I talk about my experience of a spiritual awakening after finding true love, getting married on our terms and resisting the financial pressures that can stack up when you’re getting married, and coming up against factors that you can’t control.

We talk about:

  • Spiritual Awakening
  • Keeping up with the Jones
  • Starting married life in debt?
  • Finding the best wedding package
  • Self-conscious bride
  • Wedding day price tags
  • Rain on your wedding day
  • The secret to a long and happy marriage

Links

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http://www.andrewscatering.co.uk/

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About The Curl Squad

Curl Squad is a community of women on a journey to self-acceptance, pursuing passion, and discovering their purpose.

Falling in love with our Natural hair was the starting point of our journeys to deepen our understanding of ourselves and what’s possible.

We discuss growing up curly, overcoming obstacles, traumas and triumphs.

I’ll be introducing you to some incredibly inspiring curly creators and innovators as we discuss the natural hair community, representation, healing, doing meaningful work and building bigger tables.

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Read the full show transcript here

Transcripts are 90% accurate, please do not trust them for quote or news media purposes. If you need clarification for a story, a blog, or a reference, please contact us directly.

Intro Hook:

Like the idea of starting off married life in debt was definitely not something that either of us were inclined to do whatsoever. We wanted to have a nice day, we wanted to have everybody have a good time. But you know, spending 10s of 1000s of pounds on a wedding. And to me, it’s just not a sensible way to start off married life for one day. And trust me, that day goes so quickly. You can make some beautiful memories, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of your future in my opinion.

Hey, curlfriend, welcome to the curl squads, curl power podcast with me, Zoe Fox. This podcast is for women who are just doing their best to navigate their way through life, figuring out what brings joy, finding ways that we can build a more resilient so that we don’t get knocked over and knocked down by the inevitable stuff that comes up in life. Because it does, doesn’t it stuff happens. So in this episode of the podcast, we’re going to be talking about getting married, some of the challenges and the pressures that come with that, too. So thank you for joining us. You can find us on the socials at the Kyle squad. So please do come along, follow us get involved in the conversation outside of the podcast. Or you can follow me at Zoe dot e dot Fox. I’d like to just start the podcast by giving a great big shout out to James James, thank you for your support. James bought me a coffee using the new URL that we set up to help people well to allow people to support the podcast if they feel moved to. So James, big up your chest that is going to be one oatmeal mocha with a hazelnut shot. That should keep me going through this head cold. Thank you brother. And if anybody else is interested, the link is a buy me a coffee.com forward slash curl squad. So yeah, man, shout out for the coffee. I just wanted to shout out our American brothers and sisters as well. I’ve noticed that the listenership has really started popping out over in the States. So I just want to take a quick minute to shout out some of the places that I’m seeing are tuning into the podcast and let you know that I love you and I appreciate you. And I’m super grateful to have your ear from across the pond. So shout out to the Washington DC crew. The Eugene Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Rochester buffalo Charlotte, New York in the house, San Francisco Baltimore. Rally. Seattle, Houston, Huntsville, Springfield, Denver, Columbus, Colorado Springs. Shout out to Odessa, Miami. I’ve been to Miami, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, Lexington and Panama City. And there’s one here that I don’t know how to pronounce it. Please forgive me, Omaha, Omaha, Omaha. Anyway, thank you, USA is great to have you on board. So last week’s episode wasn’t really a proper episode because I was feeling proper rough. And I’d been disorganized. So it was just a little placeholder episode to let you know that I’m thinking of you. And just to let you know that I was ill. So it wasn’t going to be a typical episode. But the episode before that was a little bit more in detail. I was speaking about finally, after years and years of just bad luck, and wasteman I found my soulmate, and everything began to change. You can check that episode out, I will drop all the relevant links in the show notes as always. So it’s like now

04:06

I found my soulmate. And it’s like the planets have just aligned because life really started feeling different. I wasn’t living in fear and anxiety in the way that I was in my previous relationship. Everything was cool, calm and steady. But more than that, I would say this is where I had a real spiritual awakening. Something different was happening. The energy felt different. I was having these really intense periods of just feeling like super, super, super high. In a way that’s really quite hard to understand. But it’s just, we’re walking outside. We’re in nature, the sun shines beating down and this just is a feeling that you almost can’t put into words, but it’s just one of feeling connected to something bigger and greater. into than just myself. And my 3d experience on the planet, something started to change. And it’s like a highly addictive feeling when you start to feel like these peaks of joy, these peaks of connectedness, it’s quite an addictive feeling to want to try and pursue and to chase that. And after living in depression, and anxiety for so many years now, I was really enjoying where life was beginning to take me. But you know, that said, Rome wasn’t built in a day, there’s still like decades of damage that’s been done here that needs to be worked through, needs to be processed. At this point, now, I have started my counseling qualification. So that’s really started to deepen the work that I’m doing on myself, I thought I’d make a great counselor, it felt like a natural progression. After really going deep in my own counseling and my own therapy, I just thought, you know what, this is the kind of change that I want to see for other people. So let me go and learn how to be a counselor and see if we can help more people get out of their psychological funks. Because the truth is, so many people don’t even realize that they’re in a funk. It’s like you know that certain things just don’t feel right, you know, that you’ve coming up against certain blocks, but you don’t even know where to begin in how to start on on picking that. So I’m like, I’m going gung ho now, I’ve had a little taste of what it feels like to start repairing some of the damage. And now I’m conscious, I’ve got an understanding that I don’t have to live life in anxiety and misery. But like I said, you know, it takes time to be able to process that there’s a lot of stagnant energy that was living within me. It’s not just gonna go away overnight. But I’m starting to get on a path now of increasing clarity. I’m having all these moments of just pure joy and connectedness and feeling highly in love. And just Yeah, starting to feel a lot of joy. So Cain proposed to me on Primrose Hill with an absolutely beautiful ring. And, of course, I said, Yes, I literally put his hand off with the ring on it. And I had an engagement party, which was actually on my 30th birthday. So that was a nice little intimate affair with some of our nearest and dearest, celebrating my 38th Celebrating our engagement. And we planned then to get married in the following May. And we decided on the 10th of may, because that coincided with our first like actually becoming sort of boyfriend and girlfriend anniversary. So it would be our true anniversary forever sort of thing. So we set on the 10th of May, that neither Kane or I are particularly materialistic, Keynes Rasta has come from a raster family and a raster background. So he just doesn’t put emphasis on material stuff. And, you know, don’t get me wrong.

07:58

Don’t get me wrong. I like things to be nice. But I’ve got no desire to keep up with the Joneses. Do you know I mean, I just want to make sure that I’m happy he’s happy and that our friends and family have a good time. And I think we’re quite lucky in in some respects to have got married before the rise of Instagram. Because Instagram adds this whole next level layer of just encouraging people to want to stump for the gram. Do you know what I mean? So I do feel very blessed to have had my best years. Well, best years, like look at me talking about my best years, like I’m some eight year old. But to have had some really key parts of my life play out before Instagram. Like the idea of starting off married life in debt was definitely not something that either of us were inclined to do whatsoever. We wanted to have a nice day, we wanted to have everybody have a good time. But, you know, spending 10s of 1000s of pounds on a wedding. You know, I just Whoa, I just wasn’t prepared to do that. And not forgetting that I’m still carrying the weight of debt from the road and that I was going out with before I got with cane. So I didn’t need any more financial burden. And to me, it’s just not a sensible way to start off married life for one day. And trust me, that day goes so quickly. You can make some beautiful memories, but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of your future. In my opinion. We just had to figure out what was most important for us. What did we really want to take away from that day. Now we’re both from families that love food, appreciate a good meal. So for us, we just wanted our people to be able to have a nice meal and and just come together really in quite a simple way. So at first we started having a little look at some of these Hotel weddings, where you pay a certain amount per person. They do every think some of the packages though at the cheaper end of things are just a little bit too basic. And no disrespect to a chicken dinner. But the chicken dinners were just it was like aren’t Bessie is frozen roast potatoes and anybody that knows me knows that I’ve got deep deep deep disdain to aren’t best is roast potatoes are Yorkshire puddings can get a pass, but please don’t ever put our best roast potato on my plate man. You know I am a little bit of a roast potato snob. I’ve got my dad to blame for that. But then he still has the audacity to like, nurture me on the finest homemade roast potatoes. And then once in a while we’ll try and putting our best is out and I’m like Dad, you can’t teach me about the finer things in life and then shove it aren’t best roast potato on my plate. With all its little black eyelets and fluffy, weird, starchy texture. No, thank you. So yeah, I didn’t really want to have a basic ass roast. But like I say, no disrespect to anybody that does, it was just my priority for me was to have a nice, authentic West Indian meal, where the flavor is going to be bangin the meats going to be cooked. And because I’m not wanting to be like, I can’t stomach like pink meat. And you know, this hotel chefs are very bougie. And they think that like they know, just because it’s they think that’s how it should be cooked. They think that’s that’s how everybody should consume it. But I’m just like now, I know what I like. And it’s not a bit of pink meat. So anyway, sorry, getting sidetracked. And some of these hotels are just got really dead vegetarian selections as well. And we’ve got quite a few veggies to cater for as well. So we’re just trying to keep all of this sort of thing in mind. So we knew that we wanted West Indian catering. Can’t really do that in our one of the hotels was like, Oh, we’ve got a West Indian menu. And I’m sure it was like rice and peas with like green peas or something like that. And we’re just like, No, thank you. So we decided to go down the dry higher route, which soon actually becomes quite expensive because you don’t necessarily consider all of the things that you need to think about. So if you’re doing a dry hire, then it’s like, you’ve got to pay a corkage fee to be able to bring in your own alcohol. Or you might end up having to pay through the roof prices for their bar. Also, you’ve got to pay for like your, you know, your your cutlery, your plates, your chair covers all of the stuff that comes included inside a hotel package. You’ve got to get all of these things separately. So it was all like okay, didn’t necessarily think about that. But I’ve got my mind set now on having a dry hire setup, where we can bring in our own caterers. So we still wanted the wedding to feel as classy as possible. But without that classy price tag of like a 30 gram wedding that gets attached to it. So at the time, I was working at the bank, and my manager Valerie who I’ve mentioned in previous episode, she mentioned some caterers I think she had for her wedding. And that’s Andrews caterers who are based over in East London. And they’re actually a mixed race family is Elisabetta, who’s Italian. And Gary, who’s a husband, who’s a who’s black Caribbean, and his brother, Ben. And they’ve got a catering company, they do all sorts of catering from sort of traditional French chef type looking stuff to the Caribbean stuff. So she connected us with them. And they were like, Let’s meet, you can taste some of the food and see what you think. Just because you call yourself a Caribbean caterer doesn’t mean that your food is bangin, do you know what I mean? So we need to get our taste buds around their offerings to see whether this is good enough for our people then. So we arranged a meeting, we met up actually at Liverpool Street Station. And they handed us over a big bag of all sorts of different bits that they cooked for us. So we took that home and had that for our dinner and oh my gosh, there and then was love upon my taste buds. We knew that these were the people that were going to be catering for our wedding Elizabeta became so much more than just the caterer she pretty much took on a lot of the wedding planning. She took on, you know, sourcing the plates, the table where all of that sort of stuff. It was just an impeccable service from the beginning to the end, and they didn’t let us down. The food on the day was exceptional. And we still have people talking about the food, like even all these years later. So then also with weddings come awkward dynamics amongst people. Like not everybody gets along. So you’re inviting uncle X who don’t get along with Uncle B and then you’re invited in this friend that doesn’t get on without friends. So you’re trying to make sure that this table don’t sit near that table and you know, it’s just different. All these different dynamics that you’ve got try and factor in, but without letting it sort of dictate and ruin your day because it’s not about whether this person likes that person. And if it can’t, if they can’t put that aside for one day, then really and truly, they don’t need to be coming to the wedding, you know, you don’t need to be taken on everybody’s beef. And then there’s the pressures of what you’re going to be like as a bride. Because I’ve had self confidence issues for years. And don’t forget, I’ve still got this generalized anxiety disorder that I’m I’m wrestling with. So the idea of everybody looking at me already was just like, it wasn’t exciting me. In fact, I was dreading walking in and all eyes being on me, I was dreading getting my bingo wings out, I was dreading the backfat all the stuff that I was worrying about that I shouldn’t have been because, you know, looking back at myself, then compared to how I am now

15:48

I was just like, Oh, you poor girl. I really let people live in my head rent free with their judgment and their negativity. And this isn’t just the people at school that were calling me tree trunk legs. This is doctors that are saying, Oh, your BMI says you’re morbidly obese, even though at that time I’m a size 14, looking back at myself, I look very slim. But I was like, well let the doctor says I’m obese, you know. And I really took that on, even though I’d give anything now to go back to having that being that slim. And then there’s the hair. Like I said, we’re trying to do everything on a budget, or wanting to have my hair curly. At the time, there wasn’t as many of these sort of like natural hair hairdressers out there. But you say wedding day in front of anything. And the bill goes up by like, free, free 100 quid, people are charging crazy money to do hair. So I just thought you know what this is where I can make a saving, I’ll do my hair myself, I did end up sort of straightening it out and just putting it up in a, in a high bun sort of thing. It looked nice on the day. But this is where I had to make my little cuts. And also, there’s just a real lack of natural hair inspiration. At that time, really, like I say this is before social media and stuff like that. So I didn’t really have the inspiration that’s available now that allows naturally curly women to just embrace their natural hair texture on their big day. You don’t have to straighten out your hair, just because it’s a special occasion. You know, people talk about women and how they become bride Zellers, when they get married, and I can understand it because there’s so much so many different aspects that make up the wedding day and so much stuff that you feel as though you want to control but the reality is, you can’t control everything. So I’m starting to get a little bit obsessed about the weather now for the wedding day, because we’ve got this venue. It’s got beautiful outdoor space. I’ve hired the sort of like giant lawn games so that people can play them outside. And there’s just this huge expansive grass area outside which is just lovely. And I really wanted to be able to get all the photos and do all of this now like weather, weather, weather also be naturally curly, and straightening your hair. You don’t want a single answer moisture upon that Barnet because you know what’s going to happen? It’s going to freeze. So I’m looking at the weather. As the days are counting down. Now the weather is not looking good. It’s forecast in rain, and I’m not happy. But what can I do about that? So the best I could do in that moment is hire nice little umbrellas. So we’ve got some umbrellas that match the color scheme of the wedding. What more can you do? You literally you can’t control the weather. There’s no point in stressing about it. So yeah, I woke up on the morning of the wedding after barely any sleep that night because I was just so sort of anxious and you have these mad anxiety dreams about things that just do not go right on the wedding. So like, maybe, well, I just had so many one was like I couldn’t get my dress on or the other one was like I couldn’t get my hair nice or that I was so late for the wedding that it was just carried on without me. And I was like just in slow motion trying to get ready and it wasn’t happening. So there’s a lot of anxiety dreams that come up in the run up to the wedding as well. But there’s only so much you can do to prepare to prepare, you know, there’s things that are going to happen, that are outside of your control, that there’s nothing that you can do about. And it’s no point in getting your knickers in a twist about it either. Because, you know, you’ve still got to enjoy your day. You can’t let some rain clouds literally rain on your parade. And I remember looking out the window on that morning and just being like when I saw the clouds in the Spirit, I was just like, Ah, this isn’t what I wanted for the day. But like I say, what can we do about it? But you know, it’s funny because as much as I was gutted about the rain, I think it actually worked in our favor. Because the weather was so bad. It meant that everybody was really contained. We didn’t get the big outside pitches that we wanted with everyone in because it was just sort of like on and off raining. We I managed to get a couple of sneaky pics of me and Kane outside. But the rain didn’t hold out long enough to be able to get everybody out there to get these beautiful photos that were envisaged. But it is what it is. So the long games didn’t even bother get putting out because no one was gonna go outside to play with them. But it’s good because it kept everybody inside the venue. And see this is the thing when the weather’s nice, it’s sort of like splits people, you’ve got the people that are inside, and then the people that want to be outside, so everybody was inside. So it meant that the vibes were all contained, which ended up working out beautifully just for the energy and the vibe of the wedding overall.

20:40

Oh, and a word to the wise, if you’re planning on getting married, make sure that you can at least move in time to your first dance tune. We had a tune that there was no question what was going to be our first dance tune. And that was Miguel.

21:01

With his track adorn, which just remains such a personal favorite to this day, it was such a special track for us. So it was natural that that was going to be our first dance tune. But did we practice it in the run up? No. So it was like going out of the frying pan into the fire when the first dance tune came on. And we realized that you can’t quite move to it as easily as you might think. And it’s just super cringy and uncomfortable. Because all eyes are on you at this point. You know what I mean to me and kind of just oh my gosh, what’s going on? Like, I can’t just flow with this track. And in the end, I just ended up spinning him around like we’re in a band dance. It was just I didn’t know what else to do. I just felt so embarrassed. I just got in by the hands and swung him round. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Titanic. And there’s that scene where they’re having that sort of like little barn dance downstairs and in the belly of the ship. Yeah, it was, it wasn’t exactly what you would call a smooth and finessed first dance. I think he’s probably still getting over the concussion now bless him. So yeah, the first dance wasn’t exactly what I envisaged in my head. But it’s no wonder it didn’t work out in business, we didn’t even bother to practice it. So I mean, there’s a lot of things that can happen on your wedding day that you don’t plan for. We didn’t plan for the rain, we didn’t plan for our first dance. I mean, we could have done, we almost forgot to cut the cake. I think it was like 10 o’clock, and most people are gone. And we were like, ah, the cake. So you know, stuff happens. And it’s okay. Because I think the one thing that we need to remember is we cannot control life. We can’t control all circumstances. And I think that pursuit of trying to control life can really lead us to conflict. And some real internal discomfort, the best thing you can do is just be as prepared as you can be. And then you just got to let go and let God baby. So I think the moral of this wedding story for me is that figure out what means the most to you and go for that. For us. We wanted it to be a nice family affair with some good food, and something that will create memories for a lifetime. And that’s what it did. You could spend like 30 plus grand on a wedding and be divorced the next year. I’ve seen it happen. And it’s so easy for couples to put so much emphasis on the wedding, which I said before, it’s just one day. But what else are you doing to invest into your relationship into your marriage to ensure that you’re going to have a long, happy and successful marriage. Because it goes way beyond just the wedding day. It wasn’t what we spent on our wedding. That has meant that we’ve had a long and successful marriage so far. It’s how we treat each other. It’s how we respect each other. It’s how we communicate. Because besides fancy dresses and pushed up venues and delicious food, it’s like it’s communication. It’s listening. It’s been intuitive, it’s been sensitive, and it’s working together. Because if you’re not taking all of that into consideration, you may as well not bother spending any money on any wedding day. Because in trying to keep up with the Joneses, you will forever be trying to keep up with the Joneses. But trying to fulfill yourselves, make sure you’re happy. For me that is the best place for me to invest my time, energy and resources. So I’m wondering, are you married? How was your big day? Did you spend a fortune? Did you do it on a budget? Did anything not go according to plan? Maybe you’re not married? Maybe you’ve got no intention of being married. Or maybe you’ve got very clear eyed Here’s what you want your wedding to look like, even though you’re not even in a relationship yet. But yet, just like we couldn’t control the weather on our wedding day, the best thing we could do was buy some umbrellas. You can’t control what’s going to happen in life. But you can choose how you want to respond to it. SoCal friend, thank you for listening to this episode of the coal power podcast, as we continue to journey through my life experience, and some of the biggest key moments that a person can have in their life. And the lessons that I’ve learned from just coming up against these less than ideal situations, like rain on your wedding

25:46

day. So if there’s anything in this episode that resonated anything that prompted any thoughts, you know, I’m always keen to hear. So please do slide into the DMS over on Instagram at the curl squad, or at Zoe dot e dot Fox, you can go over to the website, the curl squad and join the mailing list. So we can continue the conversation over there. If you are a fan of the podcast, and you do feel so inclined, you know, always appreciate a right and a review. You can do that through Spotify, you can give us a little rating there. Or you can do that over on Apple to or if you’re a good pods listener. Thank you. In fact, yeah, shout out to the high tea podcast. Thank you for your support. I appreciate you. But yeah, if you do choose to listen to your podcast through good pods. It’s really easy to write there too. And it’s always nice to get the feedback. It makes me feel as though I’m not talking to myself, which is always a blessing. So girlfriend, I am wishing you a wonderful week. Next week, we’re going to be back talking about the next natural step after you have your wedding is the pressure starts piling on about having a baby. And that doesn’t always happen as easily as you might think. So we’ll go into my infertility journey. And I look forward to catching you then. Have a great Easter weekend guys. I know it’s already been Easter. It’s Tuesday now. I hope you had a great Easter. Big Love and I’ll catch you soon

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