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An enchanting island wedding at Lusy beg, Northern Ireland – Maria + Steve

An Intimate Irish wedding at the Lusty Beg Island Resort on the shores of lough Erne

Maria, a native Northern Irelander and Steve, a true Yorkshireman met in Manchester, their journey took them to living in Vancouver in Canada and then finally to Northern Ireland for their September nuptials. What can I say, these two absolutely rock – from the moment I arrived at Marias mums house for bridal prep, where I was greeted with a full Irish breakfast from her brother to flooring it over to Lusty Beg Island for the wedding ceremony and party to be faced with a fantastic apartment on the shores of Loch Earne, 100 feet from the wedding itself – it couldn’t have been more perfect, or cunningly planned! Staying a stones throw from the wedding meant I was still up celebrating with the couple into the early hours, although not as long as the bride and groom who were still singing folk songs at 6am by the lake!

Venue 

Lusty Beg really is in the middle of nowhere, you’ll find it by catching a 5 minute on-demand ferry (or skip) across loch Erne on the western side of Northern Ireland, where you feel like you’ve entered a stunning little village, setup entirely for relaxing, having fun and celebrating an event. The island features enough accommodation for any size wedding, plenty of parking on the island or at the ferry crossing and a fully stocked bar for whatever the guests fancy, in this case it was Jager bombs, lots of them, right through until 4am! 

The day 

This wedding was a manic one, on paper, thankfully it was a little more serene on the day – the Guinness helped! Following a wedding in Wales the night before, fuelled on a lot of coffee, I headed to Manchester Airport for 5.30am to catch the 7am Flight to Belfast – where i hopped in the car and headed down to Marias parents’ house in Forkhill for bridal prep and to meet the bridal party along with some friends for good measure. 

About 11.30 I finished up in Forkhill near Dundalk and headed over to Lust Beg on the shores of Boa Island, Lough Earne. The 2 hour drive was worth every second for this fantastic wedding venue on the west side of Northern Ireland. To get to the island you have to take a ferry of sorts over, which honestly is an experience in itself.

As an alternative wedding photographer this venue in Northern Ireland was a dream, the skies changed constantly from blue skies to dark clouds, a million doors and stone walls, fairy lights perfectly placed alongside foliage and the phenomenal lake Earne glistening in the background. 

I encouraged Maria and Steve to take time out before the ceremony to do a first look, I don’t often do these but this wedding seemed like the perfect opportunity to go for it. Both the bride and groom wrote their own vows and exchanged them in a secluded part of the island by the lake, this proved to be a winning combination to get some truly intimate shots full of emotion.

Lusty Beg Island Wedding Venue isn’t huge, it’s perfectly formed for an intimate wedding that keeps everyone nearby, in the party atmosphere. After the ceremony and the all-important confetti shot, the bride and groom enjoyed champagne with family and friends before we headed out for portraits – we explored the island, whilst giving the Maria and Steve a moment to take it all in and slow the day down. When we returned to the venue the Guinness was already flowing ready for speeches and the wedding breakfast . 

Marias wedding dress – total superhero vibes, do I need to say anymore?

The Irish know how to party, that’s all I will say about that – the party got started around 9pm and really didn’t dwindle until after 3am, an obscene amount of Guinness and sambuca was consumed by all and the dancefloor didn’t empty all night – such a phenomenal party. 

Maria & Steve were a Rockstar couple, it was a total dream to shoot their wedding and I want to do it all over again, they’ve become firm friends whom i expect I’ll be visiting in Vancouver at some point in the future.

Suppliers

This family orientated island wedding went far beyond just the guests, with the bride and groom living and planning the brides native Northern Ireland wedding from Canada during lockdown, they made sure to find suppliers that were local to the area, finding them through friends and sometimes some of the suppliers were already close friends of the bride and groom.

I’m a big fan of humanist weddings, they’re always so much more personal and intimidate for the couple and guests, Fleur Mellor absolutely knocked it out the park at Lusty Beg, I couldn’t recommend her enough – she splits her time between London & Northern Ireland which is also rather handy.

Although the Ceilidh nearly had me on my back, note to self – don’t get in the middle taking pictures when the true maelstrom begins – got the shot though! Brigid did an absolutely outstanding job of getting everyone in the mood and kicking the party off.

 

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