Keeping Allergies at Bay on Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day holds enough stress potential without you worrying about having a sneeze attack on your way down the aisle.
Although the world may seem fresh and new on your big day, the truth is that you still have allergies and you want to plan your big day with an ounce of prevention at every turn. The easiest way is to do just that — make your plans far in advance with your and your future spouse’s allergy needs in mind. However, if your wedding date is upon you, there still is an ounce of prevention to be had.

Saving Your Face
If your skin or eyes tend to be easily irritated by makeup, avoid trying anything new before the ceremony. Forego the fantastic concealer your cousin offers you — and this caution goes for new cologne and perfume, as well.

If you’re in an absolute bind and you must use unfamiliar makeup, test it on your wrist. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests you apply a small amount to the inside of your wrist and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Gently wash away the makeup and check for any redness, itchiness or tenderness. Unfortunately, this test won’t determine if a type of new mascara will irritate your eyes. To test mascara, apply it to only one set of eyelashes before you apply any other makeup. Again, wait no less than 15 minutes. If no irritation occurs, you’re probably safe. If your eye does feel itchy or dry, you can remove the offending mascara without ruining all your makeup.

Take It Inside
The ceremony’s venue and even the trek to it may hold some pitfalls for seasonal allergy sufferers. An outdoor ceremony and reception may not be the best idea. But even the briefest exposure to the outdoors may be a strong enough dose of pollens and mold spores to trigger hours of hay fever symptoms in some people. If this is a possibility, have a back-up plan and some tissue ready.

If you don’t already have a prescription antihistamine/decongestant, see your doctor and get one. Of course, this won’t help if you forget them at home in the big rush to get everything and everyone ready and to the church on time. Buy some pill boxes at the drugstore, put a few pills in each one and distribute them to people in the wedding party or close friends who will be attending. Save one for you and one for your future spouse. Chances are, should you find yourself or your intended sneezing away your special day, someone will have remembered to bring the antidote. (Naturally, only take your own prescription.) Since these medications don’t work instantly, you may want to leave yourself a 30 to 45 minute window to arrive at the big event before the march is on. If you do take a medication, be sure to follow the indications; you may need to avoid alcohol.

Flower Power
Once you’ve made it safely to the site of the big event, what a nightmare it would be to discover your eyes are watering uncontrollably because you’re allergic to your boutonniere. An allergy to flowers presents a new opportunity to appreciate the paradox of nature: Flowers are beautiful, but they may hold you or your nose in their grip if you find yourself wearing a bud you are allergic to.

Should your nightmare be blooming right beneath your nose, get rid of it! You, or a close friend attending the big event, might be able to find another, less scented flower or a silk flower to substitute in your boutonniere. If not, save the greenery from it and find some ribbon to create a colorful alternative. Using the ribbon, tie a bow with multiple loops, as fancy as you can, and then tie it to the florist’s pin and greenery. In photographs taken at the event, if the colors of a boutonniere are there on your lapel, no one will be any the wiser.

After the Ceremony
At the reception, don’t trade a romantic departure in a stretch limo for a frantic EMS-chauffeured ride through town after saying, “But I’m allergic to peanuts!” If you suspect a dish contains something that your system just can’t deal with because of a food allergy, ask any of the caterer’s wait staff or the chef about the ingredients.

The catering community is aware of food allergies and why they need to help the client avoid an allergic reaction. When in doubt, decline to dine.

With any luck, you will make it through your wedding day with a feeling of joy and accomplishment. How many times in your life have you planned and starred in an event that big and important? To be able to do that and to take care of your and your future spouse’s allergy needs is something to be proud of!

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