Hello hello!

I would like to start this post by saying that I SURVIVED! 🥳 I’m definitely a warrior and couldn’t be prouder of myself for… getting married! Hahahaa

I know it might sound very dramatic to you, but let’s be honest here: there are only a few things more terrifying than getting married in a country and culture that is not your own.

Yep, I made it.

Now, let me share with you how the best day of my life was and how I ended up there.

I met Sam in July 2023. It was the most perfect date you can imagine: rock ‘n’ roll and beers. I don’t need to say that less than 30 minutes later, we were already making out, right?

Anyway, everything was smooth in our relationship. Sam is kind, beautiful and a rock star. I was in love with him from the first week we talked.

It didn’t take long for Sam to invite me to live with him – and I know the only reason for that is because I’m an amazing cook! – By the end of October, I was ending my contract and moving in with him.

Just after my first Christmas with a British family and their traditions, I had a breakdown at work. I went home feeling awful and decided to leave the UK. I didn’t have another choice. I was under a Skilled Worker visa, working in a company that threatened us all the time, and after a 12-hour shift, I had enough. I started searching for flights from London to São Paulo during my lunchtime and when I got home, I took a long shower, had dinner and told Sam we needed to talk. I told him, with all my heart, that I was leaving. In the middle of tears, I told him how painful it was for me and how much I love him.

Of course, Sam didn’t expect that. Our relationship and our life together were amazing.

After I finished talking, Sam was shaking. Tears started to fall down his face, and he said, “If you leave, I’ll leave with you.” At that moment, I knew I had found the love of my life.

Nothing could mean more to me than a person who had never been to my country, who doesn’t speak my language, and who is as white as a wall and would turn completely red in the Brazilian heat, deciding to leave his country, family, work and everything else behind just to stay with me.

I worked the rest of that week, thinking about that.

That weekend, I was off and we decided to go for a walk as we normally do when the weather is good – read here: fucking cold, but at least not raining – and on that day, on the top of a hill, Sam got down on one knee and proposed.

I knew that the only thing I wanted was to have him by my side and see his smile every day for the rest of my life. I didn’t have a single doubt when I said yes.

At that moment, I thought the best days were coming and it was the beginning of a great new experience: being a wife. I just completely forgot that to be a wife, I needed to get married and that’s when everything started to go crazy.

I don’t know if you, dear reader, are a foreigner who got married in another country, but if you’re not, let me tell you a dreadful thing: the paperwork is massive and it never ends.

On Sunday of that weekend, we went for coffee with his parents, who already knew he would propose, and then the questions started: How is the process? What documentation do you need to have? Are we going to have a meal to tell the family? How is the ceremony going to be? And what about the reception?

That’s when I realized the deep hole I was about to jump into – a meal just to tell the family we are getting married? Jesus Christ! – and I had no idea how to even start.

We contacted a lawyer and started the paperwork.

The first thing we had to do was give notice. In the UK, you need to give notice of marriage (foreign or not) to the council where you live, who will check your documents and, if you are foreign, have an interview with you to check if it is a legitimate marriage.

We booked the notice and went to the interview. They took us separately and asked us a few questions: Where do you live? How long have you known each other? When is their birthday? Where do you/they work?

We were worried about the interview, but to be honest, if it’s a legitimate relationship, everything they asked you will already know.

Interview done, after two weeks we received approval from the Home Office to book the ceremony.

What I thought: Perfect! It will be Sam, his parents, and me. Four people, after which we go for a meal, and that’s it! We’re married.

What Sam thought: Perfect! Now we’re rich, and we can have a party with 400 people, a jet-ski, and go on our honeymoon in a helicopter!

…Wait, WHAT?

It was only when we were ready to book the ceremony that we realized how different our thoughts about getting married were.

While I wanted something small and private, Sam wanted the party of the year.

And, of course, we were both shocked by this difference.

It took ages for us to reach a consensus (leaning more to his side than mine), but in the end, we decided to have something small (not as small as I wanted) with 40 guests – spoiler: there were 50 people in the end.

Okay, perfect, 40 people for the ceremony, and then we go for a meal in a nice restaurant… right? Nope, that’s not Sam’s dream.

We spent weeks searching for a place and a dynamic that we both agreed on and could afford, because after you say something is for a wedding, the price increases fivefold.

We ended up having the ceremony in a nice council venue and heading to a pub we found nearby. We had the whole floor to ourselves, using one space for a lunch meal, another space as a “disco room,” and the area outside for fresh air and smoking joints.

I was ready to hire just a photographer and a DJ when suddenly Sam says, “Have you thought about the cake?”… Mum, help!

I know my favourite hobby is judging Facebook, but Facebook Marketplace was my salvation! I found a photographer, hairdresser, DJ, and cake there! I still can’t believe how handy it was.

So, here are things I didn’t expect to do: the first dance, cutting the cake with everybody staring at me, and spending so much time thinking about the decoration.

To be honest, getting married in the UK (apart from the boring paperwork) is not that different from Brazil. I realized in the end I was more worried about what people would think of me than about the cultural differences.

I was afraid of people judging my dress, hair, or the place we chose because, well, I’m a foreigner. I was afraid of pronouncing something wrong during the ceremony and everybody laughing. I was afraid of people looking at me as if I shouldn’t be here and this is not my home, but it was the complete opposite.

Everybody was so lovely and supportive! Unfortunately, my family couldn’t come, but I had special friends there with me and Sam’s family and friends. Everybody seemed to be enjoying the moment, and the DJ was fantastic!

My dress was simple and beautiful, and we had a great time.

So, if you’re afraid of your big day, here’s my tip: Just do it! It will be a moment you’ll never forget. Nothing will be perfect and there will be things you wish you had done differently, but in the end, it’ll be as it should be – your and your partner’s special moment ❤.

That’s all folks 👰🏻‍♀️

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