Orla & James
It all began on the 18th of September 2016 when the most romantic man in Ireland(yes James, I'm talking about you!) popped the question to his sweetheart(yes Orla, of course I'm talking about you!) on a wild, wet and memorable day in Stradbally.
For the big day itself, we set off to a beautiful little town in the north of Italy, called Stresa, situated on the banks of Lake Maggiore and overlooked by the Swiss Alps. Stresa provided the most perfect setting for Orla and James wedding.
The day before the wedding was quite productive, I had the opportunity to scout the locations, the hotel, the church and Isola Bella. It was so good to see Orla & James again and to meet some of their families and friends too before the big day arrived. I won't start on the food because this will just turn into a completely different kind of blog, I'll just say, God bless those Italians and their damn fine cooking abilities!!!
When the wedding day arrived, the sun was splitting the rocks and there was barely a wisp of wind. I headed to Orla & James wedding hotel nice and early to catch the preparations.
The Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees is a majestic, 5 star hotel and is located by the waters edge of Lake Maggiore. It was once home to Ernest Hemingway as he recovered from a wound he received during World War I, he later set a part of his novel, "A Farewell To Arms", in the hotel.
Next stop was the beautiful Carciano church for the ceremony. The church is situated outside the main tourist areas of Stresa and is quite a bit uphill which gives it a nice peaceful presence amidst a stunning view of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands.
After the ceremony we grabbed a boat and set off for Isola Bella, which is every bit the "Beautiful Island" that it's name suggests. Here we strolled around the Island, soaking in the splendour of the surroundings while Orla and James rocked their couple session.
From the start of the day until the very end there were no nerves in sight. Excitement, however, well now there was no shortage of excitement.
The day had it all, a bed covered in confetti, a dress hanging from a tree, whiskey, wallets, a fishing themed suit, a train, an albino peacock(this is not a typo), a singing bride(quite impressively, might I add), a boat, a snoring child, more confetti, sparklers, an island palace, attempted(but failed) trespassing, a sleeping randomer, some other randomers, photo-bombing ducks, a cake, music, love, romance, banter, family, friends, "That's Amore"(would any Italian wedding be complete without it?!) and a party. I've probably forgotten lots of things but basically what I'm trying to say is that this wedding was awesome!!
It didn't finish after the wedding either, the after party was the very next day at the Sky Bar. The views were freaking spectacular, full panoramic views of Lake Maggiore while the sun set behind the Swiss Alps and the skies turned to magenta.
It's not very often that I get to document a couples story from the engagement to their wedding but when it does happen it's so rewarding, I get to start building that relationship with the couple so early that it makes the wedding day feel effortless. It was so much fun to spend this time with Orla, James and their families and friends.