My boyfriend and I started getting “Save The Date” cards for upcoming spring and summer weddings. My immediate thought process goes something like this:
- “Oh how awesome for [Insert Friend Here]!”
- “AHH, is it possible for me to get through their special day without a migraine?”
Weddings have generally been a source of M Words for me, and it’s not really surprising is it? Weddings are chock full of migraine triggers!
- Incense at the church (smells)
- Church being too hot/cold (Topamax)
- Outdoor ceremony/reception (barometric pressure/weather)
- Drinks at cocktail hour (alcohol)
- Lack of migraine-friendly foods (food intolerances)
- Loud music (noise)
- Not enough water during the day (thirst)
- Coffee at reception (caffeine)
That’s just a list I came up with in about 60 seconds, so I’m sure I’m missing major ones. It’s obviously not our day as M Worders, it’s about the bride and groom. But you have to take care of your own health first before you can be of use to anyone, including being a good friend to the bride and groom. So what can we do?
At the Ceremony:
- Consider sitting toward the back so you can step out for some fresh air (or step into air conditioning) if necessary. I have passed out in a church before from being too overheated (thanks Topamax) so I don’t believe that subtly sneaking out for a minute for the sake of your health is rude.
- Take water. I take a waterbottle with me everywhere. EVERYWHERE. To work, the mall, out to dinner, and yes even to church. I certainly don’t mean to be disrespectful, but it’s an absolute necessity to prevent M Words. (Thirst = trigger)
At Cocktail Hour:
- Re-consider your drink selection. I have stopped drinking alcohol completely. Nearly each sip of alcohol I’ve taken in the past few years has ultimately led to a migraine. This is not worth it for me, but I choose to put my health first. I also do not drink any soda (Caffeine/Aspartame = Trigger). At a cocktail hour, I’d typically just ask for water.
- Those trays of fried goodies and bacon-wrapped deliciousness look appealing, but I head straight to the fresh veggie and fruit stand (if there is one). You might even want to pack a little snack to take with you. Waiting too long to eat between meals is a trigger.
At the Reception:
- If the music is too loud (noise = trigger), it’s okay to step out. You have to put your health first - keep telling yourself that!
- Politely decline the after dinner coffee (Caffeine = Trigger). Water is your friend. This is the time when I might have to take an abortive migraine pill, such as sumatriptan/Imitrex. Don’t forget to pack your migraine meds (along with your water bottle and snacks - and the wedding gift!)
Luckily, my boyfriend is a pro at the role of Date Of M Worder. He goes outside with me if the music is too loud, and he’ll switch plates with me if I get something I can’t eat. I am so lucky - it would be very difficult for me to get through a wedding without him at this point!
Do you have any upcoming weddings? Do you have any tips to share on how to survive (and enjoy) weddings as a migraineur?