An Irish Wedding in Salzburg

by Dayle Ann Clavin / November 03, 2015 / in wedding / 4 comments

 It was my pleasure to photograph the wonderfully lively and joyful wedding of Sharon and Ruaidri in gorgeous Salzburg settings. My day began at a beautiful Salzburg city center hotel where Sharon and Ruaidri were getting ready. Sharon and all of her bridesmaid’s , mom and hairdresser were busy with preparations and as I arrived.  I was greeted warmly and was immediately caught up in the ensuing excitement. Here, Sharon’s shoes, beautiful , golden ,  and fairy tale like.

And lovely Sharon …

In the corner of Sharon’s suite  I noticed the sleeping bags and rustic gear which obviously contrasted with the open suitcases full of exquisite wedding garb. Sharon explained to me that they would be spending their Honeymoon sleeping under the open skies of Africa for three weeks, safari tours taking them through a selection of Africa’s most adventurous and famous natural reserves. At once I  had visions of them stalking  wild lions, tigers , elephants and giraffes and of course my sense of adventure flared up and my photographic nerve was tickled. But on with the story of the wedding day….

 Ruaidri was waiting in a room with a more relaxed ambiance on another floor of the hotel, dressed and  eager to begin after having expertly ironed his own shirt ( which I witnessed with my own eyes ).

(Note to the reader: If you are having trouble with his name and are not Irish, do not feel bad.I practiced Ruaidri’s name before I trusted myself to say it out loud and in the end this did not evolve well,  so we opted for a short version of Ru. This was a great relief, and I wondered how the Irish could possess names which an native english speaker could not read or pronounce correctly.  The American names like Tom, Bob  and Bill  can simply not compete.)

Ruaidri’s favorite requisites were laid out; a shiny whisky flask and  a cherished watch and chain, a gift from  his sweetheart.

When all were ready, we were taken by limousine to Mirabell Castle where the actual wedding ceremony took place in magnificent  baroque rooms . Here, some scenes from the ceremony . I was amazed by the Irish women and the wonderfully vivid sense of color of their dresses and hats… emphasis  here on hats, or “fascinators”as they are called in the UK for a good reason. They were eye catchers.

After a ceremony of smiles, laughter interspersed with happy tears, Sharon, Ruaidri and I had some special time for portraits in the castle…Baroque pure in the company of gold, marble and luxuriant angels.

We then made our way to Hellbrunn Castle on the outskirts of Salzburg .The ‘Lustschloss’ was a pleasure palace built between the years of 1612-1619 for staging festivities, for enjoyment and relaxation. Originally this was a privilege reserved for the archbishops. I must admit,the fantasy takes off when imagining what might have taken place here in earlier times, but  during our visit, there was certainly no lack of enjoyment among the Hegarty wedding guests while enjoying a special tour of the trick fountains or “Wasserspiele”. It was only a matter of keeping an eye out for hidden water spouts,  and being quick on your feet in order to stay dry. The challenge was welcomed by all, but I did notice that the kids were searching eagerly for the pitfalls.

A few details from the group shots, introducing young Nathan who emerged as one of the best photo assistants I have had the pleasure to work with. Thus, I encouraged him to just be himself during our portrait session and he followed my lead.

 The ladies did well in showing their legs….

The girls were just being girls…..

In the final hour before dinner, the newlyweds and I walked through the gardens and captured some special moments.

At the end of the day, as I packed up my gear to head for home, I felt I could not have had a better experience. Wonderful warm people, gorgeous settings and an abundance of happiness. What more could one ask for.