Any Other Photo {Katie and Gareth}

It’s here. IT’S HERE! Katie’s AOP is here, readers, and you are going to love it.

We love it. Anna did the submission dance before she’d even SEEN it, she just knew it would be awesome. She actually decided to wait until it went live to see it, to ‘get the full Katie AOP experience’. I’m pretty sure she’s going to do the submission dance Xtra when she sees it for real. It involves the splits, and a couple of vaguely dangerous lifts. Oh yes, it’s that good.

But on with WHY I love this AOP. Mainly, because when Katie sent it in, she attached it to a one line email, which read:

“I went with my gut and chose the photo that makes me happy, even though I look like a demented monkey. That’s the point, right?!

K x”

And actually, she could have left it there, because really, she’s right. That IS the point, isn’t it?

But she didn’t. She wrote a piece which made me laugh out loud, and then well up, because she absolutely nailed it. She absolutely got what your AOP is all about (maybe because she was THINKING ABOUT IT ON HER WEDDING DAY! We were at once inordinately proud, and yet a little concerned for her sanity).

I could go on for days about how much we love Katie, and how much I love this post, but I’ll hand over to Katie here. I do just want to say though that one of my proudest blog moments so far was when Katie told me how her phone had been pinging all morning on the day of her wedding, with tweets and messages from YOU guys. That somehow, we’ve managed to create a community where things like that happen, makes me so so proud. So thank you. All of you. You are wonderful.

So, you know you’re a wee bit of an AOP addict when you find yourself wondering throughout your actual wedding day “I wonder which of these cameras flashing in my face will be taking my AOP?!”. And then, as you scroll through the hundreds upon hundreds of photos that all those flashes produced, you’re just waiting for the moment when one of them jumps off the screen, and a lightbulb goes off above your head, and angels sing and rainbows burst out because you’ve had your ‘AOP moment’ and you’ve found the one photo that sums up how you felt about your whole brilliant, chaotic, insane, happy, joyful, glorious, frenetic, exhausting, anxious, beautiful, wonderful wonderful day. And then… it doesn’t come. Probably because asking one photo to sum up the absurd range of emotions you experienced on that one day is completely impossible. For a photo to truly represent everything I was feeling on the day it would have to include me laughing, grinning, sobbing, dancing, eating cake and screaming with joy all at once (and while I am an excellent multi-tasker, even I didn’t achieve all of that in one perfect moment, I know, bridal fail, right?).

So I tried to find a photo that summed up what I loved about the day but, again, there were so many things. I could have chosen a photo of our cake, which represented how much our day was filled with love, not just our love for each other but the love of those around us for us (because we all know that love = cake, and cake-love definitely peaks with repeatedly icing tiny flowers until they’re perfect and glueing miniature bunting for your daughter/sister/cousin). I could have picked the gorgeous photo of us standing with our families, because both our families have been so welcoming and loving to us and each other, and the fact that they get on so well is a gift that we value hugely. It could have been a photo of the dancing because, frankly, the dancing was EPIC. Special mention to my younger cousins Steven, George and Henry, who had ALL the moves, and were clearly the coolest people in the room, and made me grin again and again and again. I nearly picked a photo of our first dance, because it was so hilariously us, a very silly shimmy-shuffle around the dancefloor, singing and giggling at each other, wondering why we chose such a very daft and terribly LONG song. I was tempted by the photos of us in the hotel’s ‘library’, ignoring each other totally to read a book, because well obviously because that’s just awesome.

In the end I chose this, because the day for me was really about the marriage. In this photo our brilliant Vicar has just pronounced us officially married. Throughout the photos leading up to this one, my smile is huge. In each photo it looks like I’m grinning as widely as I possibly can… until the next photo comes along. In this picture, I am so ridiculously joyful and overwhelmingly happy that my face can’t physically convey it, although clearly it’s having damn good try. Sometimes extremes of emotion are indistinguishable from one another, and at this moment I was so overwhelmed by joy and jubilation, it was almost hysteria. I wanted to run, to shout, to jump, to twirl and dance and scream, to throw myself onto my new husband, but in the interests of preserving some bridal dignity, all I could do was this. This ridiculous, gleeful, slightly manic grin. And when I see this photo, I can see the look on Gareth’s face, and I feel all over again just how incredible it felt to be proclaimed his wife for the first time. I think that is the most you can possibly ask from a wedding photo.

Photo taken by the very lovely talented Andrew Dobell, who is currently one of my favourite people in the world for taking so many beautiful photos that I could easily have written 100 AOPs.

Categories: Any Other Photo
47 interesting thoughts on this


  1. GemmaC-S
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Katie you look so beautiful and the grin only adds to it! Sigh. Perfect AOP x

  2. Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Perfect, gorgeous, beautiful & so eloquent. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Vivienne
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Most beautiful manic monkey grin I’ve ever seen! Just stunning, it really is.

    And as for AOW – this week especially has shown just how much it/the team/us random bunch rock…it is an amazing community

  4. Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    This is perfect. You look so happy and your words are beautiful as are you. I love this.

  5. Becca
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Best AOP ever. Not least because when Anna said it was yours I spent this morning on my commute going ‘why is it not 7am yet’


    Anyone else click on the link to try and find the photographers blog to

    Wow. Just wow.

    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      If you didn’t find it, our wedding features on Andrew’s blog here :-)

      Including a lot more ridiculous grinning, some attempts at ‘serious face’, and The Cake.

      K x

      • Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        The library pic? I’d make that into a damn duvet.

      • Clare
        Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Firstly – I want your PJ’s. Secondly? THE CAKE!! It’s a beaut.

        • Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          I know, right?! My Mum and sister made the cake and iced it, and my sister and cousin made and attached the baby bunting. I printed off Esme’s Tom’s dowelling diagram (that was my contribution).

          Anna, I might wallpaper the flat with it, I adore that photo!

          K x

  6. Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink


    The best, most genuine grins ALWAYS come with the obligatory nose-wrinkle in my opinion. That means that you don’t give a flying-f about what your face is doing or what it looks like, the happiness just takes over your mouth and lips, escapes your eyes and then tries to drag your nose along with it in an affort to scream ‘look how rediculously happy I am, I could burst!’.

    Perfect AOP, definately.


    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      My sister (that’s her in the background applauding) when she saw this said “it’s like your smile is trying to actually burst off your face”, which is an excellent summary :-D

      K x

  7. Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    So so so worth the wait. What a grin. What a write up. I’m so happy that our readers elbowed their way into your day. And that they were welcome x

  8. Fee
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I love love love this – it’s what wedding photos should be and is worth a million shots of the bride and groom posing moodily against an urban backdrop ; )

    This should be blown up and displayed in your house at once!

  9. Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I love it and I think it’s also confirmed my AOP choice which I’ve been wavering over x

  10. Carly
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Oh Katie, I’ve been so looking forward to seeing this and what a corker it is. Beautiful. X

  11. Roz
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Katie I was so looking forward to seeing this and I love it!! Both the photo (who knew a demented monkey could look so beautiful?!) and your ever wise words. I’ve struggled to pick an AOP for the exact reasons you list, I guess I’m lucky, like you say I’ve got so many I could pick for so many different reasons :D

    We love you Katie! x

  12. Rach M
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Hear hear! Wow Katie, you look stunning and so so so happy! This pic encapsulates everything I’d wish to feel at the end of the aisle grabbing hold of my man. Not ashamed to say I was so excited to see this that it’s the very first thing I’ve done today. Before brekkie or even getting out of bed(!), I reached for my phone first and squeed with delight for you. Lots of love to you and Gareth for a love, laughter and ear-splitting grin filled future together, Rach xxx

  13. Mahj
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I keep going back to look at the photo and smiling, scroll down, then scroll
    back up for my photo gazing and smiling.

    This photo makes me happy. Makes my heart sing. Katie, you look so beautiful. It’s moments like these from a wedding that I wish could be bottled and brought out on special occasions.


  14. Emily
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Katie, it is beautiful! What a fab start to Friday. xxx

  15. Frances
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I meant to wait until lunchtime for this but couldn’t resist – gorgeous! This photo fills the room with light and happiness, genuine nose-scrunching, bouncing up and down happiness. Lovely!

  16. Zan
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Oh this is brilliant. Totally worth the wait to get into work and see it properly on a big screen rather than on my phone :) I can literally feel your happiness bouncing off the photo! xx

  17. Esme
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Just, fantastic.

    When I got into work this morning I was doing that ‘hurry-up computer’ jump-y dance at my desk because I was so excited to see this! And I was NOT disappointed.


  18. Posted July 20, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I wish you had written 100 AOPs – do it please!
    EPIC write up K! x

  19. Steff
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    AAAHHHH so worth the wait!!

    Katie you look absolutely stunning :) that’s a definite WE’VE DONE IT smile right there!! xx

  20. Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Aww. It’s funny, my AOP was very different from this one, but the one wedding picture we actually printed out and framed and look at every day? Almost identical. Love.

  21. Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Is it entirely normal to cry a little bit at all the lovely comments on your own AOP? If so, then GOOD, I am entirely normal. *sniffle*

    You’re all SO goddamn lovely, and Clare is right, I did say to her in the overly excited email exchange after I submitted this, that AOW was definitely part of my day. In the run-up there were numerous times that members of this community saved my sanity, with timely AOW posts, or lovely tweets or with wisdom and sense on their own blogs. You all made it seem fun and joyful again at the times when it was stressful and crap. And literally from the moment I woke up on my wedding day my phone was buzzing with messages of good luck, and joyful happy wishes, and offers to eat cake for breakfast and chuck confetti around in honour of our day, it felt like love was coming from all over the country for us, and it made a very special day even brighter. So it’s impossible to say without sounding like a soppy twonk, but thank you all. And thank you Clare, Anna, Aisling and Sarah for this place, because it absolutely KICKS ASS.

    K xx

    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! Congratulations gorgeous married lady. You know what this AOP did for me? Reminded me that no matter how many mini stresses there are right now I will be super happy on the day and that’s what matters. Thanks lady xxxx

    • Emily
      Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Katie, I’ve been meaning to ask (in a more than slightly geeky way…) is the -lase in your name enzyme related? Apologies if not! Emily x

      • Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        YES! So, definitely more than slightly geeky story, I did a biochemistry degree and at some point I had to write an essay on the structure and function of a transketolase enzyme, which my Dad cleverly changed to Transkatielase, and which eventually became a nickname. Because I’m altogether TOO COOL.

        K x

        • Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          You know you’re going to have to tell us what a transkatielase enzyme does now, don’t you…

          • Emily
            Posted July 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            Yay!!! You’ve made my Friday doubly now! I wasn’t sure about an enzyme that digests Katies so glad that’s not it… I also did biochem in the dim and distant past! xxx

  22. Posted July 20, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Love this KL. Love that AOW was part of your day. Love how happy you both are. Love love love.

  23. Vicki T
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Love this!
    I read the story on my phone and the photo wouldn’t load…not great, but I had an idea of what the picture might be like in my head, and when I finally got it to load it was pretty much what I had imagined – but better.
    I’ve never seen such a HUGE grin!!!!
    Many many congratulations!

  24. Alex D
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Love this!

  25. Posted July 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Wahhhhhh I’m in a Proper Office today where I’ve had to wait this long to read and comnent properly and I seriously thought I was going to pop. Katie this is itttt, I love it when AOPs are all about pure unadulterated joy and you’ve captured that with the cheddar grin and the heart stopping write up. If you look that beautiful with your “monkey” face then your Griffster is a very lucky man (as if we needed reminding). SOB SOB SOB. How was the aisle walk??


    • Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Oh Penny, I cannot describe the aisle walk any better than by using your own words “this is not fear, but it’s something like it”… perfectly sums up that excited-happy-nervous-joyful-terrified-oh my god this aisle is endless feeling. And you were right, when you’re standing side by side with your person, everything is okay. Better than okay, in fact, hence the grin! :-D

      K x

  26. Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Man alive, I love this demented monkey face! You look beautiful – your smile sums up what being married feels like.

    P.S. I’m sure I tried on that dress when I was looking for mine. If not, it’s pretty damn similar. Beautiful.

    • Clare
      Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I think I did too!

  27. Peridot
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    This literally exudes joy and excitement – just lovely.

  28. Katy W
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Love this. I read the (brilliant) words on the bus this morning whilst feeling a bit tired and emotional (works do last night, ahem) but could only see a tiny version of the photo – even then there might have been tears. Now I can see it on the computer (and I have had a look at your other pics – just fabulous) it’s even better. Congratulations Katielase x

  29. Griffster77
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Sheesh, I don’t get enough mentions here… :)

  30. Griffster77
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    And thank you all for your comments. If you could see my face, my grin is similar. Although I’m not sure I can smile QUITE that wide…

  31. Rach M
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Came back to look at this again and found the blog link- what joy-Amy
    Other Album! Katie you’ve made my day xx

  32. Posted July 21, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Ah I can’t believe I’ve only just had the chance to comment! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this AOP – you can practically see love and happiness seeping out of your pores. This for me is exactly what I love AOP for and it sums up exactly what getting married is about. You look so bloody beautiful Katie!!

    I felt exactly the same about our day – just when you thought you couldn’t get any happier or more smiley you somehow manage it and it’s the BEST feeling in the world. I take it you had the customary cheek-ache by the end of the day, but even then your mouth refused to stop grinning?

    Gorgeous lady, and so worth the wait xx

  33. Posted July 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    HOW did I miss that it was you this week Katie!? Been so behind on blog reading and just catching up on the week’s now and feeling overwhelmed by too many posts to comment but then I saw this!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE it! You look stunning and SO happy! I love the grinning pictures – despite ‘demented monkey faces’ and double chins (which you don’t have but I did!) – they are the best! Love your sister’s description :D

    Your write up is just perfect :)

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  • By Weekend Wonderings on August 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

    [...] all!  Anna here, butting in to say that Katielase posted a picture of this cake on Twitter and I, completely reasonably, demanded that she send us the [...]

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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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