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Bride and Groom gaze at each other with the historic map of Galway City behind them.

King & Queen of the Quays | Jenny & Gary’s Galway Wedding

WEDDING

08/02/2023

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Wedding and couples photography duo with an eye for simplicity and a love for documenting meaningful moments.

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 Bride and Groom gaze at each other with the historic map of Galway City behind them.

This Galway wedding was absolutely joyful (and planned to perfection)! From the first look with the bride’s father and best friends, to the jaunt through Galway’s city streets, the sweet Pug-themed details, and an epic entrance and first dance, Jenny and Gary’s celebration was an example of an eventful yet relaxed and effortless day.

 

“Ivana and Sam photographed our wedding in August and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

Not only are the photos from the day absolutely beautiful but Ivana and Sam were such a calm presence on our day. We didn’t feel rushed from pillar to post, and they really understood the types of photos we wanted from the day!

I couldn’t recommend them enough, brilliant at what they do, and so personalised to what we wanted from the day.”

 

A Galway Wedding at The Ardilaun Hotel

Jenny had an eye for stylish simplicity; her bridesmaids were dressed in shimmery neutral tones; the florals were minimalist and perfectly complimented the palette of the day. Her and Gary had also laid personalised touches for their loved ones throughout the entire day. (Their marvellous planning will shine in this gallery so keep reading for some great inspiration.)

The Ardilaun Hotel was aglow with excitement when we met Jenny and Gary early that morning.

Galway wedding invitation and bride's hair detail.
Bridal party sit together in the morning at the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway.

Jenny was surrounded by dear friends and family; her two sisters were Matron and Maid of Honour and they were both so consistently kind and helpful throughout the day.

Bridal party morning prep at the Ardilaun Hotel.
Bride and mother prepare her wedding dress.
Bridesmaids dresses and Bride's wedding dress details with bouquet.
Bride putting on her heels on wedding morning at the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway.
Mother of bride sees the bride in her dress at the Ardilaun Hotel.

Gary had a troupe of his best buddies at hand to endlessly tease and support him in equal measure. Bolstered by his brother, father, and dear schoolmates, Gary was in good company and he was at ease. He gifted Jenny a custom-made plushy of their dear pet Ronnie the pug. And Jenny’s thoughtful (and funny) gifts left Gary absolutely beaming too! 

Bride and groom opening gifts with delight on morning of their wedding.
Groom portrait smiling with funny wedding gift of Irish boxer shorts.
Groom's father helps groom with his jacket in the morning.
Groom and Best Man prepare wedding boutonnieres.
Smiling Groom and groomsmen portrait in mirror together, Galway.

 

The Ardilaun Hotel, Close for Comfort

Galway weather being what it is, the safest option for this fickle day was to gather everyone in the Ardilaun’s indoor ceremony room. The Ardilaun Hotel has a variety of spaces for all occasions; Tucked-away drawing rooms for a private laugh or a breather; the outdoor patio for fresh air and a garden stroll; and their bistro bar is ideal for a relaxed gathering (or Dutch courage).

Groom, his brother, father and groomsmen share a toast of whiskey in their room.

Groom portrait and Groomsmen enjoying the Ardilaun Hotel's garden and laughing together.

The Adrilaun’s grounds are compact, so you don’t spend much time getting from A to B. This makes it easy to take a wide variety of photos quickly! Sam took Gary for his groom’s portraits in the garden, where we later held the family formals and a few newlywed portraits too.

Groom Gary's portraits in his tuxedo in the Ardilaun Hotel's garden.

Meanwhile, Ivana took bridal portraits with Jenny in the softly bright Bridal Suite. Another touch of magic was Jenny’s wedding cape (a great alternative to a veil)!

Bridal portrait before wedding ceremony, showing her wedding dress' veil cape.
Bridal bouquet and beautiful wedding dress pattern.
Bride's portrait with bouquet morning of wedding.
Candid moment of bridesmaid peeking through door, with bride Jenny in dress before wedding.
Bride Jenny reveals her wedding dress to adoring bridesmaids, in the Ardilaun Hotel.
Bride Jenny's first look with father of bride before wedding ceremony, in the Ardilaun Hotel's bridal suite.
Beautiful bride's portrait with bouquet and wedding ceremony aisle.

 

“How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog”

After the morning preparations, very thoughtful gift exchanges, and a few pints, Gary and his entourage waited eagerly for the ceremony. The Ardilaun’s ceremony room was lit perfectly with bright natural lighting and soft colours everywhere.

The Ardilaun Hotel's wedding ceremony room, with candles along aisle and floral arch.
Groom and Groomsmen eagerly waiting for bride in the Ardilaun Hotel's ceremony room.
Groom smiling at bride's arrival in wedding ceremony room.
Bride and her father walk down the aisle with adoring guests all around.
Wedding guests react to the emotional ceremony in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway.

Their ceremony was deeply touching. The romantic tale of how they met brought a tearful smile (and a few laughs) to everyone. Jenny and Gary both knew each other for 2 years before their love story began. Gary eventually plucked up the courage to make a move and here we are!

With delicate and minimalist decorations, a heartfelt memorial table, and the sweet narration of their celebrant, Jenny and Gary’s love story took centre stage. The ceremony included sentimental self-composed readings; as well as a special ceremonial “Last Hug” from the newlyweds to their mothers. It was hard for us to not tear up too!

Wedding ceremony's special Final Hug with both mothers in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway.
Bride and Groom get married at their Galway Wedding in the Ardilaun, with celebratory hugs.
Grandparents witnessing the marriage of their grandchild.
Bride and Groom share a kiss and are now Husband and Wife at the Ardilaun Hotel.

Of course, there was even a special reading in honour of their dear Pug, Ronnie.

Bride and Groom's family cheer at wedding ceremony.
Husband and Wife walk down the aisle after wedding ceremony.

With giddy nerves, beaming smiles, and a few joyful tears, the two were wed at last!

Beautifully transformed by Ardilaun’s staff as well as Siobhan Collins’ Florals, this ceremony room could house many guests while feeling light and airy. Atop leafy Taylor’s Hill, and a stone’s throw from Salthill, The Ardilaun Hotel is a welcoming and stylish wedding venue. It combines the vintage comforts of a manor house with modern design, practicality and open spaces. This was our first time shooting at The Ardilaun Hotel and we loved the venue!

 

The City of the Tribes

With the ceremony concluded and Jenny and Gary finally (and literally) tying the knot, we jumped outside into the dewy sunshine for family and wedding party photos.

The Ardilaun Hotel's beautiful outdoor garden, with smiling bridesmaid.
Bride and Groom portraits with mothers, in the Ardilaun Hotel's Garden.
Groom walks forwards with his groomsmen behind him in the garden.
Wedding party portrait with bride and groom, in the Ardilaun's garden.
Bridal Party's bouquets lined up in the Ardilaun Hotel's garden.
Confetti toss with wedding party outside the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway.

As a Galway girl herself, Jenny wanted to take in the tone of the town during their wedding. With the family photos done, we hopped in the car with the couple and stormed Galway City! Our first stop was Quay Street…

Galway City is just over 2 hours drive from Dublin and is named Ireland’s Cultural Heart (so it’s well worth a visit!). The “City of the Tribes” is bursting with artisan restaurants (traditional and novel) and lively music venues (indoor and out).

Galway’s many sights and sounds include the Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral, the University of Galway, Galway Harbour, the Long Walk, the Claddagh, and Galway City Museum. Eyre Square is the walkable centre of it all, so make sure you pass through on your tour.

Needless to say, the newlyweds stood out in Galway city and received a very warm welcome!

Galway wedding photography, crowd watch bride and groom on Quay street.

Bride and Groom's Galway wedding portrait in crowd, Quay Street.
Bride and Groom twirl and pose together in Quay Street, Galway City.
Romantic Galway city wedding couple portraits, with hands touching and showing their wedding ring.
Candid moment of bride and groom with maid of honour and best man walking through Galway city.
Bride and Groom romantic portraits in Galway city, Ireland. Historic map of Galway behind them.
Romantic black and white portrait of bride and groom walking down Quay street in Galway city.
Black and white portrait of Galway wedding couple sharing kiss with dress veil cape in foreground.

From Quay Street we crossed Wolfe Tone Bridge and strolled down Half Arch quay. Looking out at the Claddagh and Galway’s beautiful coastline, we could feel how happy Jenny and Gary were. This was a moment to remember.

Black and white candid photo of newlywed couple walking in Galway city, Ireland.
Bride and Groom pose together on the Half Arch in Galway.

Bride and Groom portraits on the Half Arch in Galway.

Portrait of Bride Jenny overlooking the Spanish Arch in Galway City.

Bride and Groom's portraits on Half Arch quay in Galway city, Ireland.
Ireland wedding photography, newlywed couple in the Ardilaun Hotel's garden.

Normally, changing locations during the day is something we don’t recommend. It can eat up a lot of time in your day – HOWEVER, these two had planned their day so well that a quick elopement to Galway City worked magically. Their secrets to a smooth and relaxed day?

  • Don’t stuff the day with too many activities;
  • Have your morning prep + ceremony in the same location (best decision you can make for a relaxed day), and;
  • Delegate! Don’t be afraid to ask your bridal party for assistance and your dad for a lift to an epic portrait location!

 

Desserts, Dresses and Dancing

Back in the Ardilaun, guests cheered Jenny and Gary’s return. And when the dinner bell rang, everyone was stunned at the thoughtful, personalised postcards waiting for them! Also, each table was marked with a special mini-vinyl record of the couple’s favourite songs – the custom details really knocked everyone’s socks off!

Galway's Ardilaun Hotel and ballroom with floral decorations.
Signature wedding cocktail featuring their pet Pug, Ronnie.
Ardilaun Hotel's wedding ballroom table setup.
The Ardilaun Hotel's ballroom table and details.
Personalised greetings cards for guests, wedding inspiration.
Personalised wedding details; mini-records and handwritten postcards from Ireland.
Guests react to personalised wedding details: handwritten Irish postcards from bride.
Guest reactions to handwritten Irish postcards from bride in the Ardilaun Hotel.
Bride and Groom's big entrance to Ardilan Hotel ballroom with cheering crowd.
Groom's wedding speech after dinner in the Ardilaun Hotel's ballroom.
Emotional speeches with mother of bride and bridesmaids.
Bride surprises her bridesmaids with dramatic dress change!
Bride surprises her husband with dramatic dress change!

After some hilarious speeches and a surprise dress-change, everyone hit the floor and danced the night away! Jenny and Gary had chosen an amazing wedding band (The Bentley Boys) that really kicked the room into gear. Partway through their first dance, the bridal party rushed the dancefloor and soon everyone was drawn in. This was a great idea as it shared the limelight with the wedding party and the guests (highly recommended if you’re nervous about doing a first dance)!

Bride and groom cut their wedding cake!
Special wedding napkins marked 'The Coopers', styled after their Pug Ronnie
Groom and guests enjoying a big toast together in the Ardilaun Hotel.
Wedding party's dramatic entrance gets a big cheer!
Fathers of the bride and groom arrive together to much fanfare.
Wedding party fun and musical arrival in ballroom.
Young and old alike do lots of dancing at wedding party.
Bride and Groom's first dance in ballroom with guests all around.
Guests dancing in the ballroom, with shoes left aside!
Guests cheer the bride at the end of the wedding day!

And with that, Jenny and Gary’s Galway wedding day came to a fantastic close.

Thank you for inviting us to participate in your incredible Galway wedding! We were delighted to capture your images and create your stunning wedding album too. We wish you many years of love and fun (with your dear pug Ronnie)!

Romantic black and white portrait of couple and sweet personalised wedding day gifts.

Galway’s Ardilaun Hotel is a fantastic place to host your wedding; they have delicious food, great facilities, and everything is nearby when you host your entire day there.

Bride and Groom look out at the Spanish Arch in Galway City.

 

Other things to see in the west of Ireland.

If you’re visiting Galway and have enough time, it’s worth taking a drive around Connemara to the north. In fact, Connemara’s visually stunning landscapes are unlike anywhere else in Ireland! That ethereal, windswept quality made the perfect backdrop to a lovely honeymoon shoot we did there.

 


This wedding was also featured on One Fab Day  – congratulations Jenny & Gary 😉

 

––

Vendor Credits 

Photography: Ivana & Sam

Florals: Siobhan Collins Floral Design

Venue: The Ardilaun Hotel

Bride’s Gown: Pronovias

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: David’s Bridal UK

Dress Boutique: Teokath of London

Hair: Niamh Lee Hair

Makeup: Keira Smyth HMUA

Shoes: Charlotte Mills Shoes

Suits: Edit Suits & Moss Bros.

Stationary: PaperGrace UK

Cupcakes: Shir’s Delights

Band: Bentley Boys Band

Celebrant: Antoinette Coleman-Kelly

  1. Jennifer says:

    What a beautiful Galway wedding! You truly captured their love. Great job.

  2. Clarissa says:

    This Galway wedding looked so fun! I love how you captured all the special details of their day and of Ireland! Beautiful work!

  3. This is amazing work! You documented their day amazingly well.

  4. Naomi Levit says:

    Such a gorgeous Galway wedding! Love your style!

  5. Tiha says:

    Amazing captured wedding 🙂 Ivana and Sam are absolute professionals with who everyone would be gifted to work with. Having talented photographers capturing your best day is very important. Having Sam and Ivana in your team is a MUST <3

  6. Carly says:

    Their day was beautiful ! Awesome job capturing their day.

  7. Marta says:

    Wow, what a beautiful wedding! I am obsessed with the details of her dress!!! Also, their little pug additions everywhere are just too cute!

    • Ivana Milchanska says:

      Thank you Marta 🙂 Yes, her dress was gorgeous (and I loved her veil cape)! Ronnie kept getting honourable mentions throughout the day, they love him so much!

  8. Kelcee says:

    This wedding is so beautiful oh my goodness! I love how they had so many friends supporting them while getting ready. And then after the ceremony they adventured the town?! HOW COOL!!! You captured this so perfectly! (:

    • Ivana Milchanska says:

      Thanks so much Kelcee! I know! It really was such a wise decision for them to have so many helpers around 😀

  9. Stacy says:

    Such a beautiful Galway wedding! It looks like such a fun place to get married. I loved seeing the images of this couple’s wedding day and how they celebrated with their loved ones.

  10. Love how you captured details throughout their entire wedding day, even down to the simple in between moments – beautiful!

    • Ivana Milchanska says:

      Really appreciate that Dakotah! There were so many lovely details to catch 🙂

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