It was as simple as an afternoon walk in a park when Cornel proposed to Laura. With their Romanian roots, I knew this would not be a traditional Irish wedding. In Romania, they usually sign the legal papers at the city hall the Thursday or Friday before the wedding, but the religious ceremony (followed by a big party) is considered as the real wedding.
Laura and Cornel asked us to turn up early for the morning preparations at Killiney Castle. We were so excited to see the dress as Laura told me her mum is the seamstress for Sharon Hoey, so we knew the dress would be amazing. And,it truly was! We had to find a stunning location to photograph it and ended up putting a chair up on the poster bed and climbing up to hang the dress up high in line with the chandelier in the room.
Besides, photographing the dress, we usually document the busy morning of preparations and met the lovely hair stylist for the day Lorraine Browne. As traditional Irish gals, we had to get our head around the fact that Cornel stayed the night before with Laura in the bridal suite and got ready with her that morning. So, we documented them both at the same time. Though Cornel had a little too much of all the fuss that morning and headed home to their apartment for an hour and returned to very quickly slip into his fancy suit and cufflinks!
We even managed to shoot the family shots in Killiney Castle before Laura was whisked away in the fabulous Bentley to the Romanian Church in Leeson Park.
The church is stunning and the whole ceremony proved to be very different. In fact, with most of it taking place in Romanian, I had to be ready to shoot everything that moved. Next to the Bride and Groom, the godparents play the most important role. They participate in the religious ceremony and help the bride get ready in the morning. The priest reads from a bible and alot of prayers are sung.
During the religious ceremony, the godmother stands by the bride’s side, holding a tall candle (70-130 cm high and decorated with flowers) with the help of the bridesmaid, and the godfather stands by the groom’s side, helped by the best man with another identical candle. When the priest puts the rings on the couple’s fingers, they are helped by the godparents. I loved the moment when the bride and groom wore gold crowns on their heads which signifies that they are ‘king and queen’. At the final part of the ceremony, the priest takes the godfather by hand (with the candle), followed by the groom, the bride, the godmother with the other candle for the traditional wedding dance around the Holy Table. Laura told me later she was terrified she might fall in her fabulous high heels.
After the ceremony, we headed back to Killiney Castle, where Laura and Cornel showed me their fabulous wedding cake and guests enjoyed sitting in the front garden in the sun. Laura and Cornel had a few more photos in the gardens and then we left them enjoying their day in the sunshine. The honeymoon I hear is St Lucia in the Caribbean. A perfect ending to a perfect day.