Wedding photos: moments captured in time

A wedding photo captures a moment in time. We asked readers to send in some special pictures and to explain the stories behind their beautiful shots fleshing out sketchy details to paint portraits of lives lived.

Rebecca Singleton and her five father figures 
Photographer: Amy French

Rebecca Singleton and her five father figures Photographer: Amy French



Rain on our wedding day- Laura and Matt Steerman
Photographer: Jason J Finnane, Finnimaje
A surprise torrent of rain on a June bank holiday in Ballina, had Laura and Matt Steerman soaking wet but “laughing” on their wedding day in 2008.


It began in Paris . . . -  Françoise and Rabbi Abraham Abécassis

This is the story of two Parisian lovers who, on paper, should never have met, explains their daughter, Florence Abecassis, a Frenchwoman living in Dublin.

“My parents met, one autumn night in 1964, somewhere along the green line of the Paris Metro. My mother later recalled how they had exchanged glances across the carriage and how, on the platform at Gare de Lyon, my father had waited for her and invited her for coffee. It was late, she explained, and she was hungry. Of course, she had never gone for coffee with a total stranger before. But for one reason or another, that night, she did.

“Significantly, my father had introduced himself as ‘Gérard Lasquier’, a very French name, when in fact he was a Jew from the former colony of Morocco. With his pale complexion and impeccable French, he had got away with the lie. My mother, by contrast, grew up in a traditional Catholic family in the 6th arrondissement, the epitome of bourgeois Paris. For months, Rabbi Abraham Abécassis was ‘Gérard’ to his girlfriend Françoise. By the time he told her the truth, she confessed, with a smile, she was already in love and all was forgiven. And the rest, as she said, was history.

“But despite the happy ending, my parents, by choosing to love and marry each other paid a high price within their families, their communities and, to some extent, within society at large. That moment captured on their wedding photograph, looking at each other lovingly and smiling, was in fact the beginning of a long road to acceptance, which I am not sure they ever got . . .

“My parents’ marriage was tested every step of the way by begrudgers, cynics and the narrow-minded. Yet, almost 50 years on, their love, their deep convictions, their bravery, their dignity, their appetite for life, remain unscathed – as fresh and new as it looks on their wedding day.”


Ring-a-ding-ding - Domhnall Banks and Aoileann Nic Aogain
Photographer: Nicky McDonnell
“That’s me Domhnall Banks, the groom, in the middle, laughing to myself at the absurdity of what’s going on. The best man (my brother Eoghan) is to the left of the shot and the groomsman, Colm Hanley, is to the right. Both are frantically calling whoever they can think of to try to locate our wedding rings. They had been given to my brother the previous evening for safe keeping, and they were so safe that he couldn’t find them when we reached the church. After many calls, a bit of panic on his part, and plenty of slagging, they were found, in the lining of his jacket having fallen through a hole in the pocket of his tuxedo! It was an hilarious start to a great day.”

Domhnall married Aoileann Nic Aogain in November 2011.


From Russia with love - Will Burton and Claire Friel
Photographer: Barbara McGroary
“You never know where a holiday romance will take you,” says Will Burton. The story behind this photograph starts in St Petersburg, Russia, in 2006, when Burton, from Portsmouth, met Claire Friel, from Milford, Co Donegal. He and his friend, Rob Waddell, met Claire, her sister Danielle and their friend Francis Meehan at Red Square and spent a few days seeing the sights together before discovering they all had plans to travel on the Trans-Siberian Express. Five of them piled into a coach class compartment where they met Andrew Horseman and “had no choice but to read and talk and get to know each other”.

By 2012, Danielle and Andrew had tied the knot, and Claire and Will (above) followed them up the aisle in 2013. Both couples are now living in Donegal.


Joycean joy - Alfreda O’Brien and Ciaran Kavanagh
Photographer: Kris McGuirk
Alfreda O’Brien and Ciaran Kavanagh met at Ciaran’s family’s pub, The Gravediggers, on Prospect Square. Ciaran had come back to Dublin having spent eight years living in Italy. The couple bonded over a love of Bloomsday and High Nelly bicycles and had two weddings in June last year.

The first took place on Friday 14th, after they’d participated in a Bloomsday Charity Cycle in full Joycean costume and raced to City Hall for a civil ceremony. On June 16th, Bloomsday, Fr Pat, a regular at the pub, blessed the couple on the square, where they held a party. As a wedding gift, Alfreda gave Ciaran a renovated 1969 Vespa and they took it for a spin around the square to the sound of The Dublin Saunter played by St George’s Brass Band.


Marrying my gorgeous German shepherd - Julie Lombard and Jurgen Wolinski
“This is me arriving at Dusty Bluebell Cottage with my Dad for our wedding,” says Julie Lombard. “My Dad, Tommy, is wearing his cowboy gear. Every year for the past 10 years my dad has travelled to Tombstone, Arizona, to take part in the re-enactment of the Shootout at the OK Corral. He is the original Rhinestone Cowboy.” 
Julie married her “German shepherd”, Jurgen Wolinski, who we assure you walks on two legs – although the cottage is named after the couple’s dogs, Dusty and Blue, who were the ring bearers at the service. “We had such an amazing day” says Julie. 
Five father figures - Rebecca Singleton and Padraig Looby 
Photographer: Amy French
Rebecca Singleton married Padraig Looby on June 7th, 2013. The hirsute men holding her up are her paternal uncles, Pat, Tom, Frank, Anthony and Christy Singleton. Missing from the picture is her father, Jack, who died when she was just nine. 
Her five uncles picked up the father-figure baton and have “been there for every special occasion”, even when Rebecca first met Padraig, in the car park at the base of Lugnaquilla mountain. The composition replicates a shot of the five uncles taken a decade earlier when Rebecca was a photography student at Griffith College. 
She called the picture Band of Brothers saying, “They are not as they appear, extras from Harry Potter or The Hobbit, but they are the stuff of legend.”
Do you have a special photo from a wedding that you'd like to share? Email it to with a short version of the story it tells and we will see if we can feature it in our weddings section
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