How to Have Your Dream Wedding Despite Fibromyalgia
Your wedding: the most important day of your life — a day of love and joy.
Unfortunately, it can also be a time of stress. The days, weeks and months leading up to this special day are often busy and hectic; if you throw a chronic illness in the mix, things are going to be even more challenging.
When planning my own wedding I had not yet been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but I had lots of pain and fibro exhaustion, plus a large dose of anxiety to deal with. In spite of that, I was determined to enjoy this wonderful day! Here are a few tips I found helpful.
Make a list of everything! Fibro can really do a number on your memory. Having everything clearly laid out where you can track what has been taken care of and what is left to do is invaluable. This can do a lot to reduce anxiety and stress.
You can keep printouts of what type of cakes, dresses and flower arrangements you like, along with the contact info of everyone involved in the wedding.
There are many useful planning tools you can buy or even find free online. Keeping everything together in a folder or binder can be helpful.
Keep It Simple
When planning your dream wedding, simple may not be the first word that comes to mind. However, it is an important part of planning a wedding you will actually be able to enjoy.
The bigger and more complicated your wedding is, the more stress you are bringing upon yourself. And we all know how detrimental stress can be when you suffer with fibromyalgia.
There is no doubt that simple can be beautiful and elegant. Sit down with your future spouse and decide together what is most important to you and cut out anything else.
When my husband and I were planning our wedding we decided to not have more than 100 guests, a number we later lowered even more. We also decided to have the wedding and reception all at one place.
We chose to get married on a Sunday and to not serve alcohol. All of these choices drastically cut down on the expense of the wedding, allowing us to have the things that were truly important to us. Keeping things simple allowed me to have my dream wedding, with as little stress as possible.
Remember It Is Your Day
There are a lot of traditions attached to weddings. However, you should not feel obliged to carry on any traditions that will cause you unnecessary discomfort.
You have the right to say no. Your family and friends may not always agree with you, but show them you do value their input and you want them involved. Be kind but firm about whatever decisions you have made as a couple, explaining you have to do what is right for you.
One such custom I chose to skip is that of wearing a veil. I cannot have pressure on my head as that will cause a headache. I instead picked out a small, pretty barrette to put part of my hair up. It was more important to me to be comfortable and enjoy the day than to carry on this common tradition.
If you have control issues, like me, this may be difficult to do — but you cannot do it all yourself. Find a few friends or family members you trust and give them tasks. Show them what you like, explain what you expect, then hand over the reins and mark it off your to-do list.
You may even be able to look to family and friends to fill jobs you would normally hire someone to do. A friend that did work as a photographer gave me a discount for taking our pictures. Another friend volunteered his sound equipment and served as DJ. My sister and a friend made all of our bouquets and flower arrangements.
Make Your Health a Priority
Do your best to get a good night sleep the night before your big day. Make sure you have all of your medicine and supplements on hand. You may even want to have extra pain medication, just in case.
Have snacks and water easily accessible for while you're getting ready and for after the ceremony.
Ask the wedding officiant to keep things brief. Sit down for the ceremony if necessary, or have a chair near-by. Pick out a dress and shoes that will be relatively comfortable. There is no reason you cannot be beautiful and comfortable at the same time.
Focus on the Most Important Thing
There were many times during the wedding planning process that things did not go according to plan. The mantra that kept me from becoming overly stressed went something like, “All that matters is that at the end of the day we are married.”
Repeating that to myself, and to everyone else, helped me remember what the wedding was all about. It was about becoming one with my best friend and spending my life with him. What kind of flowers we had and what shoes the bridesmaids wore were not what was really important.
Your wedding should be the best, most joyous day of your life. Fibromyalgia, and the anxiety that often accompanies it, should not take your joy away. While it may greatly impact our life, we can’t allow fibro to take everything away from us!