Smart, sassy skills every Cosmo girl needs to know, from planning the vacay to voicing what she wants her man to do for her during this trip of a lifetime.
Wedding saga begins
"Let's try to avoid each other during the next week," I tell my fiance just before the wedding celebrations begin. He agrees - we want to be excited about being with each other after the wedding - but it's not easy when we're staying in the same house during the wedding and are involved in it's preparations.
Well, even though we see each other all the time, we hardly speak during this very eventful week. The wedding takes place and it's amazing, better than I could ever have dreamed of. As any other Indian bride and groom, we are beyond shattered, my body's aching from all the heavy outfits and dancing, my earlobes are bleeding, my face is drained from all the make-up and smiling and crying, and finally, having said our goodbyes to families and friends, we leave for the first part of our lengthy honeymoon.
These days, the initial dating episode and then the sheer length of an engagement before even thinking about marriage means that the falling in love and getting to know each other part all happens very early on, too early on a lot of Indian aunties would say. That's what happened with me and that's exactly the way I wanted it to be, especially since I met my guy at 22, what I thought was a pretty young age.
While I took my time even though I knew very early on that I'd get married to him, for others, it takes more time to decipher whether or not he is in fact the right man. Some might say this means losing valuable time, but it is extremely important knowing that he is your 'other half', the one and only love, the man meant for you. And beyond that, there is so much more to marriage than just love, that you need to be ready to enter this foreverness of growing responsibility, of increasing roles, of compromising and sacrificing. They don't kid when they call it a woman's second birth (the third being motherhood).
Whatever happened to the stereotype
There is, however, also a downside to a prolonged dating or engagement period. What happened to that old Indian movie bride, shy and timid as she sat on the flowerfilled bed in her wedding clothes and jewellery, looking down, nervously waiting for her husband to adorn her with kisses. She hasn't disappeared, but she seems to have progressed into an 'equality' woman who knows what she wants and has a 'been there done that' kinda attitude. And while this is just a process of change and of modernity, many say that the excitement, the buzz of it being all new, the girlish nervousness somewhat evaporates by the time marriage knocks on the door. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, it's what you make of it. It's up to you how you make your honeymoon magical and not just another romantic getaway. It's up to you to ensure you have a continued sense of excitement in your marriage, however long you've been together and it's up to you to ensure boredom or the getting used to each other part doesn't kick in too soon.
What about him?
It's not just about us women. Not only does the man have to organise a special proposal and endure all the bridal tantrums that shake the relationship between engagement and marriage, but he also has to plan the most amazing and special and unique and relaxing honeymoon. Well, in my case, I planned the honeymoon while he planned the rather last-minute wedding, but that's not the norm.
So the man not only has to spend money, but know all his girly's likes and dislikes, pre-empt the exhaustion after the wedding and therefore not plan a whole day of travelling the day after the wedding, understand the emotional pallava she might go through straight after the marriage and be prepared to give his shoulder, ensure there is spa and relaxation involved (unless wife is the adventurous type), and of course make sure he organises at least one surprise. It's hard to admit even for me, but guys don't have it totally easy. And if they mess anything up, it's all over!
Sun sand & sea- planning the big getaway
If you're a woman with definite ideas and are easily let down, I would definitely recommend getting involved in honeymoon planning. Destination, weather, what you do, resort and food have a huge role to play perfecting this one and only holiday. The options are plenty, but at the end of the day do your research and get what you want-exactly what you want - because this is the time you should and will get it.
We had decided we wanted a mixture of everything. So I planned a week of beach, a week of chilling in the wild in a luxurious lodge, a week of Disney parks and then a fun city shopping splash. Maldives, Bali, Thailand, Sri Lanka - they're the hottest honeymoon destinations, but don't rush into any decision - there are far too many choices. These days, a lot of couples are going for adventurous, travel-packed honeymoons. Well, as long as you're both happy and have agreed on something together, it will be absolutely fabulous!
On the honeymoon: Do's and dont's
There's a lot of hype about honeymoon and in our heads, we create it into something beyond dreamy, with exceeding expectations, wrapped in mushy love and romanticisms. The word itself conjures up exotic, lush waterfront images - 'just the two of us and no one else'. We build it up and expect it to be the most perfect time of our lives. Which it can be, but often, entering with those expectations, anything the man does or says that doesn't live up to what you want will disappoint.
In the first few days, apart from sleeping and eating, you might go over all those things you loved and hated about the wedding. It may be better and wiser to avoid the wedding subject altogether, as this could cause a wee bit of argument.
Overall, just make the most of the place you've chosen, switch off your phones, try to avoid reading the news. This time won't come again in your life.