My Big, Healthy Diabetes Wedding

Saying "I do" to accepting diabetes as part of my big day

Kerri SparlingBy

April  2008 — On Sunday, May 18th, I will be married.
Gulp. Even writing that sentence made my stomach leap a little bit. My now-fianc proposed just over a year ago, as we vacationed in St. John last March. It was the most romantic, unexpected moment of my life and I said "Yes!" with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart. There wasn't any thought to my blood sugar or my pump or anything to do with my diabetes – at that moment, it was just me and the person who loves me most, committing to one another for life.

Since the big "yes," we've been embroiled in the "wedding machine," negotiating with vendors, balancing budgets, and reigning in relatives. We've planned our wedding dinner from literal soup to nuts (only we're having cake instead of nuts). We have ordered dozens of flowers and fitted blushing bridesmaids into their gowns. We've sent out invitations and selected a song for our first dance. But it wasn't until recently that diabetes management actually became part of the wedding plan.

When I was diagnosed in second grade, I didn't think about how it would affect my wedding day. To be honest, I didn't anticipate that diabetes would still be a part of my life. Hopeful doctors said "five years until a cure" and I believed them. However, diabetes attended every science fair and every awkward middle school dance. When I graduated high school and walked across the stage for my diploma, it was there, too. And I graduated college with honors, and with diabetes. But I still held close my hope for a cure.

So when I was trying on wedding gowns a few months ago, it was a bittersweet moment to turn to the seamstress and ask, "Can you create a pocket in this dress for my insulin pump?"

Diabetes is a part of my everyday life, and I needed to accept that it would also be a part of my biggest day.

Admittedly, blending my wedding day and my diabetes management has not been too difficult. (A seating chart for 240 people, incorporating two sets of divorced parents? That's difficult.) I chose the wedding gown that made me feel appropriately princess-y, then had the talented seamstresses add a small pocket for my insulin pump in the side of my dress. With the pump infusion set on my outer thigh, the tubing snakes through the slip and the bottom layer of the dress, coming to rest in a pocket that is invisible from the outside.

And treating any potential low blood sugars during the service? I've got that covered. Thanks to the secret-agent skills of my florist, the bouquet held by my maid of honor comes with blooming roses, some ribbon, and a spot in the grip of the bouquet to slip a small tube of cake gel.

How about dealing with a diabetes emergency at the reception? Covered! Behind the head table at the reception hall is a very small dressing room, hidden by a masked door and stocked with a small refrigerator. In this room, I will keep a bottle of insulin, a syringe, my meter, some juice, and glucose tabs to combat any blood sugar issues. I can slip easily in and out of this room without having to excuse myself for more than a minute from the reception festivities.

These details are small, yet crucial. I do not want even a moment of my wedding day to be affected by diabetes. I am hopeful that this fastidious planning will help keep any disasters at bay. I'd rather worry about having blue skies on my wedding day than low blood sugars.

Either way, I plan to laugh, love, and dance myself silly on my wedding day. Diabetes may have its stronghold, but love conquers all.

Visit Kerri's website.

dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.


Last Modified Date: February 14, 2014

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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