Life After the Dress {Episode 13} Andrea Barras

In this series I interview married women of all ages and from all walks of life and ask them real questions about their lives now, after all the glitter and sparkle of their wedding day is over. If you'd like to read more about the series and meet the other ladies I have interviewed, click here.

Today is the 13th feature of my Life After the Dress series, and I am thrilled to have had so many wonderful ladies sharing their stories. The response to this series has been amazing, and these are some of the posts I most look forward to sharing with you. Today's interview is with Andrea from Clever Bird Banter. Andrea is the wonder woman behind both her own blog (Clever Bird Banter), a graphic design business, and recently, the unique kids accessory store; Baby Bird Basics. This multi talented mom (to 2 little cuties), wife, blogger and small business owner sure has a lot on her plate, and with having just moved house I so appreciate her taking the time to be a part of this series.

Go grab yourself a cup a tea and get ready to be inspired.


Q1: Please introduce yourself (age, of both yourself and your husband, where do you live, what do you do & how long have you been married for?)

Hello! I'm Andrea (30), wife to Murray (31) and proud mom to Addison (2) and Julia (8 months). I'm also a graphic designer, blogger and craft/DIY enthusiast! Murray and I have been married for nearly 5 years and we've just (last Saturday!) moved into our dream house in Howick, in the beautiful KZN Midlands.

Q2: Which Disney character do you feel sums you up to a ‘T’?

I’m definitely Ariel, The Little Mermaid - minus the voice of course - my husband would attest to that despite my efforts at singing! I would describe myself as determined, quirky, curious – I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’m certainly not afraid to break the rules. I have a romantic outlook on life and have a tendency to be a bit stubborn. Like Ariel, I love to re-purpose everyday finds into useful things (I wouldn't go as far as brushing my hair with a fork though!)

Q3: How did you and your hubby meet?

Murray and I met through mutual friends while we were both living in London, although I remember his name from school days and we are pretty certain we both attended some of the same events and parties! We’d been introduced on the top deck balcony of The Boathouse in Putney, overlooking the river Thames, where we spent ages talking until I decided to leave (I wasn't feeling well!) We connected on Facebook shortly after and the rest, as they say, is history ;)

Q4: Was your wedding everything you hoped it would be? Would you go back and change anything? Do you have any advice for brides-to-be?

Wow! Let me begin by telling you that a) Murray and I were married before we’d even been together for a year, and that b) we went from engaged to married within 7 weeks - just to clarify (what most people at the time were thinking): I wasn't pregnant! I knew within the first three months of dating that Murray was The One.  After a couple of months, the issue of his visa running out (we were still in the UK at this stage) started casting a huge shadow over our relationship. I was fully prepared to move back to SA with him but we were both happy in London and wanted to get British Passports. After speaking to immigration lawyers, we decided that getting hitched was the best way forward! Our families were on board and amazingly we managed to plan a beautiful full-on wedding here in SA in a very short time frame! It was a wonderful day and there are very few things I would change. Sadly, Murray’s mom passed away shortly after our wedding so, visa reasons aside, I do believe in my heart that it was meant to happen when it did so that she could be there to share the special day with us.

My advice for brides-to-be is simple: don’t forget what a wedding is truly about, it’s not about the big party and impressing everyone, it is about your marriage – remember to spend time with each other on the day! I know this sounds obvious but there are so many guests around that bride and groom are often apart while making the rounds to thank and greet everyone – steal a few moments for each other <3

Q5: Has ‘life after the dress’ been as you imagined it would be?

To be honest, life has carried on much as I expected it to. We obviously party/socialize less but I think that has more to do with age, settling down and children!

Q6: What do you think makes marriage work?

Communication, communication, communication! You can be the most well-suited couple on earth but if you aren't able to communicate with each other, life will be very difficult.

Q7: What have you learnt about yourself since being married?

I’ve had to practice much patience and compromise – especially during our first year of marriage because we hadn't really lived together properly before that and were still learning things about each other. I like things my way and so does hubby so we can butt heads a lot, haha!

Q8: If you could describe your marriage in 3 words, what would they be?

Ooh, I really battled with this question – it’s so hard to pick only 3 because there are so many words that I’d need to use to describe the full spectrum of amazingness that is our marriage! I know it’s probably a bit of a cop-out but I’m going to go with “living, loving, learning”

Q9: Do you have any pearls of wisdom you would like to share with my readers about being married? Perhaps something some wise person once told you, or something you've learnt the hard way?

Being married doesn't automatically turn you into some different person, one half of a whole - you still get to be you and you still need to focus on living your own dreams and making your own happiness. Obviously these ambitions need to consider your spouse, and children in our case, but I think it’s important to keep following your own passions as well as creating new dreams and having new hobbies etc with your partner. Marriage also takes energy and effort – you have to put in the time to make it work and to build a rock-solid foundation.


I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.

If you would like to be featured here on the blog, you can drop me an email using the contact form above or leave me a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!