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.

The tikka has a small hook on the end and through a variety of clips, grips and slides gets affixed onto your hair and then the pendant falls onto your forehead. So it almost feels like once it’s in, it’s in. Not to mention that I haven’t had my trial yet (booked in for the end of May), so the tikka may not fit in with the hair lushness that I have in mind. And mainly, it feels like you have a pendulum fixed to your head! I swear, I’m going to have to move like I am wearing a neck brace because any sudden movements will have the tikka swinging from side to side like a ruddy clock!

I once again broached the subject this past week (in a much calmer manner I must add) and it didn’t go so well. Again. I think where the problem lies is that Mrs A has a very fixed and definite ideas of how she thinks a bride should look e.g. me. I blame Bollywood. Whereas I, being the fusion bridey that I am, have very different ideas. More balanced ideas in terms of look and style. And most importantly I know what will make me comfortable and happy on the day and trust me when I say a tikka just ain’t going to do that for me.

But I am not without compromise, so in the name of fairness I told Mrs A that I would try the tikka at my hair trial for starters and see how it looks. If it looked ok, I said that I would consider wearing it for the civil ceremony but it was coming out straight after that. I want to be able to move my head around as I see fit, I don’t want to have a load of photos of me looking cross-eyed because I am fixated on this thing on my forehead, and above all I just want to feel like myself.

Mrs A didn’t like my compromise. She gave me the death stare. And now I’m torn. Between wanting to stop any further arguing and make her happy, but also make myself happy. And so the debate rages on…

The Photographer

At the end of March, Martin and I met up with our photographer, the very talented and quite lovely Andy Wardle for our engagement shoot. We met at 2pm at the Cornerhouse Café in Manchester and proceeded to spend the next 5 hours farting around all over the city centre!

In front of some graffiti down a side street, to the Northern Quarter, to Lamars, to doorways, to a pavement outside a florists, to urban streets, to moody lit basement bars, to old-school café’s, to milkshakes, to more graffiti to the top of the Printworks car park! All nicely finished with a cheeky, well earned beer.

I could prattle on and on about how good a time we had with Andy and how much we gel with him and feel comfortable with him. How he made us laugh out loud and how happy and proud he was of his wife who was expecting their firstborn at the time and that when we saw our e-shoot images for the first time, we just gaped open-mouthed at them. But instead, I am going to zip it and let the awesome images speak for themselves:


Mahj xoxo

PS! You can see the whole e-shoot on Andy’s Blog here.

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

28 thoughts on “What Mahj Did – The Tikka and The Photographer

  1. Oh how I love Mahj, let me count the ways….

    Mums are mums all over the place! Can you not get a little tikka? Or a pretty pearly headband that encompasses a tikka esque jewel rather than the panopoly of pins and gizmos securing it to your hair? I’m sure I saw something a little similar around in a wedding mag recently, will look it up for you. Maybe etsy could make you one? What are you thinking re: hair? Glossy mane of shining night downness or rich satin elegance confined in sophisticated updoness?

    The engagement shoot is incredible, you guys just look like you are having so much fun “farting around.” I think this is what we described to photographers as “dicking about” which was more or less our sole instructions as to the spirit of our couple shots on the big day! Hoping for more farting in the dress on the day (!!!!!)…..

    I wouldn’t worry about the yelling- we’ve all been there. Most recently about my brother putting my wedding invitations in spilt sauce on the table (she’s sending some of her friends) but it being my fault because as the oldest, I should have cleaned the table after his dinner!!!!

    Le sigh. and not in a good way. But it WILL blow over…

  2. Oh my. Mahj your photos are beyond cool.

    I adore them – you both are naturals in front of the camera and you look gorgeous!

    I just know that your wedding photos are going to be amazing.

    You’ve also made me slightly nervous to get our pre-wed shots back from Sunday’s shoot 😉 …. if they are even a pinch as good, I’ll be one happy bunny!


  3. Mahj your posts make me smile. Check out ‘The Mary Ann Forehead Band’ on Flo & Percy site. Not the same as a Tikka but a little similar…x

  4. Hi mahj, your photos are really amazing!

    In regards to the tikka, could you perhaps not mention it to her any further, stay true to your word about trying one at your trial, decide whether it’s right for you or not, and then keep your decision to yourself. On w-day, if you choose to go with the tikka – great for your mum. If not – is your mum someone who is likely to argue with you on your wedding day when you’re looking all bridey and lovely? I guess you know your mum better than any of us, and would have to judge how upset she’s likely to be if you weren’t entirely honest with her.

    Crikey, I just re-read that and realised it sounds a bit deceitful! I’m a good daughter, honest!

    I hope you manage to have a peaceful build up to the wedding!

  5. Mahj. Your writing just makes me so happy -even today, when I am having a very very miserable day (hubby and I are having a row 🙁 ) But more than that…OK, please don’t be offended, I don’t quite know how to say this without sounding weird but… I hadn’t realised how BEAUTIFUL you are. (That does sound weird, doesn’t it? Oh well). That pic of you and your fella laughing on the purple sofa…love it. And completely get the mum-having-a-different-wedding-vision-to-you thing (mine totally did). You’ll look stunning whatever happens lady!x

  6. Just want to say W.O.W.! I am so showing your photos to our photographer! They are just the type of Manchester shots we want from our wedding! So keep your fingers crossed for no rain, in Manchester, at the end of October! Big ask I know!

  7. Lauren – you’re a genius! that is a masterplan and a half!

    Mahj – Are you going to have mehndi done for your wedding? It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for mine. I’m Scottish and Lebanese and some of my fondest memories are my mum’s friends doing mehndi for me. I’d love to incorporate it into my look for the wedding, but struggling to work out if it would work with my modern dress and look.

  8. Wow. Mahj, you (and fiance of course!) look AMAZING in these photos! I love the atmosphere of them, and the light and colours, and the fact that in loads of them you guys look like you are having the best time. Ever. Your wedding photos are going to be out of this world! xx

  9. Mahj- love the e-shoot. Uber uber cool!!! I now want to re-shoot mine!!
    I’ve had various battles with both mums over things…favours, cake, booze, bridesmaids dresses, hen parties…
    I think you have to listen to what they say and take it on board, but in the end it is you who will be wearing it so it’s you that has to be comfortable. What about wearing it just for the evening do? You get the hair you want for the ceremony and she gets to see you wear it later on. Hopefully though if you do decide not wear it she will understand why. I’m sure she will want you to feel perfect on the day.
    Hope my little ramble helps a bit.

  10. It’s not going to ruin your mum’s day if you don’t wear the tikka, is it? But it could be very distracting for you if you give in! I think the civil ceremony compromise is a good one though. She’ll come round, mums always do!

  11. Mahj – TOTALLY LOVE your photos! I live in Manchester and I intend to pinch some of the location ideas………..We are doing a mini photoshoot just before our reception in Manchester Town Hall. My future father-in-law is doing the shoot cos we can’t afford a professional photographer (fingers crossed it will be ok and not be the source of huge bridezilla rage).

    Anita – chin up hon about your row.I suggest picking up a bottle of Veuve and surprising your other half with it after work. Let the good times roll!
    Ps 6 weeks on Saturday I will be doing the same walk you did in San Gimignano eeeeeeeeeeek!!!!

  12. Oh Mahj! I love your updates! Always make me chuckle.

    Mothers eh? Sounds like you have reached a pretty reasonable compromise with the trial but remember the RMW motto “Your day your way!” And I have no doubt that your wedding will be FABULOUS! Tikka or no tikka. Having attended a few of my friends’ weddings where mothers have been causing strife I have noticed that the problems tend to disappear as the excitement of the day takes over!

    As for your e shoot. Amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it. Gorgeous is getting close. ABSOBLOODYLUTELY B.E.A.UTIFUL is the best description. It looks like you had such a fun day and the photos are pretty awesome! I am a little bit in love. With everything!


  13. Wow Mahj you are soooooooo pretty!!! And your posts are always filled with things that make me smile. The shoot is amazing and you both look so happy! I cannot wait to see your wedding pics…tikka or no tikka.Either way you will look stunnning.
    Mums dont realise sometimes how much they can make you feel ridiculously bad about something even though its supposed to be your day and would happily say that themselves as long as its nothing that really concerns them “its your day you do what you want”…yeah ok apart from on this then? haha, but luckily my mum has not yet asked for anything so I am lucky I see.
    Maybe it doesnt go with your hair? And she wont know? Or maybe have a photo with it on and then whip it back off so she has a pic of you in one but you get to take it off lol, I am thinking this probably isnt realistic though sorry.

    Good luck with the tikka issue though, and do what you feel is best for you on the day xx

  14. Mahj-love return with a vengeance- great post, lady! I think “screw the Tikka” if you’re not feeling it, but you maybe get some jewel-ly headpiece or Indian looking side clip?

  15. Oh Mahj this photoshoot is fab, fab, fab! You and your man look absobloominglutely gorgeous! You both photograph so well. And you look like you’re having so much fun, I really hope our engagement shoot is half as fun as yours looks! You really do look stunning.

    And as for the tikka issue…I don’t want to encourage you to disappoint your mum but you need to be 100% comfortable in what you’re wearing and how you look on YOUR wedding day! If you’re distracted by the tikka wobbling around on your head you’ll miss all the wonderful parts of the day.

    Always love your posts.


    P. S. What did you decide about the bridesmaid dresses by the way? Same or different colours? I’m having the same dilemma with my bridesmaids now.

  16. Ladies –

    As always your comments are so kind and encouraging 🙂 and I have to apologise as I read these all last night. but between then and a friends bday, our best friends wedding on Sun and The RW, i have only had time to leave a comment to you all:

    Lucy – loving the Shakespeare! My hair will be an up-do featuring some very funky plaits. I just feel that the tikka would be too much but we shall see I guess!

    Loulou – will check that out, thanks

    Lauren – yeap, my Mum is the type of old-school Pakistani Mum that would be peeved for the whole day if I didnt wear a tikka. Le sigh. But I think that your plan is what I am going to now call my plan! Wait until the day and decide.

    Anita – thank you so much. I dont ever recall being called beautiful before so you have made my day! Also I hope that everything is happy and bright now between you and your hubby

    Leila – yeap, surely am. I’m having a Mehndi party on the Wed before my wedding and will have mehndi painted on my hands and feet in the morning of the Wed.

    Alex K – I think if I wanted to wear one (in the end), I would wear it for the ceremony alone and then take it out. Couldnt possibly wear it for the evening do when I am practising my best Beyonce moves!

    Kathryn – I hope so!

    Anna K – go on then!

    Lynsey-Loo – thats the mantra that I will be chanting some 22 July. My day my way, my day my way…

    Luci – yeah! Screw the tikka! Hee!

    Charlotte BBC Laydee – thank you so much. Have now been called beautiful twice. Hee.

    Jenny – thats my thinking entirely. Also in terms of BM dresses, I decided on different colours for each of the ladies, that suit them all, but the dress is the same style for all. And my ladies look GORGE!

    As for the e-shoot, we were so so chuffed with the photos and cannay wait for our wedding shots. Also just a little shout-out to Andy our photographer whose wife recently gave birth to a baby girl. All together now, awwwww!

    Right off to moon over videos/photos of the RW!


  17. Holy Moley! You both look so cool, comfortable and oh so stylish. What more can I say?! I cannot wait for your wedding!! I think you would look so stunning in a tikka but to be honest, I think you would look amazing in anything. You are just gorgeous!

    I don’t know about you guys but I am seriously loved up after the Royal wedding! Eeeek!

    x x x x

  18. a great shoot, you both look so comfortable. as far as the tikka goes i think you are going to look the best when you feel comfortable 🙂

  19. After returning from an exhausting trip from India, my RMW catch up is almost finishing & Mahj ur engagement photos are immense!!! That final shot is cool, sexy, I’ve got it going on all rolled into one.
    I have brought a tikka but am waiting till my hair trial before deciding whether it is a permant wedding day fixture. Buy one and have a mess about no hurt in trying or at least keeping the peace for a bit and on the day make the decision.

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