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.
- Photography: Andy Wardle Photography
- Hair: Hair Design by Hayley
- Make Up: Michelle Sisson
- Flowers: Zuzu’s
- DJ: Aardvark DJ services
- Stationary: Ditsy Chic
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.