Ballymaloe House, the East Cork restaurant and wedding venue is arguably the birthplace of modern Irish cooking.
There are other country houses in Ireland that host weddings, for me, Ballymaloe House, with it’s range of authentic historic buildings, it’s formal and wild landscapes, it’s super professional staff, not to mention it’s award winning food, is probably the best venue of it’s kind in the country
I was lucky to have the opportunity to photograph two weddings there this year, one in July and one in September. On both occasions, the house, the walled gardens and the Grainstore dining room provided an upmarket and classic backdrop for our photographs.
For Siobhan and Jamie’s wedding in July, Siobhan and her family got ready at Ballymaloe House, which made the morning very relaxed for everybody.
The light coming through the trees into the little private courtyard outside Siobhan’s room was magical and I did all the details shots and the morning family shots there.
We went to the Honan Chapel in UCC for Siobhan’s and Jamie’s ceremony and afterwards they whizzed back to Ballymaloe in an yellow open top MG. We used the impressive main driveway for photos and there was a beautiful field of barley for some shots in the bright summer sunshine.
They drove up to the front of the house in great style to be greeted by their guests for the drinks reception We did our formal family photographs on the front lawn and when the bell was rung for dinner we went to the walled garden for some romantic photographs.
After dinner, we went down to the ponds just as the light was falling, for some low light and off camera flash photographs. Then, just before their first dance, we used the front of the house for some creative backlit photographs.
Pamela and Ed also had a church ceremony for their wedding in September. Afterwards, we went to Pamela’s parents garden to do our formal family photographs and then on to Ballymaloe House.
Pamela and Ed travelled in a vintage Rolls Royce and once again, the driveway provided a timeless location for their photographs.
During the drinks reception, we took a walk across to the Ballymaloe Grainstore, where the wedding dinner would be served. I always recommend that couples take a look at their dining room before their guests come in and sit down, and this dining room was well worth seeing.
As you can see from the photographs, the team at Ballymaloe had done a beautiful job on the layout, which four long dining tables stretching the length of the room and the top table at right angles to everyone. This layout would be perfect for the surprise entertainment that was lined up for after the main course…
Before we knew it, it was time for the dinner bell, so while the guests were being seated, I did some shots with the wedding party in the front room of the main house and then it was speeches and dinner and “Mario” the fake waiter who is actually a fantastic opera singer. He got the crowd singing and waving their napkins like crazy!!
I feel that I have only scratched the surface of the photographic potential of Ballymaloe House and I can’t wait to come back to shoot more weddings here.