Wedding at the Villa Negri, Italy – Giulia and Elia
There are certain weddings that go above and beyond what I expected on the day. Often in part it’s down to the sheer difference of the location, the colour, the light as well as the people themselves that make a wedding new to me all over again. Giulia and Elia’s wedding is one such example.
Mainly I shoot weddings in the UK and this is a massive safety net for me, I know what to expect, the language, the format and it’s a simple case of driving along the motorway to your destination. This time though it’s Heathrow, a flight, hotel, new language, location and temperature to consider too.
As a rule, I’ll head to an overseas wedding a day or two in advance as it gives me the chance to view the venues, see the couple and be in a good place before the crazy starts!
On arrival at Malpensa airport I drove to my hotel and met Giulia and Elia who after hugs, showed me the venues involved. Giulia was going to get ready at the Locanda Lugagnano. It’s a very old house and inside there was so so so much colour and directional light to work with. Then we headed to the wedding venue which was the Villa Negri.
Set along a large fast flowing river this gorgeous villa was covered in Jasmine which smelled divine, was colourful and beautiful. The gardens particularly were going to be perfect for me to work in – shade was available when needed and the decor in all the rooms was really well considered too.
Elia was going to get ready there as well so I was able to cover both sides as both locations were only 5 minutes apart.
Before the wedding though, they invited me to dinner at a restaurant called Il Fienile Dei Monaci with some of their close friends who helped me understand the menu and avoid the calamari. It was around this point that I was convinced this wedding was going to be a new type of experience for me. I was getting more emotionally invested with each passing hour. I do with most weddings but I normally get there around halfway through the day and not so early on.
Or it could be the Aperitife’s they were throwing my way. (Which apparently are good for digestion but I think they just got me drunk).
Because of the heat in Italy (this was the first week of June) early ceremonies are a great idea. But it means an early start. With an 11.30 ceremony I was at Giulia’s door for 8.30, camera in hand and ready to rock. I still treated the day as normal in the way that I shoot but there was so much more colour and points of interest that I would usally find. Although it’s easy to sell this as when something is new it has more ‘value’. I was bowled over by the yellow buildings outside, the weather blue storm protectors on the windows, the terracotta and the way the light bounced off it.
Around 10am I headed off to see Elia and his guys getting ready. His best Man Michele was helping him and also not helping him by playing dramatic music off his iphone. I’ll be honest in that this turned into a comedy act when everyone arrived with lots of emotions running free.