Laura and Giuseppe Wedding at Theobalds Park
Date – 12th August 2016
Ceremony – St Paul’s RC Church, Cheshunt (Father Clement)
Reception – Theobald’s Park Mansion and The Ridings Barn
Bride – Laura Butler
Groom – Giuseppe Piazza
Maid of Honor’s – Jo and Laura
Bridesmaids – Helen and Joanna
Flowergirl – Isabella
Pageboys – Max and Henry
Best Men – Joey and JC
Groomsmen Nino, Frank, Richard, Matt, Joe, Mark, John and Salv
Hen – Dublin
Stag – Barcelona
The day started with me arriving at Giuseppe’s parents house in Hoddesdon. A traditional 1930’s style house that reminded me so much of my Italian friends homes that I went to when I was a young boy growing up in the same area, even going to the same school as Giuseppe and his close friends and family. When I got to the house, Giuseppe was in the hall with his 2 best men and ushers .. they were getting their waistcoats on…. typical Italians (sunglasses were on and they smelt good too). It was very important that Giuseppe went to the field (an area that him and his close friends played football and other games at every day after school). We did some pictures on the field and then headed back to the house for a few family pictures out in the garden with all the Italian fruit trees (loved it!) .
I arrived at Laura’s house which is only a few hundred yards from my home in West Cheshunt. Laura was having her hair and make up done as were all the girls. The wedding dress was hanging up in the main bedroom and I made a point of going in and getting some pictures of the dress, shoes etc. Once the hair and make up finished Laura got into her wedding dress and looked stunning. I then shot off as I needed to get to the church to set up and the time was ticking now as we had run over on time (make up and hair)…this is a regular occurrence and it’s not fair to the bride as it means there are so many pictures you can’t get as you need to leave for the church. (but later I got these shots.. don’t worry).
When I arrived at the church it was chaos… nowhere to park, but luckily one of the groomsmen saved me a space on a drive opposite… top guy and Giuseppe’s oldest brother. I walked across the road and Giuseppe arrived in a beautiful Bentley GTC … what a car, we did a few pics and he then saw father Clement the priest and went inside all his guests followed. The church was packed the atmosphere was brilliant everyone was so anxious to see Laura arrive…the sunlight was streaming in from the windows. I looked around and saw two of my own school friends with their families … I realised that I knew a lot of people here and later I was to see friends that I hadn’t seen since school days and one that I boxed with at Haileybury Boys Club when I was a junior undefeated boxer (Tillio Riccardi).
Laura arrived and the ceremony was beautiful, father clement has a voice that resignates and he certainly gets people listening. Giuseppe and Laura then took communion as did the majority of their guests.
After the ceremony the couple came out and we did a confetti shot before heading off to Theobald’s Park. When we arrived the wedding cars pulled into the Mansion House along with Joe Russo’s Bentley GTC. I took the pictures with the cars and Bridal party before the cars left and everyone except the couple left to go The Ridings Barn.
I took the pictures of the bride and groom in the Italian Gardens and back terrace of the Mansion House using the balustrade, steps and natural beauty of the beautiful red brick building. Giuseppe and Laura really got into the pictures and were very natural in front of the camera together. With lots of little smiles, glances and natural hand holding… this all made for brilliant natural and classical photos.
Laura and Giuseppe then headed to see the wedding guests who were having drinks at The Ridings Barn and had a lovely drinks reception with them before having some family and friends pictures taken. The wedding party were then announced in to the Barn Italian style and everyone took their seats for the 7 coarse meal. Whilst the food was served, I sat outside in the courtyard and had some food… the weather was lovely, the sun was out and the shades were on.
After the meal the speeches started, they were brilliant – the father of the bride made a big effort to welcome everyone in Italian … and got a huge round of applause. Giuseppe then followed and was a natural public speaker smiling and pausing at the perfect time, he was then followed by his two best men who did a brilliant speech full of laughter and fun they finished with a serious part talking about what a great friend Giuseppe is and that he is always there for his friends beating off anyone who wasn’t welcome when he was younger because he was the biggest and toughest.
The meal finished and the couple went out into the courtyard for drinks with their guests whilst the room was turned around for the evening’s entertainment. With all the Italian weddings I have done over the years and having Italian blood myself (my nan on my mum’s side was Italian), you know that there will always be lots of food and my god.. there was plenty of it .. even a stone baked Clay Oven Pizza Company was set up making pizzas for everyone. It was here that I saw some old boxing and school mates and had a slice of pepperoni Pizza whilst catching up with them… Giuseppe dad even bought me a Peroni over which went down very well.
I then took the bride and groom off to the Tree house where I knew id get a beautiful off camera flash shot of them against the sky with the beautiful Mansion House behind. This certainly made a great picture and gave the couple a chance to be on their own for ten minutes.
We headed back and they cut their superb wedding cake and then started the dancing with their first dance as Mr and Mrs Piazza. In the usual Italian fashion everyone surrounded the couple and threw confetti, rice and anything else at them streamers – you name it. The boys then all picked Giuseppe up and then the dancing got going and the dance floor was full to the rim.
The beautiful thing with an Italian Family and an English Family marrying together is that when the dancing starts and they play traditional Italian music (really fast and gets EVERYONE going) is that the Italian men grab the english ladies and the Italian ladies grab the English men.. they all danced and people’s faces were full of fun… it is a beautiful thing to see.
It was now pretty late so I said my goodbye to Laura and Giuseppe… I was flying off on a family holiday the next day and id stayed later than I usually would.
Heres a selection of images that I have selected that are some of my personal favourites.
Personal message to The Bride and Groom.
Laura, Giuseppe. We have got to know each other really well since the time you booked me many months ago. Your wedding was full of love and laughter and I am honoured and privileged that I was chosen by you to photograph your wedding. You are both people who I warmed to straight away and anyone that sees you together can see that you are so in love. Your guests and family were some of the nicest people I have ever met. Taking those shots at the park Giuseppe.. bought part of my childhood memories back as I met one of my oldest Italian friends there whilst walking back from school – (Franco Defiato) and others Giovanni Pizzo, Saverio Ferro, Giuseppe Genuardi, Joe Defiato, Ignazio Miragliotta and many many more.
Have a great honeymoon and I look forward to seeing you both for the viewing soon. JP
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Photographed and written © John Paul O’Donnell Photography.
Share and like please, I enjoy putting words to the pictures I take and when I see that people enjoy reading and looking.. I know that its worthwhile. Laura and Giuseppe Wedding at Theobald’s Park