ORANGE TREE HOUSE WEDDING

A "Destination Wedding" is a fancy sounding term that wedding photographers use to explain that a couple are getting married somewhere wonderful, usually involving guaranteed sunshine on the big day. Covering such a wedding has been on my to do list for a little while now. Imagine my surprise when the "destination" of my first such wedding was in fact Greyabbey on the 'Costa Del Ards'!

When I first sat down with Gavin and Laura to show them some pictures and talk about their wedding I got a really good feeling, and knew that their day was going to be a bit special. Fast forward a few months and when the day arrived I was definitely not disappointed. I spent the morning with the ladies at Laura's parents house in Belfast before climbing in to my car with the thermometer nudging 29 degrees and heading to Orange Tree House.

This was the first time I had shot at Orange Tree House, and I must say that this venue has taken my top spot as favourite! Nestled on the shore of Strangford Lough it is such a wonderfully private and intimate venue in a stunning location. I liked it that much that I have been inspired to write a whole blog post on it (watch this space!)

The white washed walls of Orange Tree house were looking distinctly Mediterranean under the blazing sunshine when I met the boys as they made last minute preparations before greeting the guests.

The emotional and touching ceremony was presided over by the lovely Reverend David Cooper, who coincidentally married us at our wedding. It was great to catch up with him before the arrival of Laura looking fabulous in her honey coloured dress from Ian Stuart. Laura was accompanied down the aisle by her Dad Malcolm, as well as the couple's dog Ozzi.

After Mr and Mrs Millar walked out in to the sunshine we all headed over to Mount Stewart for a drinks reception in the walled garden, where the guests were entertained with live music in the sunshine. Gavin is a dab hand with a wrench and had spent months leading up to the wedding re-building and customising a VW Golf GTi Convertible for their wedding car. It was a first for me acting as both chauffeur and photographer simultaneously; as I drove Gavin and Laura to Mount Stewart (my only disappointment was the lack of an official chauffeur hat!)

Following the speeches from Father of the Bride Malcolm, Best Man Richard and Chief Bridesmaid Vicky, and some heartfelt words from Laura's Brother in Law Neil, it was time for what can only be described as the finest food you could ever wish for at a wedding venue (more on that in my Orange Tree blog post later!)

The guests then had a chance to relax out on the terrace area by the lough as well as inside the orangery at Orange Tree House (with its very welcome air conditioning), as the Just Adam Band set up for the evening. Gavin and Laura then performed their first dance together; I say performed as it was a choreographed medley to a mixture of their favourite songs, which the cheering crowd of friends and family really got in to (literally in some cases!)

As always I then made my own way on to the dance floor with my cameras to catch the action, before the time came to leave. Despite being completely knackered after a 16 hour day in temperatures seldom seen in our wee part of the world I was really sorry to leave. Gavin and Laura are a couple of the most genuine and lovely people you could ever hope to meet, and all of their friends and family made me feel as though I was a member of the wedding party the whole day.

A few days after their wedding Gavin and Laura decided to escape the heat of County Down for the relative cool of their honeymoon in South Africa and then on to Mauritius!

I hope that you've enjoyed looking through the selection of pictures here as much as I enjoyed taking them, and indeed editing them in the weeks after the wedding, as they take me right back to that brilliant day.

There's a word that is over used these days but I think it may just be appropriate: EPIC.

Wedding Suppliers;

Makeup; Brielle Beauty

Hair; Loca Hair & Beauty

Flowers; Cottage Crafts & Flowers

Venues; Orange Tree House & Mount Stewart National Trust

Entertainment; The Just Adam Band

Photographer; Well, you are in the right place already!!!

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