Diabetes on Your Wedding Day

A million things are on your mind on the big day—and fretting about your diabetes shouldn’t be one of them. So what can you do? Read on for tips no bride with diabetes should be without.

Diana Bierman
Hillary Mayberry Photography

The last thing you want to stress about when getting married is your diabetes—counting carbs, testing your blood sugar, hiding a pump. The good news? You can tie the knot without worry, thanks to these tips from Susan Weiner, author of The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life (Spry Publishing), and Natalie Strand, MD, an assistant professor in clinical anesthesiology at University of Southern California in Los Angeles. A winner of The Amazing Race, Dr. Strand also happens to have type 1 diabetes—and managed to have a picture-perfect wedding. 

Before your wedding . . .

Camouflage your diabetes supplies
Hidden pockets can be created in your wedding gown to hold your pump or other diabetes tools. “I had a pocket sewn into my gown so that I could reach down and casually pull out my continuous glucose monitor or insulin pump,” Dr. Strand explains. The best part? “The pockets didn’t change the look of the dress!” Hint: If the fabric of your dress can’t be easily snipped, invest in a medium-sized chic clutch that can hold your meter case.

Adopt this mantra

Practice makes perfect! “Do a run-through schedule for your wedding day,” says Weiner. That’ll help you figure out when and what to eat and when to test your blood sugar. One caveat: “Don’t expect it to go exactly that way—chances are you won’t feel the nerves on the trial day that you’ll feel on your wedding day,” Weiner warns. “But you can still figure out what problems may pop up when it comes to the timing of blood sugar testing or meals.”

Put safe indulgences on the menu
Dr. Strand didn’t eliminate elegant meals—rather, she chose fare with few carbs, but lots of flavor. For example, she opted for hand-passed hors d’oeuvres over a pasta station, so portions were smaller and healthier. “And instead of mini pizzas or quiches, I chose things like shrimp and fish—foods that taste great, but don’t severely affect blood sugar.” She also picked trout over steak for the main course, which has less fat and calories.

…And that includes cake!
Have your cake and eat it, too: “There are tons of sugar substitutes for baking,” says Dr. Strand. As for frosting, a whipped instead of a thicker style is key. “Whipped means less volume, which means less sugar and calories,” she explains.

Buy shoes in twos
It’s important for people with diabetes to keep their feet healthy, and that means avoiding blisters and cuts. So if you want to dance the night away, comfy heels or flats are a must. “I had a cute pair of shoes for pictures, and another pair for dancing,” says Dr. Strand.

August 2013