Category Archives: Mahj – English Country

RMW Real Bride Mahj

What Mahj Did… An Open Love Letter To Her Fiance And The World.

*Hello Lovelies, Charlotte here. Normally I wouldn’t barge in on a real bride post but I simply had to on this occasion….

This is a gut-wrenching and beautifully written account by whom I think must be the bravest girl in the whole world.

Mahj, I salute you. And I want to thank you from the bottom of my Blog Queen heart for agreeing to be such a significant part of these pretty pages. Can’t wait for the wedding pet.


I have a story to tell you all. It isn’t nice. But it does have a happy ending…

In August of 2008, whilst on a night out with friends, Martin was attacked by 3 guys, hereafter known as the scum of the earth, for not having a cigarette (yes really). He was badly beaten but somehow managed to make it home, whereupon it became blindingly clear that he wasn’t ok at all. Hoping, praying and wishing to every God I knew, we took him to the hospital where it transpired he had suffered bleeding on his brain from a kick/stamp to his head during the attack (in court, the kick was described as being hard enough to kick a football 40 yards).

You know when people describe having the rug pulled out from under them? Or their blood running cold? Both of those happened to me. It wasn’t real. That wasn’t Martin, my boyfriend lying unconscious in that hospital bed. This was all a dream. I pinched myself so hard to convince myself of this, that I drew blood.… View the full post.


What Mahj did…The Holy Crapballs Countdown and the Top Secret Hen Do


That is the word that I would use to best describe myself these days. Also excited. I am hovering between overwhelmed and excited. It’s precarious.

So much has happened in the last 6 weeks that its making my head spin to think about it, but here goes….(deep breath)…we have met with our florist and decided on bouquets, button holes and centrepieces. And my oh my are they going to be purdy! I wish I could tell you which flowers were being featured but this is so not my forte. Alls I can tell you is that they are super colourful and smell really nice!

We met with our jewellers and tried on our wedding rings….which was freakin awesome! What an odd thing that this little band of gold will forever signify (after the 22nd July), that I am a married laydee. Le sigh.

We also met with our wedding co-ordinator and ran through the whole day and timings and food and drink and some more food. It was actually after this appointment when I was left with a feeling that could only be best described as “woah”. I never considered the level of detail that we needed to cover, e.g. how long it will take to shepherd in and seat 115 people into the room for the wedding breakfast. How they allocate the time for the speeches. Do you have a cake? Do you want it on a separate stand? Do you want the red carpet (still deliberating!)? When will your florist turn up?… View the full post.


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What Mahj Did – The Tikka and The Photographer

Wowsers, have we got a treat for you today folks!

You might remember that when we held our competition to find the Real RMW Brides, Mahj’s category was English Country, which might sound a little odd given the fusion nature of the affair she was planning. But to me Mahj is everything that the modern English wedding is and today we get to share her fabulous E-shoot.

Once you’ve seen these ladies, you will be dying to see the wedding! A Massive shout out goes to Andy Wardle, their (obviously uber talented) Photographer, who I’m confident is going to knock the wedding photographs out of the park!

And after that little interruption, I’ll hand you over to the lady herself!

The Tikka

I argued with my Mum recently. Well, I say argued but really it involved some yelling (on my part) and some finger waggling (on my Mum’s part) and my poor sister looking a bit uncomfortable for the whole thing and staying very very quiet.

We argued due to Mrs A’s insistence that I wear something at the wedding. A jewellery something. More specifically a tikka:

Priyanka Chopra
*Image Credit

I know, pretty right? And so shiny and sparkly? And all bridal lovely. And not something that I am keen on. At all.

No amount of explaining of why I didn’t want to wear it in a reasonable tone to Mrs A was having any effect – hence the raised tone! And immediately after it I just felt so bad, I shouldn’t have yelled but I was so frustrated as I didn’t think she had understood what I was getting at.… View the full post.


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What Mahj Did….The Face And The Fancy Paper.

Hi, my name is Mahj and I have problem skin. I was quite lucky until I was about 17-18 and then they arrived. The horrible, big red painful spots. And man oh man did they make my life a misery. Turns out I had acne. And it was crap. And I tried everything I could get my hands on. Boots own brand, Clean n Clear, Clearasil, Simple, Freederm, and Clinique. Even that antibiotic cream that you get from the doctors that comes on a roll-on! All to no avail. I even tried Dianette which gave me amazing skin but made me kerazy emotional!

So on went the make up and it covered it quite well, but as anyone who has ever experienced the same situation knows, covering is all well and good but the ruddy things don’t go anywhere!

When I was around 25 (after 6 years or so of having terrible skin) I read an article about a skincare system called Oxypeel and, figuring that I have nothing to lose, decided to order myself some of their foaming milk and moisturising lotion. And though it took some time (around 4-6 months or so), my skin started to clear up. Hooray. I even stopped wearing make up as I felt brave enough to go without.

Unfortunately about 6 months or so ago, my skin started to get quite bad again. Not helped by the heinous weather and wedding stress, I was pretty much having daily eruptions and it was gutting. I started to have visions of having wedding photography that showed all the lumps and bumps under what would be my make up.… View the full post.


What Mahj Did… Bridesmaids and Bands

As I write this, I have 180 days remaining till I say “I do”.


Don’t misunderstand me, that “eeeeek” isn’t a frightened “eeeek”, rather it’s a gosh-that’s-coming-along-rather-fast “eeeek”. If you like, you can substitute the word ‘gosh’ for a far ruder one and that sentence will sound much more like me!

But I think we are on course. In a fit of mad organisation at the beginning of January, I seized one of my many Cosmo Bride magazines and proceeded to rifle through it until I found that handy checklist they give you in every issue. In all honesty, I haven’t paid this check-list much attention before, I much prefer to make my own check-lists (in fact at one point, I had made so many and was getting so stressed that Martin got cross and told me to make just one big list!). But I grabbed my pen all the same and proceeded to go through each task listed and cross off the ones we had done/had in hand and circle the ones that we have yet to do. Turns out all my millions of check-lists were good for something – there weren’t many tasks circled (whoop!) and the ones that were, were either things that we had planned to do from January or that we couldn’t do till much later on in the year anyway. I was so pleased that I rewarded myself with a Ferrero Rocher!

So, the last ‘Big Wedding Accomplishment’ of 2010 was a biggie. And a good one too.… View the full post.


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What Mahj Did… Hooray for Henna!

On Saturday just gone, Martin caught me doing a celebratory jig, complete with song in our dining room. When I say ‘celebratory jig’, what I actually mean is me jumping/shuffling around like a bit of a loon. And when I say ‘complete with song’, what I actually mean is some high-pitched squealing. And from this high-pitched squealing, the only words Martin could decipher were “Birmingham”, “The One” and “its ready”!

Yes ladies (and gents), The One is officially ready. Le eeek! But more on that later…

These past two weeks have been quite productive on the wedding front. Not only is The One waiting for me, but a venue has also been booked for my henna party. Hooray.

When Martin and I got engaged, I was adamant that out of all the ceremonies, celebrations and merriment we could have, I had to have a henna party (otherwise known as a mehndi). I really truly think this has always been my favourite part of past family weddings that I have attended. They are always so much fun and other than the obvious henna-painting-on-hands that goes on, there is a really sweet ceremonial aspect (purely cultural as opposed to religious) where the bride is blessed to have a long and prosperous marriage.

*Image credits: With thanks to Alison Groves Photography.

Plus I get to have henna painted on my hands (both sides) and feet. Now I love henna. I really really do. I think it looks so amazing, the more intricate the better.… View the full post.


What Mahj Did… Planning an Indian Summer.

When I re-read my entry to become a ‘Rock My Wedding Bride’, I realised that I hadn’t done the best job of trying to explain what kind of wedding Martin and I were hoping (very hard) to have. And the route to that went something like this, during an email conversation with my very good friend Jo:

Me: “So I think I have a rough idea of the kind of ‘theme/colour scheme’ I would like my day to have”

Jo: “Go on then, I’m all ears…”

Me: “Well its important to incorporate my Pakistani heritage, but I love all the vintagey, English country garden stuff. So I was thinking of loads of really bright, bold colours like red, pink, orange, blues, greens, purples, yellows. Like a bag of Skittles has exploded everywhere. But I want to mix that with the birdcages on the table and the vintage flowers we are going to have and lots of other little ‘English’ touches. Sooo, whadya think?”

Jo: “So you mean like a vintage Indian Summer?”

Me: “YES! That’s exactly it. You little GENIUS! Why didn’t I think of that wording….”

Moral of the story is, whilst you have no idea how to concisely say what it is that you want, chances are your mate Jo probably will!

Now the ‘Indian Summer’ theme isn’t so strict that everything must match it, down to the last symmetrically tied bow, but we have found it very useful to have this as our cornerstone when we were picking stationery, deciding on table decorations and picking what to wear.… View the full post.


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The RMW Real Bride Search… English Country/Vintage No. 2

This is the second of four entries in this category. Please do not vote until you have read all four entries. Vote by writing VOTE in the box of the bride you want to vote for. Please vote only once per category. If you wish to vote in secret send the name of your chosen couple to: Voting will close at 12pm on 27th August.

Mahj and Martin…

My first name is Mahjabeen (Mahj for short) and Martin’s name is, erm, Martin! We are getting married on the 22nd July 2011 at Mottram Hall in Cheshire and both live in Stockport (just outside of Manchester).

I would say that mine and my intended’s wedding would fall under the ‘vintage inspired’ and ‘other’ category. Because I am Pakistani and my very lovely fiancé is English, we are attempting to achieve that wedding wonderment: a fusion wedding! Think English country garden meets Bollywood and your halfway there. Fresh, vintage blooms and birdcages, contrasted with striking, bright and bold sari material as the table cloths is one of the many ideas we have had so far. Plus oodles of dancing, bad singing and lurve!

In all seriousness though, striking that balance is hard. What Mr B’s Catholic-love-a-good-tipple family may enjoy, my quite-conservative-non drinking-practising Muslim family may not. But we think we are getting there…maybe….

With just under a year to go, we have suddenly become hyper aware that come next year, 150+ members of our families and friends will be descending upon Manchester and until then, we have a helluva lot of work to do!… View the full post.