Any Other Photo {Bella and Fiachra}

It’s not unusual for an AOP submission to make me cry, I’ll be honest. You’re being allowed a glimpse into one of the most special, important days in a couple’s life and the LOVE is sometimes overwhelming. You weren’t there, more often than not you don’t even know these people…but something about that glance, those words, the passion with which people describe ‘that moment’…it’s a wonderful thing to bear witness to.

This AOP, however, makes me cry for a whole different set of reasons. I was there, I do know these beautiful, generous, kind-hearted and wonderful people and I can remember with absolute clarity how it felt to be there the day our Bella said ‘I Do’ to Fiachra. I cry when I read this, when I see this picture, because I am full of love and regret and joy and sadness and all those other emotions that make us what we are.

I am forever thankful to Bella for writing this, because although at it’s heart, it’s not about me, not about one person, I’ve taken so much from it. It’s about Bella, Fiachra, their family and friends and it’s about life and love.  It’s made me very, very happy and I am even more happy to be able to hand you over to Bella, with her Any Other Photo… 

Dear readers. Please indulge me and don’t scroll down to the picture just yet. Thank you please.

On September 8th our friends and family from the UK, Australia, America, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and, of course, Ireland, gathered in a green field to drink bubbly, play boules (really, really badly) laugh a lot, eat all manner of food and take all manner of photo booth photos of themselves. Everywhere I turned there was someone different to say hello to, to have a 3 and a half minute life rundown with, to congratulate on exam results, engagements and new jobs.

I always knew my AOP would be about our guests. The international nature of our friendship groups and our recent move has meant we rarely get to see a lot of the people dearest to us, and knowing that the wedding would bring everyone we love together guided a lot of our decisions – and made our guests central to our big day.

As soon as this photo was taken I had a sneaking suspicion it would end up here. This photo isn’t just about what you see on the screen, although that is a mighty part of it. This photo is about friendship, about love. It’s about our lives, as men and women, evolving. About us growing up, choosing paths that will define who we are and who we want to be. A huge proportion of our guests are transitioning – from country to country, into marriage, into new jobs, into parenthood. Seeing the people most precious to me – and to my husband – during a time of personal transition, my overriding feeling was of standing still, completely content, watching the people we love evolve. Seeing the beauty in the newly engaged couples, the in-depth conversations about Masters degrees and brand new jobs, the travel tips from those heading off on round the world adventures. And of course, the glow of the pregnant of belly.

This photo sums up the joy I felt at seeing our guests’ faces when I walked into the church (there are many, many gurning photos of joy) the excitement of chatting to people I hadn’t seen in ages – and those I had seen the day before – and the incredible feeling of being able to stand back and see all these changes in people I love the most. It also – more obviously – shows the ridiculous amount of excitement I felt when I first saw Aisling’s beautiful pregnant form.

Walking into the church Aisling, Gemma (who took this photo – thanks Geems) and Rayms (Gemma’s husband) were directly in my eye line and the bump was the first thing I saw, but it was a few hours later when I got to actually say hi to her – to little Stella bump. We all go through periods of time where we need time to ourselves, to reflect, to figure out our next steps. I can’t pretend not to have missed Aisling fiercely this year and the day she told me she was pregnant will forever be imprinted in my mind, because it’s the day I felt that one of the dearest people to me was back in my life and me back in hers.

Being in peoples’ lives, and having them in mine is what our wedding was all about.

Categories: Any Other Photo
22 interesting thoughts on this

22 Comments

  1. Lexie
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Yay! All so beautiful. X

  2. Mahj
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    This photo is so so awesome. From Belmo’s delight, to Aisling and Stella bump giggling to the sun which is pouring through the trees behind them, everything about this is pure lovely joy.

    Also, um Aisling, your earrings, I want them so bad. Where did you get them from?

    Congrats Belmo and Fiachra.

    xoxo

    • Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Mahj…much like the green blazer of joy, the massive pearly earrings of love are from Primarni… £2.50!

      X

  3. Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    This is just…YES!!

    And although this is just one of the amazing moments from your day, just two of your guests, it is wonderful to see A and the S-bump with daddy to be P looking on. Wow.

    I have looked forward to this AOP for aaaages, great shot Gemma

  4. SB
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    “Being in peoples’ lives, and having them in mine is what our wedding was all about” – this is why people should get married and not all the fluff (though fluff is an added bonus).

    A beautiful photo, a beautiful write-up from a beautiful bride. Congrats Belmo and Fiachra!

  5. Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    When Aisling first told me about this photo she was driving, and in awe. She described where she was and what it felt like, but nothing, nothing can adequately convey this joy. It’s not just G’s talent, or the proud parents-to-be, or the beautiful yet foxy Bella, or the flare (oh the flare!) but it’s about knowing that Bella saw her day as a meeting point, a point where lives intertwine. A shared memory that people from all over the world can share. Something magical that defies the sense that life is about people on their own, living separately.

    so much love!

    • Gemma C-S
      Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Excuse me but did I not expressly request that there be a line underneath the photo saying ‘photo by the supremely talented hobo’? – the manner in which you acknowlege the majority of photography on the blog? ;)
      Ahem. What I really mean to say is:
      The whole day felt like this photo – joyous, sun dappled, beautiful. Thank you Bella for having us there as a part of it. Also, who else can spot Fiachra in the background? xxx

  6. Becca
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    It’s here! Like Lucy….I just made a kind of hissing yeeaaaaasss noise.

    What an AOP!

    Bella you look BEAUTIFUL (your make up is amazeballs) and Aisling you look all glowy (and how neat is Baby Stella?). That may be a maternity dress but I need it!

    Life is about being in other peoples lives and having them in yours. Making more hissing yeaaaasss noises to THAT.

    Many congratulations Bella and F

  7. Katielase
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Crying into my Weetabix. Beautiful writing, Belmo. Perfect. And a lovely, wonderful way to see your wedding day. I now need to dry my eyes and possibly call my best friends and hug them vociferously down the phone.

    K x

  8. Zan
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Aww fabulous. Just fabulous. And just a beautiful pictures. And lovely Bella and the Stella-bump! What more could a photo need? x

  9. Frances
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    So…I failed with the instructions to not scroll down.

    What a GORGEOUS photo and lovely early autumn light. There’s a lot of very pretty dress-ness going on there as well :-) (and when will we get to see the dress?! or did I miss something?)

    I love that you see your wedding as a place where people intertwined and everyone could meet, catch up and share their stories of life so far. Life seems so individual sometimes (jobs, courses etc) that it needs a wake-up call occasionally.

    Lots of congratulations to you both!

  10. Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Oh Bella, you’re so right. THIS is why weddings are so magical, you’ve summed it up beautifully.

    And can I please be the first to comment on Aisling’s tiny waist??!! So many gorgeous people in one photograph.

    xxx

  11. Lara Blue
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    What a write up and what a picture! In my very tired state, all that I can say say is that it is simply stunning. You both look beautiful. And I love the write up. Did I mention the beauty? And the writing? Okay, I’m going back to bed. Thank you Bella and Aisling for making getting up after 4 and a half hours of sleep seem less horrendous…. :)

  12. Alice
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    This is all so beautiful. I’m a keen reader of AOW but not really a ‘commenter’ – but I couldn’t not comment on this one! Through AOW, I feel like I’ve been given a really privileged insight into the lives of some fan-bloody-tastic people, and this photo and write up is the epitome of this. Huge congrats to Bella and Fiachra, and also to Aisling and Phil – lots of love to you all for the future. x

  13. Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Bella you look breathtaking and your wedding sounds absolutely perfect. This is such a heartfelt story and the raw emotion of it all just shines through in the writing. Gorgeous.

    Aisling you are, without doubt, the most elegant pregnant woman I’ve ever seen. xx

  14. Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Utterly beautiful! Great photo Hobo! Great dress Aisling (and bump- obvs!)! AMAZING EVERYTHING BELLA!!!

  15. Sharon
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Amazing photo, amazing post, love the dresses, the make up, the bump, the sunshine, everything, love it all.

    Congratulations x

  16. Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I am in a strange office above a lifeboat station in Scotland trying not to bawl my eyes out at this photo! Everything about it is amazing! Bella you look so beautiful. Aisling ditto. And how supremely talented is hobo!!!

  17. Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Bella, please tell me you will be doing a wedding report!!!! (unless I’ve missed it in my recent blog neglect in which case can someone please direct me there)

  18. Posted October 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    LOVE everything about this. Just perfect. Congrats, Bella!
    x

  19. Posted October 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Knew this would be amazing. It did not disappoint. Go Bella, go team!

    Px

  20. Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Wow, just wow. Bella, your words are so wonderful and that photo – Gems you are uber talented, I’m jealous! You are ALL stunning, inside and out! Best AOP ever!

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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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