H & D // Inish Beg Estate

It has been too long since I have blogged, but this one was worth waiting for, so I am over the moon to share it now! Helen & Donncha were married in May on Inish Beg. Inish Beg is a stunning private island estate in beautiful West Cork. The island is covered with lush greenery and woodland where both their ceremony and reception took place. 

The day started as usual with the morning prep, but with a twist on tradition, as the entire bridal party got ready together followed by the couple’s first look and portraits among the woodland bluebells. Helen went for a stunning boho style with lots of added greenery in the form of a headpiece and arm cuff. She pulled it off stunningly embodying total boho goddess vibes!

Guests arrived to the walled garden for an early drinks reception and the day kicked off with everyone in great spirits. The beautiful outdoor ceremony was by a woodland pond with a little arched bridge onto a mini island with the guests gathering to view the ceremony around the pond. Following the ceremony, it was back to the walled garden where the drinks were flowing and the sun was shining.

Kristine and Lena from Lovebird Designs were on hand to style the reception space with a romantic and whimsical feel. When Kristine is on hand to work her magic touch, you know the results are going to be amazing. She designed stunning florals for centrepieces and Helen’s bouquet, which was wild and unstructured with added succulents. Goals!

The day was so relaxed and fun, definitely one of my favourite weddings, I’m so thrilled to have been a part of it. Scroll through and enjoy! :) 

DSC_1555.jpg
SBR_7743.jpg
DSC_1661.jpg
9.jpg
1.jpg
4.jpg
DSC_1687.jpg
SBR_8343.jpg
DSC_1741.jpg
5.jpg
6.jpg
7.jpg
DSC_1602.jpg
SBR_7668.jpg
8.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
DSC_1901.jpg

Helen said:

“I don’t even know what to say, I absolutely adore the photos. They are so so so beautiful and you caught the day wonderfully”

F & D // NYC elopement

I’m not sure I have enough words to praise Claire and the amazing job she did of our wedding photos. Claire travelled to NYC with us to capture our special day. Having never been before ourselves, she kept us right, helped us pick locations and guided us every step of the way. On the day, she kept us at ease and let us have fun and chats and captured so many natural precious moments. Claire’s help from the very first email up until the photos were ready was second to none.
1.jpg
DSC_6176.jpg
2.jpg

It was such a privilege to be invited by this wonderful couple to capture their elopement in New York. They brought 14 of their closest family members to witness their vows and union on the balcony of Grand Central Terminal. The grandeur of the building and the hustle and bustle of commuters in the background offered the most unique ceremony backdrop I have yet to witness! 

Fi's style is very 1950's pin-up so of course that came through in her wedding choices too. She opted for a sweet tea length dress, both stylish and practical and blue Rachel Simpson shoes. No HMUA necessary here - Fi is a pro at the cat-eye and red lip look as well as the beehive hairstyle, and nailed her signature vintage look for the day. 


They were such a wonderfully laid-back and joyful couple, letting me take the reins for their photo locations while they soaked up their first experience in the Big Apple as elated newlyweds. As we took the subway to Central Park, endless well-wishers shouted their congratulations with beaming smiles and a genuine happiness for them, it was lovely! 

When I first spoke to Fi, she said it was their dream to have snow in Central Park on their wedding day. The day started out quite dull and damp, so needless to say I was concerned it may not be possible to head out for their wedding photos as hoped. But amazingly, their dream did come true! The rain gave way to snow and as we wandered over Bow Bridge with the white frozen lake as a backdrop to their portraits, the snowflakes gently fell. 

I was so grateful to have been invited to capture this amazing elopement and be witness to such an intimate celebration. If you are eloping, I'd love to hear from you. 
 

3.jpg
ClaireBrown_Fi&Damien,NewYork-12.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
DSC_6592.jpg
6.jpg
DSC_6514.jpg
7.jpg

F & J // Cliff at Lyons

“Claire, I love them! Clicking through them I realized Ive been clicking "favorite" on pretty much all of them :) They really bring us back to the day and its really special for my family to have them! THANK YOU”

This beautiful day at Cliff at Lyons was a joy! I love this venue so much - the grounds are stunning, featuring ivy clad stone buildings; you feel like you’ve been transported to the south of France. It was an October wedding, so even though the flowers had disappeared, the leaves were turning burnt orange and red, and there was still so much green everywhere. The wonderful Niamh Smith, of the Photography Hub was on hand as second shooter for the day, always a pleasure to have her by my side.

Fionnuala and Jack met and live in San Francisco, she’s Irish, he’s American. When they first met, they spent the first few weeks exploring the Bay Area with Jack showing Fionnuala all the best places in San Francisco. She’s an architect, and fabulously talented artist, while he’s an attorney. I was delighted to be asked to capture their day at this gorgeous country estate.

J+F-07-10-2017-J+F-204.jpg
1.jpg

Fionnuala opted for a stunning Calla Blanche dress and Jimmy Choo shoes, while the beautiful flowers were provided by Ab Fab Flowers. Their ceremony was beautiful and emotional. There was laughter and tears throughout and it was extra special having Fionnuala’s Dad play some of the music on the accordion for a few songs too. The bridal party were great fun and up for a laugh, which always makes my job easier! Fionnuala & Jack were an absolute pleasure to photograph, so easy going, fun and affectionate and very much in love, which really comes across in their photos.

J+F-07-10-2017-J+F-37.jpg
DSC_3819.jpg
2.jpg
DSC_3969.jpg
J+F-07-10-2017-J+F-349.jpg
DSC_4048.jpg
J+F-07-10-2017-J+F-329.jpg
3.jpg

Co-ordinating your bridesmaids dresses to the colour of the leaves ;)

DSC_4411.jpg
4.jpg
DSC_4448.jpg
5.jpg
6.jpg
8.jpg
DSC_4873.jpg
DSC_5002.jpg

I knew this day would be special when I first spoke to Fionnuala. The atmosphere on the day was relaxed and the speeches were heartfelt and personal. It was a particularly special moment for Fionnuala’s family when her brother joined in on the dance floor after the first dance. He had become sick 10 years ago and this was his first time back on the dance floor, so needless to say, it was a joyful and emotional moment. Moments like this are so humbling and always make me appreciate how wonderful it is to be invited in to document such a meaningful occasion. 

DSC_5137.jpg

B & A // Tinakilly House

Ben & Avril’s wedding was in the beautiful venue of Tinakilly in Wicklow last September.
Avril says: “Tinakilly was the first wedding venue we visited and I fell in love with it straight away. The character of the old house mixed with the stunning pavilion and beautiful grounds were exactly what we were looking for.”

They had a beautifully personal humanist ceremony in the main house filled with laughter and tears, including a wonderfully heartfelt and funny poem from Avril’s brother Paul. 

Avril chose a stunning Stephanie Allin - Bellissimo 2017: Vania dress and the gorgeous florals were by Austen Flowers. It was slightly chilly and windy so we spent a little time getting some intimate portraits around the grounds after the ceremony before it was time to rejoin their guests. 
Later, we nipped out for one or two more photos when it was dark under the lights of the garden walkway which I love too!

The evening continued with entertaining speeches and great opportunities for lots of candid laughter shots! Following a brief power outage, it was time to hit the dance floor for the evening’s entertainment.

Ben & Avril’s day was an emotional, joyful, and relaxed wedding that was beautiful to witness and a pleasure to capture.

Avril says:
“Our photographer Claire was so friendly and incredibly easy to work with and provided us with the type of natural shots we had asked her for. Despite the very windy weather she still captured some amazing photographs that we’ll always cherish and didn’t keep us from our guests for too long. She managed to capture some lovely moments of us and our guests throughout the night that would otherwise have been lost.”

 

1.jpg
2.jpg
DSC_03980.jpg
3.jpg
DSC_0514.jpg
DSC_0553.jpg
DSC_05490.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
7.jpg
12.jpg
8.jpg
9.jpg
10.jpg
DSC_1219.jpg
DSC_1447.jpg
11.jpg
DSC_1487.jpg
DSC_1497.jpg
DSC_1521.jpg
DSC_1546.jpg

A & M // Connemara

Aoife & Mark were married in the beautiful surroundings of Connemara this summer. One of the perks of this job is having the opportunity to explore these gorgeous areas of the country. It was important to Aoife & Mark to get married in the west of Ireland as they have a deep connection to the area. They loved the light and landscape and wanted this captured in their photos.

In particular, they were keen to prioritise getting out at sunset for photos, despite the fact that sunset fell in the middle of dinner, a bride after my own heart, as they say! It had been a bright sunny day, so the light was beautiful at sunset, and the results were worth nipping out for those 15 minutes!

The style of their day was wild and romantic, perfectly suited to the landscape. Aoife opted for a separate top and skirt, and chose a stunning and unique blue tulle skirt, designed by Kirsty Doyle, in Liverpool, where the couple live. 

Aoife wanted ballet elements incorporated into what she wore, so she also chose beautiful ballet style tie-up heels. The bridesmaids complimented this with their ethereal blush tulle dresses.

The evening’s festivities kicked off with a fun bouquet toss on the dance floor, ahead of a fantastic first dance! Scroll on down to get a glimpse of it all.

DSC_3493.jpg
2.jpg
DSC_3489.jpg
1.jpg
DSC_3600.jpg
3.jpg
DSC_3995 1.jpg
DSC_3636.jpg
8.jpg
DSC_4245 1.jpg
4.jpg
DSC_3971.jpg
DSC_4311 1.jpg
DSC_4007.jpg
DSC_4002.jpg
5.jpg
DSC_4368 1.jpg
9.jpg
DSC_4167.jpg
7.jpg
DSC_4324.jpg
DSC_4344.jpg
DSC_4400.jpg
DSC_4576.jpg

M & T // Ballymagarvey Village

Meadhbh & Tom reached out last year to enquire about photographing their beautiful Ballymagarvey wedding this summer. A self-confessed Pinterest addict, Meadhbh knew she wanted soft, romantic photos and that she wanted to incorporate soft pastel shades of cornflower blue, pink and rose gold. I had the pleasure to design their wedding invitations too - they opted for a light blue brush script with watercolour hexagons that was carried through the rest of their wedding stationery. 

We had the opportunity to first meet for an engagement session in Phoenix Park, as they had their first date in the zoo, and it’s the spot where Tom ended up proposing! I learned more about their back story and life in Cardiff, as well as their wedding plans while we bonded over golden retrievers :) Check out their day below!

DSC_1945 1.jpg
1.jpg
DSC_1028.jpg
14.jpg
5.jpg
DSC_0984.jpg
2.jpg
DSC_1024.jpg

August arrived, and it was time for their big day. Meadhbh and her bridesmaids spent their morning relaxing and getting beautified by the talented Ailbhe Lynch before it was time to get into the gorgeous dress, with help from Meadhbh’s mum. 

3.jpg
15.jpg

As Tom caught the first glimpse of his bride, he was overcome, such a sweet moment!

DSC_2253.jpg
13.jpg

Meadhbh had put so much thought and time into the details of the day, for guests to enjoy.
From the seat tags and ceremony details to the cake table and centrepieces, each piece perfectly emulated the colour palette Meadhbh had in mind.

DSC_1138.jpg

The most fun detail had to be the giant confetti balloons that adorned the aisle and the top table and served as such fun props for our photos on the grounds. The rain was persistent all day long, so we had to take each opportunity to pop out for photos as it faded, and the balloons offered a perfection injection of fun and colour against the grey skies. The bride and groom were so elated, they didn't let the rain and puddles dampen their joy!

10.jpg
12.jpg
8.jpg
DSC_2945.jpg

These two were naturals in front of the camera, they were so comfortable and affectionate in each other’s arms, so they were simply a joy to photograph. Their connection is heartwarming and the emotional speeches further expressed those deep sentiments.

9.jpg
4.jpg
6.jpg
DSC_1413.jpg
DSC_1839.jpg
DSC_1948.jpg
DSC_1988.jpg

It was a pleasure to capture this beautiful day and witness the beginning of their new journey!

E & C // Ashley Park House

I was so excited when Emily called me to inquire about being her wedding photographer for their beautiful celebration at Ashley Park House in August. It was literally only a week after my own wedding but how could I resist when I heard more about the gorgeous laid-back day they were planning!? 

Emily, from Australia and Colm, who's Irish have been together for years, and already have 2 children, Grace and Killian, so it was time for them to tie the knot with all their wonderful friends and family to witness it. Emily's family made the journey from the other side of the world, and they were ready for a great Irish party!

I loved everything about the bride's style, her elegant boho choices in her dress and florals were just my taste! The bouquet arranged by Austen Flowers had a giant protea and eucalyptus, stunning! Emily opted for gorgeous blush heels and luxe bohemian jewellery from Australian designer Samantha Wills

It was hoped and planned to have an outdoor ceremony, but Ireland being Ireland, the heavens opened just as the guests were about to take their seats. With her laid-back Aussie demeanour, Emily was unfazed, and the nuptials went ahead inside the historic country house instead. 

As you can see from the photos below, the couple and their family were beaming and radiated joy all day long. There was non-stop laughter and fun; it was one of those weddings that has me pinching myself how lucky I am getting to capture it all! Check it out for yourself.
 

3.jpg
1.1.jpg
1.jpg
2.2.jpg
2.jpg
3.3.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
8.8.jpg
6.jpg
5.5.jpg
7.jpg
4.4.jpg
8.jpg
9.9.jpg
9.jpg
7.7.jpg
13.jpg
10.1.jpg
11.jpg
11.1.jpg
12.jpg

S & M // Station House Hotel

Sue & Mark chose a wonderful setting to celebrate their nuptials, the Station House Hotel in Meath. A converted railway station, the original turntable for the trains in the forest was a perfectly unique setting for their ceremony, with the sounds of the birds chirping and the wind whistling softly through the trees.

Sue spent the morning with her bridesmaids relaxing and getting ready, as a butterfly appeared and fluttered around her grandmother's vintage ring, while Mark and his best man readied themselves in the Signal suite.

Walking the red carpet aisle through the forest with her Dad was a sweet and photogenic moment. He was fit to burst with pride upon seeing her for the first time in her dress! As for little Ava, their darling 2 year old, she stole hearts with her chubby cheeks and cute dress. 

After they said 'I do', it was off for their photos around the scenic grounds, followed by prosecco and canapes with their guests. Their loved ones toasted them and their future as they spent the evening enjoying their meal in the Carriage room. A perfect end to a romantic and charming day!

4.jpg
DSC_9880.jpg
5.jpg
DSC_9888.jpg
1.jpg
DSC_0099.jpg
8.jpg
DSC_9826.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
DSC_0843.jpg
6.jpg
DSC_0951.jpg
7.jpg

J & R // Kinnitty Castle

Earlier this summer Julia & Ronan were married on the beautiful grounds of Kinnitty Castle. 
Julia had her morning prep at her lovely family home with her bridal party, including her gorgeous nieces and nephew and their loveable doggies. Before heading off to say 'I do' Julia was keen to get a photo with her dog Hagrid in the daisy field at their home!
The courtyard at Kinnitty provided an elegant and pretty backdrop for their outdoor ceremony. Outdoor ceremonies in Ireland are always unpredictable but thankfully after a brief passing shower, guests were seated and the couple were ready to say their vows.
The clouds passed in perfect time to allow their guests enjoy the drinks reception while we wandered into the forest for their portraits. Julia looked like a celtic goddess with her long red hair and opted for a wild and delicate flower crown. The beautiful florals provided by A Room in Bloom  were natural and wild whites and lilacs, and Julia's mum and sister kindly surprised her with lots of extra flowers which looked magnificent. Guests dined in the great hall throughout the evening, and partied the night away to some great entertainment! It was such a pleasure to be asked to capture this wonderful day!

7.jpg
1.jpg
DSC_1412.jpg
2.jpg
DSC_1509.jpg
8.jpg
DSC_7336.jpg
3.jpg
DSC_1882.jpg
DSC_1981.jpg
DSC_2016.jpg
4.jpg
DSC_2117.jpg
DSC_2194.jpg
DSC_2374.jpg
5.jpg
DSC_7668.jpg
DSC_7775.jpg
DSC_7980.jpg

J & A // Kilruddery Estate

Jenny & Andrew's wedding took place on a warm and beautiful day in May. Morning prep began at the gorgeous Powerscourt hotel overlooking the Wicklow mountains. 
From there, they travelled to Kilruddery estate for the ceremony and reception. The fabulous and light-filled orangery was the backdrop for their ceremony and has to be one of my favourite wedding locations!

Little Oscar, their adorable dachsund was there too in his little homemade suit. Jenny, previously of the Cheeky Dog Bakery had put lots of love and effort into hand crafting some of the details which turned out beautifully. Their guests enjoyed prosecco and canapes as we strolled the grounds by the pond for their photos. Dinner was then served family style in the grain store where everyone chatted and laughed over good food, wine and stories. They ended the evening in style dancing the night away. 

J & C // The Millhouse

Jen & Chris’ beautiful wedding day took place on a gloriously sunny day in May.
Chris from Germany and Jen from Skerries have lived in Australia for a number of years before making the move back to Europe and to celebrate their nuptials here in Ireland. Jen was a stunning bride dressed in a simple elegant gown and Chris was looking dapper opting for wooden elements in his bowtie and watch. The two were a joy to be around and photograph - there was so much love and emotion between them. Chris had me tearing up as well as he cried with joy upon seeing Jen make her way up the aisle to him, it was incredibly heartwarming.

We stopped off at Ardgillan Castle for their photos before making our way to the gorgeous Millhouse in Slane, where the festivities and speeches kicked off in the late afternoon sunshine. As the light dropped, it was just time for the first dance, and for their guests to let loose on the dance floor!


Kind words from the bride:

"Claire did an incredible job capturing our big day in the Millhouse Slane. From the very first email, I knew she was the woman for the job. She was so detail orientated and really went that extra mile to ensure we had all the shots we wanted. She exceeded all our expectations and we have such amazing images that we can cherish and look back on forever. She was such a pleasure to have around on the wedding morning (she's actually the most polite person I've ever met) and she blended so well with our guests during the wedding reception. Her photography style is beautiful and all the images she provided were flawless. We can't thank her enough for capturing our magical day and I would highly recommend her to brides looking for a great wedding photographer."

DSC_4299.jpg

R & S // Lanzarote

The lovely Rachel & Stephen reached out to me last year to enquire about coming out to Lanzarote to capture their destination wedding on the beach. Of course, I jumped at the chance! 
I love to travel and it was an honour to be asked to come out with them.
The rugged volcanic landscape and red sandy hues made a fabulous backdrop for their portraits. They were a wonderful couple - adventurous and fun-loving – I had so much fun travelling around the island to capture their pre-wedding portraits. We started on the coastline where they did their amazing first look on a rocky lava flow. We then moved to the red cliffs backdrop and inland towards Timanfaya National Park where we wandered through the spectacular cactus and lava strewn landscape as the sun was beginning to go down. They recited their vows on a sandy beach in front of all their loved ones, and spent the evening celebrating with dinner and dancing. So thankful to capture such a lovely couple's special memories in a fabulous location.

If you are planning a destination wedding, I am available for weddings abroad for the 2018/19 season. Get in touch to claire@studiobrown.ie 

M & T // Farmleigh engagement shoot

I absolutely loved capturing Meadhbh & Tom's engagement session recently around the grounds of Farmleigh. They got engaged closeby at Dublin Zoo where they had their first date! We had a crisp February afternoon with a lucky break from the rain and pockets of gorgeous light appearing. The two were a dream to capture, so sweet and natural on camera.

Meabhbh says:

Just looked through the gallery and I am beyond thrilled with the photos - they are so beautiful and I feel so happy looking at them :) I'm sat here gushing through each one and I love each picture more than the next. Thank you so much for your hard work, we feel so lucky to have found you! 

Coastal inspiration shoot published in Confetti magazine

I'm excited to share with you our shoot from last August that was recently published in the Spring edition of Confetti Magazine. We had a host of talented wedding suppliers come on board lending their skills to create some fabulous wedding inspiration for you.

The shoot was inspired by the wild and natural elements of our coastline and landscape, using a colour palette of cool blues and rose quartz, with accents of rose gold and geodes. The geodes and stones on our tablescape symbolise an elemental connection to the earth.

We were aiming for a perfect mix of modern with a delicate fine art touch to give this romantic styled shoot a balance of soft ethereal elegance with a unique touch of wild Irish nature. Tying in the mineral elements of the geodes and quartz jewellery with beautiful florals and air plants, set on a soft blue muslin, the watercolour ceramics and stationery were a perfect finishing touch to create a stunning intimate setting. Hiring a professional stylist for your wedding such as Kristine from Lovebird Designs makes all the difference in bringing your vision to life.

The interior part was set against a backdrop of exposed brick in the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin built in 1662 while the exterior was shot along the sand dunes and coastline of the wild Irish sea.

Styling and florals: Lovebird Designs
Dress and crystal headpiece: Dirty Fabulous
Model: Ella Killen from Morgan the Agency
Venue: Smock Alley Theatre 
Make-up Artist: Asta Sau Make-up Artist 
Hair Styling: Claire Barry Hair 
Cake: The Cake Cuppery
Jewellery: Chupi
Plates: DANUceramics

My favourite wedding trends for 2017

With my own wedding in the planning process for this year, poring over beautiful imagery and trends on Pinterest is all the more exciting! So, I’m multi-tasking on this post, it’s both work research ;) and wedding planning as I bring you my favourite trends for 2017.

Greenery


Starting with the Pantone colour of the year - Greenery, we’re going to see lots of lush leafy details such as gorgeous garlands and foliage style centrepieces. Green is nature’s neutral and the perfect accent to an opulent setting. 

 

 

Industrial

I absolutely adore the industrial look, and the homeware elements of copper and marble have now made their way into weddings. This would work really well in a cool and edgy city venue with brick or concrete walls. Organic greenery and succulents are your friend here too!

 

Watercolour

Anyone who has seen my stationery designs knows how much I love incorporating watercolours - they are whimsical and romantic, and are a wonderful way to add dreamy pops of colour. View samples here.

Boho

If going the traditional wedding route simply isn’t for you, and you are more drawn to a natural boho vibe, there is so much beautiful inspiration out there on how to style your day while staying true to you. I am personally so drawn to the freedom and adventure the boho aesthetic evokes.

 

Woodland

Granted our unpredictable Irish weather could make a woodland wedding a little tricky, but with ample planning, this perfectly suits the outdoorsy couple who are planning a more intimate wedding or elopement. I can’t think of anything more romantic than exchanging your vows in a stunning forest setting. 

 

If you are planning a wedding incorporating any of the above aesthetics, they are on my bucket list to photograph, so make sure to get in touch for a really great deal!

I will certainly be incorporating some of these elements for my own nuptials this year!

Images via Pinterest

C & V // Belleek Castle

I so loved capturing this wonderful wedding at Belleek Castle. Caroline & Vin were a gorgeous couple, relaxed and easy-going and it was my first dog-friendly wedding (so exciting!) complete with the gorgeous Bo serving as ring-bearer, what a cutie! All hands were on deck, with Caroline's mum making her beautiful dress, her aunts providing the flowers, and Vin designed the invitations. The grounds at Belleek were fabulous and a little wander into the forest in the late afternoon provided us some beautiful soft light for their portraits. They enjoyed the evening of dinner and dancing in the castle's dungeon setting. 

J & C // Inishowen

Jo & Colin's winter wedding was beautiful from start to finish. They incorporated lovely Christmassy elements in a very elegant way. I always love coming home to Donegal for a wedding, we are blessed with such stunning landscapes, but who knew we would be blessed with this fabulous light in the middle of December?
This couple were so relaxed and easy going, and were up for anything! With a little encouragement, they braved it onto the eroding beach at Five Fingers strand with Colin giving Jo a piggyback over the stones! I think it was worth it for these portraits with the fabulous cliffs as their backdrop. Following that, we made our way to The Red Door in Buncrana for a wonderful evening of dinner and dancing.

L & T // Ashford Castle

I recently had the pleasure of shooting an anniversary session with the lovely Lauren and Timothy at Ashford Castle. They were on their annual anniversary trip from the US, deciding to spend it in the luxurious surrounds of Ashford Castle. We explored the stunning grounds of the castle while they braved the Irish elements! They were natural, fun and carefree in front of the camera making it easy to capture these lovely moments.