How My Chronic Conditions Affected My Wedding Planning
Thank you everyone for your patience as I post irregularly when I do post. I’ve been experiencing a lot of disruption to my schedule that has been good, but also taken up all of my energy and time.
You see, I got married in a very small ceremony in mid-May after finishing up my defense of my exams for my MA. I’ve been with my partner for years. We both went to college together and there is where we decided to get married.
We had what the NYT would term a “microwedding.” Including us, it was 16 people. We had our immediate families and friends. I knew with my anxiety and chronic pain that there was no way I could do a big, exhausting wedding that made me the center of attention in front of hundreds of people.
I wanted to have a ceremony and celebration that I could enjoy. And we did. We had a small ceremony at the college’s chapel and then a reception at a family friend’s house catered by a local company. It rained, but it was perfect. I felt loved and happy the whole weekend.
How I Felt During My Wedding Weekend
But it was still exhausting and anxiety provoking. I still woke up really early every morning of the three day weekend. I still had to stand and pose in hundreds of photos. I was still the center of attention. I still had to make sure everything was where it should be and that the vendors were ready and knew where to go.
The end of my wedding day, I barely had energy to remove all the bobby pins from my hair before collapsing in bed. It’s not romantic, but it’s the truth.
The best thing was that everyone there knew about my illnesses and limits and understood when I had to take rest breaks or leave a little early at the end of the night to go to bed. They honestly cared about me and wanted me to feel okay.
I still took the week after to recover, as well as take care of post-wedding tasks. We postponed our honeymoon to July to get my new husband time to go to different industry conferences, but also to give me time to recover from the wedding so I can enjoy going on a trip instead of feeling overwhelmed, sore, exhausted, and in the opposite of a vacation mood.
Much of it was untraditional. We didn’t have a bridal party, a cake, or a diamond engagement ring. We did have fun—a lot of fun and good food. When I look back, I remember being surrounded by my favorite people in the world. And I bet that’s what they remember too.
I’m lucky everyone supported my needs to have a small, less physically demanding weekend. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have a big wedding with multiple events.
Since then I’ve been busy with family travel and taking care of medical needs that I’d been postponing.
My Future Schedule
And soon I’ll be in Australia and offline until August because I know that I’ll need to not only build in time to rest and recover from long travel during our trip, but also after we come back.
Luckily, I can write from home this summer because I have finally learned enough about myself to know that there are consequences to long flights and adventurous trips. I’m lucky to have this opportunity, but my body and mind will need time after to recalibrate as one of my doctors calls it.
People joke about needing a vacation from their vacation, but for people with chronic illnesses, that couldn’t be truer. We feel guilty or lazy, or at least I do, like how could I need or want even more down time? But it’s unavoidable. I have to factor that into my decisions, big and small.
My wedding and honeymoon are examples for me of how my life and decision making are shaped by my chronic conditions. However, they are also examples of how I can still have an amazing life. Just different.
So thank you, readers, for sticking with me!