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!

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.


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55 thoughts on “The Marriage of Mahj and Martin, Part 1

  1. Eeek! Can’t wait for the next part. I’m so involved already. I’m going to have to agree with you there, Mahj – you did look absolutely incredible. That dress was worth the wait to see in all its glory.


  2. Rebecca post the second part RIGHT NOW. You are not playing fair.

    Mahj, you are an absolute knockout. Wowzers. I bet Martin practically peed himself (I said it too) with ‘how lucky am I’ when you walked down the aisle. AND your arms are tiny. The make-up shots are fabulous. Andy, we think you are AMAZEBALLS.

    I hope the rest of the RMW community (and not just those who no longer follow it) find this via twitter. Tweet people. Tweet.

  3. Love it Love it Love it!!!! Mahj you are ABSOLUTELY stunning! Love the green shoes, the henna, the amazing jewellery, the make-up, wow! The Mehndi sounds like seriously good fun too!

    I’m so glad you got to see this one to the end Rebecca. 🙂 Yay for loyalty and friendship!

    (Can’t wait for the next part!)

    • P.S. I had that badge too when I was getting ready 😉 (Nik also gave me permission to wear it the next morning too even though I was no longer a bride, hehe.)

  4. Hey Mahj, followed your wedding plans on RMW and loved your posts, so super pleased to see your big day. You look GORGEOUS, proper lovely. loving your hair and make up particularly.

    I CANNOT WAIT for part 2. Please can we have part 2 this afternoon Rebecca, pretty please?
    Love Sharon

  5. Oh Mahj, you were so stunning. I am in actual awe of your eyes and your arms. Completely knockout. And even more than that, I am in actual awe of the joy. It’s like it’s jumping off the page into my face. And I can’t stop smiling.


    K x

  6. “Luckily I have some very hyperactive aunts who jammed their Bhangra CD’s in and away we went.”

    I was loving the report up until this sentence. Then it went into complete giddy obsession.

    Mahj, I have never seen photographs like these. I know the colours and the joy help, but man, are you beautiful. And that picture of you holding up a “bride” badge? Rebecca tried to explain it to me at the weekend….bam. So powerful. Loving the hairspray action shots! And the close-up of you having your eyeliner done…you look like sodding Cleopatra.

    Love love love.

  7. Mahj you look stunning!!! The henna, jewellery and outfit are amazeballs! So fab to see your wedding on this blog 😀 I cannot wait to see the next part, soon?? xx

  8. Wah! I loved looking at this. Despite all those incredible jewel colours, my favs are the black and white shots of Mahj. (Emerald)-green with envy! x

  9. Mahj, the photos are stunning and so are you.

    My favourite thing? Your getting ready in the morning outfit. AWESOME.

    Lovely, lovely, lovely.

  10. Hi Mahj, glad to finally see your beautiful wedding pics! The colours in the pictures are divine! You certainly achieved your skittle colours!
    you look amazing, congratulations xx


  11. Am I glad to see this wedding!! I went trawling through RMW the other week, thinking i’d missed it!!

    Absolutely, eye wateringly stunning Mahj. Super excited for part two!! 🙂

  12. Le Sigh indeed. EVERY SINGLE PICTURE is slap you in the face amazing. And my god are you beautiful!

    Also, I’m copying your ‘skittles’ colour scheme for my wedding. Hope that’s OK!

  13. Amazing!! So happy you posted this and it exceeds expectation! Mahj you are bloody beautiful – the colours, the make up, the outfit – it is GORGEOUS!!! Cannot wait for part 2!
    Rachie xo

  14. To all those who have been waiting for Mahj’s wedding- well, you didn’t think she would deprive you did you?! It’s so cool to see the final result, right?

    My favourite bits? THOSE b&w shots, the hair (gotta love a big plait!) the make up, the colour! And the photography – knowing Mahj as I do, I can’t think of a single photographer out there that would have been more suited to her. Awesome job Andy.

    Amy F – WAIT until you see tomorrows – it’s skittle explosion!


    • WOW! Im blown away by all the amazing comments :O)

      Mahj+Martin – Some of the nicest people you could ever meet. It was a pleasure to be there with them and document an amazing day in their incredible journey.
      BIG LOVE!

      PS. Your positive comments mean more than you can imagine. Thankyou! x

  15. Oh Mahj, I’m smiling from ear to ear. I love your style of writing.

    I love your wedding dress SO MUCH. It’s a work of art. I just don’t want to wait till tomorrow, I’m like a spoilt child, wanting part two now.


  16. Christ on a bike, my phone is about to die but I just had to tell you how warm and gooey im feeling after all your comments. I think I love you all (esp you Rebecca!).
    Promise to come back later (when I have battery power) and comment properly.
    Am literally skipping around my office with glee!


  17. Awwww Mahj!! So happy that we finally get to see your wedding. I knew it would be worth the wait!
    You look BEAUTIFUL and I can’t wait to see the rest.

  18. Le Sigh indeedy Mrs!!!
    You look stunning, can’t wait for the next installment.
    I’m so pleased that I found this here. I’ve been wondering when and if you were going to show us all your skittle explosion of fabulousness!!

    Big Love Mrs B, Love from Mrs W 😉

  19. holy. moly. Mahj, you look incredible! This was well worth the wait. I LOVE the photographs, they capture the excitement/madness perfectly. And look at all your jewellery! Green is my favourite colour, and those last photos of you with all that amazing jewellery on, the stacks of bangles and all the blinginess, immense. Your hair is also incredible, and you make-up. You just look so beautiful! Well jel. Wonderful write up as always too. CANNOT wait for part 2. xx

  20. Yay at last, have been dying to see your wedding Mahj in all it’s skittle explosion glory and boy it does not disappoint!! If this is Part 1, I can’t wait to see Part 2, it’s been captured beautifully!!!! All the bright colours, your gorgeous shoes, the plait, those smokey eyes………A.Mazing!! Congratulations my dear and looking forward to tomorrow to see Part 2 for more bursts of colour xx

    • Hey, You just make a payment as you would on a shopping site – choose the ‘I don’t have an account’ option, or something along the lines of ‘make a payment without registering’. If you’re having trouble still, email me and I’ll give you my bank deets. It’s quite safe, don’t worry. (It will ask you to pay my email address too – it then goes to my paypal acct and I will withdraw it in bulk ready to pay Beas)


  21. Mahj, this was so so so worth the wait! I love your writing so much and you look so stunning I can’t think of words to describe it! I love the happiness radiating out of the photos, and speaking of photos – these are some of the very best I’ve ever seen! Absolutely gorgeous! Oh the b&w ones, swoon.

    Cannot wait to read and see more!


  22. Yay! So pleased to see this here!! Mahj, you look gorgeous!! I know what I’ll be sneakily reading in work tomorrow! Can’t wait! x

  23. I feel like I have waited an ETERNITY to see this wedding and Mahj – you definitely don’t disappoint! I followed your story on RMW and it’s so lovely to see it here on FF in all its colourful joyousness 🙂
    Huge congratulations to you and Martin. You look absolutely stunning and I can’t wait for Part 2! Thanks for sharing with us Rebecca! Cx

  24. Mahj. Ahem. Holy. Freaking. Crapballs.

    Things I love, in no particular order:
    Your green and pink bangles that you wore with your mehndi outfit
    The pic at your mehndi where you are just exploding off the sofa with happiness
    How glam you look WHILE YOU’RE HAVING YOUR MAKEUP DONE (even before it’s finished!)
    The champagne bottles in the sink
    You saying ‘how I get down’!
    Your hair. LOVING the plait.
    Your eyes. Sweet Jesus, who but Mahj could match their shoes to their eye colour on their wedding day?!!
    The fact you didn’t just ‘walk down the aisle’, you ‘hit the aisle’!!
    Your outfit. Le. Sigh.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow!!

  25. Le Sigh! Mahj you look absolutely stunning!!

    I am so pleased we are finally getting to see your wedding in all it’s skittle glory, your wedding was the one real brides i was looking forward to most, and i must say it really hasn’t disappointed!

    Can’t wait for part 2 tomorrow!!!!

  26. Beauuuuuutiful! Such gorgeous colours. Happy thoughts for me reading this: I got married about the same time as Mahj so followed all her posts with great interest and seeing the week in all it’s glory brings back all the happy thoughts from my own wedding. Happy, happy days!!!

  27. …and I’m back! And open-mouthed at this outpouring of love. I dont think I’ve ever been called so many nice things in one afternoon/evening. I wish I had something more productive or life-affirming to say but I really dont.

    But what I will say is that this wouldnt have been half as good if it wasnt for the incredibly talented Andy Wardle. I could take a million photographs for the next 20 years and I will never capture a moment like he did.

    I love everyone today!


  28. I can’t believe I’m only seeing this now!! Normally I check FF every lunchtime religiously but was too busy today do am late to the party. I’ve been so excited to finally see Majh’s wedding and it doesn’t disappoint! LOVE the hair, the dress, the colours, the henna…everything! And I’m actually glad it comes in more than one part because it’s like when you’re reading a really good book and you like it so much you don’t want to finish it! 🙂

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  30. Mahj I absolutely love this! You look amazing, your writing is fab and it’s making me really excited about being a bride. LOVE your dress, makeup, shoes and BRIDE prefect badge. I’m with Anna on loving the ‘hyperactive aunts’ -they sound just like my Irish aunties! xx

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