CHRIS + JESSICA
GLENDALOUGH, IRELAND ELOPEMENT
COUNTY WICKLOW, IRELAND
COLORADO INTIMATE ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
When you talk about a dream adventure elopement, there are many places that come into the conversation. There are so many incredible places to consider. Being a Colorado adventure elopement photographer, I am fortunate enough to live in one of the places that is always at the top of the conversation list. But another place that is ALWAYS brought up as one of the most epic place to get married is IRELAND. So when Jessica contacted me about engagement photos and mentioned that they were getting married in Ireland... I was like "HEY! I COULD go to Ireland with you!!!!" They were originally going to work with a photographer included in their 'elopement package' through their planning company.... but instead Chris and Jessica talked it over and decided that they wanted. Jessica said "It truly would be a dream come true to have you shoot our wedding!" and Chris said "sounds good to me". So that's how it started. And it ended with us all eating dinner together in a pub across the Atlantic after sharing an incredible day together. Actually, scratch that... it ended the next day when I dropped off some extra Claritin to Chris and Jessica who were both having some major allergies. Our wedding planner and officiant Riona was telling us about the major 'pollen bomb' they were having... she wasn't wrong!
I met them that morning at their Air BnB where Chris and Jess were spending the morning together. Two of the biggest positives of choosing to elope are that 1. You get SO much quality time together and 2. You make your own rules. If that means you want to get ready together, that means you get ready together. So after photographing the getting ready process, the details and Chris and Jessica's morning together... we made Chris get dressed and then he headed over to the pub where Chris and Jessica would do their first look so Jessica could put on her wedding dress and her finishing touches with Riona and I.
HOW WE MET
FROM THE BRIDE
May 1st, 2015 is when we first met. We were both dragged out by our respective friends, me for a girls' night and him to celebrate the end of the college semester. He was sitting alone at a high-top table by the dance floor when I walked by. As I passed, I looked up and saw him looking back at me. I simply said "you look lonely". Little did I know, I had just struck up a conversation that would lead to forever. Needless to say, neither of us have been lonely since.
Since Jessica and Chris met in a bar, they decided to redo this on the same date four years later for their first look. This time in an Irish pub with a suit and a wedding gown.
From the pub (which by the way, if you ever find yourself on the border of County Dublin and County Wicklow, make sure you stop in for a pint! The wonderful people at Johnnie Fox's take GREAT care of their people. They were so kind about Chris and Jessica coming in for their first look and even hooked Chris up with some Guinness. Irish hospitality is a THING guys.) Anyway, as I was saying... from the pub we headed over to Glendalough with our wonderful tour guide, wedding planner and officiant Riona from Elope Ireland. The wonderful thing about using Elope Ireland is that they let you pick the area and then when you get there you can just kind of look for the perfect spot instead of having it picked for you! We found the most wonderful spot right on the shores of the Lough (pronounced Loch). Glenalough itself is a glacial valley dotted with ruins of a 6th century, early Medieval monastic settlement.
On the shores of the Irish Lake of Glendalough, Chris put on the song they had chosen on their portable speaker and took his place next to the Officiant Riona. As the song played, Jessica walked down their little 'aisle' avoiding wild rose bushes and driftwood on the ground.
Riona delivered a beautiful ceremony where Chris and Jessica exchanged their personal, hand written vows, did the ancient Celtic Hand-fasting Ceremony where the couple 'ties the knot' and exchanged their rings before their first kiss.
THE WEDDING DAY
FROM THE BRIDE
Chris and I chose to elope because we didn't want a big, stressful wedding day and instead wanted to focus on just the two of us. We chose Ireland because it's somewhere we've always wanted to go and of course it's a beautiful place. The day turned out even better than we ever dreamed of. The weather was absolutely perfect and we were surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The ceremony was very personal and intimate, by the edge of a lake surrounded by mountains with only Callie and our Wedding Planner as witnesses. While exploring after the ceremony, we even came across the ruins of an old abbey which made for some amazing photos. We truly were able to enjoy the day and each other without the stress of a big wedding. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect and we're so thankful that we brought Callie with us to capture that special day for us to remember forever.
I know EVERYONE's Website says that they cry, but it's not always true. Riona and I have both seen a LOT of people get married. But we were both a little weepy during this ceremony. Seriously one of the best expressions of love and emotion that I've seen two people have for one another.
And then they were pronounced husband and wife, and they gave a little wave to the
people down the beach that started cheering for them!
They enjoyed a few married moments alone while I walked around a bit and scouted.
THE WEDDING DAY
FROM THE GROOM
Our wedding day was like a dream. The scenery was like something out of a Disney movie, where Jessica and I felt like the main characters. With Riona leading the way and Callie taking photos, we felt like we had paparazzi. The ceremony was absolutely perfect, set on a gorgeous lake with just the four of us. After the ceremony we all took a trip out to a remote location Riona heard about and Callie took what I can only describe as the coolest photo I've ever seen. We wrapped up a perfect day at Johnnie Fox's pub as husband and wife... and then demolished our entire creme cake once we got back to our room while watching Netflix and relaxing. BEST. DAY. EVER.
Following the ceremony, we started on their photos.
Jess had her heart set on some old Irish ruins (and SO DID I!) Thankfully when we were walking to the ceremony, I had spotted a secluded old Abbey that would be perfect.
I was even able to launch my drone (not able to commercially in the US - yet!)
Another thing I love about photographing intimate weddings or elopements is that the clients have so much more time and quality time together at that! I seriously love it when husbands love their new wives so much that they can't help but stop and take a photo themselves.
See that little white streak in the abbey? That's Jessica's dress. I know it's a far pullback. But I think it is so cool to see the structure of the trees and the surrounding area!
We explored the forest on our way back to the car to go to our next spot. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about Ireland is that it's all just sprawling green fields with sheep.
Well there is absolutely a lot of that... but I love that Chris and Jessica chose to get married in the Wicklow mountains instead of one of the more common spots like the Cliffs of Moher.
Because of this, they have photos all over one of the most diverse landscapes I saw in Ireland.
They have the Lough, the sprawling fields, the abbey ruins, the forest, a waterfall, the mountain tops AND a pub! You really can't beat that!
One of the things I personally enjoyed the most on the wedding day is just enjoying who Chris and Jessica are. Chris is SO much like my little brother Josh. They even had a very similar job during their time serving our country. Jessica has one of the kindest and most genuine hearts ever.
We finished our photos out on the side of an Irish road, overlooking this insanely gorgeous little valley. The drone came out again even though it was pretty windy and Chris and Jessica got a few honks of congratulations from the locals.
Thanks to Elope Ireland's wonderful Riona for hosting all of us and preforming a
wonderful Ceremony! Enjoy our little drone selfie!
Would you choose to Elope in Ireland? Don't forget to leave a comment for Chris and Jessica below!
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