Weddings are glorious, beautiful things. A weekend dedicated to your friends being in love with each other and hopefully being in love with you is a pretty special thing!
Pricey travel, outfit crisis after outfit crisis, embarrassing dance moves, and near death by hangovers aside, weddings are one of my all time favorite types of parties. You’ve got high school reunion level of silliness, champagne, late night gossip, debauchery in the form of yelling, singing, and shirts off on the dance floor. You’ve got hot, smelly churches and bright, sunny fields. You’ve got best friends crying happy tears in the corner, and awkward encounters with ghosts of dating past. There’s always bidding wars over hotel beds, and even the occassional deflated air mattresses. I mean, what’s not to love?
I still have 2 weddings left this fall, with 2 happily tucked away under my belt. So by no means am I a pro, but I think I’ve picked up on the jist of what the whole “wedding guest as a type 1 diabetic” lifestyle is alllll about.
Here are 6 tips to surviving wedding season:
Invest In A Bag That Fits Your Outfit and Your Supplies
In it you will need the following:
- A replacement infusion set (or Omnipod)
- Alcohol swab
- Bottle of insulin
- Glucagon pen
- Test Kit
- KIND bar (in case the food sucks, ya know?)
- Baggy of something with 15-25g carbs
- Rollerball perfume or essential oil
My go to bag this fall is from a local Brooklyn joint called Article Article & Article, $86.
Set Some Shoogies Alarms!
I have a tendency to get carried away at weddings – I’ll get grooving on the dance floor with a conviction to be the last woman standing which means hours can go by without my knowledge. Also, I know some of you choose not to, but I do drink alcohol, so typically by the end of a wedding, there’s more than 1 glass of wine in my system. Not to mention, if you’re meeting me back at the hotel lobby for the afterparty, my friend’s husband will likely have already ordered pizza. Needless to say, I am a blur between the hours of 6pm and 1am. In normal life, I am not dancing for hours on end, I’m ass in seat at my desk. I’m also not one to order late night pizza (anymore) because I like sleeping too much to be up all night trying to convince my numbers to go back to where they should be. But weddings are all about exceptions to the rules, and of the two weddings I’ve been to this fall, there has been dancing and pizza. Lots, and lots of dancing and pizza.
So this is when I lean on technology a bit to help me be a little more responsible.
I first tried this system a while back when I had a weird bout with overnight highs, and it worked great. All you have to do is set a few alarms on your phone that will shout at you from across the room to check yourself before you wreck yourself and especially so you can get your shit together before you go to sleep and potentially encounter something dangerous. This is better than waiting for something to happen and then having to scramble. Trust me on this one.
Pick Your Booze Wisely.
It goes without saying that alcohol will affect your blood sugar. That’s type 1 diabetes 101. But did you guys know that certain alcohol, like wine for example, can actually lower your numbers? Yeeeeep. Lower. Wine is my go-to, but it’s important for me to remember that with wine comes drops so it’s important to eat while I sip. The other strategy I have is “stick to one thing”. Don’t spend your day sipping IPA’s at the local brewery, switch to gin and tonics, toast with champagne, and end the night with red wine. That is the express train route to barf-town, and that is so note cute. There’s no shame in pacing yourself, sticking to what you know, and hydrating between drinks.
If your date is not your long-term sig-o, remind them of the drill
Hopefully you have chosen a lovely mate to accompany you to someone’s wedding. But they might not know you very well yet and may be new to what to look for if you’re going low. Hopefully you feel comfortable telling them, or at least someone else at the wedding, any or all of the symptoms and watch outs for urgent blood sugar matters. My boyfriend will even occasionally carry my Glucagon pen for me in his suit coat which makes me feel better when we’re boppin’ on the dance floor and I know it’s in close proximity to me. It can also take a little weight off of your shoulders to lean on your friends, family, or date. People are more than willing to be helpful and caring, all you have to do is ask. Unless your best friend’s name is Maddy and you can’t, under any circumstances, let her know where your low gummy stash is. She will find it and she will eat it. Rest assured I’ve switched to juice boxes whenever she’s around.
Eat On The Low Carb Side.
Nuts, veggies, cheese, and meat, are things that are typically available to eat at a wedding. And the lower-carb you eat during one of these crazy demanding events, the smaller window of risk you’re opening up to roller coaster numbers. If you’re worried that the food situation will totally throw you for a loop, pack yourself a few “free” (low or no carb) snacks to carry around for a moment you feel a hungry, but are unsure of the safety of a big bolus. Like low supplies, it’s doubtful you’ll even need this, but it’s great peace of mind. That saiiiiiid, if at the end of the night after hours working up a sweat on the dance floor, if you want to eat the cake….EAT THE DAMN CAKE!
And, most importantly, tip #6.
Go Easy On Yourself & Let Yourself Have Fun
The first few weddings I went to, I was very nervous my numbers would disrupt something. Especially when I was a bridesmaid. But here’s the deal, your numbers are going to fluctuate at a 3-day long, other people feeding you, sleeping less than usual, and traveling far and wide bender. And that’s okay. If you’re relatively responsible, eat at least some of right things, try to get some sleep, and aren’t a drunk sloppersauce, weddings are a great opportunity to have some fun, let yourself enjoy your friends and family in an incredibly positive environment, and let your mind wander elsewhere than having diabetes. Weddings are supposed to be a time to celebrate love and the people in your life. Not to be glued to your Dex graph every second on the second. You deserve a weekend like that. We all do.