For IBD sufferers it always pays to plan ahead and have an emergency contingency plan in place – and your wedding is no different. The most important thing is to share any concerns you have with your spouse-to-be and not lose sight of the important things. After all, it’s only one day and getting hitched doesn’t always go off without a hitch. A small snafu here or there will be no problem so long as you don’t let it stress you out (because stress + IBD can equal disaster). With that in mind, here are our tips for organising a low-stress, IBD-friendly wedding:

Write a list

Every good event starts with a good list. Things you need to do, things you need to book, stuff to buy and whom to invite. If you have IBD you’ll want to add a few things to your list like: research honeymoon destinations (for food, emergency services, hotel amenities, travel time etc.), check the reception menu is in line with your dietary restrictions, and schedule a doctors appointment for a check up and to get any prescriptions you might need for the day and honeymoon.

Delegate

Mothers and soon-to-be mothers-in-law will often jump at the chance to be involved organising the nuptial festivities. And it’s not just the maternal people in your life – friends and family will be happy to support you and accommodate any reasonable requests for help in wedding planning and execution, especially if they’re away of your health problems. Getting others involved helps to spread the workload, ease your mind and also adds an extra special personal touch to the preparations. Remember stress can aggravate IBD symptoms, so the clearer your head and your workload, the better for your health in the lead up to the big event.

Keep it short and sweet

This goes for both the ceremony and the formal part of the reception. You don’t want to be caught out with an abdominal spasm or need to hightail it to the bathroom in the middle of a very long ceremony or father of the bride speech. Ask your celebrant, MC and anyone speaking on the day to keep it short and sweet. It might even be advisable to have an emergency sign for all those involved in the formalities that signals that you need to leg it to the loo. If you plan this sort of contingency in advance, the celebrant or MC can conveniently segue into a reading, anecdote or hit the music to cover your absence.

Take charge of what’s important

While the process of wedding planning often involves a degree of compromise, you need to be clear about the deal breakers for you and your husband- or wife-to-be. Don’t let anyone interfere or talk you out of them. You want a Star Trek theme? Have the theme! Orchids have personal significance to your family? Fill the bouquets and reception venue with orchids.

Equally, you need to consider the wedding elements that are important for your health and you need to manage those elements yourself rather than delegate them. This might mean taking the lead on honeymoon research and booking arrangements that will make travelling with IBD a little easier or briefing the catering company about your dietary restrictions. It might even mean vetoing the outdoor ceremony or reception venue because it doesn’t have adequate toilet facilities. You need to think through all these options and take control of the ones that may impact your health.

Sit back and enjoy the ride

Your wedding – planning it and the actual day – should be a special experience to share with your partner and loved ones. Don’t let stress about menus, guest lists, honeymoon anxiety (which can be acute for people with IBD who often fear travel) or venues get in the way of the joy of the experience.

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