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Jaimie & Marie-Louise's Location Wedding

Whenever Marie-Louise first contacted me about photographing her wedding I was so happy. I had met her a few times through my sister and she had even modelled for me when I planned a bridal shoot with local wedding vendors the previous summer.

Marie-Louise and Jaimie live in Belfast, so naturally started to plan their wedding for home. However, when on a trip to visit her parents in Germany, Marie-Louise discovered the venue of her dreams; Schloss Eberstein. To say this place is something out of a Disney movie is an understatement! A beautiful castle in the middle of a forrest - as a photographer I was beyond excited!

"My dad convinced me to stop for a cup of coffee and once I got out of the car and saw the incredible views, I was won over. When they told me they had their own vineyard and Michelin star chef...I had to break the news to Jaimie that we were getting married in Germany!"

And with that, the planning began. I had to keep pinching myself.

When I arrived in Germany, the sun was shining and continued to do so until the day I left - It was honestly the most beautiful weather. Marie-Louise and her family had been having gym sessions and lunch in the garden everyday along with her bridesmaids. I attended the lunch...must been off taking photos during the gym sessions...

As if planning a location wedding wasn't enough, Marie-Louise and Jaimie had planned a wedding weekend extravaganza! Starting the night before the big day when they had a pre-wedding Hawaiian luau in the tree house at Marie-Louise's parents house (if i didn't have photographs to prove this was all true i wouldn't believe it either) and finishing off with a BBQ the day after the wedding to thank everyone for travelling to share their happiness on their wedding day.

I remember Marie-Louise's mum telling me "everyone in the town knows about the wedding! Everyone is excited!" - I assumed it would be like at home when neighbours would watch from the window or come to the end of their garden path to see the bride be taken off in the grand wedding car. Imagine my shock when the church was filled with crowds of local people. All taking photos on their phones and iPads, all so excited for Marie-Louise & Jaimie on their big day! It was so lovely to see.

The St Cyriak Church in Malsch was stunning.

Cobblestone path ways and tall green trees surrounding the outside, and lots of large windows lined the church walls letting in the sunlight - again, I was pinching myself. This church was special to the Ratican family because not only was it where Marie-Louise was baptised but it's also where her own parents got married. The day before the wedding I remember Marie-Louise's dad bringing me to the church and telling me all about it, he was so proud that his daughter would be making another memory in this church - another memory for thier family.

After the ceremony, everyone travelled to the reception where the celebrating continued. Guests were welcomed into the courtyard to canapés, champagne and aperol spritz cocktails - with the sun shining and the rose bushes surrounding us, it was all so beautiful.

Now that the vows are said, the cake is cut and the crazy dancing is all done, I asked Marie-Louise & Jaimie, if they could do back, what (if anything) would they do differently and what advice they have for couples planning their big day:

"Try not to overthink the small details...and also try not to drop ketchup on my wedding dress!

Do whatever you want to do; it's your day. Celebrate what you enjoy and what is special to you. And most importantly - have fun!"

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