Friday, 26 August 2011

Mrs Magpie: Photographer

Having been inspired by my rather fabulous wedding photographer (thank you Joe Lasky) - more wedding snaps coming soon! - I decided that it was about time I learnt how to use my rather snazzy new camera.

I've made quite a talent out of looking like I know what I am doing - but like most other tourists, I'm safely snapping away in 'Auto' mode. What's the point of having a fantastic tool and not utilising it to its best ability?

Ooh, must apply same theory to my brain.

So I booked myself on to a photography course with my new HK gal pal. I haven't told you about her yet... She's getting married next year!!! It's like all my Christmas' have come at once!

Oh yes, and she's also really lovely.

Note to self: must not forget this is not my wedding and I am not her wedding planner. Must keep friend - not let post-wedding bridezilla out of the bag...

Anyway, four days of intensive photography training later and here's what I've achieved so far...

 Hong Kong Harbour at ridiculous-o'clock in the morning

 Changing my shutter speed to capture flying water in Hong Kong Botanical Gardens

 Borrowing a long lense to shoot these caged birds (notice how you can't even see the cage!) 
at Hong Kong Botanical Gardens
The HSBC building at night, contorted with my newly learned camera skills

The iconic Bank of China building...with a twist

I'd like to thank Craig Norris (link here) for all his patience with me and for his masterful teaching. As I mentioned before, my brain is not really functioning properly these days.

Hubby and I are off to Shanghai for the weekend *excited squeal*, which provides me with the perfect opportunity to work on my newly acquired skills. Poor hubby - lots of standing around for him.

Will show you the results next week.

In the mean time, I will leave you with what my photography class think of me:

How did they find out after just four days?!!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Did you know that I am married?

Just in case it escaped anyone's notice, my father's girlfriend thought it wise to remind everyone that I had just got married.

Had anyone actually missed the fact that I am now a married woman, I would be shocked. Our very subtle wedding could easily have gone unnoticed. Not.

Nevertheless, I've been wearing this top ever since...

"Mrs Shah"
(and on the back, "nee Holding")

I totally love it - the only time you will ever catch me in a vest top ;-)

And, because it was tough not having a camera following us constantly, we had a quick, very cheesy, photo session at the wedding venue, before we had to bid it farewell...

(Photos courtesy of SiSiG)

Incidentally, we hadn't planned to be in matching outfits! And my beau's pink Havaianas were borrowed from me, after he lost his. I have since taken them back!

Love Mrs Magpie

The Final Wedding bash - The Pool Party

After a weekend filled with celebrations and partying, you'd have thought that we'd all had our fill of fun.

Well, you'd be wrong.

We all gathered again on the Sunday morning for a post-wedding brunch and pool party. Anticipating lots of sore heads, we provided guests with a delicious buffet and plenty of hair-of-the-dog bubbly!

So much for the sore heads - we all drank the bar dry!!

Here's what went down:

 Everyone cooling off in the golf-course facing infinity pool

 Just before the dessert table got fully munched at Dar Ennassim restaurant, Palmeraie Golf Palace

Dress numero 1: D&G tartan maxi dress with train (it was my wedding after all)

My gorge new Miu Miu wedges - officially the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever owned!

Dress numero 2: A Jaeger silk chiffon babydoll dress

The wedding swimsuit. Yes, I did go there. 

Over-excited on my beau's shoulders. Not so excited when he proceeded to dunk me under the water.

Hanging out with the best men and ushers...


My new hubby and I striking one of our final wedding poses!
(Courtesy of Joe Lasky Photography)

So, there you have it. At about 6pm, we all reluctantly left the poolside and said our goodbyes :-(

Our wedding weekend in Marrakech had come to an end. We had the most amazing time of our lives and can not thank everyone enough for making the effort to make it so memorable for us.

I will never ever forget it. And I don't think I will ever have a weekend to compete with it.

Love Mrs Magpie

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wedding No. 3 - The White One

Having managed to successfully limit my wine intake the night before (something I'm not generally skilled at), I awoke to another glorious day at Dar Sabra in Marrakech feeling on top of the world.

I could have been very melancholy were it not for the fact that I still had another wedding to go. Yep, we'd saved the best for last. Today was the white wedding. The one where I get to wear a poofy white dress and finally tell me beaux how much I love him.

After a pretty chilled day it was once again time to get ready. With my bridesmaids taking care of me I was as relaxed as relaxed can be. And before we knew it, it was our cue to go...

My gorgeous bridesmaids (just three on this day) walked out to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons: Spring" in pretty awesome (atleast that's what I think, but I did choose them) purple dip-dyed fringed flapper dresses...

That's them a little later in the evening, cooling off. 
They were wearing shoes at the beginning. Promise!

Meanwhile, my dad was giving me a few final words of advice...

A treasured memory

And then it started...Pachelbel's "Canon in D" and off we went...

It was a truly special moment in my life.

I chose a bespoke lace and tulle fishtail number from the White Leaf Boutique in Brighton. It was the second wedding dress I ever tried on...and the last. I knew it was my dress from the minute I saw it...and as soon as I put it on, it was confirmed!

I teamed it with my gorgeous Christian Louboutin white lace heels and a bunch of fuchsia and baby pink Atlas roses. Ooh, and some diamond jewellery given to me by my lovely in-laws!


Let me tell you about these shoes...
I did indeed buy them rather prematurely. Before my beau even popped the question in fact.
You see, I was at a Christian Louboutin sample sale and when I set eyes on them, I knew I had to get married in them. I had THE man - I was pretty convinced we were going to be together for ever - so I didn't think it too harmful to buy THE shoes...and three days later, he proposed. So, it all worked out rather nicely in the end.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand...

Our darling friend Matt officiated this short, intimate ceremony...

My University saviour, Sophie, read my fave extract from "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams...

Then my beau's best gal pals, Hattie & Holly, sang the most beautiful rendition of Adele's "Make You Feel My Love"...

And finally, my lovely mummy read Kahlil Gibran's "On Marriage"...

Obvs, Joe the photographer will have a better pic of this!

Serious snaps for my amazing mum. She donned a turquoise Preen dress with Gianmarco Lorenzi skyscraper heels and vintage Dior costume jewellery. A-mazing! (more pics to come)
Once the ceremony was over...

(back of the order of events)

...everyone congregated around the pool for champagne, canapes and Frank Sinatra (music of)...

...and laughter...

...and pure hilarity...

...before heading to their tables for a yummy three course dinner, speeches and much merriment.

Joe took a brilliant pic of us...

...if only I could get my beau to be that obedient all the time!!

After dinner we moved over to the 'club' area for dancing and drinking...but first, the cutting of the cake:

A huge tower of pink macaroons, complete with giant sparklers!

The tossing of the bouquet came next...

...however there was quite a scrum and the photos did not come out very well.

Our first dance followed... Let's not go there!

And then the real party began!

It got quite hot, so some people stripped off. Seriously.

I went down a different 'cooling off' route...

...and my beau tried this...

Which was not very funny.

We kept hunger at bay with a shwarma man...

But the real stars of the night were my grandparents...who were on the dance floor until 3am!

At about 4.30am, we had to call it a night, much to everyone's dismay. But as they say, all good things must come to end :-(

Good job really, because my new hubby and I had to be up a few hours later, back in our wedding gear, for a shoot in the desert. Here's a sneak preview...

The local villagers were glued!! Haha!

All in all, a bloomin' good time was had by all...

...and there's even more to come. 

Watch this space!

Love Mrs Magie

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Wedding No. 2 - Bollywood dreams

For Miss Magie, one wedding was just not enough.

So, a few days after our London nuptials, we flew out to Marrakech for a little bit more celebrating...with over 200 of our closest family and friends in tow.

It was a year in the planning and after bombs, protests, riots, a certain active volcano, airline strikes and the like, a pretty tense year at that. But, with everyone making it out to Marrakech safe and sound (the same can not be said for the luggage - luckily not mine!) we could finally relax and enjoy the festivities.


It all kicked off on the Friday morning with our "Mandvo" ceremonies. This is where my beau and I lay the foundations of our marriage. Very strong and stable foundations. No future underpinning required.

It all took place in the lush gardens of the Palmeraie Golf Palace, where all of our guests were staying (I think some may have come to the ceremony direct from their night out!).

It was a pretty early start and having not slept a wink (it was a million times more exciting than Christmas Eve) I gave myself a good twenty minutes in which to get ready. Sticking my hair up in to a bun, whacking on some make-up and shoving on my sari, above was the outcome. This is one of my favourite wedding saris - it's so beautifully embroidered - Thank you mummy Magpie!

There was lots of praying, some crying and generally an air of excitement as the wedding festivities began.


After a few hours of rest...

Actually, that's a rest for me...

The evening's festivities kicked off at 5pm at the stunning Dar Sabra boutique hotel, with my family and friends arriving first, so that they could greet my beau and his family as they arrived at the venue.

There he is, being brought in by his cousins and my parentals...

Not one for a fuss, I decided to make my entrance a little more demure:

Photo by Joe Lasky Photography

Embracing the Moroccan tradition, I was brought in on an Amari throne, heralded by trumpeteers. Discreet it was not. Fun it certainly was!

I wore a chiffon and net, sequin embroidered cream sari from Sonas Haute Couture and head dress from Rene Walrus. Sandals were Jimmy Choo. Obvs.

We'd (erm, I'd) chosen fuchsia as our colour theme, so it was only sensible to provide shelter from the sun for our guests in the way of draped pink fabric.

Placed on each chair (we were in love with these perspex Napoleon chairs) was a brightly coloured fan, made from carved wood, that we had picked up on our recent travels to Cambodia. They were even fragranced!

The ceremony took place underneath a Mandap. Once again, we went for a very subtle look:


And like all under-stated brides, I had just six bridesmaids. That's all.

Devina, Siam, Grace, Emily, Priya, Neha
Don't they look just gorgeous!

And here we are again...married now in the eyes of religion...looking rather pleased with ourselves!

Following the ceremony, we wined and fed our guests with Moroccan vino and canapes. Meanwhile I changed and my beau and I made a rather discreet entrance:

Just a few trumpets and drums. I even walked this time!

I chose another sari by Sonas Couture... It weighed a tonne, but was very sparkly so I was smitten. Natch.

Finally, we got to have a little drink and chat to our friends...all of whom had gone to amazing lengths to wear Indian clothing.

The place was a vision of colour and sparkle!

Then we sat down for dinner...

Huge fuchsia Atlas roses and lots of candles set the secene, 
while tables were named after our fave places in India.

...which came complete with Moroccan entertainment: Belly dancers, musicians, ladies with trays of candles on their heads (?!), acrobats...

...and thus, the party began...

It really was our Bollywood dream come true!