Confessions of an Expat Bride-To-Be…

So I’m starting the week off with a very personal blog from my lovely friend Amy. She got engaged last year, had a legal wedding in December and somewhere along the road, lost her  ‘bridal buzz’. She explains why she’s lost her buzz and offers some very useful tips for anyone getting married with more than one ceremony.
Amy & JoJo - Dubai expat bride
So I have a confession. I haven’t been excited about my wedding. I know how weird is that?! Isn’t this what every little girl dreams of?
So before your jaw drops to the floor let me explain. My husband and I got legally married in Dubai in December 2014. To call it a legal wedding makes it sound a bit clinical which is unfair as it was a magical day with an intimate celebration surrounded by friends and family. I felt beautiful and I got all the “I can’t breathe” butterflies that came with walking down the aisle towards your intended. Like a lot of expats, we got married in Dubai with the plan for a big white wedding with all of our loved ones in one of our home countries. The only issue being that after our ceremony in Dubai we lost our wedding mojo and here’s why…
Firstly our ceremony in Dubai was actually a lot of work. As my sister says you are still arranging everything you would for a big wedding but just on a smaller scale – the flowers, the bridesmaids dresses, THE DRESS, the dinner, the hotel for our mini-moon not to mention the paperwork which was the most stressful part but that’s a story for another day. Not only did this take me three months to organize but as you can imagine it significantly ate into our bank account. If I’m honest with myself I think I let myself get carried away and probably gave myself more stress than I needed to. I still absolutely loved my wedding day but all I’m saying is its worth taking some time to consider the time and cost before jumping in. Remember that your first ceremony can just be a low key day for the two of you if that’s what you want.
Secondly, again like a lot of couples who live abroad and move around the world, our situation has been a little uncertain in terms of when and where we are going to be living in the next couple of years. Moving country and planning a wedding is rather ambitious both financially and logistically so this has certainly been a major consideration.
Lastly not living in the country where we planned to get married has made the whole thing seem very far away, for me anyway. We have talked about getting married in the US since the beginning but as time has gone on this has posed a problem for me for 3 reasons

  1. I have never lived in the USA so I have no idea how things work which makes me anxious
  2. I have only been to one or two weddings in the States so it’s difficult for me to picture how it would look and without being able to visualize it I have found it difficult to get excited
  3. It would take me at least 24 hours for me to travel to the US from India so going over to see wedding venues or to plan anything where I physically need to be there becomes that much more challenging

Now this might all seem like I’m being a bit of a Debbie downer so I apologize in part for the brain dump however I do believe that these are concerns that a lot of expat couples have when trying to plan their perfect day and I think it’s important to voice these. So with this in mind I wanted to share my top tips for how to keep up the planning momentum when you’re in a situation not unlike my own:

  • Set a realistic timeline and budget for both your first ceremony and your big wedding before you begin, even if they have to be a couple of years apart. From my experience, if you do the “let’s do the first one and then we’ll look at the big one” approach you will be much more likely to take a break and lose the excitement because technically you’re already married so there’s no urgency.
  • Part of the reason we have had to have such a long gap is to do with the budget – we would rather hold off and have our dream wedding when are in a better position financially – so if it’s a question of money then pick the day you want to be your big day and focus on that. In saying this, I would also keep in mind that there’s probably never going to be an absolutely perfect time to have a wedding so don’t put it off for too long just because of this – and we’re lucky we have clever people like Joelle to find creative ways to make our weddings beautiful on a budget!
  • Stay inspired – talk to friends and family (I’m lucky I have Joelle as my bestie!), browse Pintrest, treat yourself to a few wedding magazines. Start a running moodboard or scrapbook that will allow you to imagine your dream wedding and bring that vision into reality.
  • Go to weddings! Okay so this is dependent on getting invited obviously haha but I only started to get excited again after we went to our friends white wedding in the US in May – it reminded me of how much I really wanted that day for both of us and everything that comes along with that.

I hope that is helpful for my beautiful expat brides out there. Remember this is your day and you deserve for it to be everything you dream of and more J
With lots of bridey love from me to you,
For more blogs by Amy please click here.

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