The Marriage of Mahj and Martin, Part 2

If you didn’t see part 1 yesterday, detailing Mahj’s Mehndi (henna party) and some of the best getting ready shots I have ever seen, then go back now and read her beautiful account of the first part of her self-proclaimed ‘wedding week’. Today you get to see the details, but more importantly the best part of any wedding, the part that makes it all worthwhile, the moments when you realise you’re married, the quiet of the portrait shots, the buzz of the reception, the joy and emotion of the speeches and the love, from having everyone that is most important to you in one place. And the love is written all over Mahj’s face…

I really at this juncture should tell you about my flowers. I got them from a fab little vintage style florist near me in Stockport called Zuzu’s, which is run by the ever-so-lovely Kerry. She’s so good at what she does and really knows what works together and how to make the most out of flowers, especially if you have a budget set for your blooms. And I LOVED my bouquet. Heck, I loved all the flowers she did, not just mine! They looked amazing and smelt yummy. I think my only regret would be not tossing my bouquet in the evening, though Mrs A was pleased as she ended up having it! For those of you interested, in my bouquet was: sweet pea, flowering mint, hydrangea, larkspur, faith, melano and deepwater roses, lisianthus, alcamila, red roses and coolwater lilies. Hope I got that all right! I had really wanted peonies but when it came time for my bouquet to be put together, the peonies were so expensive that Kerry substituted hydrangeas instead which looked just as lovely.

As detailed on the very lovely AOW blog, my nerves didn’t really kick in till we were walking down to the ceremony room. And I’m quite proud of myself for not having that pesky out-of-body experience and keeping in the ‘now’ for the whole thing. But gosh, nothing beats that moment when they announce you and your man as husband and wife. Nothing.

I had been totally obsessed with the weather for our day. My obsession had transferred to other people in the wedding party: mothers, bridesmaids, groomsmen. And though the day started beautifully sunny, by the time we were having canapés and drinks, it was looking a wee bit cloudy. And by the time we were having the obligatory whole group shot, the heavens had started to open. But you know what? I absolutely didn’t give a monkey’s. Who cares? We were indoors, my glass of plonk was really quite nice and I WAS MARRIED!

I think the speeches were my second favourite part of the day after the ceremony. Various people who had heard the various speeches had all said they had cried after hearing them read to them. My anticipation was high. Firstly my darling Pops. Possibly the most private and quiet man I know, I honestly had no idea what he would say and how he would say it. But he did so beautifully, it was a revelation. He made everyone laugh, then cry then laugh again. But his voice cracked after saying how radiant I looked. Sniff, I’d never been called radiant before.

Martin doesn’t like public speaking. But he honestly blew everyone away with his speech. He had worked so hard and practised a lot. His speech isn’t great sometimes but he kicked the arse of that and made more than a few people weep into their napkins!

And then there was the best man Andy…who was utterly brilliant and hilarious. No crude jokes or jibes. Some well placed anecdotes (he’s known the both of us for years) and the most lovely acknowledgement of what Martin and I had gone through 3 years previously and how we’d gotten through it.

Aaahh and this is where I have some holes in my memory. When I try and think back, everything feels a bit fragmented. What I do remember is having the group shots done and then going off for Martin and my shots. I actually don’t remember what we talked about, or if we even talked at all. But I do remember looking at him and giggling quite a lot to myself because he was my husband. I had a husband. Hee.

By the time we had made our way back inside, my gorgeous green shoes had been kicked off as they were evil. Evil I tell you. They may look pretty but they will make you almost cry with pain. And also our evening guests had arrived. The DJ was set up and when did it become 7.30pm?? I thought we had hours left. Noooooo, I don’t want this day to ever end.

We said a few hellos and then had our first dance to U2’s “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”. The song isn’t especially significant to us, we just both quite like it.

The rest of the evening was a blur. There were so many people and well-wishers. But we danced till our feet nearly fell off! We had planned the playlist for months and were determined to spend some time on that dance floor.

And really, all I can remember from the evening is dancing, glowsticks, the guys all wearing the flipflops meant for the ladies (!), a boys v girls dance-off, Martin and I randomly stuffing a bit of wedding cake in our mouths (it was delicious) and love. So much love.

We finally got to bed at around 2.30am. It took 20 minutes for my hair to be taken out with an assist from 2 of my bridesmaids. We managed to give the gifts we’d gotten for each other to each other and then we were done.

The next morning it all felt a bit surreal. Did all that really happen yesterday? Are we actually married now? Examining the henna on my hands with my new wedding ring on and then stepping on a glowstick as I got out of bed gave me my answer. It really did all happen.

Love,
Mahj xoxo

It’s been almost 8 months since I last put a wedding post together and whilst they were often selected for their style rather than story, knowing Mahj’s has really altered my perception of each and every image, particularly the hard times she has come through with Martin and his incredible strength. It meant that I looked at these images and instead of scouring for the details, I enjoyed every expression of joy or emotion in them. My favourite? I have 2: Eighth from the top, Mahj and Martin hugging for the camera and her arms looking like she’s never letting go – you got a good one Mahj! And the last, with Martin holding her head in his hands, we know Mahj has found someone to love and cherish her as much as she will him. Now that’s a love story.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

The Marriage of Mahj and Martin, Part 1

This afternoon I have a very special post to share with you and something slightly unusual for Florence Finds, a wedding. It’s not just any wedding though, it’s the wedding of Mahj and Martin, Mahj being one of the Rock My Wedding Real Brides. The Real Brides over at RMW were one of my favourite parts of it and one of the things I was most proud of. Getting to know them and helping them out where I could was fun, but the best part was seeing the final result. Completing the cycle with the final wedding posts was one of the things that I missed the most when my time there came to an end. Mahj became a good friend of mine during her time writing for RMW and her unwavering support of me and of Florence Finds has been phenomenal. I’m incredibly grateful for her loyalty and that she wanted to see her wedding report finished by me, and shared on Florence Finds.

Thank you so much Mahj and Martin, I hope I’ve done you both justice…:)

As I sit here to write this, I keep drifting off. Smiling slightly (and at times a little crazily) when remembering parts of the day. As I write this, I have been married for 6 months and 2 days. But in the words of Bo Selecta (!) maybe we need a little rewind?!

I was never just having a wedding day. Oh no. Not for Mr and Mrs Ansari’s youngest daughter. I had what affectionately came to be known as ‘Wedding Week’. Yeah, a whole week of celebrations. But in my defence, Mrs A was behind a lot of it and I wasn’t about to mess with her. Not on this.

My family started to arrive around a week before the wedding from all corners of the globe. It was really bloody lovely as I hadn’t seen some of them for years. I was so touched that they had made the effort to travel so far.

The Mehndi
Wednesday 20th July saw the dawn of my Mehndi (henna party). The day started early for my bridesmaids and I, as my henna artist, an unbelievably talented lady called Sabha, had me having henna put on at 9am. 9am people. And it took 5 hours in total to do my hands and feet. My lesson learnt is to not drink tea whilst having said henna put on as that could lead to awkwardness when needing to pee later on…oh gosh, have I just said pee on Florence Finds?!

My Mehndi was as I expected it to be as I hadn’t had a hand in it. Complete bedlam, disorganised and everyone yelling and bossing each other around. Sigh. Welcome to an Asian Wedding. But all that drama-rama aside, this was probably the point when everything started to feel very very real.

I’ve been to plenty of other bride-to-be’s Mehndis and enjoyed them. But to be having my own was 2 parts surreal,1 part nerve-wracking! I knew this day would come but was not prepared for everyone looking at me and asking lots of questions and being so genuinely interested and curious in how it all unfolds.

Really the hardest thing was walking into the room. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me and my face got hot and my skin started prickling and all I could think was “Jesus Mahj, there will be more people at the wedding!”

So at the Mehndi, everyone gets to together to wish the bride well for her married life. They tied flowers around my wrists and fed me sweets and dabbed henna onto my palms. You know, the usual!

Mine was a pretty informal do. After all the Mahj-blessing there was some time to have some photos taken and catch up with everyone. Then there was food and lots of it (seriously, my parents fed people for weeks on the leftovers!) and there may have been some dancing. Ok, there definitely was some dancing. I was supposed to be having a professional dancer coming but unfortunately got let down at the last minute.

Luckily I have some very hyperactive aunts who jammed their Bhangra CD’s in and away we went. Most surprisingly, I loved it! Jigging away to fast-paced Bhangra music isn’t normally how I get down (haha, i can’t believe I just said “how I get down”) but I really enjoyed myself!

Wedding
And so it dawned. I had managed to sleep the night before, though I’m guessing the few glasses of champagne had helped with that. I felt good. Excited, rested, nervous, giddy and a little sick that the day had finally arrived. And I was calm. Or so I’d thought. I’d done all I could in terms of planning and so now had come the time to enjoy the fruits of my labour…except I still tried to continue controlling the day later on and got the stern face from our wedding co-ordinator and my new husband and was told to relax and leave the staff to it. Oops.

My sharpest memories of the day come from the morning. The getting-ready-with-my-ladies part. It was a pretty relaxed affair (probably because Mrs A hadn’t turned up yet!) and it was whilst I was jumping up and down on the bed (as you do) that the hair and make-up dream team arrived, Michelle and Hayley. Shortly followed by our completely fantastic, we-love-him-so-much-we-could-squish-him photographer Andy Wardle.

I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with my bridesmaids that morning. As soon as I hit that aisle I barely saw them for the rest of the day.

I think I remember putting on my outfit quite early, like around 12pm (we were getting married at 2pm), Mrs A was dead against this but I ignored her. I was determined to spend as much time as humanly possible in that outfit. By this point my hair and make-up were done and I’d stopped panicking about my eyes “being too smokey” and me having too much make up on as Michelle had patiently explained to me that I would need it to last the day and also so I didn’t look washed out on the photos. She was right of course.

And sweet Jesus, dressed in my outfit, hair and make-up done, I felt beautiful. Like really really gorgeous. Knock your socks off schmoking. And so excited. I couldn’t wait for Martin to see me and for me to see him.

And I’ll bet you guys can’t wait to see her walking down the aisle either!

Come back tomorrow to see the second part in all its detailed glory – the paper pretty, the florals, the magnificent cake, but most of all the joy.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Saturday Survey and Sneak Peek

Happy weekend readers!

Once again, I’m canvassing opinions from you all and remain ever grateful for the time you spend replying to my questions. As always, if you’d like to feed something back that isn’t covered then please email me on hello@florencefinds.com I love to hear all your thoughts on Florence Finds, good or bad. 🙂

Firstly, Five things…

I mentioned my latest nail polish find from H&M in this weeks What to Wear post, but just had to share the ice-cream sherbet colours with you properly. I can’t find the set online to link to, but you can find all 4 in store for £2.99. We love a bargain here at Florence Finds, so we do 🙂

I’ve been busy accessory buying this week as I treated myself to this yellow and nude enamel bangle from Banana Republic which I’ve been coveting for an unreasonable amount of time.

At the same time I stumbled across something I wasn’t really looking for… that elusive statement necklace. This one is chunky, bright, bold and lady like all at the same time and I snapped it up without hesitation, also from Banana Republic. Soon to be seen in a WTW!


How beautiful is this clear confetti balloon from Bon Bon Balloons on A Diary of Lovely

On a more serious note… you’ve all been a little quiet of late. I don’t know if it’s half term or what, and I’ve certainly noticed that commenters doesn’t = readers, there’s more of you every time I look around, but why so quiet readers? Then I was catching up on A Safe Mooring and the lovely Kirsty just so eloquently explained everything I was thinking. Thanks Kirsty 🙂

Bonus Sneak Peek
This week you get a bonus… a sneak peek at what’s coming next week. And my goodness, this has been a long time coming. Some of you will know instantly what you’re about to see, others will be intrigued. You’re all going to LOVE it!

Five Questions
1. Do you have a favourite type of recipe to see on Florence Finds? (meals, baking etc)
2. Have you participated (ie read the suggested book) in Florence’s Book club yet and if not why not – what kind of books would you like to see featured?
3. How do you prefer to see beauty covered on Florence Finds? (ie tutorials, new products, recommendations and reviews?)
4. What kind of Travel do you want to see covered? (ie UK short breaks, City breaks, hotel reviews, destination guides, longer trips?)
5. (The hard one) It’s the weekend… what am I likely to find you doing?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

DIY Makeup: Disco Eyes

This morning, as it is (allegedly) the night to end all nights, the party of all parties (can you sense the sarcasm here?) tomorrow; yes, that means New Year’s Eve folks, so I’m sharing a party makeup look. It’s my turn to play model this time, again, to highlight that these looks can work on any average Joe.

Another of the tutorials we shot a couple of months ago now, this was inspired by the catwalks again and a look that was called ‘Beetlejuice’, a coloured smokey eye using greens and blues and purples like the iridescence of a black beetle’s back. Coupling that with the Seventies resurgence that is still massive right now and the disco fever that is perfect for parties (think jumpsuits, Halston Heritage and Studio 54) we opted for a D-I-S-C-O look.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

I think it’s my favourite look so far, mainly because I love playing up my eyes, then just working a slick of gloss on the lips. I hope you all love it too! 🙂

I’ll hand over to Catherine from Ivy Clara makeup now to give you the how-to and thanks go once again to her and Zoe Hodson for taking the fab photos.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

When using any strong colour, it is really important to use a cream base coat in order for the powder colour to stick to and remain vibrant throughout the night. This also ensures that the colour does not slip so avoids the dreaded panda look after a couple of hours of dancing. Pat on with a finger or a flat brush and then use a fluffy brush to buff out the edges into the socket line. My favourite products are Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner by Benefit. I used a lilac based colour called ‘Stilleto’ on Rebecca’s eye but the product comes in a range of shades. Any of the brighter shades would be suitable as a base for the ‘Peacock Eye’.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

The next step is to build up colour in the outer corners to create depth. I used a pure pigment shade by Illamasqua in ‘Illuvium’ which is a high shine, metallic product perfect for a disco vibe. Use a small brush to apply the product into the outer ‘V’ and then buff along the socket line towards the inner corner of the eye. Repeat this process a few times, using a ‘little and often’ approach. This way you are creating a multi-tonal effect with the eyeshadow and strong definition without harsh lines.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

Next, line the lower water line with a soft pencil. I used eye kohl by MAC in ‘Blooz’ but if you have chosen to recreate this look in purple or green, use a pencil in a corresponding colour. Take a slanted brush, and using the same colour used in the eye socket, apply along the lower lash line. A good tip to avoid any fall down of product onto the cheek, is to hold a tissue under the eye while doing this. Any product will be caught by the tissue instead of ruining your base.

To live up to the ‘Disco Eye’ title, add some sparkle to the centre and inner corner of the eye. Using glitter can be tricky! To be more twinkly eyed than disco ball, mix the glitter with a sealant such as Illamasqua sealing gel and pat onto the eye with a flat brush. A cheap alternative is to mix some glitter with a small amount of vaseline before patting onto the eye. Stick to glitters that are formulated especially for eyes. I used Holo Glitter Shaker in ‘Lazer Purple’ by Stargazer, which comes in a range of vibrant colours.

To finish off the look, add a few coats of mascara brushing through the lashes after each application. I love Volume Million lashes Luminizer by L’oreal which contain tiny particles of colour. There are formulations for blue, green and hazel eyes.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

If any glitter or eyeshadow has run astray, tidy this up using your foundation brush which will have surplus foundation on it.

Finally finish with a luminizing blusher in a pink or peach tone. I love ‘Anglikia’ and ‘Amour’ blushers by Nars. Apply to the the apples of the cheeks, building colour up gradually until you reach the desired effect.


Photography: Zoe Hodson and Makeup: Catherine from Ivy Clara

As you can see, it wasn’t only me who had their make-up done by Catherine… we also created this look for Mahj, who suited a peacock take on the look in emerald greens and vibrant blues. Of course, you can change your choice of colours to work with your skin tone or eye colour, or just when you fancy a change!

I hope you liked the tutorial and once again thank you to Catherine, Zoe and Mahj for helping out!

So, what are you all doing for New Year’s Eve?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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