Wedding Tips: Planning A Wedding With Chronic Illness & On A Tight Schedule


I believe that no women should deny herself the right to have a beautiful, romantic wedding, regardless of the challenges she might be facing. I have grown to understand women who are suffering from long-term chronic illness over a decade ago, when a beloved person in my life was diagnosed with MS. I got a taste of living with an illness myself, although I was blessed with healing quickly. By the time when my doctor told me I had postpartum hypothyroidism, I was suffering for over 6 months, judging myself harshly for being “spoiled and incompetent”, and for being a bad mother. The condition I was suffering from is known as chronic, however, in some cases, such as mine, the full recovery was possible. When my then- fiance and I began planning our wedding, I was still unaware of my diagnose, and the treatment I was taking took effect less than a month before the wedding.


We were eager to have a wedding celebration that would host over a 100 people, despite his 12hr working schedule and my struggle with hypothyroidism. Not only it was challenging to plan a wedding only 3 months ahead, with the limited amount of time both of us had available to dedicate to scheduled meetings, but my condition almost made it close to impossible for me to participate in the entire process. We also couldn’t afford help, and the entire wedding was on a tight budget. Hadn’t we followed these few guidelines, I honestly doubt we would be able to have a wedding at all. Here are some guidelines & tips we followed to manage planning a wedding under challenging conditions:


1.    Keep things simple and neutral. If it’s a color, choose either a pastel or a neutral. If it’s a design, go for the simplest one. If it’s a flavor, choose the most popular. Making these choices resulted in a nicely balanced, elegant reception, that, according to many of our guests, gave the impression of a higher cost than it actually was.


2. Choose a few popping elements. Just so that our designs wouldn’t be too neutral, we chose to have a few pieces that will pop. In our case, those were wine-red ribbons for the chairs, my silver-soft rose bouquet, the colorful, pastel, floral design of the wedding cake and red napkins. I would never think that reds and pastels would go as nicely as they did, but it gave the slightly dramatic, warm-renaissance color feel to the reception.


3.    Make decisions in a single meeting. D. and I made a strict decision to not re-schedule or go back for a second or a third meeting to make a decision. If any of the parties couldn’t make it to the meeting, we made the decision over the phone, sometimes exchanging pictures via e-mail. If it wasn’t for our strict decision-making policy, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be a lot harder to make all the arrangements before the scheduled wedding date.


4. Ask about the things previous clients were most satisfied with, choose similarly and play it safe. I think this was the smartest thing we’ve done, as we made choices we knew most of the wedding couples had the best results with.


5.    Arrange via phone or e-mail as much as possible. Save your strength. Inform your “wedding team” or “event team” of your condition and ask them to keep the communication simple as simple and practical as possible.


6.    Make notes about phone calls and arrangements so that you wouldn’t lose track. To me, this was a life-saver, because my mind was foggy during the past few months. I kept a list of pending phone calls and meetings along with dates and scheduled hours, ticking off each one after having completed the task. This helped me feel less tense and pressured, not dreading that I forgot to make an important arrangement that will cause complications later on.


7.    Finally, on the day of the event, check in with everyone involved to confirm timing and handle any possible delays as early in the morning as you can. We were done with our phone calls before 9 AM.


8.    Leave enough time between the delivery of food and flowers and the beginning of the event, to be able to react timely if any complications occur. We had about 5 hours available since the venue was completely set-up, and we used that time to check if everything was done right and finally relax. By “we”, I mean D., since I was chilling in my own alternate universe after I was done with the hair and make-up.


In case you are curious about our experience with planning a wedding with a tight working schedule, a chronic illness and a baby, along with tips & guidelines about hosting an event that includes a baby, check out my blog post: Wedding With a Baby, Tight Working Schedule & Hypothyroidism: My Journey 


Published by Bojana Marković