Mahj’s Wedding

We make no secret of our Mahj-love here on Any Other Wedding.  Unfortunately, Martin got there first, and so much the better because from the glimpse we got from their Any Other Photo, their wedding day was all happiness, love, and a shit-eating grin. Just as it should be. We’re freakishly lucky to have a two-part report from Mahj here at AOW and if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll see plenty of what is possibly the most stunning wedding I’ve ever laid eyes on.


When we first talked about featuring wedding reports, we decided we only wanted to do them if they would really matter to you, our readers; if they would knock you sideways, if their honesty and candour would catch you off guard. Mahj’s wedding report embodies all those things. She told us that the words ‘just flowed’ when she sat down to write them, and that makes us deliriously happy. We think the story of Mahj and Martin’s wedding day will have exactly the same effect on you, too. Enjoy. 

Pre-ceremony and the ceremony…  
I can’t remember when it was exactly that I started to get nervous on the 22nd July. It wasn’t when I saw my photographer or my parents. It wasn’t whilst I was having my hair and make-up done and it definitely wasn’t when I finally got to put my amazing outfit on. I was too busy twirling around for Andy our photographer, shrieking and squealing “look at the skirt, look at the skirt!”

Maybe it was when the events manager Rebecca arrived with the Registrars. Two older, but very polite and lovely gentlemen called John and Peter. I do remember having some sort of out-of-body experience when they were asking me my name and where I live and we would be standing whilst everyone sat, non? Though this could have been caused by the pain in my right shoulder, where my cousin kept jabbing it with safety pins, trying to get my duputta to stay in place!
Alls I know is that by the time my bridesmaids, father and I were walking down the length of the hotel towards the ceremony room, my heart was beating faster, there was a roaring in my ears and I felt shivery. Not cold shivery but adrenalin shivery. This was it. The day had finally arrived and holy sh*t, I didn’t consider that I had to walk down the aisle with 100+ eyes staring at me. Why did I not consider this? Ok breathe Mahj, try and calm yourself….
Beauty in EPIC quantities, non?
We reached the entrance to the room and I just couldn’t help myself, I had to have a sneaky peek. So I snuck forward, just as my first bridesmaid Leanne went down the aisle and everyone was facing towards the back. DOH! I jumped backwards like I’d been shot and my Dad gave me one of his exasperated looks and rolled his eyes at me!

My Dad said to me as we started to walk, that the Registrar’s said to walk slowly and take our time. I was actually incapable of speech at this moment. I think I just squeaked. My friend Katharine was sat at the end of one of the aisle’s as I’d asked her too. She had been bugging me for a year and a half about the colour of my outfit and I wanted her to see it. She smiled at me with the biggest grin to which I winked back at her – clearly I was capable of facial movements!
And then I saw his back and his best man standing steadily by his side who whispered to him and then all of a sudden I could see his face and his eyes had filled with tears and then crapballs so had mine and all the deep breathing in the world was not going to help me. But maybe looking anywhere but at him would, so I looked desperately at my bouquet, the ceiling and the floor and dear God why haven’t we walked all the way down the aisle yet?!
And then we had. And my Dad let me go but Martin was already holding my hand and squeezing my arm and staring at me like he’d never seen me before. And he was so emotional and so was I, so was the room. And the danger of having that pesky out-of-body experience was looming again, but I pushed it aside. I could float through the rest of the day but damnit, I was going to be present and in my body for this!

And so it began. We kept looking at each other and smiling our sh*t eating grins (!) and even though there were 100+ eyes behind us now, watching our every word, our every gesture, it no longer mattered. We both kept welling up, it was too hard not to. We’d made it, after everything we’d actually made it.

At various points I could feel myself slipping away, up onto the ceiling to watch it all unfold but I kept myself in the present. I focused on what John/Peter* was saying, the words he was speaking and I tried to ingrain them onto my memory. To find meaning in them within Martin and I’s relationship. When he asked if anyone had any objections to make, without thinking about it, Martin and I both turned round at the same time to look at our guests, you know, just to check! Of course this set both us and our guests off laughing and it was a full minute before we could continue!
Whilst we were facing each other to say our vows, Martin and I were drinking each other in. Him taking in my jewellery, my hair and make-up. Me taking in his proper handsome formal suit, his button hole and his new shoes (I have an obsession with men’s shoes!). Martin thought he spotted a stray hair on my shoulder and proceeded to pull it off, only realising at the last minute that it was still attached to my head and he pulled it out. I don’t think anyone else caught this but us and my cousin Alex who was filming. I winced and he nearly keeled over with laughter.
Our very good friend Dave did our reading. We both smiled big smiles at him and we could see how badly his hands were shaking when he read. But he was good, god damn he was so effing good! We should have gotten him to read more. He put love and meaning into every word, every sentence. He has this deep, little bit gravelly voice. He’s a good public speaker (and a good singer I’ll have you know) and he more than deserved all the praise from our guests.
John/Peter asked Martin to repeat after him and it was going so well until he has to repeat “live with you in love and harmony” which he started laughing halfway through. Which then set everyone else off again. If you know Martin, he is a completely wonderful man who is also the most argumentative bugger on the planet. So harmony my arse! And we sometimes bicker more than we do anything else. But the moment felt so real and so true of us that I love it. If I could bottle it I would.
And then came my turn and through a series of looks at the ground and the ceiling and the wall, I thought that I had my emotions well under control. All until I had to say “I will always be there when you need me most”. If you know our story and I think some of you do, you can imagine why I meant this so much.
This picture hits me right.in.the.heart. Stunning.

I have never paid much attention before to the symbolism of a wedding ring. But I understand it now and love it! The whole unbroken circle part. And I really love the style of ring that Martin chose for himself. As for mine, all I could think when he was putting it on my finger was “YES! I finally get to wear it! It’s so shiny and purdy!”

And then John/Peter was saying “it gives me great pleasure” and I literally start jigging up and down on the spot because I know what’s coming next and my grin is getting bigger and bigger and I may actually burst and then he says it: husband and wife. And I throw my arms around Martin’s neck and kiss him like he has just returned home from war and our guests are clapping and cheering and we are clinging to each other and having a competition to see who can squeeze each other the hardest and are we really married now? Really really?!
All together now…’Awwwww!’
Our witnesses were my big brother Adil, our very good friend James and Martin’s cousin Liz. We just sat on the chairs, holding hands and smiling and laughing in that really high-pitched, nervous excited way and Martin kept saying “you are so beautiful” and squeezing my hand. We were excited, happy and relieved. Maybe now we could get a drink?
Mr and Mrs Brammall. We salute you.
And then we could leave. Martin was clutching the wedding certificate in one hand and my hand in the other. The Registrar said something which I actually don’t remember. People clapped and cheered. The music started for our walk back up the aisle – Somebody to Love by Queen and I walked from the room with my husband for the first time ever as Mrs Martin Brammall.
Le sigh.
Mahj xoxo
*I can’t remember which one was which!

(Mahj and Martin’s photographer was the immensely talented and stupendously lovely Andy Wardle. We at AOW love him. Look at these pictures-of course we do!)

Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Our Favourite Posts, Wedding Planning, Wedding Reports
24 interesting thoughts on this

20 Comments

  1. Posted October 17, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Beautiful in every single way. What a perfect way to start Monday.

  2. Posted October 17, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I am in a full on MAHJ-SWOON. Love the write up, love the build up, love the pictures. Love it love it love it. Mahj, HOW stunning are you. I can't stop staring. Yay!

    Px

  3. Posted October 17, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I can't stop looking at the pictures, so unbelievably eye-wateringly grin-inducingly full of LOVE. Brought actual tears to my eyes.

    And love, adore, worship the write-up, so true and honest and JOYFUL. Feels like we were there with you guys, looks like the most special day ever.

    I'm gonna go look at the photos some more, they're making my heart happy :-)

    K x

  4. Posted October 17, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Stunning Mahj, your photos were beautiful as are you :) Martin doesn't scrub up badly either ;)

    Lovely write up

    Xoxo

  5. Posted October 17, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    *le sigh*

    Having a little morning tear. I would blame PMT, but it's all Mahj's fault. I'll forgive you though.

  6. Posted October 17, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Missed my stop on the tube. Missed the following 4. Was very late to work, just could. not. stop. reading. Amazing. Amahjing. So beautiful and so much happiness. Congratulations Mahj and Martin!

  7. Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Stunning. Mahj, you and Martin are just rediculously beautiful. I heart Mahj.

    And,oooh,you got married the day before me, and we'll both have our quarter of a year anniversary, this weekend. Congratulations!!

    xoxoxox

  8. Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous! What a way to start the week. Can't wait for part 2.

  9. Posted October 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Mahj, I have been waiting to see your wedding for so blooming long. Having followed your story I am nearly in tears after reading this. It's so beautifully written and I can just imagine how you guys felt on the day. Love pours out of the images and words. Congratulations on becoming Mrs Brammall! You look so beautiful and I cannot wait for part 2.

    Rxox

  10. Posted October 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Eeekkk Mahj, this is so exciting! Loving your write up, feels like I was an actual guest! The ceremony sounds wonderful. Your wedding looks amazing and you looked so so beautiful and Martin incredibly handsome!

    Really hope we get to hear/see even more! I want to join the I heat Mahj fan club!

    xXx

    P.S. Second ekkk, Rebecca you have a new blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Posted October 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Damit! The I heart Mahj fanclub. I don't want to heat you up Mahj, don't worry!

  12. Anonymous
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    A really beautiful wedding, and you can't take that away from the images and what Mahj has written.
    Just feel a bit confused as to why Mahj's fab journey was written about on rock my wedding and now the report is here. Something not right about that – i would have liked to have seen it all on where it begin. Oh well, still a fantastic read!

  13. Mahj
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Well you fine lot have made a dreary Monday very shiny and happy for me, so much love and thanks!

    Thank you all so much for your lovely words and Mahj-love/I heart Mahj Clubness (has made me giggle quite a lot!) tis wonderful and its been aces to get to share a piece of Martin and I's day. Also big thanks to AOW for allowing me to grace this peachy wonderland.

    xoxo

  14. Karen
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    This is so lovely. I followed all the wedding preparation on RMW so it's lovely to see all the photos now…and Any Other Wedding is a great place to share it!

    You look amazing and as always the writing is fab…look forward to the next installment.

    K x

  15. Posted October 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    At last, internet connection! I'm on a train coming back to London after 5 days in devon volunteering with CHICKS (www.chicks.org.uk) and leaving those kids to go home to their lives is like stabbing yourself (and them) in the chest. So I was already a bit on edge. And then Aisling texted me to say how good Mahj's report was, so I saved it for the train on the way home and holy shitballs Mahj did you bring it home. Seriously.

    I thought your writeup would be good because you're Mahj and an integral part of our community. But you've written something beautiful in its own right. I think it's searingly honest, which makes the difference, no pretence, this is what the ceremony is like, it's close to primal. It's some of the best writing we've ever featured.

    A, thanks for putting it together. You must have been in raptures over those pictures. I can totally imagine you hunched over your screen making rapturous noises!

  16. Becca
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Anna I CANNOT believe you didn't email to tell me TODAY was THE DAY.

    THIS is what a wedding report should be. Feelings. And hugging like you just came back from war. And being fan bloody tactic. Not 'this is how I made a napkin holder'. This makes me want to hum dum dum di dum. Dum dum di dum on the bus on the way home.

    M (Because we are very good friends now) I bloody freaking adore you. And your arms look AMAZING (as do all of you but you know I think your arms are fab).

  17. Posted October 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Mahjaroooo!

    Nothing new to say here – I LOVE, it's such a beautiful account and make me giggle and sigh, and tear up a little. LOVE.

    MORE MAHJ x

  18. Posted October 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Ditto what Bella said, plus the kissing picture with all of your friends and family in the background – priceless! I am uber-jealous of that shot!! ;)
    x

  19. Posted October 17, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh Mahj – so happy this was posted and you are such a lovely writer! You sum up immense happiness and the emotion all in one!
    Just brilliant! And you look stunning!
    Rachie xo

  20. Posted November 8, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    2 Inspiring people and an amazing day! Glad you all like the pics too ;O) x

4 Trackbacks

  • By Pen Do’s and Dont’s on February 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

    [...] We’ve seen Mahj’s Any Other Photo, and we have read about her experience of walking down the aisle, one of the biggest crying-fests we’ve ever featured on the blog (still remember Aisling [...]

  • By On taking the leap, and self-worth – Mahj on February 29, 2012 at 9:19 am

    [...] no secret that we love Mahj.  From one of the best wedding reports any of us have ever read (that made all three of us emerge from her world with mascara-streaked [...]

  • By The Books That Made Me Me – Mahj on May 24, 2012 at 7:03 am

    [...] together.  Oh my, are you in for a treat this fine Thursday morning, my lovelies.  The fantastic Mahj has written us a Books post, but WITH A TWIST.  You all like twists.  Mahj has kept her list [...]

  • By How to exhale – Mahj on July 23, 2012 at 7:03 am

    [...] me months ago.  Can I post on my anniversary?  Can I?  Of COURSE you can.  The lady  who kisses like he’d returned from war gets an annversary slot.  We’re reasonable, like that.  [...]

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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