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!!

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!

 

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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family photographys by Belfast wedding photographer Crazy Happy Love

Family Photo Time

We Are Family

Once the main part of wedding photos, set up family group shots  have now fallen a bit out of fashion. A more documentary approach to wedding photography means these often get overlooked for entirely candid shots. Standing around for ages when you could be drinking champagne –  I mean I get it thats no fun. But this is the one day everyone will be together and all dolled up.

We only really take family photos at special occasions and I like to make sure with every wedding I shoot there is a little time to do some family photos.  I don’t take long – I always get a list in advance and work through it as quickly as possible so it doesn’t interrupt the flow of your day.  That ten minutes gives you photos of everyone to look back on alongside the candid shots of the day. They don’t even have to be rigid groups in lines they can be fun and relaxed – going for a walk or chilling on a sofa. but it definitely is worth taking the time to get just a few.

A few tips to make formal portraits easy…

They don’t have to be formal – just be yourselves and enjoy it

Don’t wing it. Have a list in advance for me it means I know who all needs to be included and will have a best man or bridesmaid round them up while we do your portraits. Then you get to say hey to everyone and get a few smiley pics before dinner

Planning a full group photo – if you want all your guests do this right after the ceremony or right before dinner. No other time will work as somebody will be at the bar, having a smoke, at the loo etc…

think of it as ten minutes to invest in photos your family will love and frame for the mantlepiece.

 

Caroline & Gar’s covered in sunflowers Dublin City Wedding

Something in my eye

What can I say about Caroline and Gar!! I first met this pair of legends in March 2017. Newly hitched myself and just back to work after dragging out a ridiculously long honeymoon. They were the best way I could ever have started back. I am not ashamed to admit I ended up having a wee cry at the Belfast City Hall elopement. Brian Kennedy sang their favourite song and their very closest family were there. Gar’s son and daughter and Caroline’s sister and hubby with her mum.

Their tiny absolutely overflowing with emotion ceremony was followed by lunch at the Merchant. First a few photos around town though before they headed off. Both of them have massive hearts with so much love for friends, family and each-other. Caroline spends her days promoting disability equality with her company Valuable 500, herself very visually impaired, and Gar works as an architect and event planner (hence the incredible home).

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Valentines Gift ideas by Belfast wedding photographer Crazy Happy Love Photography

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!

Valentines Day history lesson

Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, is a day when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.

Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day may have taken its name from a priest who was martyred about 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and, by some accounts, healed from blindness. Other accounts hold that it was St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop, for whom the holiday was named, though it is possible the two saints were actually one person. Another common legend states that St. Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare the husbands from war. It is for this reason that his feast day is associated with love.

Aye so that’s all a bit heavy!!!

Great Valentine’s Day Gifts

Forget flowers and chocolates guys and gals here’s a Crazy Happy Guide to some fab gift ideas

Say Cheese!

Wow your special someone with a surprise couple shoot to get them feeling super loved up. You could even propose during it if that fancy takes ya (warn me first if thats the plan tho okay!!) I do vouchers so get in touch if you’d like one.

Gig Tickets

I’m a sucker for a good tune and love a night out at a gig. I photograph a lot of them (see my other website) but love the chance to go ot one just for fun! Check out this list of great gigs happening in NI soon from BBC ATL for some inspiration.

Date Night Vouchers

We are all busy bees this day and age so plan ahead. It doesn’t have to be fancy -grab some paper and a few sharpies and you’re good to go. vouchers for a night out with cocktails, dinner for two, even a movie night or a netflix and chill. The thought and time will be way more appreciated than random spending.

Written in the stars

One of my besties got me a star chart made for the time my little girl was born and I have to say I LOVE it!! If you have a specidla date or time why not nick the idea at The Night Sky

Hate the entire thing

Screw it you do you!!! Here’s a fab list of anti-valentines gifts!!

 

And don’t forget you can get a thoughtful gift for a friend, your ma,your cat I mean it’s just about sharing the love and thankfully unlike the history lesson above none of us gals are a lottery prize so it’s already a win!

 

 

Orangetree House Wedding by Crazy Happy Love Photography

Lauren & Chris’ gorgeous vintage themed Orangetree House Wedding

But First Coffee!

My adventure with Lauren and Chris started with our meeting in Sprucefield car park. We had met for coffee but since the M&S coffee shop had closed early and nowhere else was open bar McDonald’s, we pulled up a chair outside and got a chat. I knew from the fact they were laid back enough to handle this that they were my sort of couple. We ended up chatting for over an hour about their plans for the day at their Orangetree House wedding in August. At that point it was almost 2 years away – time flies!!

They decided to do an engagement shoot in the gorgeous Lady Dixons park to get them ready for the big day. It’s always a winning idea – firstly to put nerves at rest, and secondly, to have lovely photos for your invitations. Like everyone I ever meet they said they hated having their photo taken. I get this all the time but during the shoot they certainly got into it! And like everyone else they were fab at it – you guys are all too hard on yourselves!

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