Last spring I got a call from my friend Tony…. He had met his soul-mate and was about to pop the question. Little did I anticipate that their engagement would lead to the wedding adventure of a lifetime. Soon after their engagement, the Destination Europe wedding planning began. Due to the marriage laws in many of the countries, Ireland and Italy were the two finalists. Both countries required that marriage documents be submitted 3 months prior to the date in order to legally married and with fall just around the corner a decision had to be made. Would it be Italy or Ireland? Both countries are amazing and have some of the most gorgeous catholic churches I have ever seen. Being that the national language of Ireland is English and with a few other things being easier, the two settled on Ireland. A few different cities were considered but the two finally picked Adare in County Limerick. I couldn’t have imagined a more magical location! Brent and I flew into Dublin and made our way to Adare in a rental car. (The drive itself was an adventure- more on that next week!) We arrived at Adare Manor on Tuesday afternoon with enough light left in the day to do a quick portrait session with the engaged duo. We asked one of the property managers where his favorite park was and he told us to make our way to Curraghchase Forest Park. He said from the roundabout in the city center take a right, drive about 5 kilometers and turn left… easy enough right? After making a right in the roundabout and driving further than 5k, the road turned into a 1 lane dirt road with nothing but farms on both sides and we began to question if we heard the directions correctly. We decide to abort the mission and shoot elsewhere when I noticed a little old lady sweeping her stoop. I jumped out of the car and asked for directions. In a heavy Irish accent, she encouraged us to turn back around and make our way left at the 4 way stop just up the road a little ways. I’m so glad we didn’t give up completely on our search because Curraghchase is a magnificent place just a little off the beaten path. The 18th century manor home was destroyed by a fire in December of 1941. The property became a state park in 1970 and has since been enjoyed by many people out for a stroll along the lake or campers seeking a little piece of quiet. Ireland has so many of these parks and historic sites just off the beaten path, that is just one reason that it should be a country on everyone’s bucket-list. So much beauty everywhere…not to mention it is the greenest place on Earth! It makes my job as a photographer so easy. The golden light and fall weather created the perfect photo conditions for these engagement style portraits. The ruins of the manor house were the perfect backdrop! We called it our own little secret garden… one that we are lucky to have been able to see and experience!!
This is just part one of my Ireland series… Keep checking back leading up until St Patty’s day and relive our adventure on the Emerald Isle with me!