Say ‘I do’ to these wedding tips: How 5 newlyweds managed T1D on their day

 

Whether you’re sauntering slowly down the aisle to Wagner’s "Bridal Chorus," striding confidently to Pachelbel’s "Canon in D Major," or blasting "Marry You" by Bruno Mars at a drive-thru chapel in Las Vegas, you want your day to be perfect. That means the right location, the right music and, of course, the right partner.

But type 1 diabetes doesn’t always play by the rules. Planning for diabetes management at your wedding should be just as important as the color scheme.

We talked to five newlyweds living with diabetes about how they managed their special days and planned the menus. Plus, we also got some words of encouragement for those about to take the plunge.

If anyone has any objections to this blog post, speak now, or forever hold your peace.

Nothing? Let’s go!

BRIDE: JANA WHALEN

How did you manage your type 1 diabetes on your wedding day?

I began using my Tandem Diabetes Care® pump a week before my wedding (I previously had a different pump), so I was quite new to it and was nervous about having perfect sugars the day of my wedding as I wanted to feel my best. I didn’t receive my Dexcom G6 CGM till after my wedding, so I was using the FreeStyle Libre CGM. While getting ready in the morning, I made sure to make myself very aware of my sugars and be cautious of what I was eating to avoid a spike.

I made sure to put my pump site in a place that was easy for me to unclip if I needed to. When wearing my pump, I had the infusion set on my lower back and then clipped my pump to the back of my dress. I was very lucky to have great blood sugar levels on my wedding day.

What advice can you share about planning your wedding or the day of?

I did not want my pump to beep or make noise during the ceremony so I created an alternate profile that wouldn’t release insulin during the ceremony. I also took my pump off for my ceremony and gave myself a shot of insulin through a needle to keep my sugars stable. It was also minus-45 degrees Celsius (that’s living in Saskatchewan, Canada for you) on my wedding day so I continued to do this while we had outdoor photos.

Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. During exciting moments, I can feel low, but really it was just adrenaline.

I remember the first thing I said to my husband when I walked up the aisle was ‘I think I’m low.’ I then realized there was no way I was low. I was just excited!

What’s the best marriage advice you can give that has absolutely nothing to do with type 1 diabetes?

Do everything as a team because teams are stronger than an individual. Remember that your partner always has your best interests at heart. Trust that they will be with you and not against you. Laugh lots, make memories, and never go to bed upset. 

BRIDE: MARIA KINDRICK

How did you manage your type 1 diabetes on your wedding day?

I made sure to always have lots of nearby snacks and food in case my blood sugar dropped. The day of the wedding can be very long, so it's important to make sure that you have all your supplies and some back-up supplies, especially strips, site changes, and full insulin in your pump or pen needle.

I kept my meter and diabetes kit with my mom, so it was close by and I could easily grab it to check my blood after the ceremony and before eating.

My blood sugar went high after I ate because I didn't bolus enough and didn't bolus ahead of time. I would suggest knowing what will be on your plate ahead of time, so you can pre-bolus before you start eating. You'll also want to make sure you bolus for any cake or alcohol you'll be drinking during the reception. It's often taken in little bits, so you forget to bolus. Keep checking your blood sugar regularly so it can stay in a good spot.

All of my bridesmaids were very close to me, and all knew about my diabetes, so in case of an emergency or low blood sugar they knew what to do. It's useful to know that you can depend on the people around you to keep you safe and healthy.

Hair and makeup take forever! You can't move a lot when it is happening, so make sure your blood sugar is steady before you start. I kept my meter and a juice box on the table beside me, so it was easy to check whenever I needed.

What advice can you share about planning your wedding or the day of?

Make sure your dress has an easily accessible pocket for your pump! For my dress, since it was an open back, we were able to add a little pocket in the back so I could easily access it. Talk with your dress alterations person to find the best spot.

Before dress shopping, bring extra site changes. I ripped mine out at the first appointment, so I had to stop at home to change my site.

When I was actually trying on dresses, I took my pump off, so I didn’t have to worry about pulling my site out or finding a good place to clip it. When trying on wedding dresses, there’s a lot of fabric and it’s really easy to lose your little pump. My appointments didn’t take too long, so I was able to clip my pump back on and give insulin to compensate for what I lost.

Wedding planning can be exhausting, both physically and mentally, especially if you’re walking around to find the perfect venue. Make sure to eat and have your blood glucose in a stable range before you start. You don’t want to get cranky and in an argument just because your blood sugar is being crazy or you’re hungry.

What’s the best marriage advice you can give that has absolutely nothing to do with type 1 diabetes?

Make sure to spend quality time with your spouse. Being married is a fun adventure and you get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend. Talk with them, tell your spouse about your day, ask them questions, and tell them interesting, random facts.

Eat dinner, watch a movie or TV show, play a board game (I still haven’t won at Monopoly yet, but give it time), go on walks, or play disc golf. Go on double dates and be goofy and spontaneous. Even after a long day of work, there’s no one I love seeing more than my husband, Thomas.

BRIDE: KIRA HART

How did you manage your type 1 diabetes on your wedding day?

I had a dedicated Dexcom bridesmaid who followed my blood sugar on the app to make sure I was in range so I could focus on the getting married part! My husband is usually the one who's checking up on my sugar, so it was nice for both of us to know someone else was on top of it.  Other than that, my diabetes was super well-behaved thanks to my t:slim X2™ insulin pump with Control-IQ® technology and a high-protein breakfast before things got crazy.

What advice can you share about planning your wedding or the day of?

I looked into getting a special pump garter, but I didn't want to feel like I was hiding this part of myself on the day I was supposed to be showing up as my most authentic self to share with my life partner.

It was very important to me to not hide my diabetes, but rather make it a part of my wedding day the way it's a part of my life every day.

I ended up clipping my pump on the back of my dress. Not only was that super convenient, but I actually ended up loving it in photos. As we all know, no matter what you do sometimes, your body decides to not play along, so I definitely went into the day not expecting perfect control. Keeping my pump and CGM visible helped me hold off the expectation of blood sugar perfection and just handle things the same way I do every day. Everything ended up going more smoothly than I could have hoped for, but I think having realistic expectations of a sneaky low or a stubborn high made it so that there was no way T1D was going to ruin my day.

What’s the best marriage advice you can give that has absolutely nothing to do with type 1 diabetes?

I feel weird giving marriage advice as a newlywed, but the best thing we've done so far is set aside Saturday mornings to do something together that is just fun. Even when that is just sitting on the couch with our dogs, setting aside a dedicated time to just be together has been so special!

GROOM: JC ARAGONE

How did you manage your type 1 diabetes on your wedding day?

When it came to the food, I made sure to think ahead and make minor compromises. The elaborate wedding cake was very important to us. We had two wedding cakes, which included four different flavors of cake. Since I knew I was going to have a large amount of sugar from the dessert, we opted for a low-carb dinner that included salad and protein.

We served the dessert right before we all headed to the dance floor so I could burn all that sugar off while dancing!

What advice can you share about planning your wedding or the day of?

I think it is important to remember that it’s your special day and you need to prioritize yourself and your needs. Since we planned ahead for the food and dancing to follow with my diabetes in mind, I was stress free and able to enjoy my wedding day and focus on being present. I was not stressed or worrying about my diabetes at my wedding. It also helped that I had my Tandem t:slim X2 insulin pump looking out for me.

What’s the best marriage advice you can give that has absolutely nothing to do with type 1 diabetes?

I think it’s very valuable to always make decisions together no matter how big or small. Communication is everything!

BRIDE: JESSICA CAMACHO

How did you manage your type 1 diabetes on your wedding day?

Wedding planning can be stressful, and so can managing diabetes. I wanted to eliminate sources of stress when possible, and for me this meant making sure my blood sugar was stable so that I felt comfortable and could enjoy my day. In order to do this, I decided to leave my pump on. This was not my original plan (I always thought I’d go back to multiple daily injections for the day).

I decided to pump it up because that is how I feel most comfortable and safe each day and didn’t want my wedding day to be any different.

I did take it off for the ceremony, but I put it back on almost immediately after. In the months before my wedding, I tried placing my pump in different areas to see where I would feel most comfortable, and where it would be accessible without being in the way.

What advice can you share about planning your wedding or the day of?

When planning how to manage your T1D, do what makes you comfortable. Do what feels like the least amount of work to you, whether that’s using your pump or taking a break from it. Designate someone who is knowledgeable about your diabetes (a family member, someone in your bridal party) to check in throughout the day to see how you’re feeling, how your blood sugar is, and who can grab something for you if you need it (like a juice box if you’re low before walking down the aisle).

What’s the best marriage advice you can give that has absolutely nothing to do with type 1 diabetes?

It’s the little things you do every day that can make each other happy and above all, make your marriage fun. Learn each other’s respective love languages if you haven’t already, and speak to them through not only your words, but your actions.

Our thanks to these five newlyweds for sharing their experiences leading up to their weddings and how they managed their type 1 diabetes on their special days. We wish you and your partners a lifetime of love and happiness!

 

JC Aragone has a compensation agreement with Tandem Diabetes Care, Inc.

From time to time, we may pass along suggestions, tips, or information about other Tandem insulin pump user experiences or approaches to the management of diabetes. Please note, however, individual symptoms, situations, circumstances, and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment. Please read the Important Safety Information before using a Tandem Diabetes Care product.

Responsible Use Control-IQ Technology

Even with advanced systems such as the t:slim X2 insulin pump with Control-IQ technology, users are still responsible for actively managing their diabetes. Control-IQ technology does not prevent all high and low blood glucose events. The system is designed to help reduce glucose variability, but it requires that users accurately input information, such as meals and periods of sleep or exercise. Control-IQ technology will not function as intended unless all system components, including CGM, infusion sets and pump cartridges, are used as instructed. Importantly, the system cannot adjust insulin dosing if the pump is not receiving CGM readings. Since there are situations and emergencies that the system may not be capable of identifying or addressing, users should always pay attention to their symptoms and treat accordingly.

 

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