DIABRIDE SURVIVAL GUIDE
Okay, so I got a lot of questions from you ladies asking how in the world did I survive my wedding day with diabetes. And leading up to my wedding, this was what kept me up at night too. But don’t worry, I got you fam.
Essentially, I felt my wedding could be broken down into things I could & could not control. ie: controllables: flowers (orchids & roses), cake (white velvet funfetti), dress (blush, strapless, dramatic train that got dirty reallll quick), music (motown funk). And non-controllables such as: skin (I may have spoken to the chin-zit gods, in a very serious nighttime prayer), groom (will he show up? jk, jk), & lastly, but most importantly, WILL MY DIABETES LISTEN TO ME. Now, we all know diabetes can have a mind of its own, which is why I placed it into the non-controllables category. However, I also did literally everything in my power to control the beast by having a game plan, practicing it & learning to let go on the day itself. Just as you detail the flowers, the music, the dress, the hair, you should also plan around your diabetes. But, if you can take anything away from this, please remember, this is your day. Do not let diabetes steal it from you.
1) The Dress: If you wear a pump or any other device, talk with your dress maker/tailor. You can have pockets sewn into the the fabric to discretely carry your pump. Sadie, my dress maker aka miracle worker, created an extra patch of lace to smooth over that unsightly Dexcom bump. Also, I find that the dimension & texture of lace made it more forgiving than thinner, delicate fabric like silk if you’re trying to cover any devices. It’s not so much about being ashamed, but I just preferred to have my diabetes take a step back that day. If you choose to show your robot parts, then more power to you.
2) The Food: No one wants to be carb counting on their wedding day, so by planning the menu ahead of time (often you’ll be able to do this during a food-tasting at your venue to decide the menu & actually try everything too). That way, you can calculate your carbs & insulin dosing beforehand & see how your body reacts to potentially new foods. Make sure to factor in alcohol (if you drink), & increased activity level. You’re dancing, talking, moving around, smiling incessantly (we had our quartet play the wknd’s “I can’t feel my face” for a reason) & frankly don’t have much time to eat during the party, so I veered on the side of caution & dosed conservatively.
3) Pace yourself: Weddings are filled with excitement, adrenaline, but can also be stressful. Just remember to breathe. I actually started my day with a relaxing yoga session to get into a peaceful mindset. Also, don’t be a starving bride. A venti coffee is not food. Make time at some point to eat, really. It is not safe to go the entire day without food. Not for any bride, but especially diabetics. After our ceremony, I snuck away with my husband (husband!!!) & had a private moment together to absorb everything that just happened. During this alone time, we had food set aside so we were able to relax, fuel up & simply enjoy our first few minutes of being husband & wife together. This was such a special time, & also enormously important BG-wise.
4) BGs: I generally eat low-carb, so I kept that routine the night before & morning of my wedding. Use your judgement. If you don’t typically eat bagels & banana pancakes, don’t do it on your wedding day. The last thing I wanted was to deal with rollercoaster sugars as an added stress & felt more comfortable with less insulin on board, so there was less BG variability the day of the wedding. So, wedding morning I ate a hearty, high protein, low carb breakfast like usual (egg white vegetable omelette with a handful of berries). This required no insulin, to minimize my chance of a bad hypo. Also, I knew I would be extremely active during the day, so maintained higher shugs than usual. Normally, I’m more comfortable running lower, but truthfully, for me, it was not worth sacrificing my enjoyment of the day worrying about going low, or even worse, actually being low. Being high for a day will not kill you. I promise. It is literally ONE day. I am not saying let’s skyrocket (bc honestly it is extremely difficult to pee in a wedding dress, especially when 3 people are holding it up), but I hovered ~150-180s the entire day. I still felt great, it wasn't "uncomfortably high." Some of you might disagree, but I did not aim for unicorns. I gave myself wiggle room. During the actual party, I liberated myself from diabetes. I actually enjoyed everything, including carbs. I allowed myself to eat the corn polenta with the entree, I devoured that cake (& then ate the cake topper at 4am- which apparently you’re supposed to save for your first anniversary or something? sorry @dlamp417). And no, I wasn’t reckless, I stayed in a safe-shug-zone. I still checked my BGs & took insulin, but having perfect numbers was not my wedding priority. I wanted to dance, have fun & live without diabetes being first for one night.
5) Letting go: To get into this more carefree mindset, I actually let go of my diabetes technology for a few days before the wedding, which I discuss in a previous post. I did not want my life to revolve around numbers. However, I did wear my Dexcom the day of the wedding because it was easier than constantly checking my sugar on my meter during such a hectic day. I had my MOH hold my Dexcom receiver & keep tabs on my supplies, so I was not the one constantly worrying where everything was. She was like my designated diabetes driver. Make sure you have your “person,” who you can trust. Their role is not to police, just make your life easier. Also, I had everyone in the bridal party carry quick acting sugar. Groomsmen can easily fit a starburst in their pocket, or if you really want to be safe, sneak one in the bouquet. No one will know. I also had the photographer carry coconut water (avoid anything like grape juice which can stain) & tablets, as she was following me around the entire day.
6) Lastly, just soak in every single moment. It goes by faster than you think. If you’re looking to achieve perfect numbers, I’m not sure how helpful my guide will be. But I can tell you, I won’t look back on my wedding day with regrets. I don’t remember what my blood sugar was before bed, but I will forever remember exchanging vows with my husband, dancing until my feet were numb, laughing constantly, eating actual cake & most of all, being surrounded by pure love. Those memories I will treasure forever & always. It was not a so-called perfect diabetes day, but that’s okay. It was my wedding day.