our best to help our couples get the best possible outcome in all this. Changing dates, offering advise, working with them to make new plans.

It’s so important to all of us as this really isn’t just a job. There’s a genuine connection with everyone we work with, how could there not be when it’s something so special we are working on! The site put a call out for photographers to take part in their next podcast and tell their stories about covid 19. I thought some of you might enjoy a listen or a read 

You can check out my Reportage page HERE and listen to the blog post below if you’re interested in hearing photographers talk about their experience during the pandemic and how we are all coping and trying to make the most of it!

And it’s another reason to STAY HOME as ya have something to listen to now!! And please if there’s anything I can help with get in touch – some tips and advise are in my last blog post too!

 

Couple shoot on a beach in DOnegal

Corona Virus And Your Wedding

Couple shoot on a beach in DOnegal

Corona Virus and your wedding

The Uninvited guest

Corona Virus and your wedding – well a global pandemic forcing you to change all your plans and stay indoors hiding for the sake of your health probably wasn’t on many people’s wedding planning schedules! So what do you do now the unthinkable has happened and your wedding has been affected. The most important thing (though you’ll hate me for saying it) is don’t panic! Well have a little panic, sob a bit and drink some of the wedding stash in your jammies. Hey you can’t leave the house may as well drink prosecco in a duvet fort right?

But then get that wedding planner head on and get cracking on reorganising your big day. If you are following guidelines, staying safe and washing your hands a million times a day then chances are you will not get sick. But you have to think of all your guests and put their safety first. Remember that and this will hurt a lot less (I hope) I feel for you guys so much and I wish I could hug you all but I can’t! So instead I can offer a few tips.

Corona Virus and your wedding – Changing your plans

The big thing to do when reorganising is chat to your venue and your suppliers. Don’t just panic book the first date that comes to mind – chat to the big things (Photography, flowers, music etc) and find out their availability then go from there. As suppliers we want to do the best we can for you. In my case this means handling emails and calls, answering any questions people may have. Also helping people settle on new dates and transferring deposits to cover new dates. My deposits are completely transferrable to a new date so long as I am available. The sooner you let me know the new dates you have in mind, the sooner I can pencil those in for you and hang onto them. As suppliers these are scary times for us too so we feel your pain!

I shoot solo so remember there is only one of me which means I can do one wedding a day! Please do get in touch before you book a new date so I can make sure I am free to shoot for you. I’m determined to be at as many of your weddings as possible as we put so much effort into plans I’d be gutted to not be a part of your day! Please remember peak dates may already be booked – Saturdays in bank holiday weekends for instance are a high hope, but do ask. If your date was particularly special to you consider leaving it until 2021 to get the same day.For many the date is less of a thing so be flexible and work with your suppliers to get the best possible new wedding plans in place.

Photo nerves?

If you booked an engagement shoot that may not happen before your wedding. Even if your original date is still unaffected, it won’t be possible to do any shoots til lockdown ends. If this makes you nervous let’s get a video call set up and chat through plans and ideas. This will calm any nerves and give us a chance to catch up. I can send tips and advise and your photos will still be just as fabulous. I can offer advise on new light, new venues and all sorts of things. Your photos should be fun and they will be! I will make sure of it!

Remember that everyone is trying to change their wedding dates so things may take a little longer to get delivered. My usual turnaround is 4 weeks and I aim to meet this. But I will do the job right not rush so if I need a little longer please be patient.

Keep everyone up to date

Make sure to let your suppliers know your changes as soon as you have them too so they can plan! And don’t forget to let your family and friends know what’s happening too – even if you don’t have any new plans set in stone it’s a good idea to let them know things have been postponed. If you have a wedding website keep it up to date, send an email list round to your guests so you don’t have to contact everyone individually as constantly repeating things will get you down.

If you are changing seasons think about how that will affect photos and other aspects of your day – it gets darker earlier in autumn than spring, people will be colder in December than july etc.

Focus on the positives

I know its hard when you have had a date set in your minds for so long and now it changes for reasons you can not control but try not to dwell on the downsides.

When your new date finally comes it will be even better for the fact you will have waited so long and missed your family so much – just think how good hugs will feel when we are all reunited with our loved ones!

Til then chin up and if you have any questions just get in touch and I’m happy to help in any way I can

So when it comes to Corona Virus and your wedding just remember – we need to be safe to be able to all party together when this ends so keep up the staying at home and social distancing for now and following any advice we are all given. This will all end soon and you WILL get the day you dreamed of!

good luck, stay safe and I cannot wait to see you all soon xx

Mark & Maelíosa’s North South wedding

North and South

The joy of living in Northern Ireland is ya can easily nip across the border and back again. It’s like a wee trip where nothing changes except the money and the speed limit is in km. That did not stop my hubby’s grandad from driving back from Dublin at 120mph once though as he didn’t realise!! When Mark and Maelíosa planned their wedding they decided to make the most of the two countries opportunity. They married in the stunning Newry Cathedral where Mark’s family were from, then headed to the Ballymascanlon not far down the road and not far from Maeliosa’s family home in Ravensdale.

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Elopement photography by Belfast Wedding Photographer Crazy Happy Love

Adam & Simone’s Belfast City Elopement

Love at First Sight

Adan & Simone met by complete chance. Adam was an American in Belfast working as a trad musician. Simone was taking a break from work and travelling on her own from Austria. They both ended up staying in Vagabonds hostel in Belfast. here they met after a night out and ended up chatting into the small hours. Fast forward a few months and the pair decided to return to where they first met to tie the knot. Literally tie the knot. It’s an Austrian tradition to tie the bow on your bride’s dress after the ceremony.

Simone’s stunning traditional Austrian dress was embellished with gorgeous detail and Adam looked incredibly dapper. I don’t shoot many elopements so this was a rare pleasure for me. Roping my assistant in so we could be witnesses as well as photographers (you need 2 witnesses to legally marry) we spent the afternoon walking around Belfast getting photos in the places the two had discovered on their first trip.

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dog at wedding photograph by Crazy Happy Love

Who’s a good Boy???

Man’s Best Friend

So the day is set and you want your nearest and dearest there. That should definitely include your four legged family members too! I absolutely love when people have their pets involved at weddings. Sadly for me with 3 cats it wasn’t possible. They can’t really be trained to walk up an aisle or stay in a new place and not run to the hills! Next year I have dogs, cows, and even horses to be included in photos and I cannot wait! Animals at weddings is definitely one of the biggest joys in life – especially if they have a wee bowtie on! Doggy ring bearers, kitties at the morning prep, arriving on your horse, train your guinea pig to do the first dance, I mean the possibilities are endless!! Before I bombard you with adorable doggy photos here are a few planning tips…

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