Tag Archives: wedding photography

Weddings and chocolates….

‘A wedding is like a box of chocolates….you never know what you’re going to get’ just my variation on that famous quote from the Forrest Gump movie. I’ve often thought so to myself since I started to photograph weddings. It starts with receiving an email or a call from a stranger asking ‘are you available on …..? or ‘please send me information on your wedding packages’, then progress through a booking process as appropriate via phone, email, Skype, face to face consultation or some combination of all and look forward to the wedding date coming around. I do a pre-wedding meeting where possible close to the wedding date also. The purpose of all this is to gather the pertinent information such as type of ceremony, who is involved, assess timelines etc. and get to know a little more about the couple and their specific wedding plans.


On Thursday last I had the pleasure of providing my wedding photography services to Mary & Steve. As above it started with an early morning email briefly outlining some requirements. In the subsequent exchange it transpired Mary was in Virginia planning her destination wedding to Ireland to marry Steve in Trim, Co. Meath with 50+ of their family & friends making the trip.  Information was exchanged, a booking made and we arrange to meet in person over Christmas on their pre-wedding visit to Dublin. With my schedule and their schedule it was a brief enough meeting concentrating on the high level elements. I have attended weddings in the states in the past and follow a number of US wedding photographers etc. online and was looking forward to what might transpire. As with all my weddings I consider it a privilege to be selected to document the couple’s wedding day. When the day itself arrives to a certain degree it’s a leap into the unknown, a mix of tension, nervousness, excitement (me that is, not to mention the wedding party), deep breath, knock  at the door and go from there, immerse yourself and work hard.


One of the aspects I like about being a wedding photographer is it that it give’s you in varying ways a small glimpse into the live’s of your clients (before, during & after), the people around them, what they mean to them, their personalities, their interactions etc.   So it was last Thursday, I very quickly got the feeling that this was going to be a something a little special to be part off.  A reasonably sized group but yet closely knit group of friends & family of different ages, cultures, backgrounds and geographical locations had converged in Dublin & Trim for an adventure and to coin another phrase ‘the craic’.

There are very few weddings that doesn’t have these elements and nothing to do with the venue, the number of guests, the budget etc. but for me this had a sprinkling of something extra that just struck a chord. Maybe it was just trying to imagine the logistics & volume of baggage that must have been involved (some members of the group had or are having extended holidays in Ireland & Europe before or after Thursday) or the level of detail that went into it. Maybe it was the small deviations from a typical Irish wedding including the attire of the bridal party – ten in total and their complete involvement throughout, the ‘no photos at the ceremony’ request to guests (which was adhered to) but free rein for social media posting otherwise, the Bridesman,  the ‘First Look with Mary’s father, Her father’s outfit change, the travel theme and more.  For me it’s always the people that makes a good wedding, great. From the 1st moment until I dragged myself away the openness and friendliness of this group was evident. In fairness I have experienced this at many of my weddings but I think overall the camaraderie displayed between Mary, Steve and their guests stood out more than usual, signified by the ad-hoc hand-tying ceremony performed by all the bridal party during our main photo session at Trim Castle.   

Thankfully I did manage to meet-up with Mary & Steve again briefly on Saturday morning before heading onward to their honeymoon in Spain. They gave me this lovely memento that was part of their wedding decor and added a personal inscription on it, before having seen an image. I’m looking forward to further contacts in the coming weeks and months as I complete their images and orders and hope it will go beyond that.

Wedding prop gift

I also have a new batch of Facebook connections from the group and I’m looking forward to trawling through the image postings of their trips to Ireland and their mementoes of a special day. I hope to do another post of images from the day when ready, thanks for reading.

Surprise Engagement in Howth

I was delighted to be asked recently to help out David with his proposal to long-term girlfriend Ann Marie at the site of their first date on Howth Head in Co. Dublin. David arranged for SocialBee to set up a secret picnic while I hid among the gorse to capture the romantic moment when he popped the question to Ann Marie. The surprise engagement shoot turned out so well that it was even featured on WeddingsOnline recently!





Ann Marie and David met through friends in DIT but it was few years before the stars were aligned for this couple. They moved to Perth four years ago and David thought that this visit home would be the perfect time to ask the love of his life to marry him, and chose the exact spot where they had their first date years earlier. His surprise plans were almost thwarted when Ann Marie announced that she had plan with her family that afternoon, so David had to make a sneaky phone call to her Dad to have the plans cancelled so that everything could go to plan!

surprise proposal shoot howth dead david mcauley photography


As you can see from this photo, David was delighted when Ann Marie said YES!

surprise proposal shoot howth dead david mcauley photography

Melissa from SocialBee had set up a wonderful picnic for the newly engaged couple to enjoy, with a bottle of champagne to celebrate with of course. Ann Marie was surprised and delighted with the amount of thought and effort that David had gone to to arrange everything.

Ann Marie & David’s love was captured perfectly with the site of their first date in the background; a wonderful memory to take away with them and keep forever.

surprise proposal shoot howth dead david mcauley photography

Advice for the Groom

Going by tradition, some might say that the groom makes the biggest decision when it comes to wedding planning, as they will more than likely be the one to pop the question. There is often a misconception that once a couple is engaged, the groom takes the back seat and lets his partner do all the planning. However, there are so many ways the groom can stay involved in the wedding planning process, so today we are offering up some advice for the groom and what to expect in the run-up to the big day.


The Big Decisions


Advice for grooms David McAuley Photography


Give your input on the big decisions for the wedding – the date, the location, what kind of ceremony you have, who’s invited, what entertainment you’ll have and what kind of food will be served. Your partner will appreciate the help and you will feel more at ease knowing that you have given your input. It’s likely that you and your partner will have discussed things like the style of wedding you want long before the ring goes on; so ensure that you are on the same page when it comes to this. If you are envisioning an intimate soiree while your fiance is planning for 300 guests in a huge ballroom, now is the time to have a conversation and find a compromise. The same goes for choosing what type of ceremony you’ll have; if you come from different religious backgrounds this will be a very important conversation to have, as you will both want to make your families happy.


Support Your Partner



Advice for grooms David McAuley Photography



If your fiance has taken on most of the wedding planning duties, he or she will undoubtedly become stressed out by some of it and will need your support and patience. Take bad moods and tantrums with a pinch of salt, and ask how you can be there for them. Find out if there are any smaller jobs you and your groomsmen can look after, which will lighten the load on your partner. Most importantly, if you feel the stress is getting to your relationship, why not plan a spontaneous weekend away where you can both relax and forget about the wedding for a few days? It can help to put everything in perspective and give some much-needed breathing space to your partner.


The Stag


Advice for grooms David McAuley Photography



Your best man and/or groomsmen may be planning this, but ensure you give them your input. If you don’t fancy a night in the casino followed by a strip club, then make that clear to them. Keep in mind the budgets of your friends and family members that will be attending – if you know that your best bud is struggling with his bills, then a long weekend in Barcelona may not be the best idea. Keep things simple – you don’t have to travel for hours to have a great experience. A night away doesn’t have to break the bank if you choose budget accommodation or self-catering, and keep it wallet-friendly with some bar food and a pub crawl. Some wise words – leave plenty of time between the stag and the wedding, just in case you have a little ‘tumble’ and end up with a few bruises, or heaven forbid, a broken bone!


Take a time-out on the big day


Advice for grooms David McAuley Photography



On your wedding day, things will go very, very quickly. When the ceremony is over and you’ve taken your photographs, make sure you and your partner take 15 or 20 minutes alone to kick off the shoes, have a small bite to eat (you will be very hungry) and let the events of the day sink in before you return to your guests and the night begins. You will appreciate the day all the more.


Rain on Your Wedding Day

One of the last things a couple wants to think about on their big day is rain or bad weather.  Even in the height of summer, you can’t guarantee a dry day in Ireland, so it’s best to be prepared for it and assume it will happen, rather than just putting the Child of Prague statue outside the night before and hoping for the best. Here are some tips to help you prepare for rain on your wedding day.

Pretty wellingtons and umbrellas

You can now accessorise your bridal party with cute and colourful wet weather gear. Ivory and white umbrellas, adorned with frills, bows and polka dots to match your wonderful dress, or bright red brollies that will make for an incredible photo opportunity. Wellingtons in an array of colours could again make for a fabulous photo opportunity with you and your bridesmaids, while also letting you keep those special high heels safe for dancing later.

Rain on your wedding day wellingtons David McAuley
Image via Want That Wedding

Ask your photographer for advice

Your photographer will be very experienced, and will have shot weddings in all types of weather. Ask them for their advice, so that you can all be prepared for a rainy day. Ask the photographer to research some beautiful indoor or covered photo opportunities. Also ensure to check with your venue if they have any good photo opportunities within the venue itself or on the grounds. Older properties could have incredible bridal suites or an unusual bar which make for beautiful photographic backdrops. You may need to be prepared to be flexible on time; quite often a shower of rain may just last for 15 or 20 minutes so you might be better off to take a quick break from photos and wait for the sun to come back out. If you’re getting married during the winter or early spring when rain is more likely, schedule your ceremony a little earlier so that you are not rushing with your photographs just to get back to the reception on time.

Rain on your wedding day David McAuley
David McAuley Photography

Make-up & Hair

Ensure your make-up artist is using waterproof items, especially on your eyes. It’s one thing to have some mascara tears as you walk down the aisle, but another to have panda eyes in your photographs! There are some great make-up fixer sprays that you can get too. Ask your make-up artist for advice on touch-ups if the weather does dampen the skin when you’re outside. It may be an idea to hire your make-up artist to stay on to do touch-ups before your photos and meal so that you can feel confident all day. The same goes for hair – you don’t want your beautiful up-do to end up looking like a birds nest when you get back to your reception, so ensure your bridesmaids have an emergency kit that includes combs, hairspray and Kirby grips!

Rain on your wedding day David McAuley
David McAuley Photography

Finally, don’t let rain dampen your mood -it’s actually said to be good luck to have rain on your wedding day.

Meet David – David McAuley Photography

I decided recently that writing a blog would be a great way to connect with my clients, past, present and future. I’m really excited to be sharing some great tips with you over the coming months, including help with choosing your wedding photographer, how to prepare for a photoshoot and lots of other tips and tricks. Today I’m sharing a ‘behind-the-scenes’ piece to give you a look at the world of David McAuley Photography!

I’m from Palmerstown, Dublin 20. I never managed to stray far from it and I still live there currently. I’m supported by my wife Annemarie, and we have 3 children, 2 girls aged 11 & 15 & a boy aged 13. Annemarie is originally from Co. Kerry and we go down whenever feasible.

I had a long & evolving IT career which I thoroughly enjoyed. I did a couple of years as a self employed contractor but eventually got a yearning to step back from the large corporate environments and to try something new. I decided to re-activate my interest in photography, starting from scratch. My timing wasn’t great with the start of the recession and it was slower than I would have liked but it did give me time to learn and practice. During that time for my wedding photography I attended the Norwich school of Photography which gave me a baseline to build upon, in both the business and practical skills knowledge. It also gave me the confidence to specialise in wedding photography.



My core clients and specialty are weddings. I strive to give wedding couples a level of service and value that all their planning and investment deserves. I also like to shoot for businesses; this includes products, headshots and events. I also photograph families and family celebrations from babies to milestone birthdays – this is an area I plan on expanding on this year.


David McAuley Wedding Photography Ireland



Although my early career choice would be considered more logical and methodical in nature, my favourite aspect of my business now is the personal interaction with clients and subjects, be it a few minutes at an event or over the course of eighteen months with a wedding couple before, during and after their wedding. Of course interaction on the wedding day itself is special  and that extends to their families and guests. Thanks to social media, this often lasts a lot longer than just the time between first booking and the day they receive their finished albums. I also love being able to provide a and/or products that means something to my clients be it a wedding album that will trigger memories for a couple of their big day, or images to promote & generate interest in a business. It’s not all fun – I can sometimes find it difficult keeping up with the admin parts of running a business – I guess I’ve lost some of that logical, methodical approach from my former career!


David McAuley Wedding Photography Ireland



It’s important when running your own business to find time to unwind too. I sometimes think I never switch off, but once I step away from my screen there’s the usual family & domestic duties, the odd beer or meal with friends or sometimes just a little daydreaming. I’ve started doing a small (and I mean small) bit of running for exercise recently. I’m hoping to start a project this year to get all the family camcorder tapes and older snapshots that languish on CD’s & phones into print and digi-clips if time permits. I like watching movies although I seem to have missed so many in the last few years. I will try to keep track of the F1 season when it starts. Photography in general and businesses and the story behind businesses, both big and small, interest me – I’m not a great reader in terms of attention span but I like to watch and listen to business shows and documentaries.