The South-Asian Bridal 101 Edit.

Getting married is one of the biggest milestones in everyone's life. You reach a certain age and from there on everyone expects you to get married and create a happy family (as cheesy as that sounds). The main focus, accept it or not, is usually the bride. I mean sure, the groom can show up, all cleaned up, wearing his best suit but all eyes and all talk will be about the bride. Take the recent royal wedding for example. Does anyone know where Prince Harry's suit is from? Hardly any. But EVERYONE knows that Megan's dress was designed by Givenchy. My wedding although not stressful but something that I don't regret paying a lot of attention to has always stuck at the back of my mind. No matter what, anniversaries are something that you celebrate every year. You celebrate wedding milestones every 5/10 years.

1. Make a check-list of everything that needs to be done and things that you need to buy. Jot down everything from the bridal dress to something as small as your own hairbrush. This way you will have an estimate of the amount of money that you need to spend and how you can save on certain items. You won't be running around a day before your wedding screaming like a headless chicken because you forgot something to put in your bag. Sit down with your family and brainstorm all the things that are essential for the wedding and then create a budget for everything that you need. This way you will not spend excessively and will not get random items that probably won't be used later on. I got a bloody face towel holder that literally went all boxed up in the charity bag 5 years later. Don't get things that you know will be useless for you.

2. Score the markets. One of the biggest mistakes that I did was, not looking at the markets. I had three major events. Nikkah, wedding and reception. I looked around the markets for my nikkah dress and because it turned out absolutely stunning, I gave my wedding dress to the same designer. Huge blunder. Because they got so comfortable with me, it kind of got ruined. Because it seemed that my ideas weren't really working with them.  Score the market for your dress designers, jewellers, the makeup artist and the photographers. If trial runs for your makeup artists are possible, make sure that you pay them a visit so that you are stress-free and know what will happen on your wedding day. The makeup artist will also be able to help you with your minor skin concerns if any. I didn't do a trial run and my makeup ended with harsh contour lines, super dark brows and foundation a little lighter than my own skin tone. So always make sure that you and the makeup-artist know what kind of makeup you would like, what would look good on you and what products will work best for your skin type.

Talk to the photographers about what exactly you want and how you want it. For me, I couldn't find a good photographer 5 years back in my range and I settled for my old family photographer and I still cry about my wedding photos. The editing was ridiculously funny. While on the other hand, my sister who recently got married, took that as a lesson and talked to the photographer and his team on a one to one level and told them what exactly she wanted and they delivered the perfect shots for her wedding. Make sure that you do trial runs for your wedding dress as many times as you want because you want to be extremely comfortable with what you are wearing. No ill-fitting dresses and no mismatched colour coordination. I did only two trial runs with my designer and I wish I had taken my time to decide if I liked the colours because not only are you wearing it on your big day but because you are also paying such a hefty amount of money for a bridal dress.

Talk to the event managers and go visit the venue personally. Talk to friends and family for ideas and decide on what would work best. I personally prefer a more romantic and intimate setting rather than having hundreds of people that you hardly know or haven't ever met. Downsize the guest list and invite very few people. I know it is completely difficult doing that on your wedding day and people will be offended but a simple statement saying 'it was a private event with family and friends' will tell them not to probe further. You or your parents will definitely be off THEIR wedding guest list in the future, but does it really matter? Click here to get a rough idea of how simple yet elegant your wedding venue can look with just the right settings.

3. Find an exercise routine that works for you. It's usually a given that brides tend to work out nearer to their wedding day because obviously you want the collar bones to be popping and you want the dress to settle nicely on your body. It is not necessary to lose weight before your wedding but exercise has proven to reduce stress levels and nothing better than a sweaty workout at the end of the day, isn't it? You can choose whatever workout works for your body. Try Zumba, yoga, Ariel yoga, strength training or just cardio to get your heartbeat up and pumping. Join a boot camp if you have a weight goal to achieve. If you are looking to gain weight for your wedding, make sure that you are doing the required workout for that and getting the right meal training for it. Make sure that you are also detoxing your body as well. Having lots of greens and fruits a few months prior to your wedding will not only help you maintain the weight but will also bring the glow out on your face. Also, a huge mistake that many commit is that up until the wedding, they work out and do everything to look good on that one day and completely skip everything right after the wedding. It shouldn't be that way. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be your actual lifestyle and not something that you do only for one event.

4. Take care of your skin and your hygiene. I think this is the most important one. We often forget taking care of our hygiene in the midst of taking care of our skin. Small things like always smelling nice, having your splitends done ever so often, taking care of your nails, and just general body hygiene. Make sure that you visit your dentist regularly so that your oral hygiene is also maintained. In our South-Asian culture we very very rarely make trips to the dentist for a regular checkup and when we reach a certain age, complains about toothaches and other problems get very very common. Another thing to keep in check is your body. PLEASE PLEASE make sure that you get regular blood tests done to have a run-down with your doctor about what your body needs if there is any kind of deficiency. Not just you, make sure that your partner also visits the doctor for regular checkups. Males usually end up having a lot of vitamin D deficiency in their body and high level of cholesterol. So it is always best to keep everything in check.

For your skin. always make sure it is hydrated and clean. Not just you but also your partner. My husband loves getting facials done so much that at times I am jealous that I don't get to take the time out for a facial for myself. Again, have lots of green juices to bring out that natural glow. Don't try out new products a month before your wedding because you never know how it will react. Also, if you have any skin or hair concerns, make sure that you visit a dermatologist two months prior to the events so that any medication or treatments have taken their full effect on your skin and worked a charm or if any treatment doesn't work well, you will have enough time to try out a new one.

5. CUT OUT TOXIC PEOPLE. GET RID OF NEGATIVITY. I think this should be like the first point in this post. But seriously guys, you don't need the stress. I have known toxic people throughout my life and I am currently at a point where I can just steer the toxic person away from me. Nobody needs that kind of negativity in their life. Have people in your life who support you, uplift you and tell you that you do you boo. Nothing is better than having people in your life who rep hard for you. People who bring you down, will always have a negative energy around you and it just isn't good for such a short life, innit?

At the end of the day, make sure that you are smiling from within 100%. Be happy and work towards a healthier marriage instead of focusing all your energy on one event. Build a healthy relationship with your partner and always know that communication is the key. If you are not communicating with your partner, you will always have a hindrance in your way of living. Many South-Asian women are kind of scared of their partners. Like there's a fear of them in their hearts. Always leave that fear behind. It is not good for a healthy relationship. Respect each other and make sure that you are repping hard for each other because, at the end of the day, you two have got each other and no one else.

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