John Paul ODonnell is a Cooling Castle Wedding Photographer in Hertfordshire. A style that captures the fun, the laughter; the day.
I have got to know Emma and Danny very well over the last 5 years. We have been working together when I have been photographing at the Farm seeing Emma. Then on construction sites seeing Danny where he runs a very successful Electrical Contracting Company. When they both asked me if I would photograph their wedding at the beautiful Cooling Castle I didn’t hesitate and said a massive “YES”.
The Big Day
I joined Emma, her bridesmaids and mum Anne in the Moat House at Cooling Castle where they were all getting ready together. Emma’s very close friend Leanne Purser was already working on everyone’s hair and Zara was the make up girl. I started by capturing Emma’s beautiful “Allure” dress by Maidstone’s Victoria Elaine then the shoes to capture the detail. I moved in close to get some shots of Emma’s make up being finished. The bridesmaids and flower girls all knew each other really well and the room rang with relaxed, happy chatter and laughter.
Emma’s dress looked amazing hanging by the staircase and after a few photos I disappeared to see Danny so she could get into it. Danny was in a room next door getting ready with his best man Carl, ushers Ricky, Louis, Oliver and Kodzy. His suit had been tailored to fit perfectly and when he put it on it fitted like a glove. Dannys double monk shoes went perfectly with the 3 piece suit and together with his pocket watch and raybans made it complete. I shot back over to see Emma and to capture her dad’s reaction to seeing her all ready.
Once dad had seen her and of course had a few photos, her mum Anne spent a little bit of time with her and I took some lovely photos of them together out on the moat terrace.
As a surprise to Danny, Emma had arranged for Samantha Harvey to sing. She sang before the ceremony then for Emma’s entrance and throughout the drinks reception.
Nervous tension mounted until the bridesmaids and then Emma made their entrance. It was a lovely, intimate ceremony, short and beautifully performed by the registrars and team at Cooling Castle.
After the ceremony Emma and Danny walked back up the aisle and into the Tithe Barn for a glass of champagne together. Whilst this was happening myself and David (toastmaster) created a confetti tunnel all the way across the lawn. The sun was behind them which elevated them both even more as it hit the white dress and veil. Emma and Danny walked all the way through enabling me to get some beautiful pictures. Then I hammered through the group photos and captured the drinks reception.
After a nice drinks reception I popped into the main barn to capture all the details of the wedding breakfast set up. The time flew by as it always does, and it was soon time for everyone to take their seats for the meal. The Gavel was banged by David and the announcement made for Emma and Danny to make their grand entrance. They came in to great applause and I left them all to eat in peace.
I re-joined everyone for the speeches which were hilarious and touching. The floating cake was cut and then we had a break whilst the Barn was made ready for the evening reception and the band to set up.
Emma and Danny got the party started with their first dance and then it was time to boogie. After an hour or so we went outside for a Castle Night Shot and I left them to dance the night away.
Keep scrolling for lots of lovely photos from this beautiful day! If you’re getting married at Cooling Castle Barn and looking for a photographer then please do visit my wedding galleries, find out more about my style of photography, check out my prices or get in touch to check my availability!
Date – 16th September 2023
Ceremony and Reception Venue – Cooling Castle Barn
Bride – Emma Lucas
Groom – Danny Hodge
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ* These Images are low resolution. Anyone wishing to use them for social media purposes please make sure that the Logo is seen and not cropped out and that credit is given to John Paul O’Donnell Photography and tagged Instagram @jp_odonnell_photography
Emma and Danny, thank you for choosing me to photograph your special day. It really was a fairytale wedding and you both looked amazing. See you very soon for the viewing. JP.
Make Up: Zara