What that means for me living with multiple chronic illnesses and with a pandemic at hand…
At the beginning of June I shared my exciting engagement news on Instagram. that I had just gotten engaged to my longtime boyfriend AJ (of nearly 10 years!). I thought I’d share further details here on our blog what that looks like for me – starting to plan a wedding not only with a chronic illness but also during a global pandemic.
I never thought I’d get engaged during quarantine, but then again, I also never thought that we would all be in this particular position to begin with.
The engagement and how he proposed!
For those who don’t know how the big question got popped, I’ll give a quick story of our engagement. Even though we had been together for so so long (since we were in our teens) and I knew we were getting very close to this new stage in our lives, I was still completely caught off guard when it actually did happen. It was a Friday afternoon and we were both technically working from home that day so I definitely wasn’t expecting anything big to happen during a work afternoon. I had just taken a break to take our dog Oban out for a neighborhood walk. When I got back I was feeling extra gross and sweaty (since it was oddly warm in Seattle) and had just declared that I needed to take a shower – mind you I had probably not washed my hair in several days & was rocking a no-makeup, old gym clothes type of look (lol not my best).
I was then told there was something special in the apartment that I needed to find first (which is when I began to get very excitedly suspicious). My now Fiancé (still so crazy/fun to say) had set up a scavenger hunt around our apartment and I was given hot/cold clues. I finally found a large, flat, white box and brought it into the living room where AJ opened it up to retrieve a small wooden ring box. He got down on one knee and gave a killer speech but I honestly feel that blacked out for most of it from pure shock/adrenaline. Quarantine or not, I still think for us and for our relationship, it was a perfect engagement and one that I would’ve chosen even if we did have full access to the outside world.
Now that there’s an engagement…what’s next?
SO, now that I’m newly engaged I’ve had a TON of questions and concerns about what that would look like for me as someone with multiple chronic illnesses and also as a bride dealing with life in 2020 (pandemic/a zillion unknowns).
One of my main concerns about the big day and something that I probably had floating around my head before I was even officially engaged, is how to cope if I feel sick on the actual wedding day?…
I think that most people who suffer from chronic illness(es) can agree that making plans in advance can cause a lot of anxiety. There is so much uncertainty with my conditions and things can change so much from day to day that locking in plans always makes me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. I hate having to cancel and I hate feeling like I’m disappointing anyone. When you combine this train of thought with having to now plan basically the most special event (that typically takes several months to organize) my stomach turns.
It’s not that I’m not looking forward to getting married or even the actual wedding day itself – because I’m VERY excited about both of those things. I can’t wait to celebrate with all of our family and friends, I’m just worried that I’ll have an episode or a flare that will put a damper on the day. My track record of staying well when I attend any full day event isn’t the greatest.
I want to have a pretty traditional wedding wedding and wear a beautiful dress. What I don’t want is to have the fear of being sick hold me back. It’s still a constant voice in my head that I need to quiet and remind myself that if I get sick I’ll deal with it, it will pass and it will still be a wonderful day regardless.
I will have to be aware to set time aside that day to make sure I’m taking care of myself properly and scheduling in rest times. I will have to remember to check in with my symptoms and do whatever needs to be done to keep everything at bay the best I can. Having a chronic illness takes a LOT of work and I know that for me in particular, if I’m not on it with my meds, food intake, hydration and rest, things can snowball quickly.
Planning a wedding during a pandemic?
I’ve made the conscious decision not to let that hold me back and in a weird way this is kind of how I’m looking at planning a wedding during this pandemic too. I’m by no means saying that we will have this wedding if the world still looks the same by next spring/summer or that we’re not going to listen to the official guidelines – but rather that I’m going ahead with the planning with a positive attitude/outlook and also with a different course of action if things don’t go as I hope. There’s so much unknown in the world right now and that’s exactly how I feel a lot of times with my symptoms. We can only hope for the best.
I’m making sure that everything we look into booking has a Covid addendum in the contract and that we’re being as carful as we can with all aspects of this virus. As I continue to plan I’ll be updating on the blog as well with all the wedding fun – I have to say, besides my concerns it has been a lovely distraction from all the bad in the world. My fiancé and I recently took our engagement photos and I cannot wait to share those soon!
Any wedding tips are VERY welcomed – do’s / don’ts and everything in-between, especially for a budget friendly wedding!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help & delegate tasks. Get a massage or relaxing facial the day of & get your hair & makeup done shortly before the ceremony. Enjoy the day & take little rest breaks when you need them.
Em + Kate says
Thank you – I’m definitely planning on asking for LOTS of help!!! and I love the idea of getting a massage before!