No spoons left: how I had the best time being very sick at my own wedding

August 17 | Guest post by Tracey Dahl  
Photos by: Craig Bennett Photography
No spoons left: how I had the best time being very sick at my own wedding as seen on @offbeatbride
Photos by Craig Bennett Photography

My wedding was the most beautiful day of my life. It really was. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ceremony. It was magic, it was us, and I wouldn’t trade one moment of it for anything; from the sappy, teary vows to all that went wrong.

What? It was perfect despite it being imperfect? Don’t be quoting fortune cookies — explain.

I was sick. Terribly, nightmarish level sick. I did too much. Planning a wedding in a month is no small feat, friends. Honestly, it wouldn’t have mattered if we took a year to plan it. I was already out of spoons by the rehearsal dinner and all the last-minute to-dos piled up until my body was unable to take it anymore.

No spoons left: how I had the best time being very sick at my own wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

I woke up nauseated, early, because the ceremony started at 10:00 a.m. We stayed the previous night at the bed and breakfast where the ceremony was held. My honey ran some quick errands and picked up the dog, who made an appearance as flowerpup. My nausea had me migrate to the floor. The B&B had a memory foam pad on their bed, which was not helping me. The floor was safe and immune to gravity. I didn’t have a shower, because that was just not going to happen. My bridesmaids were invaluable. I couldn’t have gotten through the morning without them. I had to take several breaks during my makeup and hair. I spent more time on the floor, this time in my wedding gown, curled around a puke bucket. I made my bridesmaid sit next to me on a chair so I could steal her heart rate and have someone stroke my head.

No spoons left: how I had the best time being very sick at my own wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

My body was done and there were several times throughout the morning that I didn’t think it was going to happen.

My beta-blocker had run out the day before and of course the pharmacy had to give us trouble trying to refill it. My heart was not happy and my belly tremor was nasty. The worst it’s ever been. Usually, I feel the spasm deep in my abdomen, so faint I’m not sure it’s happening at first. This time, it was violent, rough, and strong. I had my bridesmaid feel it and nickname it my "belly troll." My body was done and there were several times throughout the morning that I didn’t think it was going to happen. I even considered forcing everyone into our tiny room and doing it in bed, Frida-style.

No spoons left: how I had the best time being very sick at my own wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

No spoons left: how I had the best time being very sick at my own wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

I don’t know how I did it, but I did. I pulled myself off the floor and managed a smile, most of the time, to get married to my best friend. We changed the ceremony last-minute to help my revolting body. I walked the aisle with my dad before everyone else, instead of last. We sat in chairs except for our vows and the rings. We cut the music and one of the poems. It was short and sweet and then it was over.

No spoons left: how I had the best time being very sick at my own wedding as seen on @offbeatbride

As the day got older and my beta-blocker kicked in, I started feeling better. At the reception, there was no dancing, but there was a rap as a toast and all the people we love. We served brunch and mimosas. I was still too nauseated to feed my new husband a piece of cake. And I only had to answer one question about the cane. Which went as follows “What’s with the cane?” “It’s so I can walk.” I think I got my point across.

We got back to the B&B in time for my next pain pill and promptly undressed and got into bed to nap until I moved back to the floor. We were to spend another night there, but I was too sick and just wanted to go home. So hubby packed everything up and we went home. Unromantic for a first night married, but very emblematic of life married to a spoonie.

It was not quite a wedding, but a war and we fucking won that shit.

It was nothing like I thought it would be, but it was perfect. It wasn’t how we planned, exactly, but it was beautiful. Everything that mattered happened. I was okay with everything that went wrong. I didn’t let my illness ruin my day, as so many spoonies are afraid of, as I was so afraid of. It was not quite a wedding, but a war and we fucking won that shit.

Are YOU planning a wedding as a spoonie? What tips or stories do you have to share?

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  1. Congratulations and good for you! I have a couple chronic conditions and there were times during our planning when I really struggled about whether we should even have a wedding given I could so easily feel like shit on the day. Thankfully, that didn't happen to me. I really admire the way you got through it because I honestly don't know that I'd be strong enough to. Also, you look beautiful!

    3 agree
  2. I'm worried that I won't be able to manage on my wedding day. I have generalised anxiety disorder, and suffer huge attacks that last for hours, on the slightest of provocation

    • Paige I just had my wedding on the 6th of August and I too have Generalized Anxiety Disorder,. I will say this honestly because you get it; the planning of the wedding is the absolute worst, as you know you're going to want to plan each detail and then every backup detail and plan imaginable, I say this frankly, Find a wedding day or wedding week coordinator about 3 months out if you can or find one that works with your site, ask any of your vendors, ask a friend in need of money who's good at dealing with people if they'll do it for a small fee if cost is an issue. You've already by that far out got most of the major vendors done, but the details is where you're going to go nuts, and if you're honest with your coordinator about your issues they seem to run with it. Any questions you have, they can find out the answer, you don't have to make any calls but to them (mostly) and they take care of it. It is the biggest relief imaginable. The day of, any time something minor got explosive or terrifying, I had someone track her down and she would take care of it. by that day my chronic worry had subsided, mainly because I felt like I had done all that I could, I let the coordinator take over all the details (mostly, there was a question here or there from the DJ or something where they wanted only my okay and not hers) I just went through the schedule she set for me, I got up had breakfast went to get hair and make up done got to venue put on dress took photos and then ceremony. But the fact that someone else was the director and I got to focus on me as an actor, hitting my marks, making my time for changes etc it was so much easier to focus on, then at the reception I just didn't give a f*ck anymore and had fun, I was dropped on the ground mid-dip of my first dance and ripped my bustle but I didn't care, I had a glass of rose and got back on the dance floor.

  3. I, too, have an anxiety issue and I never thought I'd get through wedding planning. But once the day arrived, I stopped worrying because whatever's going to happen will happen and seeing the fella I was marrying made everything peaceful. And my mind is rarely at peace.

    Also, I was actually at the OP's wedding and I was so proud of her and her partner. The support, respect, and love for each other is very real. That's what real love is – getting through it together and knowing they're in your corner no matter what. It was such an honor to watch my dear friend marry her best friend. She's brave, determined, and beautiful.

  4. Spoonies Unite! I am a spoonie as well and I am so glad to see this! I am so glad you did what felt right and what you could do. You will never forget this day!! Congrats lady!

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