Author - Chelsea Martin

Chris & Chelsea: Our Wedding Video (By Ray McShane at The Alverton)

On Sunday August 7th, 2016 – Chris and I celebrated our wedding at The Alverton, Truro. Though we had already married in Bellingham on New Year’s Eve, this was our chance to celebrate with friends, family and each other.

The Wedding Ceremony & Reception

We treated the wedding blessing as if it were our wedding day itself – repeated our vows to each other and held a small ceremony. After the ceremony we mingled with guests – some of whom had travelled all the way from the United States – enjoyed each other’s company, danced and ate.

The morning was spent preparing. As our guests arrived and took their seats, we stepped out into the main hall of the Alverton for a small ceremony conducted by Chris’ uncle. Once the ceremony was over we headed outside for the confetti toss, photo opportunities and to talk with our guests.

Later on that afternoon, the hall was transformed into a beautiful reception venue where we sat to eat and listen to the speeches. Finally the day ended with hours of dancing into the small hours of the morning. It was a whirlwind, but a wonderful day.

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The whole day was captured on film by Ray McShane, and the 10 minute cut can be seen here. From preparing for the big moment, to dancing late into the night – we’re so happy to have this memento from an amazing day.

What’s Next?

Now that Chris and I have married (twice) – and closed the distance between us, we are embarking on ‘normal life’ together. This year, since our wedding blessing, we have moved to Nottingham and Chris has started in a new job. We know the future holds a lot for us and though we may not know exactly what that is – we are excited to embrace it together.

Wishing happiness to all the other long distance couples out there waiting to close the distance and enjoy regular life together!

-Chelsea

#AskBritishHusbands: Do You Receive Negative Feedback About Your American Wives?

In this video series, our British husbands answer questions about what it’s like being married to an America, differences in culture, travel and more. This time, we ask whether they ever receive any negative feedback about being married to an American.

While most people are generally supportive of our relationships, both Chris and Ashley have experienced negative comments about their decisions too. This is something that is, unfortunately, all too common when it comes to international relationships and marriages. The situations and contexts in which these comments arise is also often surprising.

Dealing With Negative Comments

When answering this question, both Chris and Ashley give a few examples of their experiences with the negativity – as well as what they have done to cope or deal with it.

Want more videos about long distance dating, expat life & our time together in the UK? Subscribe on YouTube to see new videos every Wednesday & Sunday.

What Is ‘Ask British Husbands’?

This is the first episode in our #AskBritishHusbands series. In these videos, the British husbands of expats discuss what it’s like to date/marry a foreigner, cultural differences and more. By talking to a range of people in the UK, we hope you’ll get a great sense of what life is like and what to expect if you’re in an international relationship

If you have a question you would like us to answer in a future episode, leave it in the comments below! Alternatively, send your questions to us on Twitter using our handle @ilovemybrit and using the hashtag #AskBritishHusbands.

From this point onwards we’ll be releasing one Ask Expat Wives video and one Ask British Husbands video on alternating weeks, so be sure to check back next week when we’ll be looking at how American wives feel about their husband’s British accents.

-Chelsea

Celebrating Our First Thanksgiving in the UK (#Vlog 21)

On the fourth Thursday of every November, American families all across the world celebrate Thanksgiving, and we were no exception. But this year was a little different.

This was our first Thanksgiving spent in the UK. However instead of family, we celebrated with friends of ours – another British-American couple who related to the feeling of not being home for the holiday season.

Because Thanksgiving itself is not a holiday in the UK, we instead celebrated on the weekend. On Friday night we drove from Nottingham to Manchester, in order to spend the entire Saturday cooking and eating (just as we would in the USA). Though we were initially unsure of whether the day would feel like Thanksgiving, we were pleasantly surprised!

How We Celebrated Thanksgiving in the UK

Want more videos about long distance dating, expat life & our time together in the UK? Subscribe on YouTube to see new videos every Wednesday & Sunday.

After sleeping in, our husbands first drove to the butchers to pick up our turkey as we prepared the rest of the food and lunch. Because dinner was going to be so large, we had planned a lunch made up entirely of snacks to keep the food consumption light. Once they arrived back at the apartment, the remainder of our morning was spent preparing the turkey.

During the afternoon, we snacked, played games and waited for the turkey to finish cooking. Around 5pm, we sat around the table (just as we would back home) and ate until we couldn’t eat any more. There was just enough room to squeeze in home-made pie before spending the evening watching Scrooged and decorating the Christmas tree.

What Holidays from Home Do You Miss?

Not being home for the holidays can be tough – there’s no doubt about it. Everyone misses something different. For me, it’s a strange feeling not being in the US with family for Thanksgiving knowing that everyone I know back home is celebrating it (although I have yet to experience a Christmas in the UK).

What holidays from your home country do you miss? And what have you done in your new home to make it a little more special? We know from firsthand experience that every expat will have their own unique quirks – let us know in the comments below.

-Chelsea

Weekly Featured Couple: Val & Keith

Val and Keith in Chicago

Our latest featured couple are Val and Keith. This wonderful pair met in 2014, when Val was staying in the USA. Now, two years on, they are finally able to plan their wedding and prepare to close the distance for good.

Val and Keith, like many long distance couples, find airport goodbyes one of the most difficult aspects of long distance. Combined with a 7 hour time difference, it’s safe to say they are very much looking forward to putting the distance behind them. Read their full, inspiring story below.

How Did You Meet?

Keith and I met in 2014 while I was being an AuPair in the States. His parents lived in my neighborhood and we started talking during a block party in August. I told them I had not had the chance to meet many people my age during the first year of my stay and I guess they felt bad for me =) cause they suggested to exchange numbers so their son (who was just a couple years older than me) could show me around.

Val and Keith's First Meeting

Val and Keith Revisiting Where They First Met

We clicked the first time we hung out and started dating shortly after for the last two months of my stay. I left for Germany end of October and we were long distance ever since.

What Is Your Situation Now?

In March 2016 Keith flew to Germany without telling me and surprised me with a proposal at the Farmers Market where I worked Saturdays. We started the K1 Visa process and got the first approval while I was visiting him this summer.

The Proposal Captured on Camera

The Proposal Captured on Camera

The medical and interview at the consulate followed and just now in October I finally hold my Visa and One-Way-Ticket in hand. We couldn’t be more excited to close the distance early November, when I move to the states and we get married in court.

What Do You Find Difficult About the Distance?

For us airport goodbyes are probably one of the most painful parts about long distance. You might think it would get easier but it actually gets harder every time you have to do it. On the other hand: seeing each other after a long time apart is one of the most rewarding and glorious feelings there is.

We have a seven hour time difference which makes it hard to communicate sometimes and when we do find time to Skype the bad internet connection is the worst. But the hardest part is of course the missing each other on special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays etc. and on a daily basis. It always feels like you are missing half of yourself. And it doesn’t help that most people and couples around you don’t understand your situation and what you are going through.

Airport Goodbye's Are the Hardest

Airport Goodbye’s Are the Hardest

It’s hard having to explain your relationship status to people that don’t believe long distance can actually work or even counts as a “real relationship.” But in the end non of this matters, because he is the love of my life and worth every mile between us. Our journey so far was hard but I wouldn’t wanna have it any other way!!

What Is Your Advice for Other Long Distance Couples?

We always try and make time to talk as much as possible and take part of each others lives. Communication is key for a solid and healthy relationship – especially cause that’s all you can do really.

Also we tried to see each other at least twice a year even though flight tickets are crazy expensive – it is always good to have something to look forward to. And it helps your family and friends to get on board – getting to know your partner in person is helping them to understand why long distance is the path you are taking.

And don’t compare yourself to other couples, don’t let anyone make you feel bad or insecure about your choice to love someone far away. I think long distance builds a couple and strengthens it, cause if you survive long distance what else would there be to not make it through?! Believe in your love, fight for it and make it work against all odds.

What Are Your Plans for the Future?

First is closing the distance and getting married this year in the states, then we actually plan on having a church wedding in Germany end of 2017. Other than that we will be taking everyday as a gift: because we have fought so long for this and are now rewarded as being together is the only thing we care about!

Val and Keith in the USA

Val and Keith in the USA

I have found my soulmate and best friend and everything that lies ahead is going to be the greatest adventure cause I get to spend the rest of my life with him!

See more of Val & Keith’s LDR journey on Val’s Instagram page – @valkoenich.

To see all of our featured couples click here.Want to be a featured couple?  To submit your own story visit our submissions page.

-Chelsea

House Hunting as a Foreigner in the UK (Vlog #20)

As with any country, finding a house or apartment to rent in the UK comes with its own unique set of challenges and quirks. Having recently been through this process ourselves (Chris and I are just under a week away from our move to Nottingham), we decided it would be the perfect time to share some of what we have learnt from our own house search.

Similarities & Differences

In principle, most of the application was similar to what I would have experienced in the USA – however there were some notable differences. For example, many of the properties we found online stated that they would not accept DSS applicants. I soon learnt that this stands for Department of Social Security and is a British reference to applicants on housing benefits.

We also share our thoughts on the best ways to conduct your search, what to do if you are looking for a pet friendly property and what to expect when applying for a property. Finally, we share some of the tips that we’ve made use of to make the whole experience just a little but easier.

Want to see more videos about long distance dating, expat life & our time together in the UK? Subscribe on YouTube to see new videos every Wednesday & Sunday.

Your Experience House Hunting

Have you looked for a new house in the UK yet? If so, we’re interested to hear if your experience matched ours or was entirely different. Of course, we were looking for a  house in Nottingham with a pet – so what you experience might not be the same.

But there are certainly some parts of the process which feel entirely alien, while others feel very familiar. Which aspects of house hunting in the UK have felt most familiar to you, and which have felt most different? Let us know in the comments  below and join the conversation.

-Chelsea