#AskTheBride

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One of my favourite parts of doing what I do is getting to talk to my readers. It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to interact with people who genuinely connect with you and your work, and luckily for me, you feel the same way (aww!)

 

I’ve had readers write to be about their careers, style problems and blogging advice in the past, but most recently, I’ve been getting heaps of questions from friends, family and readers about my wedding day, long distance relationships, dating on Tinder and just general boy trouble. I thought this would be a nice way to address everyone’s concerns anonymously, so identities (and personal problems) remain a little secret between you and I, but at the same time,  we can all learn from each other’s problems, since a lot of us are going through the same thing.

 

Now if only I could direct my relatives to this blog post! #sorted

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{ THE WEDDING }

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Q1. I thought you were already married! James proposed quite a while ago, I saw pictures of wedding dress fittings on Instagram and you’ve already moved to the UK. How come you’re not married yet?

A. Uh, nosy much? Just kidding! James and I originally planned to be married in Bombay in October. But due to visa issues the plan got pushed to December in the UK and then January. UK law states that in order to get married, you need to give the court official notice, then serve a 30 day notice period before you are allowed to marry. So I arrived here a month before the wedding to give notice. However, we soon realized that we needed a proof of residence to be able to give notice of our intent to marry. Since I didn’t have this yet, we had to delay our appointment significantly till the documentation came through. After this, my mum needed to apply for her visa to be able to attend the wedding, which took a fair bit of time as well. It has been quite a roller coaster ride, with me shuffling between our house in the day and James’ mum’s house at night where I sleep (because my mum is strict like that!).

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Q2. What kind of wedding are you having? Is it going to be a big, fat Indian extravaganza with James riding in on a bejeweled elephant?

A. No. Big weddings with a vast amount of people that last for a number of days really scare me. I’m not very good with crowds and noise. Also, I feel like the couple tends to get lost at their own wedding sometimes, since it really tends to become about what everyone else thinks of it than about their love story. We toyed with the idea of having a large-ish white wedding, but with none of my friends and family able to attend all the way in the UK in January, it would be strange only having James’ friends and family there. So we have decided to keep things very small. Only immediate family. And since we are both not religious, we have opted for a registry office as opposed to a church.

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Q3. Small and simple? Why would you have a small and simple wedding?

A. Another major deciding factor in our wedding planning was that James’ grandparents were nice enough to buy a second home around the same time, which they were willing to rent to us if we wanted it, so we wouldn’t have to stay with parents as newlyweds. We were so touched by their offer and decided to take them up on it. And since we felt so lucky to have gotten our first home at the same time, we decided to invest our money in our home and enjoy it every single day, rather than blowing it up on feeding lots of people in one really nice evening. It was a practical decision, and we knew that our wedding day would be special to us no matter how big or small it was.

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Q4. Isn’t your dress a little OTT for a small registry office wedding?

A. Yeah it probably is, but that doesn’t phase me. I would say that when I had the dress made, it was when we were planning on having a larger wedding. However, that really isn’t true. A few years ago, I saw Olivia Wilde wearing this divine Marchesa gown at the Golden Globe Awards. I fell so madly in love with it, I swore that when I got married, I’d have the same dress made for me, but in white and gold and with sheer lace sleeves. I knew that nothing else would make me feel as special on my big day. So that is exactly what I plan to wear, even if the dress is bigger than the ceremony!

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Q5. Do you have any plans for your honeymoon?

A. Yes, but not immediately as it is so cold in Europe at the moment and I am making a trip back to India a few weeks after the wedding. But when it starts to warm up, we plan on renting a car and driving around Italy for our honeymoon. If you’ve been and have any suggestions on where in Italy we should go, leave me a comment below! We’d love to check out your recommendations!

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Q6. How did you two lovebirds meet?

A. We met on a dating app called Tinder! You can read our whole love story here.

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Q7. When did you know James was ‘the one’?

A. It’s weird, but we had an instant connection. We knew on our second date that this was different from anything else we had ever experienced, and we wanted to see this through. There was a weird electricity when he held my hand, which I had never felt with anyone else. I remember going home to my mom after our third date and telling her I think I’ve found the one I want to spend my life with, which is unusual because I usually take things at a snail’s pace when I meet someone new. But this…this was special.

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Q8. How does one find the perfect wedding outfit?

A. One signs up for Pinterest to look for inspiration. Also, keep an eye on red carpet fashion, movies, music videos, etc. You never know which celebrity’s gown could translate well into a wedding outfit. Follow wedding blogs and search for wedding-related hashtags on Instagram, you never know what may inspire you! Once you have a fair idea of what you’re looking for, take pictures in when you go to meet a designer, explain it to them and ask them to make you a sketch if possible, just to know that you are on the same page. Be actively involved in the process from start to finish by offering to come along to help select materials, etc. and never hesitate to ask for multiple fittings if you feel something isn’t sitting right. It isn’t worth being uncomfortable on your wedding day when you’re going to be paying them so much money. I always feel like a custom made gown is really the way to go when you’re a very particular person who knows exactly what she wants (like me!)
If you’re going down the ready made route, it is still a good idea to have a fair idea of what you want before you set out. Take recommendations from friends and family who have been married on who to visit and where they have had good experiences. Enjoy browsing the stores and be open minded! The sales person may offer you a piece that isn’t designer, but may be absolutely beautiful when you slip it on! Go on, give it a chance!

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Q9. I’m having trouble finding someone in Bombay to make me a white wedding gown! Everyone here only specializes in Indian bridal wear. Who designed your gown?

A. I was lucky enough to have my dress designed by the lovely Michelle Rodrigues. Not only was she super patient, organized, lovely to be around and immensely talented, but her dresses didn’t break the bank and she wasn’t afraid of a challenge! I highly recommend her to everyone, not just brides, in case you want a dress made for an upcoming occasion.

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Q10. Where is your wedding dress now? Are you afraid James might see it?

A. My wedding dress is in it’s protective plastic box, along with the shoes and bag that go with it. The plastic box has then been encased in a large, sealed cardboard carton with a pink heart-shaped post-it note on it reading: ‘Wedding Dress. Do not open!’ to avoid any ‘accidents’. This carton is currently in my kitchen because I am too lazy to move it.

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Q11. What are your Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue?

A. I’m quite a chilled out bride and really haven’t bothered getting these things together. So for now, I would have to say that James is my Something Old (haha he is going to kill me!), the pearl necklace and my wedding ring will be my Something(s) New, I might use James’ Mum’s clutch as my Something Borrowed since this one is very white and clashes a little with my gold dress, and I will be my own Something Blue because it is SO cold here!

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Q12. Is Poppy going to be in the wedding?

A. Sadly, no. And it breaks my heart because she really is like my firstborn child. However, since the registry office does not permit dogs on it’s premises, she will be staying with her cousins at her great-grandparents’ (James’ grandparents) house.

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Q13. Did you ever have second thoughts about your marriage? Were you nervous about being half way across the world and leaving your friends and family behind?

A. Yes! Well, I never had second thoughts about wanting to be with James no matter where in the world he was. But the idea of moving away from my mom, friends and career terrified me. I’d just have random bouts of crying and panic attacks once every few weeks, but everyone was really supportive, and I eventually got used to the idea.

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Q14. When did he pop the question? Did you know he was going to do it or was it a surprise?

A. I did know he was going to propose on my visit to the UK in June, because after that we wouldn’t be seeing each other till our wedding originally planned in October. However, I didn’t know when or where or how he would do it since I was there for a whole month. So that was a complete surprise!

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Q15. How did your parents react to your relationship initially?

A. My mum was a little skeptical till she met James. When she did, she fell in love with him instantly (I’m pretty sure she likes him more than she likes me!) so we had her support right from the start. His family was very supportive as well – I absolutely adore them all! (Both our fathers are no more, but I know they would have loved and supported this union as well).

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Q16. Where do you see yourself in ten years with James?

A. I don’t want to say anything about kids at the moment because the idea really makes me nervous me right now, but we will definitely have another dog to keep Poppy company and be living in London and I will hopefully hold a good position in a company or magazine I love, or will have started my own business. James will continue to do well at work and we will get away and travel together as often as we possibly can.

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{ LOVE, DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS }

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Q17. How do I go about navigating Tinder? Most boys I talk to on the app only seem to be interested in flings.

A. Tinder is really what you make of it. Don’t be afraid to be picky whilst choosing – it’s all about quality control! Once you’ve found someone you enjoy speaking to and feel comfortable with, ask him something like “So what made you join Tinder?” This should give you a fair idea of why he is here and what he is looking for right on the onset, so you don’t end up wasting time and learning later that he only wanted a hookup. If hooking up isn’t your thing, don’t be afraid to say so. When I agreed to meet James, it was at a bar in the hotel he was staying it, at which point I felt it absolutely necessary to make a joke but still make it clear that I wasn’t the kind of girl who would go upstairs with him (not like he expected it, but I wanted to make sure). There is no shame in saying you’re looking for something more substantial than a hookup. In fact, being clear about your intentions also makes sure you’re not leading the guy on and wasting his time, because that wouldn’t be fair to him or you. There could be a great guy out there who really does want a relationship, but you could be wasting time with ones who don’t.

Also, block anybody who asks if you are ‘DTF’ immediately! You’ll thank me if you Google it, trust me. #CreepAlert

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Q18. When do you stop obsessing about the what-ifs and just give in to a relationship?

A. If you’re constantly thinking about the ifs and buts and trying to reason and rationalize things in your head, my best bet would be because you don’t feel entirely safe with him. I don’t mean physically safe, but perhaps you still don’t trust him completely yet. Or maybe you’ve had your heart broken before and are scared to let somebody else in. Totally understandable. We’ve all been there at some point. The thing is, you can do anything if you’re willing to risk falling flat on your face. Take a leap, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You’re a smart, independent woman capable of picking herself up and moving on if things don’t work out.

Also, think of it this way, with each person you are in a relationship with, you are one step closer to finding ‘the one’. It’s like refining a search when you’re browsing the internet. You start with a broad term and then use filters to get a specific result. In other words, sometimes, even the relationships that don’t work teach you about the qualities you want and don’t want in your next potential partner. So there’s really nothing to be afraid of. You are in control here, and this can go whichever way you decide it needs to go. it could be the worst thing that ever happens to you which you can spin into a positive, or the best thing that ever happened to you fullstop.

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Q19. I’m not a fan of big weddings either. How do I convince my family to keep things small and not invite my father’s third cousin’s sister-in-law and her four children?

A. Tricky situation. Tell them you understand they have obligations and a reputation to uphold in society, but you are nervous about the wedding anyway, and that large amounts of people and all the attention on you makes you even more anxious. If this doesn’t work, try and strike a compromise by making the main wedding a very small, private affair for only family, and one of the other following events a big event where your parents can invite everyone they need to.

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Q20. I am also in a long distance relationship and it is hard. How did you two get through it? Any tips on coming out successful?

A. Long distance relationships require a lot of patience and maturity, which is why most LDR’s in high school and college never work and thus, the concept has a bad reputation. (1) Have a common goal: What really helped get us through is that both of us were on the same page. We knew we wanted to be married almost as soon as we started dating, and that became a goal for us to work towards. It was insanely hard, but knowing there was an end and that it was only about a year or so away made it a lot more bearable. (2) Commitment: We sometimes canceled plans with friends on Friday nights to Skype and call if the other one needed it for a valid reason. (3) Trust: James and I both massively decreased / stopped hanging out with old crushes / exes and single friends of the opposite sex alone because we knew it would make the other person feel insecure, and while we still trusted the other wholeheartedly, nothing destroys a long distance relationship like insecurity and mistrust, which are really not worth introducing into your relationship for people that don’t matter much in your life anymore. (4) Space: Acknowledge that sometimes your partner just needs to do their own thing. Allow them time and space to do that or they will turn resentful. So be a little selfless and set aside your ‘need’ for a cute and cuddly Skype call tonight. Let him feel comfortable enough to ask you for space when he needs it. (5) Routine: Develop a routine for when you can call / Skype / text or things will get a little haphazard. Knowing he would call me on his way home from work every night left me free to do everything else I had to in the day, and also had me buzzing with excitement for the moment in the day when I could speak to him.  (6) Co-ordinate schedules: If he wants to go out on a boy’s night this Saturday and lets you know at the last minute when you had a romantic movie date over Skype planned, it is not going to end well. Ask him to give you a little advance notice so you can plan a fun night out with your girls, instead of sitting home feeling resentful and wondering if he is talking to other women.

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Q21. How do you manage your relationship problems, fights and arguments?

A. It’s funny, when we first started dating, I didn’t think we would ever have anything to fight about. But as it turns out, we are both very strong personalities with very fixed views on things. I think the only way to escape fights without serious emotional harm is to set ground rules. If there are certain words, phrases or personal issues that really upset you, express them to your partner on a normal day when you are not fighting, and explain why and how they upset you, and that you would appreciate if he never brought them up in anger. My standard rules of thumb during fights with anyone, friends and family included, are no name-calling, shaming, swearing, violence, ‘hitting below the belt’ with a personal issue or getting other people involved. Fight clean. I’m still figuring out the rest as I go along.

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Q.22 Do you think things change after getting married / moving in together?

A. Technically we’ve not done either, but it definitely feels like we are married and YES they do! Especially because the last few trips we have made to be with one another were holidays when we were really relaxed and had nothing to do but pick new restaurants and bars to go to, organize fun dates and lounge around by the pool. However, in reality, while we still go out and do fun things now and then, we’re both pretty tired on the weekdays. Also, having a puppy in the house is like having a baby, so a lot of the things we do now revolve around her and the house, whereas before it would just be about us. Real life had to hit us at some point! We still take time to out on date nights, see our friends separately and together and to do things we love individually.

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Q23. I feel like my long-term relationship is fizzling out and I don’t trust him as much as I used to. What should I do?

A. Sit down and have a think about why you no longer trust him as much. Has he been unfaithful to you? If so, I would suggest seriously considering ending things. Also, sometimes, when you’ve been with someone for a very long time, you both grow up at different speeds, and one ends up outgrowing the relationship before the other. Either way, if you feel like there is no magic or fizz left in your relationship and that you have tried and failed to revive it, and the trust has also gone now, it might be time to let go. You’re in a different phase of your life than you were in a few years ago, and it is time for you to have new, exciting experiences, rather than reliving the same ones over and over everyday.

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Q24. I’m also an Indian girl with a partner from another country. How do I convince my parents that this is the real deal? That I am serious about him and want to spend my life with him?

A. Having your family be supportive is incredibly important, especially since you already have your fair share of issues being from entirely different cultures and being in a long distance relationship. Talk to them and make the understand that you know they only want the best for you, but they have raised you to be an independent, intelligent woman capable of making her own choices, and that it is a wonderful thing. They should be proud that their daughter wants to stand on her own two feet and they should trust your judgement of character. Explain to them that this isn’t just a fling, and that your partner has honorable intentions, and will be happy to say that to them himself whenever he can see them next. Also, explain that you have seen people marry perfectly ‘good’ Indian boys that their parents pick out for them, but those marriages don’t always work out either. Your chances of it not working out with him are as high as they would be with someone they chose for you. End the conversation on an emotional note – it doesn’t matter where a person is from. What matters is that he is a wonderful person who is willing to move mountains to make their daughter happy, just as they have strived to do for you since the minute you were born. It is time for them to pass the torch and they you really hope they will consider passing it on to your partner. The key is to be mature and firm in your approach, but emotional at the same time.

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Q25. When is the right time to get cozy / comfortable in a relationship?

A. This is a very subjective question because it really depends on your individual level / definition of comfort. In my opinion, there is a certain beauty in discomfort. It keeps us on our toes. It makes us try harder. It makes us strive to know the answers to our questions. But sadly, it is so short-lived. Try and milk the honeymoon phase of your relationship for as long as you possibly can. 6-8 months would be great. After that, you get bitten by the comfort bug and it’s all about movie nights in your pajamas instead of a dinner date in a sexy dress and heels. No makeup and no gym become acceptable because you know he loves you anyway. Comfort is great, as long as it doesn’t equate to laziness and not making an effort.

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 { ACCESSORY DETAILS }

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Shoes: Bought in Dubai a year ago (similar here, here and here)| Bag: Esbeda (similar here, here and here) | Necklace: London Road (similar here, here and here) | Ring: Engagement present from James (similar here)

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Thanks so much for sending in your questions and sharing your stories with me! You can continue to do so via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or by shooting me an email at bombaybubble@hotmail.com.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Mimosa
    February 9, 2015 / 7:04 pm

    Super post and you’ve covered so many vital q’s too! Dying to see your gown soon!

  2. Shatakshi
    March 4, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    hi.. just came across your blog.. lovely post.. kind of makes me want to join tinder again..deleted it within a day with all goofy stories around.. 🙂
    http://www.akioneam.wordpress.com

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ABOUT

Anushka Moore is an almost-thirty-something blogger who moved across the world when the love she met on Tinder put a ring on it. She now lives in Manchester with her husband and her two little Poodle-cross fur children.

Her day job includes running her own social media content company and is the founder of popular Instagram account, Midsize Collective.

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