Co Clare newlyweds hike for seven hours to take this photo

Noel Baker

Surely at some point the bride said: “It’s a groom with a view...”

This is newlywed couple Michelle O’Leary and Ruaidhri Mohally pictured in their wedding attire near the summit of Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry, in what the photographers are claiming is Ireland’s highest wedding snap.

The shot was taken last week by Laurie Brosnan and David Olsthoorn, the couple behind Limerick-based Awake and Dreaming Photography.

They trekked up Ireland’s highest mountain last week alongside their subjects, who had just returned from their honeymoon.

According to Laurie, it took three hours to reach the point near the top of the mountain where Michelle and Ruaidhri posed for the stunning image.

Once the photoshoot finished, the quartet set off back down the mountain, with the whole trip taking close to seven hours.

Laurie, a former professional Irish dancer with Rhythm of the Dance, and David, who is originally from Lahinch in Co Clare, set up the company more than two years ago and had already laid down a marker when it came to unconventional wedding photography.

Last year they took a shot of another couple on a surfboard at the base of the Cliffs of Moher. As Laurie explained: “We were trying to come up with different ideas. We had got as low as you could go [at sea level], so we thought why not go as high as we can?” According to David, the shoot on Carrauntoohil last week was not quite at the highest point, but just a little below it.

“It was just off the top, down a level from the very top,” said David. “We shot their wedding around three weeks ago.”

And no, Michelle and Ruaidhri did not climb Carrauntoohil in their wedding suit and dress — they carried the clothes up in backpacks and quickly changed near the top of the mountain for the photo shoot, which in itself is a feat of logistics.

Michelle and Ruaidhri, both from Co Clare but now living in Sligo, are understood to have a grá for hiking and adventure, while David said he and Laurie “have a few ideas” as to future wedding shoots, though he didn’t want to disclose too much.

“That would be telling,” he said.

According to Laurie, “when we first set up this company we wanted to go down a different route with wedding photography. We wanted to do something completely different. We wanted to push the extreme side.”

It also makes sense on another level — they met at a wedding.

The couple has also been at the forefront of destination wedding shoots, having covered wedding ceremonies in nine different countries in the past 12 months, and have just recently returned from a job in Iceland.

They have also shot weddings in the south of France, the Isle of Skye and on the Greek island of Mykonos.

However, all those other venues might be hard pushed to beat Carrantuohill for sheer visual splendour. This one is surely being blown up as big as possible for the coveted spot over the mantelpiece.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.


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