When your heart says ‘I do!’ but your body says ‘I don’t!’

January 11, 2017

So you’ve said yes, you’ve got the shiny rock on your finger, and you’re crazy excited. Yay! Happy happy. For most people, surviving your wedding day is just a case of emergency blister plasters, and not swilling too much champers. But for others who have a range of ailments to consider, it can be overwhelming in the extreme.

We’re all wonderfully weird creatures aren’t we? It would be a boring world if we were all the same. But for those of us who have medical issues, sometimes we long to be ‘normal’. Just for a day. Just to get through the ceremony, or the meal, or the first dance.

People with disabilities, physical or mental health issues need to approach their wedding planning from a different angle. They have practicalities to consider. Can I access my dream venue? Is there a quiet, private space I can use to administer meds? Can I schedule time into the day to rest? Do I need different food than my guests? Am I going to feel embarrassed? The list can seem endless.

As someone with 3 autoimmune diseases to contend with, I feel your pain (sometimes literally!)

There is no magic solution, or one size fits all approach, but here are a few heartfelt tips to help you with your big day.

1. Don’t follow a traditional schedule

We’ve all seen the lists on Pintrest. The ‘ideal time’ for your ceremony, when to sit down for your meal, how much time for photographs. Remember that these are not hard and fast rules.  Your guests won’t be checking their watches, counting down to the scheduled first dance. These lists are put together by venues and wedding planners, to suit their needs not yours.

So before you grab a pen and start scribbling down an order of service, stop. Have a brew (or water, or gin, whatever helps). Take a breath.

Now close your eyes and think about a day that you really loved. A day where you felt happy and healthy. It may have been a day trip, a walk in a park, a night in Vegas (I can’t go into details on that one, due to legal reasons). How did the day flow? Think about your normal day too. What actions do you need to take each day to balance your physical and mental needs? That should be your starting point

4. Have a back up plan

Although we don’t want fear pixies, we need to keep the optimism fairy in check too. It’s great to have a positive ‘nothing bad will happen’ vibe, but you need to be realistic. Have some back up plans in place.

– Make up an emergency kit – spare meds, medical contact details, your emergency tags/necklace, a brief explanation of your issues. Give this to a trusted guest (Moms are great for this, and usually have massive handbags.) Make people aware that the kit exists and what it’s for. MAKE SURE IT MAKES IT TO THE WEDDING!!

– If you have mobility or skeletal problems, but are determined to wear heels, remember to pack some flats to switch to. If you need sticks or a wheelchair when you get tired, don’t be stubborn. Use them.

– If you suffer from anxiety, take something which soothes you. It could be music, a message to yourself, a mantra or a nominated person to give you a massive hug (or tell you to man-up, whichever approach works for you.) Avoid stimulants, as they inevitably result in crashes.

5. Be loud and proud.

Don’t feel embarrassed about your problems. Everyone has things they’d rather hide. This is not the time for pretending to be normal! What is normal anyway? Stuff normal people, they’re boring sods. Tell your key suppliers about your condition, and what impact it might have on the day. If you get ill, it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

 Now relax, you’ve got this! Your wedding will be freakin awesome, because you are.

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(c) This website and its content is copyright of Kerri Williams, Flipside Bride 2017. All rights reserved.

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