I met up with a lovely couple the other week for a chat about their wedding over a coffee on the Lisburn Road. They're getting married in August 2017, and their reception will be held at the Ramada Hotel at Shaw's Bridge, so I went for a wee nosey around there afterwards, and WOW!

This is a place I know well as we were once frequent visitors there when over in Belfast, but had never really considered it as a wedding venue, but after a recent refurbishment of it's dedicated wedding venue building it looks absolutely amazing (check out the pictures here!). The wedding reception suites are in a completely separate building to the main hotel, which also offers very reasonable accommodation rates for wedding guests.

The setting could not be better as the absolutely magical Minnowburn National Trust Property is just across the road. I took a walk round there with Toby the Labrador to scout for some portrait locations and it left us spoilt for choice (although I think the Terrace Garden was my favourite). I like to spend most of the day capturing natural candid images of the wedding guests and all of the emotion and interaction, but always save half an hour to get some images of the bride and groom.

Minnowburn is the perfect place for this as the pictures I snapped on my tiny little personal Fuji x100s camera show (taken whilst simultaneously trying to control a hyperactive pup). Minnowburn National trust also offer weddings if a marquee on the terrace garden sounds like your thing, and if the weather was on your side it would be very special indeed.

I really enjoyed our wee walk round Minnowburn and can not wait to shoot some beautiful wedding portraits there next summer. (Toby the lab seemed to enjoy it too!)

So if you're looking for a wedding venue that is really handy to Belfast take a trip out to Shaw's Bridge . . . you may just be pleasantly surprised.

 I stopped off for a slice of pizza fresh from the wood fired oven of  Piccolo Mondo , a mobile Italian kitchen inside a vintage citroen van run by a lovely guy called Martin (Who is also available for weddings!)

I stopped off for a slice of pizza fresh from the wood fired oven of Piccolo Mondo, a mobile Italian kitchen inside a vintage citroen van run by a lovely guy called Martin (Who is also available for weddings!)

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