Any Other Photo {Rachel and James}

Well, readers.  I know you’ve been waiting for this one for quite some time.   And let me tell you, it’s worth the wait.  

This is Rach M‘s AOP.  It involves spontaneous moments in the life of a planner, chairs, friends, laughter, Israeli music and love, love, so much love.  I was lucky enough to be there that day, to see this chair dance, and the love in the room set everyone alight.  You can see it in this picture, in the faces of Rach and James’ friends and family.  

Once-in-a-lifetime picture captured by Bimala Naysmith.  Over to you, Rach:     

I have been humming and hawing for weeks about which photo to choose for our AOP. Surely I should pick the one that is us actually getting married? The lovely moment when my Dad saw me in my finery for the first time? Laughs in the park with our bridesmaids and groomsmen? Belly laughs at the speeches? There are too many to choose from (and I’ve promised AOW a wedding report with all this in, so that’s that solved), but I’ve decided on this one because it’s the first thing I think of now, when I think of our wedding.

We had planned for our wedding reception to be in The Old Finsbury Town Hall in London, where we met. We wanted to have a celebration that would honour James’ Jewish heritage and my Irish one. So, we decided to have a ceilidh in the main hall (again, just like the night we met), but before that, the evening reception drinks would be happening along to the sound of Israeli klezmer music, played by James’ friends.

I don’t know what I had expected from this part of the day, but I hadn’t imagined that we’d end up having a traditional Israeli chair dance, or what that would entail! I had planned every minute of the day (checklist, spreadsheet, control freak) and part of why I loved the chair dance so much was it was a genuine surprise for me. Our friends Dave and Zac started playing the music, almost immediately other friends danced around us in a circle, next thing I was being offered a chair, as was James and we were both hoisted in the air.

James’ face here makes me laugh so much. That’s my brother there, making me laugh. I can honestly say I was beside myself with delight. ALL DAY.

So, there you have it – the chair dance. On a brilliant, brilliant day, that’s my most perfect memory. Our family and friends surrounding us with love, smiles and laughter, carrying us on their shoulders, and despite more than a few wobbles, they made sure we didn’t fall. If that’s not a cheesy metaphor for them being there for us in the years to come, then I don’t know what is. We are blessed.

Categories: Any Other Photo
13 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted November 22, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Yaaay!!! Happy AOP day Rach! This is so so true….weddings are about finding your happy balance between feeling in control and embracing the unexpected. This is you literally been whisked off your feet with the sheer joy of surprise. There’s so much warmth and happiness in this picture, it’s perfect. And that dresssss….you look divine. Bring on the wedding report!


  2. Posted November 22, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Yay!!! I love this :) And I also cannot wait for the full wedding report xxx

  3. Katielase
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I deliberately set aside time in my morning routine to read this Rach and I was so not disappointed. I love your faces, your delight in the day, in each other and in the people around you is infectious, it leaps off the page. So so happy for you, lovely.

    And I cannot WAIT for the full wedding report. ASAP please… ;-p

    KL xx

  4. Ro
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Love this.

    I was probably a little control-freaky around planning out our wedding day and my favourite bits were a couple of surprises that came our way like all our friends lining up to throw confetti at us and fireworks that my father-in-law managed to keep a complete surprise! These were the times when I felt most ‘present’ as I wasn’t in charge of what was happening in some way – it turns out letting go is good sometimes!

  5. Posted November 22, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The perfect AOP x

  6. Rach M
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Aww you guys. The AOW community carried me on its shoulders during the planning process too. I don’t know what I’d have done without all the brilliant support from you lot! Xx

  7. rachel JHD
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I read this first thing & thought ‘How lovely’ & I’m still thinking about it now. It has reminded me of my maternal grandparents. An Irish girl, born in London marrying an East End Jewish man in 1940. The love & support they gave & created for their family was immense, so I hope in 75 years time your grandchildren look at this, & all your wedding photos, & feel blessed by all you’ve given them.

  8. Rach M
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful comment, Rachel. That brought a lump to my throat. Thank you xx

  9. Posted November 22, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Looks great, a fab AOP!

  10. Zan
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    So lovely! Also, need to see more pictures as that dress is gorgeous! x

  11. Posted November 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Lovely photo Rach. Wishing you all the happiness.

  12. Posted November 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Love the chaos here – and the fact that everyone’s faces are full of joy.

    ‘Beside myself with delight’ is exactly how I remember feeling on my wedding day too – can’t wait to read the whole report!

  13. Fee
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m very late in the day but I love this – can’t wait to see the rest in the report!


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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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