Tuesday, 17 May 2011

How to be a happy wife

With the wedding only two and a half months away, me and my dedicated team of wedding planners (i.e. my mum and my aunty) are in overdrive. With colour schemes and themes to fix on the one hand, and guest lists and table plans to finalise on the other, there is little time to do much else. Time is flying, and I am only just beginning to feel the magnitude of what is soon to happen. In only two and a half months, I will be walking down the aisle and making the biggest commitment of my life.

Am I ready? Is my Groom-to-be ready? What will life as a ‘wife’ really be like?

And, more importantly, will marriage bring with it a multitude of delights? (i.e. Breakfast in bed, romantic getaways, general daily worship). Or will it be more of a slow and steady decline into middle-aged marital boredom? (i.e. Snoring, smelly socks all over the place, general daily annoyances).

I wonder if I can find any wisdom hidden in the world of stardom... Following the day-to-day antics of the fast and famous, here are a few mantras I believe I should be following:

1. Do get your sass on. Being a wife does not – and must not – equal becoming frumpy. I intend to retain my youthful style for as long as I can, and aim to be as glamorous as my shopping sprees in H&M will allow me.

Looking her best: Angelina wore a show stopping floor-length gown

Here is one sassy lady who seems to have no trouble maintaining herself and her wifely duties (even though she isn’t, technically, a wife).

2. Do follow Beyonce and Jay-Z’s excellent example of keeping private matters... well... private. There is simply no class in discussing personal details – good or bad – with the rest of the world!

Beyonce and Jay-Z, loved up, and classily dignified.

3. Do believe in fairy-tales. Forget Will and Kate, I’m talking about the real fairy-tales... Cinderella and Prince Charming (although there’s no way that I can relate to dusty ol’ Cinderella), Princess Jasmine and Aladdin (much better – although I’m sure my darling Groom-to-be will not appreciate being compared to a ‘street rat’)... oh well, regardless of which faily-tale couple I hope to emulate, it is indeed the fairy-tale life of romantic bliss that I intend to live.

And they lived happily ever after.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Sealed with a kiss

I have spent all morning waiting to see Wills and Kate kiss. What happened to, “you may now kiss the bride”? Something about decorum, I guess. Oh well. At least there were two quick snogs dignified kisses on the balcony after the ceremony. It was a great moment, watching the future King and Queen in a lip-lock, for the entire world to bask in their Royal glory. Just lovely.

It’s not just the Royal family that are keen on some kissing decorum at weddings. Indian weddings are much the same. Lip-on-lip-action is definitely a no-go. When me and my Prince get married in August – and the registrar, I’m sure, will say “you may now kiss the bride” – there will inevitably be an awkward brush of the lips, as an acknowledgement of our new marital status. Not so much sealed with a kiss – more like sealed with an embarrassing peck on the cheek, with an “accidental” touch of the lips. Wills and Kate may have sealed their Royal Wedding with a Royal Kiss, but we will be sealing our Indian Wedding with some good old-fashioned Indian Kissing (i.e. no kissing at all/kissing behind an umbrella – honestly, that’s what they do in Bollywood movies, the true guides to Indian daily life).

I don’t feel hard done by, though, so don’t worry. I have been saying since I was a child that kissing on the lips is beyond gross. Thank god I won’t be doing any of that. 

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Royal Wedding

Don’t worry; I am not referring to my own wedding. I don’t actually think I am a princess, no matter how much I might behave like one at times. No, I am talking about The Royal Wedding. I am, unashamedly, quite excited about the whole affair. Perhaps it’s because I am in the ‘wedding mood’, given that this Bride-to-be’s big day is just around the corner. Or maybe it’s because I – unlike most people in the country – will actually be working tomorrow, albeit from home, and need something to get me through the day. Either way, I am excited.

Did you know that 1,900 people have been invited to attend their wedding? And here I was complaining about my ever-increasing guest list. I have to say, Wills and Kate will be putting my not-so-big-fat-Indian-German-wedding to shame. And did you know that it has been predicted that there will be an extra 600,000 people in London tomorrow? Wow. And I was chuffed about a handful of people coming from abroad for my big day.

On the other hand, there have definitely been some Royal Wedding blunders that I will do my best to avoid come August. For example, unlike the Royal family, I will not be inviting the Syrian ambassador, or any other such person representative of violence/anti-democracy/general evil – unless you count that Aunty that I must invite, she can be a right cow sometimes. And I certainly won’t be inviting the Beckham family, given that I’d much rather have Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell as guests. Having said that, I am sure that they would reject my invitation anyway.

Whatever the differences, the blunders, the general mayhem, Kate is occupying most of my thoughts today. I am wondering if she is feeling scared? Excited? Sick with nervousness? Whatever it may be, I am sure that I will be feeling much the same in August, as I, too, will be getting ready to marry my Prince.

PS. I might not be living in a palace, but I get to have FOUR wedding outfits (yep, three more than Kate). I think that definitely makes me more of a princess than her.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A very busy Bride-to-be

Dear Diary, 

It's me, the Bride-to-be. Do you remember me? I told you about my big Indian wedding, my beautiful dress, my fear of henna... and so many more things. Surely you remember me? I know it has been a long time, and I know it is my fault, but wait, I can explain. Give me a chance. I haven't kept you up-to-date with my wedding plans because I am now... employed.

That's right. Instead of writing updates on here, I have been writing reports, there. And instead of spending hours planning the wedding itinerary, I have been spending my time in a repetitive work-eat-sleep routine. And instead of indulging in wedding-cake tasting sessions, I have been buying cupcakes for my colleagues to buy their affection with delicious baked goods extend the hand of friendship (come on now, I know a cupcake is definitely the way to win me over). 

On the plus side, I am no longer an unemployed Bride-to-be. Now, when I get married, I will not be relying on the Groom-to-be to fend for us both. No, I will definitely be bringing home my share of the bacon. And - even more exciting - I will be able to buy my lucky man a wedding ring! (Yep, before I got this job, my parents were going to do the honours... lucky guy huh?). And, I now have something more than just my blog to talk about. Please don't be offended, diary, I don't mean it like that, I am just happy that my encounters with people no longer go like this: 

Person: so, what do you do?
Me: nothing. Well, actually, I write a blog. About my wedding. 
Person: (thinking to themself, wow, that is lame). Good for you! 

Okay, so maybe that isn't what happened. I do tend to get a little paranoid. Either way, it is certainly a wonderful thing to have a more enriching and fulfilling day-to-day life. However, having spent so much time away, it does feel good to be back. 

And just like I vow to love and cherish my Groom-to-be until the end of time (or, at least, the end of our seven lifetimes together - more on that later), I vow to you - diary - that I will be devoted to you until the end... of July. Come on, some sort of commitment is better than no commitment at all, right? 

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Fickle little me

Over the last few months, I have had so many people tell me that they cannot believe I am getting married. I am sure many of them are saying this because I am still quite young; there are a few, however - those that know me very well - that are saying this based on a deeper understanding of who I am. 

As a passionate and slightly-OCD kind of person, I do tend to be quite fickle. I spend most of my life obsessing over all kinds of things - songs, colours, types of food, films, and even people - only to wake up one morning with the very real realisation that their novelty has suddenly worn off (people included - terrible, I know). I spent my childhood being fickle about friendships, and my adolescence being fickle about boys - not that you can blame me; spotty teenage boys aren't exactly worth a lifetime-commitment. 

According to my mother, then, "fickle" is my middle name. And she should know - she named me. So how can somebody so easily-excitable and, at the same time, so easily-bored settle down and get married? Good question. 

I think it boils down to the difference between being in love and love itself. The character Dr. Iannis (played by John Hurt) in the movie "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" summed it up perfectly:
When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No... don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!

The madness of the earthquake has not yet subsided. The thrill of being in love is stronger than ever. But I know - in my heart - that as we get old and the sparks start to diminish, our love will not falter. I will love my Groom-to-be until the very end... when we get old, and being middle-aged starts to steal the hair from his head - I will still love him. When conversation runs dry and the television becomes our number one companion - I will still love him. And when we are wrinkled, toothless and senile - I will still love him

Unless by then I have alzheimer's. In which case, being fickle will be the least of our problems.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentines Day

Having spent the past week in Tenerife - soaking up the sun, sea and sand - I feel very far removed from the domestic world. However, given that it is Valentines Day (and that too, my last unmarried Valentines Day), I feel that as a Bride-to-be I should be making some effort to celebrate our love (as if saying "I do" isn't enough). Despite being seriously tired - and my head is still spinning from last night's turbulence (you dirty bugger, I was talking about the flight back to England) - I am going to spend the day cooking what I hope will be a delicious feast (I use the word "feast" loosely; I pretty much mean a big pile of whatever-I-manage-to-throw-together) for the Groom-to-be.

Despite this loving effort that I will be making for my lucky man, I refuse to fall in to the consumer-trap of Valentines Day... For example, I don't intend to buy a £3 card for him, expressing my love in Hallmark's words. I have my own words, thank you very much, and as Jennifer Lopez (sorry, I mean J-Lo) once said, "my love don't cost a thing". I love the way you can always count on a big-bottomed Latino pop-star to share some profound words of wisdom. 

I also have no wish to splash out on indulgent chocolates. Encouraging over-eating of fatty foods less than six months before the big day is a serious no go. (Plus, we just spent the last eight days eating like absolute beasts on holiday). No fatties in the photos, that's my motto. Anyway, Sainsbury's have released heart-shaped cucumbers, which I'm hoping to get my hands on later today. Surely nothing says "I love you" like romantic veggies? 

As a Bride-to-be, I am clearly not an angry, cynical, anti-Valentines, evil hater-of-the-world. According to American writer Nicholas Sparks, "Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day" - I couldn't agree more. Today is like any other day: it is another 24-hours in which I have the extraordinary opportunity to tell those important people in my life - not just my Groom-to-be, but family and friends alike - how much I love them. 

Eugh. Okay. Enough. There's only so much sugar I can take in my daily cup of love. 

Friday, 4 February 2011

A not-so-fussy bride-to-be

Despite what I said in one of my previous posts on the danger of becoming a Bridezilla, I have to admit, I am actually quite a relaxed bride. The (first) wedding is in exactly six months, and yet, I don't feel particularly pressured or in a constant state of panic, nor am I too uptight to relinquish control to my parents (official wedding planners). Here are some of the un-fussy things that I am - if I do say so myself - quite proud of...

  • Wedding invitations - why should I care what they look like? I'm not going to be getting one. In fact, if it was up to me, I would email everyone the details (saves money and time); for those who are technologically retarded not so comfortable with computers and can't cope with e-invites, well, you can imagine how I feel about them. 
  • Beauty stuff - facials, face masks, manicures/pedicures, fake nails/eyelashes/etc... and anything else that brides like to do in the lead-up to the big day. No thank you. I cannot think of anything worse. My hands might not be super steady when I paint my nails - in fact, sometimes I shake like an electrocuted animal - but still, I think I'll manage. 
  • Guests - despite what I said in a previous post about struggling to agree on numbers, I have given in. So long as my nearest and dearest (you know who you are) are with me to celebrate, it's okay if my mum and dad are just dying to invite some randoms. And - silver lining and all - it does mean more presents (unless I get a toaster - what a rubbish present).

There are, however, a couple of things that I am still slightly less relaxed about... 

  • Cake - no, not the kind you eat. I mean the cake that is your face once a "professional make-up artist" has finished with you. I do not want my face to look a different colour to the rest of my body, nor do I want a whole load of junk on my face claiming to make me look "natural" (surely that comes naturally?)
  • Cake - yes, this time, I mean the kind that you eat. In particular, I want the little couple on top of the cake to be a true reflection of me and the Groom-to-be. That's right: I want a little brown lady and a little white man. They must make mixed-race wedding-cake-couples, right?!

Perhaps it's because I will very soon be lying on a beach, in the sun, sipping on a cocktail (virgin, of course) that I am so relaxed. 

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but let's see what complacency can do to a bride-to-be. 

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Henna horror

I remember my first experience of henna as a child. I remember looking down at my hands and feeling pretty damn special with my strange patterned hands. That is, however, until I tried to eat some biscuits the next morning (chocolate Bourbons, no less) and discovered that they (my hands, not the Bourbons) absolutely stank. It was a slightly disturbing realisation, since I couldn't get away from my hands - and, as an Indian, I eat everything with my hands (even, from time-to-time, things that really do require cutlery - I know, shame on me). 

Anyway, despite the distinct smell of henna, my appreciation of it continued to grow, and up until recently I was a pretty big fan of the stuff. Henna is a really important part of Indian weddings, and the bride is usually covered in the stuff (her hands and feet are anyway). It was always my favourite part of weddings, and at my sister's wedding I think I actually had more on than she did!

Last year, my henna-appreciation took a turn for the worse. I went to Morocco for a week and was enticed by the henna ladies in the big touristy square in Marrakech. Without realising what I was getting myself in to, I got my right hand and arm (almost all the way up until my elbow) covered in black henna. At the time, I didn't realise that there is no such thing as black henna (normal brown-red henna is natural, and black henna is just a harsh mix of toxins and poison). I was chuffed with my unusual body-art and couldn't wait to come back to England and show it off. On my return, however, I was met with nothing but terrified looks and words of concern from those who weren't as naive as me and knew what the coming days would bring. 

12 days later my arm erupted in to an angry red reaction. I felt like a mutant (and seriously, my arm did look totally disgusting and scary). It turns out that the key ingredient of black henna is a chemical called PPD, and this is what is used to dye hair, leather, etc. Under no circumstances should it be applied directly to the skin and left there for a few hours. It took a series of scary steroid creams and even scarier steroid tablets to calm the reaction down, and - a year on - I am left with a pretty permanent scar. I was, in some ways, quite lucky, as it can lead to liver failure. But I didn't feel it at the time. 

In addition to the physical scars, I also have some psychological ones. I am now a complete henna-phobe, and am dreading the day before the wedding when I have to let someone cover me in the stuff. Of course, I know that it will be natural henna and so, of course, there is no reason why I will react to it. But that's the point about phobias, right? They're irrational. 

In six months time, I will be sitting with my henna lady letting her paint those pretty patterns on my hands and feet. I truly hope that I don't lash out at her in fear (because then we'll probably have to pay her double). 

PS. If you were wondering about those Bourbons, worry not, I still managed to eat them. With a spoon. I know, this whole cutlery business is confusing. What can I say? I'm Indian. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Who said romance is dead?

DISCLAIMER: if you are romantically challenged/emotionally diabetic and unable to handle sweeter-than-sugar romance, beware...

I realise that in all this self-obsessed wedding talk, there is one crucial topic that I haven’t discussed: the proposal. Imagine being in Brittany, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, clear green-blue water and illuminating sunsets. Then imagine being guided through all of this natural beauty, to a small hill overlooking the sea, separated only by a cluster of rocks. Can you imagine this? Okay, good. Now imagine two hundred and fifty candles carefully placed on these rocks, arranged in the shape of a heart and forming the words “Meera will you marry me?”

Best. Proposal. Ever. (Not that I have any others to compare it to – this was, of course, my first). But seriously, this was like something out of the movies.

Unlike a movie, however, I was not following a script; so I didn’t know when I was being forced out of the house “to go for a walk” that I would be getting engaged within the next hour. I didn’t know, when I was walking up the hill, that it was completely inappropriate to continuously complain about the increasing accumulation of mud on my shiny white trainers – after all, I didn’t know what was there, waiting for me, at the bottom of the hill. I also didn’t know that when I woke up that morning I should have washed my hair and worn something at least vaguely attractive (we were on a surfing holiday; we were damp, sandy and smelly pretty much the whole time); how was I to know this would be the day that would change my life forever?

Nevertheless, it was perfect. The Groom-to-be successfully rendered me speechless (for those of you who know me, you will know that this isn’t easily done) by giving me the most beautiful diamond engagement ring and the promise of a lifetime of love, adventure and happiness.

And there we sat, on the hill, watching the waves crash against the shore.

(Until my mum called five minutes later to discuss the details of a family trip to Blackpool. Talk about killing the moment.)

Friday, 28 January 2011

The "crying bit"

Despite all the vibrant colours, glamorous clothes and stacks of presents involved in Indian weddings, I have to admit that there is one part that I am really dreading. While the official name of this dreaded aspect is "vidaai", I often refer to it as the "crying bit". 

Have you ever had to cry on demand? Because this is basically what it entails. While this post-wedding ritual/extremely odd tradition allows the bride's family to openly express their sadness at "losing" a daughter, it also gives the bride a chance to smudge her make-up and snot all over her expensive clothes. 

At my sister's wedding (four years ago), when the "crying bit" came, I was worried that if I didn't cry, I would look like the evil sister who couldn't wait to see her go. 


However, when the moment came, I was a big ball of snot and tears. I, too, shamelessly jumped on the crying bandwagon, and - in a frighteningly honest public display of affection - cried hysterically at the thought of "losing" my sister. 

Of course, I didn't really lose her. And of course, my parents won't really lose me. This is all very dramatic and belongs - ultimately - to the realms of overly-emotional Bollywood movies. (The kind your parents watch on a Sunday afternoon, while sipping tea and tearfully reminiscing about days gone by). 

But do you know what the worst part is? Not the melodrama, not the scary make-up effects, and not even the uncontrollable snot (because, let's face it, the Groom-to-be has already married you - be as snotty as you like, it's simply too late). The worst part is (for me anyway) the "stress rash" I get when I cry too much. That's right: big, angry, red blotches that cover my entire body like a patchwork (or cruel joke) of nature. 

In Juliet's words (well, Shakespeare's), "parting is such sweet sorrow". She obviously didn't need an antihistamine. 

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

How to avoid becoming Bridezilla

Having spent the past week indulging myself with this blog - writing about myself, my wedding, my dress, etc etc - I am very aware that (as scary as it is) every bride has the potential to become a complete and utter Bridezilla. For this reason, here are a few things I have to keep reminding myself of...


  • listen to your mother when she tells you that 2-hours is more than enough time for your hairdresser to get you ready. It's okay to share him. 
  • remember that the wedding budget is not an unlimited pot of gold. (NB. If you don't take this one seriously, then be prepared for a Butlin's honeymoon in Skegness). 
  • make sure to ask the Groom-to-be what he thinks. Your wedding is not a one-woman show.
  • have a sense of humour. Weddings can be crazy, families can be crazier, and the bride tends to be the craziest of all. 


  • expect everyone to talk/think about your wedding all the time. They are not unemployed and obsessive like you lucky enough to have lots of free time. 
  • spend all day sitting on your arse watching "Three Fat Brides, One Thin Dress". You might find it funny now, but if you don't get up and do some exercise, you might not be laughing in 6 months time when your perfect dress doesn't fit. 
  • fuss over every tiny little bit of dust on your wedding dress. It's the trail. It trails along the floor. What do you expect?  
  • spend more time blogging about planning the wedding than actually planning the wedding. (This one might be quite difficult). Having ten more followers won't be much compensation when you realise you've forgotten to order the wedding cake. 

Is there anything you can add to this list? I would love to hear your thoughts/advice on how to avoid becoming Bridezilla... 

Monday, 24 January 2011

The One

The "bride gene": does every girl have it? Does every girl want it? I'm not so sure.  Or at least, I wasn't sure until... until I met The One. The perfect One. The One that completed me. The One that made everything worthwhile. The One that instantly filled me with an overwhelming sense of excitement and joy.

Wait. Before you write me off as a soppy cow, give me a chance to explain. The One that I am referring to is ivory and satin (and no, that isn't a euphemism for caucasian and soft-skinned). That's right guys, I'm talking about The DressI won't go in to too much detail - for fear of the Groom-to-be discovering the other love in my life (though I will post pictures of it after the wedding) - but I can tell you that it is beyond perfection. 

Check out the fabulous range at Dona Nicole to see where I found The One. From what I am told, this is the largest bridal wear shop in the midlands; and from my own experience, I can tell you that it is wedding dress heaven. I tried on eight beautiful dresses - though it was the sixth that changed my life - and was able to pick up a designer wedding dress at an excellent price. 

The experience of standing on a platform in a big white wedding dress and looking in three mirrors (one in front, one behind and one at the side) made me feel like a real princess. Or a child playing dress-up. 

Friday, 21 January 2011

The Numbers Game

What often surprises people most about Indian weddings is the (insanely large) amount of people that get invited. My sister got married a few years ago, and there were eight hundred people at her wedding reception (honestly, I'm not joking). 

"The Numbers Game", then, is the battle between the bride - who only wants to invite close family and friends - and her parents, who want to invite everybody they know. And their neighbours. And the uncle of the guy who invited them to his daughter's wedding back in 1980 (you get the picture).

Our wedding will, by Indian standards anyway, be notably smaller. If you are wondering why, I must be honest and tell you that I did not win The Numbers Game - not at all. However, the Groom-to-be has a rather small family. His guests (including friends, family - close and distant - and friends of family) total 50 people; my immediate family and closest friends total way more than 50 people. 

It seems that the best way to avoid The Numbers Game altogether is to:

  1. Give in
  2. Elope
  3. Marry a non-Indian (my personal favourite)

Oh well, at least that's one less game to play.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

And so the journey begins...

Well, actually, it began back in October when the Groom-to-be popped the question (in the most romantic way ever, might I add). When is the big day, I hear you ask? This coming August. That's right: less than a year between saying "I will" and "I do". Good job I have enthusiastic parents who were already well in to the wedding planning process. No, that's not weird. That's Indian. 

Anyway, given that this is an introductory post, I might as well stop rambling and set the scene. Me and my other half met in Paris (cliche? no... massively romantic? perhaps) more than three years ago. Since then, we have been on a roller-coaster journey - you know, the ups, the downs, the oh-my-god-this-is-so-scary-yet-exciting-all-at-the-same-time - and made our way back to London. (Isn't it ironic that I went to Paris for an ERASMUS exchange and came back with a German man?) 

Since last October, we have been thrown in to the deep end of wedding planning, but - thanks to my parents - we did have a great deal of help getting it off the ground. Given that it is going to be an Indian wedding, there is literally twice as much work to do (and about four times as much fun to be had). We will, in effect, be having two weddings and two parties. Does this mean more presents than usual? I certainly hope so. And does this mean more clothes than usual? Absolutely. 

Over the next few months, I will be sharing what I hope will be a series of fun/dramatic/heart-felt/comedy pre-wedding stories...