Two weeks ago, I got married to the love of my life MR B 🙂 It was such an amazing and happy time, and the first time in a year that I forgot that endometriosis even exists. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the day that a friend took, we haven’t received the official photographs yet:
I’d been so worried beforehand that my endometriosis was going to rear its ugly head and spoil my day, but fate/luck/god/mother nature was on my side and I had one of the most pain free days I have had in years. I think this success was partly down to my slightly obsessive and militant approach to wedding planning, and while there are no shortage of articles written on how to get the most out of your wedding as a chronically ill bride (see here and here for example), I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on this topic with you all anyway.
So, to be a kickass endo-bride, I would recommend taking the following actions:
Sort out everything as far in advance as possible.
Loads of people thought I was a totally anal bridezilla as I had all our prep finished at least a month before the wedding. I’m talking speech written and memorised, boxes of decorations packed, and first dance rehearsed. While people kept saying to me ‘relax- you don’t need to be doing this yet’, I knew it would enable me to save some serious energy/ spoons up in the couple of weeks before the wedding, and concentrate in getting myself as rested and well as possible. This definitely paid off.
Don’t sweat the little stuff.
During your wedding, the phrase ‘it’ll be babies next’ will be said to you at least twice a minute for the entire day. This would usually annoy the hell out of me, especially from people who know me and are aware of my endometriosis, but on this one-off occasion I recommend mastering the face below, nodding politely while letting it wash over you, and moving on to chat to someone.
On a similar note, don’t wast any spoons at all fretting over things that in the grand scheme of things just don’t matter. Things can and will go wrong. One of my bridesmaids hair wouldn’t curl and I was like ‘yeah whatevs man, that’s cool’, whereas pre-endometriosis perfectionist Claire may have had a mini-meltdown.
Plan breaks and have a bridesmaid remind you to take them.
I knew I would be running around like an excitable little chipmunk on my wedding day, and indeed I was. To deal with this, I had a bridesmaid remind me to take a break every couple of hours to help me recharge and prevent an epic crash later in the evening and the next day. She also made sure I was eating and drinking enough to keep my energy up.
Choose your wedding dress wisely.
When shopping for my dress I was aware that it needed to be comfortable as anything that caused discomfort would likely trigger further pain and my fatigue to flare, something that would be forgiving to epic endo-belly should it arrive, and something that could conceal Bridget Jones style pants in the event of unscheduled bleeding. I know, my life is so glamorous. Finding a dress that fits these requirements is no mean feat, but they are out there, so do your research.
And while we are on the topic, for the love of all that is holy do the sit test in your dress before buying it. Mine was super comfy when I was standing up/ running around but turned out to be weirdly uncomfortable when sitting down (which we do a lot of when we have a chronic illness- I’m sure you’ve noticed).
Make a speech and acknowledge your chronic illness experience.
I did this, and it was so awesome and liberating to state publicly acknowledge that I’ve been ill and been having a horrible time, but that I couldn’t have got through it without the help and support of Mr B. Pretty much the whole room (including the men) burst into tears which I wasn’t expecting.
If you’re going on honeymoon, plan it wisely.
We went away on a long haul flight the morning after our wedding. MISTAKE! I was properly fatigued and achy, and that last thing I wanted to do was drive to the airport for an 11 hour flight. If you can have a few days/weeks to recuperate first- do it!
Accept that you can only control so much.
If your endometriosis does decide to rear it’s ugly head, accept that it isn’t your fault and that it won’t ruin the day. Have a backup plan with you (medication/ hot water bottle etc) and just do what you need to do for you to be OK. I was prepared to sit back and just watch everyone else party if it came to it, and was determined to drink it all in and enjoy myself no matter what. Endo steals so much from me but I was determined it would not steak my enjoyment of this day.
So, those are my tips. I’d love to hear about your experiences as a chronically ill bride and any tips that you have! Hilarious endo related wedding stories also very welcome.