Best man’s speech…. by TaraD

After many years of photographing weddings, we have heard hundreds of best man speeches.

We have heard everything from one liners, to 30 minute long speeches, to hilarious speeches to embarrassing speeches and everything else in between.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some quick tips on things to avoid or do, based on the thousands of guest reactions we’ve experienced over the years. Don’t make your speech very long. 5 minutes is a good average, 8 minutes gives you plenty of time to talk about memories and life stories if that is your aim, anything longer than that and you risk boring your audience.
One or two good, interesting, or funny stories should be enough.

Watch your language.

Remember there are a few generations sitting in the audience, and the generation gap (in
terms of language) has never been wider. It should be common sense to avoid curse words or other derogatory or offensive words, that although might be the norm among the guys, would offend some in the audience. Also remember that sometimes the priest / celebrant, is also part of the audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t bury the groom – or the bride, or you might run the risk of losing that friendship forever! It’s perfectly fine to go for humour and tell funny stories about the groom, but be careful with the level of embarrassment you choose.
Remember that the groom is not well known to one part of the audience, you don’t want to leave them with the wrong impression of the groom. Try to stay clear of making jokes about the bride – it’s just safer for your own health!!

Another common sense point is, please don’t bring up the Ex in your speech!

Surprisingly, we’ve heard it a few times and it usually doesn’t end well.

This is the couple’s special day, it should be about them and some things are just better off in the past where they belong.

Even if you’re happy things didn’t work out with the ex and can make great jokes about it, we advise you to resist the temptation.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t just read your speech because you’re nervous or just want to get through it quickly.

And whatever you do, don’t copy your speech from the Internet!

Doing all these things doesn’t show much appreciation or thought for the bridal couple and your relationship with them.

It’s understandable and normal that you might be feeling nervous, but if you just take a few deep breaths and just be yourself, it will show.

You don’t need to race through the speech, you can read it at your own pace by taking tiny breaks and looking around the audience and the bridal couple.

Eye contact and even adding your own humour in between sentences goes a long way. And if you want to break the ice, you can always start by being honest and funny and saying something like “I’m absolutely an awesome best man, but not exactly great at speeches…”

Keep the best for last.

If you want your speech to be memorable and make an impression, keep something amazing
for the end. Whether you end with a joke for laughter, or whether you end with a poem for tears, just make the ending special and make eye contact with the bridal couple as you do it. And if you want to make it extra special, toast not only the bridal couple but also their parents. This will touch their hearts and show that your thoughtfulness.

And last, and probably the most important advice we can give is, don’t drink too much alcohol before giving your speech!!!
We’re sure you can see the wisdom in that…

Diana x

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Why should I have an engagement/ pre wedding photo shoot? by TaraD

Firstly what is an engagement/ pre wedding photo shoot?

It is a photo shoot approximately 3-6 months before your wedding where you meet your photographer, often at a different location to your wedding and spend 30-40 minutes taking some photographs.

What is the point of this? Well the best way to think of it is what is the point of a hair or make up trial or a meal tasting? These appointments help you to finalise important details for your day. They help you to work through any plans and get on the exact same page with your vendors.

It also helps to:

  • Build a relationship with your photographer. We don’t turn up as strangers on your wedding day as we have already worked together.
  • Figure out any worries that you may have about being in front of the camera.
  • Help with some posing tips to make you feel more comfortable.
  • Have your photo taken in a much more relaxed setting than on the wedding day, so that on the wedding day itself you can relax into it. You will have seen the photographs from your pre wed session and feel completely reassured that you are in safe hands and know that your photographs will be AMAZING.

We offer all of our clients a complimentary pre wedding photo shoot. The reason we don’t charge is that it is important to us to get to know our couples before their big day.

Photography is personal and we want to portray YOUR story.

Tara x

 

 

 

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6 months in! … by TaraD

Well this year is absolutely flying by!  We still can’t believe that we reached the half way mark of 2019 and have won THREE major awards and to have been nominated for a forth (which the winners have yet to be announced).

Some people in the industry think that awards are “pointless” a “load of nonsense” and “poorly judged”.

While I will agree with the judging in SOME awards (those of which we ask not to be nominated for). I don’t agree that they are “pointless” or “nonsense”.

The reasons are:

Awards are recognition of a service provided.

If we provide a great service and we are recognised for that, then the recognition provides confidence for future brides/grooms.

For example if I were to hire a service provider in any industry, I would research them and look at their customer reviews which would influence my decision on whether to buy from them or work with them. If they have poor reviews or customer recommendations that wouldn’t encourage me. If they had won multiple awards then I would know that they provide a high standard of service and my money would be well spent investing with them.

So to have received 3 awards this year…

“OVERALL WEDDING SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR”

“WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR”

“BEST FAMILY & WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM”

I am completely shell shocked and honoured. I guess the reason being is that there is such strong competition in the Photography industry.

I know the work that all of us put in here behind the scenes, missing birthdays, family occasions etc (Dave had even committed to missing the birth of our second child as he had clients that still wanted him to shoot their day, when we had notified them of our news. Thankfully Daithi arrived on a Tuesday so Dave was able to be with us!) But this should show the level of dedication we have for our clients.

The judges of these awards don’t get to see what goes on to that degree and our personal level of service. They don’t see when Dave helps a groom get dressed or when I am fixing dresses, shoes or flowers on a wedding day. Or coaxing a child who is nervous of the camera or just bored! They don’t see that we are planners, organisers, listeners, co ordinators, the go between for most of the service providers on a wedding day. They don’t see us contacting the venues to give updates at the end of mass, or letting the car driver know that he has to take his time because most of the guests have snuck off to the pub and aren’t at the venue yet!  They don’t see that we are doing all of this while still capturing those discreet pictures. But what the judges do see is the feedback from our AMAZING CLIENTS who have enjoyed their experience with us on their day.

So while I always say we are much more than Photographers and we enjoy giving our all to help our clients. I only hope that we can continue to do so and we will always strive to do better.

Thank you all for your incredible support over the last 10 years, for choosing us to be a small part in your lives as you have been a great part of ours!

Tara x

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MAKE YOUR WEDDING POP! by TaraD

 

Since today is Popcorn Lovers Day, popcorn is such a popular loved snack, it is associated with fun times like birthday parties or trips to the cinema. Why not make it a fun part of your big day, whether you and your partner are movie fans or just want to add something quirky to your day, here are some ideas to include this delicious food at your wedding!!

Start your wedding with something different.

Instead of the usual biscuits and sandwiches for your wedding guests at the drinks reception, make it fun and special and have popcorn at the ready for your guests to enjoy! Popcorn and champagne tastes great together!!

Have it in cute little bags or paper cones that the guests can have.

Wedding favours

A really lovely simple idea for this is to get some empty jam jars and fill them with popcorn kernels, seal the jar and wrap a tag around the top saying ‘Thanks for making our day pop!’

Wedding cake

Who doesn’t love popcorn and chocolate?! Why not go for something different for you wedding and make it memorable with a unique cake! Show off your adventurous side with a salted caramel sponge and popcorn on top… delicious!!

Make it fun

Hire a popcorn making machine and add some carnival fun to your wedding, the smell alone will have everyone in good spirits!! Kids at the wedding will love it too.

Go poppers!!

Have a popcorn station set up for the late night snacks of all different types of popcorn, different flavors and colours,

everyone loves a midnight snack of popcorn!!

These are just some ideas of how to incorporate popcorn into your wedding day, get thinking its amazing what you could

come up with!

– Adeline x

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Proposal Day by TaraD

SENTIMENTAL LOCATION

If there is a place that you and your partner love, such as a beach or your usual Sunday walk….

Pack a picnic and write will ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME’ in the sand or if it’s raining bring an umbrella and have ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME’ written inside it, so it will be seen when you pop it open!!

Piñata

Have some fun!!! Surprise your partner some day after work by making dinner, have a piñata filled with your partner’s favourite sweets and have the engagement ring in the piñata too!!!

Music

If you’re musical , why not learn a song that your partner loves or that is sentimental to the two of ye and throw into the song at some stage ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME’ or else put together a slide show with pictures of the two of you and the song in the background, at the end have pictures coming up with the big question on them!!

Family

Get the family involved, have everyone hiding waiting to celebrate the minute your partner says ‘YES’ to your proposal!!

Pets

If you have a dog and can train them to carry the ring box over to your partner or have them wearing a bandana saying will you marry me?!

Hire a professional photographer

Capture the moment you ask the question and look of excitement and shock to the passionate kiss, these are beautiful moments to capture. Keeping hidden and out of sight a good photographer will capture amazing pictures of your magical moment!

Creative

You don’t have to propose with a ring, just the words ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME?’ is enough to sweep your partner off their feet. You can propose with anything from a favorite flower, a particularly coloured stone or shell anything that symbolizes you as a couple, yer hobbies or interests!!

Just remember to have fun and get creative!!!

Adeline x

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My wedding day adventures by TaraD

Looking through our wedding pictures and seeing how much love and magic was captured has left me with the same butterflies that I had on the day all over again!!

From the madness the morning of with everyone making sure they hadn’t forgotten anything to calmness at the end of the night realising that we had just pulled off the most amazing day and night of our lives was mind blowing!

Looking at the wedding pictures, my wedding ring or of course my wife any bit of stress involved in the lead up to the wedding was so minor in comparison to this feeling of love.

The love we felt from our friends, our parents, our brothers and sisters and even our photographers is a feeling that we will never forget.

It’s the little things on the day that you don’t plan that are the ones you never forget, the wind leaving the house teasing to mess up my hair or lift up my dress to show off my carefully selected knickers! The breath taking feeling of seeing my bride looking so beautiful waiting for me in the registry office with a cheeky smile and a look on her face of here we go!!!

The moment when our nephew starts crying with happiness doing his reading. The moment our sisters signed their names to our marriage cert. The hug my mother in law gave me, that loved filled hug and emotion filled congratulations. The moment of surprise when I heard my wife’s voice singing through the speakers of the registry office, playing just after we said I do.

The rain that poured down after the ceremony that had us all laughing running to the cars!! The cries during the speeches, the fun when taking the photos.

The feeling of doing our first dance to claps and cheers, the feeling of going to bed married. I would do it all over again but looking at the pictures will do for now!

~ Adeline x

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Happy Thanksgiving by TaraD

Even though we in Ireland don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday and a lot of people might not know the history behind it, I still think it’s a good day to reflect on your life a little bit and say what you’re thankful for.

Today and maybe every day if you can take some time to be thankful for what you have and try not to focus on what you want.

Write a list, like an affirmation and find some time to yourself to recite it. What you put out into the universe comes back with the same amount of positive energy you put in to it so with that in mind here’s the things I am thankful for:

I am thankful for my health and that of my family and friends.

I am thankful for my wife and the wonderful wedding day we had this year.

I am thankful that I have the energy and ability to get out of bed every morning and face the day whatever it may bring.

I am thankful I have a warm house and a dog that is always happy to see me.

Most of all I am thankful for my life and my experiences that have made me the woman I am today.

So today take stock of what’s most important to you and say thanks to people or the universe for being here.

Adeline x

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Top tips for your day! by TaraD

Bend the truth to get your guests there on time!
I hate to stereotype but the Irish are always late! One of the perks of having two photographers is that I always phone Dave (who spends the morning with the groom and groomsmen while I hang out with the girls) to find out what is happening with the groom before the bride leaves for the church.
The number one delay is that the guests are late and the church is empty. We have advised many couples to put 1pm on the ceremony invites for a 1.30pm wedding. The guests arrive at 1.15pm, the church is then full by 1.20pm and the ceremony starts right on time at 1.30pm. If you put 1.30pm start time, it will be closer to 2pm before you walk up the aisle and that has a knock on effect to the rest of the day.
Choose the right suppliers!
I can’t stress this enough! The suppliers are the glue for your day. They make the whole day run like clockwork and flow perfectly, or they can also make it fall apart, so choose wisely. It is not a day for letting someone practice, choose professionals who know exactly what they are doing.
Timing is everything
Be aware of how long it takes for hair and make-up and plan accordingly. You don’t want to be the bride who gets off the make-up chair, throws on the dress and runs out the door because you are running late. Choose professionals who will have you ready nice and early, allowing you time to have a glass of champagne with your bridesmaids and relax before becoming a Mrs!
Prepare for the Irish weather
Get wellies and umbrellas for you and your bridal party. Go for something fun and colourful. Remember that it’s Ireland and, yes, your wedding may be in August but you still have a chance of rain. If you’re prepared for rain, then you can have fun taking some great photographs instead of getting soaked and wishing you had those wellies in the car!
Consult with your photographer 
We always make plans with our couples for sun, and also for rain, as you don’t want to be trying to decide where to go on the day. Trust your photographer with where they think will work best for photographs. Preparation beforehand saves time-wasting on the day itself, leaving you with
more time to enjoy the party!
Take it all in your stride & enjoy yourself
You’ve been planning 101 different quirky and hilarious little details for probably more than a year by the time your big day comes. Let’s face it, one of them is bound to go wrong. Forget about it and don’t let it ruin your day.
Just because Uncle John forgot to collect the mass booklets and your bridesmaid had to make a last minute dash or the groomsmen’s flowers are still in the hotel… just brush it off and move on. 99.9% of your guests have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes.
If you are stressing over details on the wedding day or things which may have gone wrong, your guests will pick up on that. Forget it and focus on what the day is about. Beaming happy brides and grooms are infectious.

Spread that joy among your guests and party the night away!

Above all else…. RELAX & ENJOY your day!
Tara x
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Behind the scenes… by TaraD

Summer is here and I hate to say it but the kids are almost back to school!

Cailean starts “big school” at the end of this month and I am excited for him and for me! I won’t know what to do with myself with all the free time that I will have to edit lol!

Has your summer been full of great moments or has it just whizzed by? 🙂 We have had the busiest wedding season ever, so to balance I get up at 5am edit for a few hours while everyone is still sleeping and then enjoy as much of the day as I can with my family before heading back to the desk. It is a fantastic perk of having your own business is that you may work late into the night or early in the morning but you have the freedom to do so and not miss out on life. When the sun is shining it is VERY hard to sit at a computer for the day!

What else has been happening…. Well some of you mums out there have been asking about my Letters to Cailean project. It is still in progress, I am just scribbling letters in notebooks to later post and publish into a book for Cailean. He has had quite an eventful year this year! He has done more travelling, learnt tons of life skills, made new friends and most importantly had fun!

We also lost an important man in our lives this year which was a difficult time and taught Cailean and myself a lot. I know I am drawn to photography because I capture moments and record them forever. It is like being an historian. There is nothing that makes you realise that more than when you are watching someone pass away and thinking back and looking at photographs of happier times.

On a much happier note, in the last two weeks we have also gained some very unexpected new additions “Strong” and “Coffee” to the household.

Cailean named them and it might give you an insight to our lives when even our 5 year old knows our addiction lol..

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So when we have couples coming to visit to discuss their wedding plans, they also get to see the “farm” which now includes: a husky and her two pups, hens, a rooster, bees, cats and fish (oh we got an extra one of those too called Nessie after being in Scotland lol).

I get asked so often how I have time for all this chaos, it is slightly organised chaos and it seems to work. It makes our family smile and that’s all that matters. We don’t have a tv (which takes up an awful lot of hours in the day if you think about it!) as we decided that all that was ever on was depressing nonsense! So our time is spent working (which doesn’t feel like work when it is something that you enjoy), having fun and making our house a home.

As the sun is beaming through the window calling me to go outside and the rooster is calling for his breakfast! I will leave you with the thought that “Today is a day that will never come again, so make it a great one!”

Lots of love

Tara xx

back to school pictures

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How do we make each wedding unique? by TaraD

Often we get asked how do we make each wedding different. Well it’s quite easy really 🙂 We take inspiration from our couples, the locations that they have chosen and their personalities.

We spend a lot of time before the wedding chatting to our couples to get to know them. Sometimes this is at our home, in a pub or restaurant or sometimes at while the kids are having a play date. Our style is very informal, our approach is also the same. The more relaxed a couple are around us the more fun we can have on their wedding day.

Alan and Courtney were married last week at the beautiful Ballyseede Castle in Tralee. The day before their wedding they called to our home and we drank coffee, Courtney played a game of catch the hens and our rooster “Lucky”. Then while Alan and myself chatted about how they got to know each other, Courtney popped on a bee suit and went to investigate the bee hive with Dave. The whole afternoon was very enjoyable and relaxed and we even managed to fit in a few photos too!

This meant that when we arrived to photograph the wedding the next day, we had stories to talk about to the rest of the family and Courtney and Alan were completely at ease with us. We had also found out that Courtney loves comics, while Alan tests video games for a living and this is how we came up with the idea for these images.

We LOVE what we do (I am sure you can tell that from our images) and we also want to challenge our creative minds on every single shoot so we don’t get bored! The creative mind needs to be challenged constantly! It is the blessing and curse of any artist!

So if you hire us, expect to LAUGH a lot, CRY a little (as it does get emotional) and most IMPORTANTLY have lots and lots of FUN!!!!

Wedding photo’s shouldn’t be boring, they should tell a story about you and your families for generations to come.

Make it the best story ever! 🙂

Bride reading a comic, groom playing game boy
Funny Wedding image, Tara Donoghue Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see more from Courtney and Alan’s amazing wedding check out their slideshow here:

 

 

 

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