Steph and Chas – Fantastic Wedding at West Essex Golf Club
Wedding Date 17/10/2015
Church – Waltham Abbey Church
Reception – West Essex Golf Club
Bride – Stephanie Howell
Groom – Chas Curtis
Brides Parents – Shaunagh & Jeff
Grooms Parents Kim & Ian
Maid of Honour – Tracy Howell
Bridesmaid – Bailie Curtis, Dani-Leigh Howell, Charlie Howell
Flowergirls – Couples Daughter – Ivy Curtis , Eadie
Pageboys – Couples Son – Teddie Curtis, Fynn & Jay
Best Man – G
Ushers – Danny Howell, Matthew Howell, & Jamie
Video – Spotlight
Hair – Hair Raizin, Cheshunt
Toastmaster / DJ and Entertainment Barney @ Party Events Unlimited
BEFORE THE WEDDING.
I have personally known Stephanie over 11 years, we met when I photographed her brother Danny’s Wedding to Tracy Moulder in 2004. Since that Wedding the family on both sides have become very good friends and I have photographed most events that are significant to them. Most recently Stephanie’s grandad’s birthday Party.. I took all the pictures with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren just before his passing. He was a great man and is massively missed by all the family. Stephanie’s family are one of nicest families that you are ever likely to meet, they really are my type of people and this is why we get on so well and the reason that taking pictures for them never feels like work .. the reason being you are treated as a guest and as part of the family.
The Wedding Day
It was 11 am and I finished getting my cameras ready at my Studio in Cheshunt, as i was finishing I put a message on my facebook photography page to say I was on route, so I got into the car and headed over to Jeff and Shaunagh’s house where Stephanie was leaving from to start the wedding photographs. When I arrived Jeff answered the door in his towel and had just got out the shower, the bride and the rest of the girls were all on their way from the hairdressers and so was Danny with the Bacon Sandwiches.
I was standing in the lounge with Anthony from Spotlight Weddings and Stephanie came up the front path and came into the house, she looked amazing…. her hair and make up was perfect and she looked amazing. I went up into the main bedroom and all the bridesmaids dresses were hanging up and in the centre was Stephanie’s dress it was stunning.
Stephanie, Tracey and Bailey all got the Flowergirl’s ready in their dresses and with some bed bouncing by Ivy they got there. Then with the help of the mother of the bride they got Stephanie into her dress and laced her in. It was at this moment that her dad Jeff came in and saw her for the first time in her wedding dress ..it was a beautiful moment and one that I will always remember, Jeff’s face said it all.. the smile was massive and he was a very proud man – but later in the eve this was to be even more beautiful when he got to dance with her in the second song of the evening.
I shot off to the Pub to see Chas, he was in the bar with his best man G, ushers and his dad. Ian. We went outside and shot some pictures capturing the moment it was then that all the boys made their way down the path and walked up to the Church. There were about 100 people all arriving and the ushers did a brilliant job getting everybody in. The bride and bridesmaids all arrived in traditional London Taxis. Once everyone went into the Church I took some pictures inside before and during Stephanie’s entrance up to the Altar to see Chas. Waltham Abbey Church is amazing and so beautiful to take pictures in. After the Ceremony Stephanie and Chas came out of the church and it was at this moment that all the family and friends all congratulated them. I then set up two lines of guests and the couple ran through as the guests all threw the confetti. I then shot the group shots just at the side of the main entrance using the The Lady Chapel doorway which is a “beautiful spot and out of the cold wind”. As it was a little cold and everyone was there it was a great move by me, the wedding guests would have not wanted to come out in the cold at West Essex Golf Club when the drinks would be flowing. After the shots with family and friends the guests all made their way to The Golf Club for the drinks and Canapes whilst Chas and Stephanie came out into the ancient ruins of Waltham abbey Church where I made full use of the Structures, arches and walled areas of this fantastic Church.
We then headed to West Essex Golf Club and the Bride and Groom travelled in a 1930’s Black Buick ..”fantastic car”. Once we arrived at the reception Stephanie and Chas headed in to see their guests and it’s always this moment as a Pro Photographer that you can begin to relax knowing that the main pictures are now done and from this point on your job is to capture the moment and the important parts of the evenings proceedings.. speeches, first Dance and my personal favourite the Finishing shot. ..(see last pic below).. against the sky silhouette.
The Speeches were brilliant and Barney (MC and DJ) organised them perfectly as always. Jeff started with a speech that was up there with one of the best i’ve heard, he walked around the room giving certain key people an opportunity to say something to the couple, towards the end of his speech Shaunagh had written the most touching and resplendent poem to her daughter which was read most splendidly by Karen Curtis. Then it was Chas’s turn and he spoke beautifully about his family and also how much he loved Stephanie and their two beautiful children Ivy and Teddy. Then it was down to the best man who Barney quite rightly said is soooo cool he only has one initial for his name ++++ ( G ) +++… great guy and very close friend indeed to Chas.
After the speeches Barney invited everyone to follow the couple out into the Bar area for coffee to enable the room to be prepared for the evening’s Entertainment.
The guests were then all invited in and it was at this moment that they all circled the dancefloor and Stephanie and Chas made their entrance in to massive cheers and to cut their wedding cake. The cake was then moved and then the First dance was to begin. The dancefloor lit up and the couple held each other really tight and had a beautiful first dance together. It was then that the moment that I explained earlier (the moment that Jeff and Stephanie had their father daughter dance)… the song was Heartland “I loved her First“.. any dad whose got a daughter would love to have had a moment like this.. I was done totally – the hairs on the back of my neck stood up – my Daughters 14 so a long way off but this was amazing and id love a moment like that. Jeff held her and she rested her head on his chest, he had beautiful smile on his face, and he looked up but made no eye contact with anyone ” It was just them two for that moment”.. if there was a sign above them it would have read “This is my Girl”. It was one of the best moments I’ve had in 24 years of doing weddings. One other was 11 years ago at Hanbury Manor when Stephanie’s Maid Of Honor (Tracey Howell) got married and her dad Cliff did a speech to his daughter without talking live – but had it filmed on location with Arsene Venger (cant totally be perfect) and projected it on a 10 foot screen “very powerful” and that had a similar effect on me”.
After the dance all the guests joined in and the Drunken dancing started, there was some great moves on the dancefloor. I then went into the Photobooth with Anthony (Spotlight) “a usual thing we do but this time we went in with the bride and groom”.. great fun.
I put my cameras away and went and chatted to some of the people I know very well there Cliff Moulder, Jan Moulder, Stacey Butler, Danny and Mathew Howell and loads more. Great people and a brilliant day.
Personal note to Stephanie and Chas.
As you both well know, I was looking forward to taking your pictures for a long time and It was a privilege for me to be there and to take your wedding photos. You are a lovely couple and you are so well suited to each other. Good luck in your married life and may you always walk in sunshine together. John Paul x
All – Here is a selection of pictures that I have chosen from the day. They are low resolution – There will be a higher resolution set going into an album on Facebook soon so don’t screenshot these, wait for the better ones. JP
Steph and Chas – Fantastic Wedding was Photographed and written © John Paul O’Donnell Photography.
If you have enjoyed reading this post then please like and share it. I enjoy putting words to the pictures I take and when I see that people enjoy reading and looking.. I know that its worthwhile. JP