Our Baby-Moon - May 2018

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Our Baby-Moon - May 2018

When you are in the middle of making plans, renovating a cottage, trying to juggle self-employment and making financial plans for becoming parents... there is really only one remedy you need to prioritise:

A holiday.

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Trust me - everything else will fall in place.

...plus you'll never get "that time" back.

Budgeting... we booked with https://www.travelrepublic.ie as this way you can put a deposit down months before the holiday and pay your holiday off - thanks for your advice @Rebecca McGann from Fades & Flicks

Between our personal collection of photographs of our own little get-away I have a couple of tips for the baby-moon you might consider for yourself & your partner, best friend or parent.

Depending on the situation you might find yourself in (with or without partner) - just go and take some time off before baby changes your life (I am still waiting for ours to make an appearance, but I heard things will never be the same) :)

What to pack?

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While you mightn't have felt your very best the first couple of months of your pregnancy, the baby-moon is just for you! (and your other half of course... but in reality - it's for you :)). Going on a holiday is a perfect distraction from nausea! And it doesn't matter if you stay in your country or travel further afield! 

You might by now have figured out new cravings for dinner - or maybe your body is still fine with the diet you were used to pre-pregnancy.

So my tip - choose a hotel that caters for a variety of kitchen - from Irish to continental. Usually I am a fan of camping and catering for ourselves - but hey, this is about not having to cook or worry about where to hunt for your food! Keep it simple and comfortable!

A quick list of things I was happy to have brought:

Feel pretty:

  • Nail polish - perfectly fine if not used too often & in a well ventilated environment. You don't want to breath in those fumes
  • ...use stick on nails to be sure
  • You might still fit into your normal wardrobe. Make sure to be comfortable. But I'd also recommend some pretty summer dresses! Pregnancy has ups and down and you mightn't be up for dressing up when things get a little rocky. 

Entertainment:

  • It's not about doing tones of activities (though I got a lot of energy back all for sudden :D)
  • Bring your favourite book you meant to read and never found the time
  • Ipad for a little bit of social media and staying in touch (minimise the use as you'll be online during breast feeding sessions and maternity leave enough)
  • Music to relax

Stay well

  • Panadol is fine to use during pregnancy. Take the lowest dose and consult your doctor before the holiday. I took about 5 Panadol all together during pregnancy. 
  • There are a couple of things you might want to try before taking medicine e.g. a cold cloth, drink loads, eat small regular portions etc. But rather than suffering a pulsing migraine you might want to choose a quicker pain relief.
  • Sun-creme & a sunhat

Document

  • Document your baby moon either in writing or photography
  • Bring a camera as you might want prints
  • (you can always bring your photographer along :D **hint hint)

Shoes

  • Make sure you are comfortable. Walking is probably the best exercise and while you might feel your feet are a little swollen - make sure to use travel stockings if you are flying for several hours. And ask your GP how to support swollen feet when flying
  • Flip Flops :)
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  • The yellow pair of shoes I brought were from Next 36EUR (they actually sold the exact same model in different colours in Lidl at 9EUR just a couple of weeks after our baby-moon). A flat rubber sole was essential for long comfortable walks - while the pair I got was still pretty enough for a restaurant visit.

I hope you enjoy our little baby-moon journey. Between segments of images you find some more maternity tips that really helped me during the past 9 months. ...one major tip:

Don't listen to every tip you will hear over the next months :) ...you are now to become a mum and will make your own decisions for the life you are growing and be stronger than ever before. ♡

...a strong filter is essential :D

What to drink? What to eat?

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"we have beer colder than your ex's heart"

This pretty much sums up my cravings - cold & beer. We usually wouldn't be drinking every weekend but sure,... since pregnancy there is nothing I crave more than an ice cold beer!

So why not go for a cool shandy? :D I can recommend two yummy options:

Mix heineken with cola or 7up - so refreshing! **in super moderation. I had about 2-3 during the whole week. But I enjoyed them as if they were my final treat :D

It's said a glass of wine here and there is ok too - I just didn't feel like any more and learned to listen to what baby wants. (it's a little bit like preparing for giving up some of your needs for your new family member - some of them, not all of them ;) )

In regards to food... avoid the usual:

AVOID

  • raw meats & unpasteurised cheeses (cooked & hard cheeses are fine)

Now... during my first 3 months I strayed around in lidl, aldi, supervalu, tesco... staring at my phone to google maternity food that is safe to eat...

  • "can I eat salmon during pregnancy"
  • "ok to eat blue cheese in pregnancy"
  • "ate mouldy bread by accident while 4 months pregnant"

...it literally freaked me out - but it's "what you heard" from other people. So I finally stopped and filtered - and ate what I liked :D. You'd be surprised! If you listen to what baby needs it actually adjusts your diet quiet naturally. Ask your GP if you are insecure or have specific dietary requirements.

Treats...

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My most significant craving was ice cream :) ...you can imagine my facial impression when John had eaten the last lollipop one evening after 10pm. All that was left was the wrapping paper - I was raging! And you don't want to see a pregnant ice cream craving woman without ice cream!

Stay dehydrated!!

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...water is a great remedy for headache and helps digesting & staying cool.

TIP: bring a bag that fits on your partner's shoulder :D (you are pregnant and don't want to exhaust yourself from carrying too much!)

While I didn't really crave any of my usual treats like pizza & McDonalds... this changed during our baby moon - whoop whoop - best pizza ever!! 

Make sure OH has a great time too :)

While we all know - it's all about mum to be - make sure your other half has a great time too. It's hard enough to try to put myself into someone else's shoes in such an emotional phase. I am trying not to exaggerate, but since reading this simple word on a pregnancy test - or rather two tests - my emotions are a pure rollercoaster.

We love water sports so I was keen to have book a destination that has facilities for John as well as for mum to be.

Malta is a stunning island and has so much to offer! With little neighbouring islands Gozo and Comino. 

...from cliff jumping...

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...to scuba diving...

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Scuba Diving

Make sure to book the scuba dive trip you are looking for!!

For beginner divers:

  • Dive Gear is pretty heavy... 
  • Go easy. If you never dived before you might want to ask for easy access to the water. A shore dive is recommended. When I speak to people who don't "ever want to go diving again" it's because they had a bad experience, so don't spoil a sport that could be incredible by hopping into the deep water!!
  • Good thing you'll float in the water, just put plenty of air into your BCD to stay afloat and get used to the water conditions.
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  • Make sure not to go past your recommended depth. Always have a trained diver with you.
  • Carry your own gear ;)

For advance divers:

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  • Ask if the dive can be logged in your dive book - not all dives can be counted in your country
  • Ask if your dive can be considered for a specific "training" dive you are currently doing to become a dive master, leading diver etc.
  • Make sure that your dive association accepts specific dives e.g. paddy's or CMAS - there are different requirements.

The dive site...

When booking your dive the day or week before (make sure to contact the dive centre in advance - even from home before your holiday to assure availability)

Ask for the level of other divers as this might impact your dive site. e.g. if you are looking for a wreck dive but one person doesn't have the respective level you might end up doing a shore dive.

Things to do for mum to be

It's one of those where "tests" can't be undertaken to state is when pregnant diving is allowed or not. So common sense plays a big roll. Just like cliff diving doesn't seem to be the wisest idea I kept away from scuba diving too.

So either book. yourself a wellness treatment, or come along and "hang out".

Make sure that you know facilities around the dive site. Some are quite rural with no public toilettes (well, bush toilettes are always available), no shade to keep out of the heat etc.

I brought a couple of essentials as I wanted to join the dive crew to Gozo where the two dive sites were.

  • sun hat
  • sun glasses
  • sun creme
  • towel to sit on - just in case
  • I asked the Dive instructor if I could keep the keys to the car - just in case (simply to sit comfortably - but also in case of an emergency - in case I stayed behind by myself)

If you are lucky - I was - you find a restaurant in walking distance. Just make sure you have the necessary cash on you. The only restaurant within 15km was a 5 star wedding venue - which was a lovely treat. I zipped an ice cold coke in a beautiful ambience! ...I missed to bring the necessary cash for a meal :)

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Well and I brought my camera for some scenic shots :)

Not into water sports?

Alternatively Gozo and Comino can be discovered on foot.

Comino is rather small - you'd be surprised by the tiny beach. You might have heard about the "blue lagoon" - pretty, but packed, I can only imagine it during high season!

Let's just say, I enjoyed my shandy!

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Even though we went outside the main season the little beach was packed with party people. It's been quite fun though - and a nice change to the quiet days we had so far. If you decide to walk/hike all the way hill up the little island you'll find yourself back in nature and - silence. There is a small museum if you fallow the path (and the cliff diving place from earlier ;))

It's well worth a hike up the island! For walks & cliff jumping if you're up for it - and not pregnant :)

I loved Gozo!

Next time I'd love to stay in Gozo. The island is so diverse and beautiful. A little town, an old town, habours, beaches ... Sunday markets.

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The architecture is stunning! Get yourself a ticket for the hop on hop off tour! It' worth it! The bus goes every 45 min. I'd nearly visit Gozo twice. One day to find out what you like to do and where you like to stay and the other day to do it :)

Take the ferry to Gozo!

It's only 4.5EUR (May 2018) return ticket.

You get the ferry from Cirkewwa in the north of Malta. It's a 20 min drive - enough time for a cool shandy or other refreshment. The ferry has a snack bar with coffee & tea, alcoholic drinks and warm & cold snacks (toilettes too etc ;) )

TIP: Get yourself the hop on hop off ticket before your get on the ferry. You'll get it discounted and it's way faster than public transport.

The hop on hop off bus will take you around the island... familiarise yourself with the map and get a set of headphone from the bus driver - I never thought I'd enjoy a touristic tour like this - but we loved it :)

The prettiest of all places

The "Blue Grotto" - you have to go!

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It's small but super cute! Take a boat through the little gap into the open sea. Have a snack at the little beach sheltered by cliffs or go for a meal in the restaurant overlooking the Blue Grotto. ...here is where I found out that my dear friend just had her baby girl - there's a memory made during our baby moon.

And when you least expect it...

I did hear about a weekend market but not about this pretty park we found walking from the bus stop. It's like a little oasis of colours!

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Make sure to look at opening hours. I once travelled through Spain with no plan - that was the only plan. I came across unexpected festivals and events which was great! But I also missed out as I wasn't prepared.

Well and now it's about a little more waiting and looking forward to welcoming our baby into our family! Just a few more days!

💖

maternity photography newborn photography baby photography family photography

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Happy Anniversary - 40 years, time to celebrate

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Happy Anniversary - 40 years, time to celebrate

My last photoshoot before having my own celebration of a new arrival end August.

It's been a quite inspiring photoshoot. 40 years of marriage. The two have truly managed to create a home filled with love for each generation. Being at the start of my own journey I can only be grateful to be part of such an emotional event.

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It couldn't have been a better closure of the season. I think when you forget you are actually working - you know you have found your dream job. I work with families in different occasions for several years now and it always feels like being part of the event. ...maybe it was the yummi family meal I have been invited to after the shoot :) - thank you again - as baby is keeping me hungry!

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Family time in Ballyleague!

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Family time in Ballyleague!

What's a better gift than a family photography voucher ...and a day out!

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Ballyleague Marina in Co. Roscommon has to be one of my favourite photography locations in the midlands - you know how I love the water & outdoors!

A huge thank you to the lovely family today! 

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family_baby_newborn_photography_ireland
family_baby_newborn_photography_ireland

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Your summer Wedding venue in Sligo

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Your summer Wedding venue in Sligo

Getting married in Markree Castle.

Who would have thought we ever put "wedding venue", "Ireland" and "summer" into context?!

This truly could have been a wedding photoshoot in France!

Before shooting Carol's & Gerard's wedding yesterday I went for a wonder in the morning to feel myself into the wedding day & atmosphere. - Well... who wouldn't enjoy the sun and a stroll through Markree Castle's beautiful gardens!

What makes a fabulous & unforgettable wedding is a mix of ingredients.

The venue creates a base for everyone to come together. The suppliers & staff contribute to a smooth day, relaxed atmosphere & feeling of "being home". I have visited many venues during the past years but honestly - the family run venue made even me feel like being home.

And I promise, it wasn't the strawberries & ice cream I got treated to by Patricia at the end of a day of work ... though ice cream always helps! I nearly didn't leave.

Markree Castle County Sligo Ireland Wedding Photography

A World-cup atmosphere

Funny enough it reminded me of the time before a match, when I had the opportunity to work in the football stadium Allianz Arena in Munich 2006 during the World Cup. The calm of an empty stadium before a match is magical. So is the time before guests, friends & family arrive on your wedding day. I spoke to a dear friend about the importance of 'slowing down' or even 'stopping' to take a moment in fully. Especially before a life changing event.

The plan was a wedding indoors - you never know what the weather will be! But look at how beautifully the team has set up for a humanist ceremony & reception outdoors! 

Markree Castle County Sligo Ireland Wedding Photography
markree castle summer wedding wedding photography ireland
markree castle summer wedding wedding photography ireland

The sunshine created a magical play of light in the castle's rooms.

markree castle summer wedding wedding photography ireland
markree castle summer wedding wedding photography ireland

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Communion in Ireland 2018

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Communion in Ireland 2018

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What a fabulous communion season!

I have to say it was nothing short of a dreamy collection of mini weddings.

Just as my weddings, I have been asked to document each communion day in a natural way as well as taking a few formal snaps. My approach was very similar to what I would do on a wedding day - in a mini-version. From the getting ready at the family's home to celebrations at the home with friends & family. It's a very different approach to meeting only during church & ceremony where photography is rather restricted - if not prohibited... and also slightly crowded.

This year we had a beautiful collection of "Audrey Hepburn" style girls to boys wearing quirky bow-ties and blue suits. I loved all the decoration - not to miss the cakes! I think the yellow communion cake has to be my favourite (I just love the summer sun and bright & happy colour this year!)

For one girl the grandmother designed the dress!! Guess which dress :). And a very talented mum backed a beautiful cake for her gorgeous daughter. The personal touch of DIY was overwhelming this year! A great time to be creative.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to all communion kids, mums & dads for their trust, friends & guests for their collaboration during shoots - I truly enjoyed the season and can't wait for 2019 communions!

xx

Your photographer,

Nicolette {contact-me!}

 

 

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Today's Communion in Trim - Beautifully inspirational!

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Today's Communion in Trim - Beautifully inspirational!

The beautiful landscape around Trim reminded me of the golden fields in France - what a day!

I hope you had the chance to spend some time outdoors. For today's communion we were truly blessed. Evelyn received her first communion in St Patrick's church - a stunning building from 1803 which is built on an historic site boasting a 15th-century stone tower.

If you are asking where Evelyn has got her stunning cake from... the talented baker is her mum Vicky :)... I did receive a very late email last night that the cake "has just been finished". So much love has been put into the preparations!

I might make a note and steal some of the fab ideas for future events! Or shall we say "get inspired".

communion photography, lifestyle photography

If you are asking where Evelyn has got her stunning cake from... the talented baker is her mum Vicky :)... I did receive a very late email last night that the cake "has just been finished". So much love has been put into the preparations!

I might make a note and steal some of the fab ideas for future events! Or shall we say "get inspired".

communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
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communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography
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communion photography, lifestyle photography
communion photography, lifestyle photography

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Family time in the forest...

It's getting a little warmer - thank God!!

I loved the snow, white landscapes and fun outside, but after all those cold days it was beautiful to get time outside again without having to wrap up in oversized winter jackets and layers of sock.

Yesterday I had the chance to meet a lovely family for an outdoorsy photoshoot in the forest - one of my favourite locations for photography! Keep it natural - literally :D

...plus it's nearly guaranteed that your kids (including hubby) will be sleeping for the rest of the day - for some "me-time" for mammy!

Candid Family photography Ireland - Wedding photography
Candid Family photography Ireland - Wedding photography
Candid Family photography Ireland - Wedding photography
Candid Family photography Ireland - Wedding photography
Candid Family photography Ireland - Wedding photography
Candid Family photography Ireland - Wedding photography

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"Location Location Location" - Your Wedding Venue

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"Location Location Location" - Your Wedding Venue

This is probably the most exciting "House" or "Venue" hunt you'll ever have!

...it is the first thing I look at when getting enquiries :) - let's be honest, there is nothing as exciting as having your dream home for a night or two!

I've listed some of the venues I have visited for my couples' weddings in the past. They are amongst my personal favourites - though, the craic has been mighty whether it's a hotel, private home or castle - at the end of the day friends and family make the banter :)

1. Smock Alley Theatre

Being a lover of theatres, this has been a truly special day in a dreamy venue! I am still grateful that Smock Alley Theatre has opened its doors to weddings.

Thought the somewhat different wedding venue is based in the centre of Dublin, once you enter the grand hall you truly feel like royalty. And what better setting for your dream wedding?!

The downstairs bar surely is a plus too. Photography in the Abbey is simply fairytale like... for your reception Sharon & Joe chose the Westin hotel - where they travelled in style in an old-timer. Guests didn't mind the 8min walk.

2. Roganstown Hotel & Country Club

Roganstown Hotel & Country Club has everything on site. From ceremony to reception & dinner - and even for your more intimate photographs. The beautiful gardens include a forest backdrop as well as a romantic stone bridge and a lake. To avoid having to walk over grass - think of those heels (!!) - the club offers use of their golf cart - including a chauffeur.

3. Radisson Blu Royal Park Hotel - Roof Terrace

Radisson Blu Royal Park Hotel in Dublin is a venue with a view!

Get married on their roof terrace -  protected by a pretty marquee... For reception and dinner the hotel invites you to their stylish "penthouse" restaurant. Views are breathtaking! This venue is perfect for an urban Dublin wedding!

A stone throw from the hotel you find some quirky photography opportunities for urban gravity lovers to those who prefer floral gardens & nature.

4. Country wedding in Gascony France

Getting married in France offers you, your friends & family nearly guaranteed sunshine and hot temperatures! Patricia from Country Weddings in Gascony France makes sure to find the perfect venue for any size wedding! So if you invite only close family & friends there is a stunning venue for 20 people - and if you feel like bringing your whole village (:)) Patricia will make sure to find a wedding for 200+ guests.

A wedding in France combines a holiday with a life event for you both. Usually venues do come with a swimming pool and have all facilities you need. Hospitality is incredible - and though you are miles away from home - you will feel like it's your home for the time of your visit!

5. Killashee Hotel & Spa

Killashee Hotel & Spa provides a beautiful space from the getting ready to the first dance. The bridal sweet is spacious, decorated with much love and royal detail - have a look at the bath!!

Based in Co. Kildare, it's just the write distance to Dublin and a venue you will love if you love gardens, stunning views and tranquility. With a grand, victorian design you will feel like royalty on your wedding day! With access to different rooms you will get the opportunity to nearly enjoy every angle of this beautiful grand House.

6. Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens

When you drive into the grounds of Lough Rynn Castle Estate & Gardens everything seems to fall of your shoulders... all the planning stress, last-minute work load... you simply fall into a relaxed and carefree being. Park your car and simply take in the castle's nature & gardens.

From a stunning bridal suite to most accommodating staff everything is made so easy and carefree for you, family & friends.

The wide gardens, diversity of setting from secret garden, bridges, stone walls, arches... to an old hidden boats house at the lake. You'll get a large collection of dream photographs. A golf cart & chauffeur will be at your service too - could it be any easier?!

7. Leixlip Manor House & Gardens

Leixlip Manor House & Gardens has to be on top of your list when it comes to getting married in a venue with history & personality. While you will be treated to fine dining in their grand rooms, add on a marquee for some dancing outdoors.

A romantic walk through old gates and past stone walls leads you into the secret garden area. Afternoon sun will provide stunning lighting for your photographs. 

8. Mullingar Park Hotel

Mullingar Park Hotel is perfectly located for a wedding in the midlands. With friends from Dublin, Galway and the centre of Ireland - no driving is too far - and rooms in the venue are available for friends & family.

From a outdoor reception on the terrace or indoors in the late bar, the lovely staff makes everyone feel relaxed and simply at home. There is space to put your own stamp on when it comes to table decoration & entrance area.

A grand dancing area is perfect for your dream band and the bar is just at the end of the dance floor.

9. Gloster House & Gardens

Gloster House & Gardens opened its doors to weddings last year. When I visited the opening I fell in love with this historical manor right away. There is just something about stonewalls, grand windows and secret gardens. A path through a forest area will bring you all the to a small hill where you will be able to see the venue from the distance. 

Each room is decorated with its own personality, fine art, an old piano - the atmosphere is simply majestic.

The courtyard reminds of a historical quarter in the old part of France, while the grand rooms will take you back into the 18th century. The wide woodland is the perfect location for your fairytale wedding photographs. 

10. Country Wedding in Gascony France

Each venue in France has its own history, atmosphere & personality.

They do have one thing in common though - the warm welcome of sun & locals. Most venues are run by private owners who make any couple feel at home immediately. Each time I visited France to shoot a wedding I was stunned by how the personality changes with every couple. Patricia, the wedding planner has a very special gift to find out what decoration best suits. She really goes above and beyond!

From ceremony to catering, music & entertainment to decoration everything is catered and cared for. You might think a wedding abroad is a lot of organising - but believe me - it's probably less work and more pleasure that planning it all on your own at home.

And a great excuse for a visit to France to have a sneak peek at venues! ;)

11. The Abbey Hotel

The Abbey Hotel in Roscommon is one of the midlands most charming venues with the perfect location so close to town - yet you feel like you're in the middle of nature with beautiful gardens & surroundings.

You can get wed in breathtaking Roscommon church - or why not opt for a civil ceremony on the Hotel premises! On a summer's day the gardens offer space for an outdoor reception.

So if you're looking for a fine dining experience and a wedding in an 18th century castle manor the Abbey Hotel is a venue that ticks all the right boxes!

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To do or not to do - The Engagement Shoot

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To do or not to do - The Engagement Shoot

...or "Pre-Wedding" Shoot.

My couples often ask me "should we have an engagement shoot or not?". It is really down to your own preference. Just stepping away from "posed" shoots - an engagement shoot can be much more than that! It's about the time before you are a married couple.

Though you shouldn't really change too much - I always love photographs of me and John that are made in the moment. Having a happy place is so important for a relationship as it is a place you can always go back to. And to have a photograph on your wall is just such a simple way of bringing that happy place home to look at each day. From your favourite park, cafe, castle etc. there are so many beautiful memories in a relationship.

So here are my 6 reasons for why you should "go for it" ...and some why not.

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The more obvious:

While we're all pretty much pro's in taking selfies by now, you might feel slightly different when it comes to being the actual centre of attention on your wedding day. An engagement or pre-wedding photography session is perfect to calm those nerves.

If you have chosen the right photographer you will quickly learn how to relaxed into your role!

1. The Nerves

 
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An engagement shoot gives you - and your photographer the opportunity to get to know each other and feel natural/relaxed in each others company.

A natural style photographer will make you feel at ease. Engagement sessions aim to give you confidence to simply be yourself during your wedding day.

2. The Preparation

 
Engagement Shoot Ireland, Wedding Photography

When do we get the chance to dedicate a day truly to being a couple - only the two of you - well & then there's the photographer.

Pre-Wedding Shoots are super natural - natural make up, your casual clothes, favourite cardigan if you like, something you feel truly comfortable in. We will create a beautiful collection of photographs of a memories that are true to the two of you. 

3. The Before & After

 

But this is really why you should:

Engagement Shoot Ireland, Wedding Photography

"That" moment! Sure, we don't like "posed" moments. But this is the one I noticed could do with some practicing! Imagine your Big Day! The ceremony in full swing. Everything goes well so far, no hiccups... the rings on the right finger... and then - The Kiss!

Right in front of a huge crowd, your family, parents, friends...the priest... "awkward"!

But hey...

your first kiss is sealing your wedding day :) ... So don't just give your new partner a peck on the lips but make it a "yeyyy we are married" moment. I know it feels like minutes when you kiss in front of a crowd..., but truly - it's a seal of your love. During the engagement shoot we make sure to create a moment for you to practice to "hold it" :)

4. The Kiss.

 
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It's like playing outside! It's a day out for you two. Think about a location that's special to you both - your happy place! Bring some of your favourite clothes for a dress change if you like. In case of rain - put your wellies on and bring an umbrella! During our shoot, hair or make up won't matter too much - it's your natural style engagement shoot. So play in the rain, let your hair down and have fun during your engagement session!

5. It's Fun!

 
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Your happy place can nearly be anywhere! Your favourite café - I won't mind to take my camera out in public, a library, a park... wherever you met - or where ever you have your happy place.

Even if it's in the middle of a lake, the mountain or in the middle of a shopping centre! Imagine the photos we could take!

6. Your Happy Place

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On the other hand

It's an additional cost and we have to take some time out. Try and think of how you set your own priorities for now and long-term when it comes to an engagement shoot! Would you like to have a photoshoot prior to getting married? Or do you feel your schedule is too busy? If you are getting married abroad we can meet a day or two before your wedding day and take pre wedding photographs then.

1. Priorities

Engagement Shoot Ireland, Wedding Photography
 

2. Time

An engagement shoot can take anything between 2 and 4 hours, sometimes longer if we change locations a couple of times. You both would need to make yourselves available during the busy Wedding planning time.

But then again - it's a. nice "time out" for the two of you between all the planning & organising!

There's one promise: You will be more "ready" for photographs on your Big Day and go home with a fun, romantic and very personal collection of photographs - before being Mr & Mrs!

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Luke's Christmas Photo Session

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Luke's Christmas Photo Session

It's "that" time of the year!

We didn't quite plan a Christmasy photoshoot,... but I think we captured this life event of Luke beautifully. No doubt Santa will spoil this little sweatheart 💝

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Calling Santa... :)

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Family_photography_longford_roscommon_photography_Ireland

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Wedding Bouquet Inspirations

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Wedding Bouquet Inspirations

Time for wedding planning: The Bouquet

Really excited to share some of the prettiest bouquets from past weddings. I hope you get inspired for your own wedding! If you need any help sourcing flowers or recommendations - get in touch :)

Colour, colour, colour - and who would have thought these are made of "fabric". There is something about bouquets that last a lifetime! And the journey we have taken on the day from home to reception venue and a walk through town. ...wedding gallery

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White roses. White roses have been & always will be naturally beautiful! Simplicity in it's purest form. A statement for a wedding of love. ...wedding gallery

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As you might know - I LOVE autumn! It's my absolute favourite season. A sting of cold in the air, sun rays falling through trees and leafs in strongest colours - what's not to like?! Below a bouquet with a mix of "red" blooms from orange to soft pinks with a good splash or reds - and the dress in an eggshell white - a stunning combination! ...wedding gallery

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Baby's breath has been the most famous add on to any bouquet the past two years - and I doubt they will ever be out of fashion. When combined with white roses they truly make your bouquet sparkle. ...wedding gallery

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I loved this pure white bouquet! Calla Lily's stand for beauty and pureness and I think they are perfect for winter weddings! In any case, make sure you get in touch with your florist of choice in time as they need to order most flowers from abroad. ...wedding gallery

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Bouquets with the wow-factor! Oversized (also known as free form bouquets) make a true statement. ...which doesn't have to mean the bouquet steels the show. Using a choice of flowers with soft colours beautifully accommodate wedding dress and brides maid's dresses. These would be pretty during a spring or winter wedding. ...wedding gallery

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Pure summer colours!

If you are getting married in France - or simply want to to add sunshine to your wedding day - go crazy with bright colours. A touch of grey to match the brights maids dresses - the perfect combo. The mother of the bride sourced fab handkerchieves for the boys - even the napkins were matching. A fab splash of colour! ...wedding gallery

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Peacock - a statement bouquet. 

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Super cute! The florist used a piece of the bride's dress for the groom's flower. Combined with a peacock feather it makes the perfect match! ...wedding gallery

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Apologies, I don't do "posed" - Wedding Photography Ireland - Nationwide & Europe

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Apologies, I don't do "posed" - Wedding Photography Ireland - Nationwide & Europe

What I love most is creating a collection of bespoke photographs for my couples that tell your own story in a unique way. From beautiful details to moments you might miss being busy getting married. I mostly cover full day weddings so we can design a beautiful documentary style wedding album for you. Mostly I love unposed, natural moments, smiles, laughter, emotions... I will surprise you with a photographic collection of your wedding day.

 Wedding in Gascony - Featured on  One Fab Day

Wedding in Gascony - Featured on One Fab Day

There are three elements that I adore when it comes to photography. 

1. Details

2. True moments

&

3. The surprise factor.

I am drawn to emotions, guided by passion & natural light. If you're looking for a collection of photographs that truly reflect your own unique wedding day,... let's have a chat about what you planned for the day. A "getting to know" prior to booking is essential for me to feel myself into the day.

 Urban Wedding in Dublin - Featured in the  Irish Times

Urban Wedding in Dublin - Featured in the Irish Times

I work with natural light and natural techniques I required during years of experience - Below is a composition of natural light with no editing.

 Wedding in Dublin - Leixlip Manor House - Featured on  One Fab Day  

Wedding in Dublin - Leixlip Manor House - Featured on One Fab Day 

Being subtle in the background - and close by when you need me.

 Killashee Hotel - County Kildare,  Ireland

Killashee Hotel - County Kildare,  Ireland

 Killashee House - Co. Kildare, Ireland

Killashee House - Co. Kildare, Ireland

To capture what you see... but might not notice. Beauty, stills, emotions.

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Passion of life on a blank canvas.

 Wedding in France - Featured on  One Fab Day  - Wedding Planer Patricia from  Country weddings in Gascony France

Wedding in France - Featured on One Fab Day - Wedding Planer Patricia from Country weddings in Gascony France

A moment within the trees.

Structure of nature from soft silk to rustic wood.

A female breath and nervously biting lips = love 

 Wedding in France - Featured on  One Fab Day

Wedding in France - Featured on One Fab Day

A kiss with a blessing.

Dance as if no-one watches you.

It doesn't always have to be the obvious. But we know where we are. 

 Lough Rynn Castle - County Leitrim 

Lough Rynn Castle - County Leitrim 

Trees create a beautiful frame for a ceremony photograph.

Sun kissed - literally - one of my signature photographs. Purely natural - not edited.

 Wedding in Gascony France - Featured on  One Fab Day  - Wedding Planer Patricia from  Country weddings in Gascony France

Wedding in Gascony France - Featured on One Fab Day - Wedding Planer Patricia from Country weddings in Gascony France

Here's looking at you kid - I climb on chairs, tables and benches to get the photograph that you will love most.

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 Royal Hospital Kilmainham - County Dublin

Royal Hospital Kilmainham - County Dublin

 Leixlip Manor - County Kildare

Leixlip Manor - County Kildare

 Mel's Cathedral - County Longford

Mel's Cathedral - County Longford

 Kilashee House Hotel - County Kildare

Kilashee House Hotel - County Kildare

 Lough Ree - Mullingar Park Hotel

Lough Ree - Mullingar Park Hotel

 UK - Hindu Temple

UK - Hindu Temple

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 Wedding Planer Patricia from  Country weddings in Gascony France

Wedding Planer Patricia from Country weddings in Gascony France

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So much love...

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So much love...

A Saturday morning in Moate.

...and I think there's a new recruit for dad's car repair business :), the uniform is already in place...

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Stay humble!

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Stay humble!

In case you missed the foggy morning today because you've been busy following your passion, enjoy some nature & marina photographs below!

Have you missed the foggy morning because you've been busy hopping on the rat race... you might want to consider changing your life or views.

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I haven't been out with my camera on a non-professional photography tour for many months and many reasons. First of all I felt like so many talented photographers are out there capturing the beauty of nature with the eye they perceive it and I didn't feel like hopping on the wagon. Secondly I got to caught up in the web of perfection.

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It's a mix of lack of confidence and self doubt and a little bit of too much pressure we put on ourselves. Yes, me too.

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Do you sometimes feel that when you put too much pressure on yourself things just don't want to work out?

In sport, art, designing. From creative passions to professional ambitions.

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When we put ourselves under too much pressure it feels like our hands are frozen. Thoughts run uncontrollably from inspiration to dismissal.

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That's when you have to stop.

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If you let your life - if professional or personal, creative or analytical - be lead by pressure it's time to take a break.

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Re-assess, look back and review at what you have achieved - it ain't all that bad!

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Take some time out and allow some me time. Re-connect with friends and family. Help someone who seems stuck in their own bubble.

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And then come back.

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Forget about pressures. Competition. Being perfect. 

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Do you believe in "practice makes perfect" - personally I don't strive for perfection and I feel we should rethink.

I much rather believe in "passion makes happy". If you strive for perfection you will always follow a goal which is impossible to reach. The progress of technology is way too fast. Innovation and change happens every day. So "perfection" doesn't really exist.

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Rather than waiting for the perfect sunshine, heading out in optimal photography lighting or the "blue hour", I picked up my camera this morning, took my dog, and went for a less scenic walk in the fog. I stopped thinking about the famous landscape photographers, well-known sun set and waterfall stills and followed my passion & emotions.

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You won't find a spider balancing on a silky thread while carying fog drops over a peer in the sunshine.

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A gray, misty background provides a fabulous frame and creates an amazing contrast. 

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If you have imagination you don't need to see the full landscape lid by perfect sunshine.

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So enjoy this week that started misty and mystic. Take time out when you feel you need to come back to your own true passion.

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Replace perfection with happiness - or even contentment. 

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Appreciate the fog as it paints the world in very different colours.

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Stay humble!

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Ireland's midlands in autumn colours

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Ireland's midlands in autumn colours

Ballyleague, Lanesborough, County Longford, County Roscommon, Wedding Photography, Ireland

It seems far away already - but you know what?! I am super excited what else will happen in this beautiful place at Lough Ree in the next couple of months - even weeks.

It's been a busy busy weekend during the fishing world competitions & Taste of the Lakelands food festival - vibrant times with vibrant colours. Such a fantastic community while we all can be proud of having hosted an incredible festival weekend!

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Family time = play time

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Family time = play time

Out & about in the midlands...

Could life be any lighter? Playing in green fields, running from cows in your back garden... climbing over trees and rocks. When were you last a fairy or superhero?

Go and pick your favourite dress or suit, put on your yellow wellies & go play outside in the fields, the playground of nature!

I had a truly beautiful day out with Theodore & Addison and their parents. A dedicated family shoot to tell a childhood story in their home.

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Pre-Wedding wander in France...

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Pre-Wedding wander in France...

Yesterday I arrived in the sunny country side of Montréal in the south of France. The place I am staying in is absolutely stunning! It's a huge country house, which John (a creative soul from the UK) & Florence (event organiser from the south of France) have made their home - well, though it's time to move on for the two & the place is up for sale! If I could - I would!! It's on the hidden list - so message if you are interested in a new venture!

(Commission via an agent is rather high - so here's your opportunity!)

I'll get photos of the farm house up on Monday for you - let's start with the nearest town!

Last year I spent time before the wedding to drive through the country side here in Condom (between Bordeaux & Toulouse). This year I decided to visit the Saturday market in Nérac.

Trying to resit to buy all the beautiful fashion - which was extremely hard... I bought a set of curtains for our DIY cottage renovation project. I know - we're far from hanging up curtains, but my parents are going to visit us in Ireland in 2 weeks and hey... fake it till you make it!

So my first stall at the market (after having a only glimpse at all the fashion but at least buying a reasonable set of sun glasses) was beer. I am researching, right!

Say hello to "Freddy" from Austria. Oh, I forgot, everyone at the market was extremely shy so no photos of faces. Though be assured they are all very beautiful people! And so friendly too! I still want to move here for a season...or two! Freddy moved in 1996 and no brews & drinks - well and sells his own beer. He used to live in Bavaria and when relocating to France he said "They either sell a good beer here or I move back to Bavaria!" (please add a Bavarian-Austrian dialect). So he started brewing his own brand.

Trying to only take photographs and not spending more money, I thought it wouldn't be quite fair if I couldn't at least tell you how the beer tastes & what flavour those "Cannelis" {image below} have. So I bought 1 beer & 4 cannelis.

The Cannelis are gone.

They were delicious with a cup of coffee - would got with Barry's tea too! Recipe below.

I'll translate for you Monday! I only want to write this up quick and then go to lie at the poll - why wouldn't I :)

Préparation

  1. Mettre le lait dans une casserole et le porter à ébullition. Pendant ce temps, mélanger la farine avec les jaunes d'œufs, le sel et le beurre fondu. Ajouter le lait une fois refroidi. 
  2. Laisser ce mélange reposer pendant 24 h.
  3. Le lendemain, homogénéiser la pâte et y verser le pastis.
  4. Beurrer les moules à cannelés et remplir de pâte. Terminer en ajoutant un peu de cumin dans chacun des petits moules. 
  5. Enfourner pendant environ 1/2 h dans un four préchauffé à 220 °C.


Link to recipe  

When chatting to the cheese lad, I really didn't quite know anything to say - other that "C'est très grand!" "That's huge!" So I figured I best buy a variety of cheeses - again "research"!

I'll have them tonight with a lot of peaches (I only wanted 1 but the peach lady put 6 in my bag - I am not so sure about eating 6 peaches.)

At the mushroom stall I had a serendipity moment! You know the way "when the world brings it all together".

I told you earlier that this beautiful country house, that accommodates up to 15 people is for sale - but on the hidden list. Anyway... I started chatting with the mushroom lady - who is also very beautiful but didn't like to be photographed (she was happy for me to put up a blurry photo of her)...

..., when UK Zoe turned around to ask me "Do I know you?" UK Zoe came to visit Nérac with her mum to buy a property. So rather than asking what budget she had in mind (I thought that would have been a bit too direct)... I asked her how many bedrooms she had in mind (now writing it down I think it's still too direct - but also too late). Zoe said she'd be looking for space for 15 people.

Told you - serendipity! So I truly hope Zoe will get in touch again as I absolutely loved her idea! She is looking to open a place for Yoga & Art! Hello! I will be visiting again so!

At this point I stopped talking to anyone as my arm started to hurt from the heavy curtains (and remember at this stage I carry my camera, cheese, 5 peaches & a bottle of beer in the other hand) - just thinking how I will get the curtains back to Ireland. I don't worry too much about the food and drink - that will long be gone before I return Tuesday.

Later, Patricia, wedding planner from Country weddings in Gascony, kindly offered if I was looking for more curtains she could ship them over to Ireland - yes you can Patricia :) 8EUR for cotton curtains - you don't get those any cheaper (they are also very beautiful.) 

Well I hope you enjoyed a little write up from my day here in France :) I got myself a book last week, and whenever I get myself a book I feel like writing.

xx

(when I watch a theatre play I feel like becoming an actress...I think you get what I mean)

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A Wedding-ly day in Birr County Offaly.

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A Wedding-ly day in Birr County Offaly.

Now could you imagine getting married in an 18th century dream venue - with a beautiful layout - and your own decoration?

I can.

As promised I visited a new wedding venue for you - a beautifully renovated manor just 30 minutes from Athlone.

Gloster House is situated in the midlands, half way between Birr & Roscrea.

It’s not their first project. Having renovated a small cottage back in 1980, Tom & Mary Alexander have gradually worked towards increasingly complex buildings and started renovating Gloster house 16 years ago.

I am delighted to say that they opened their doors for weddings just recently – it’s a stunning venue!

Tom mentioned that the house has been extended by a wing on one side in the 19th century – but as this would have taken away from the manor’s original charm the extension has been taken down during the renovation process to shape it back into its natural design. Click here if you want to learn more about Gloster House history, which dates back to 1639.

   
  
 
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    Stay over night if you want to feel like a princess. 6 bedrooms in total are available to cater for 12 people. 

Stay over night if you want to feel like a princess. 6 bedrooms in total are available to cater for 12 people. 

 
 photography & editing: Nicolette Spelic Photography

photography & editing: Nicolette Spelic Photography

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From Ballyleague to the Abbey hotel!

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From Ballyleague to the Abbey hotel!

Loved, loved, loved yesterday's confirmation shoot!

Look at those sun rays! We have been "promised" rain and thank god we've been disappointed and had a beautiful sunny confirmation shoot - all through the day!

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