Hayfever only hit me ten years ago. It was the nasty side effect (along with cankles) to pregnancy and I’ve had to endure a red, runny nose, an itchy throat and sore, puffy eyes every summer since. Normally, I’m okay until around June but this year, it’s only March and I’m already twitching. If my wedding was imminent I’d be seriously concerned. If that’s the rotten, sniffling boat you’re now in and are rather worried about your “I Do’” moment becoming an “Achoo!” one, here are ten ways to prevent your pollen allergy from ruining your wedding day….
Many over-the-counter antihistamines last the whole day. Just make sure you don’t pop the ones containing chlorphenamine that can cause drowsiness (you don’t want to get caught napping during the speeches!) Look for labels mentioning cetrizine, fexofenadine or loratadine instead. Apart from pills, antihistamines come as nasal sprays and eye drops too. (Shout out to Benadryl Allergy Nasal Spray, £5.99 which has made a big difference to my life.) If it’s not too late, start taking them a couple of weeks before your wedding or your symptoms are due to start (easier said than done I know) but once you are taking them, if you’re still suffering it’s worth a visit to your GP to talk about other options.
Pollen tends to be at it’s most unbearable in the morning so try to avoid an early outdoor ceremony. Same goes for any photographs. Stay inside if you can (hooray for air conditioning) and only venture al fresco mid afternoon when the pollen levels have dropped.
If getting to and from the ceremony requires outdoor exposure, wear a veil and keep it down across your face so it acts like an anti-pollen screen. It’s well worth downloading the A.Vogel Pollen Forecast app onto your phone. Using GPS, it’ll tell you the forecasts for tree, grass and weed pollen where your wedding is taking place around the UK.
Everyone wants their wedding day to be bright and sunny… even hayfever sufferers. It’s worth mentioning your allergy to the venue if you are hoping to go outside for drinks/pictures etc. If they cut the grass a couple of days before your wedding there won’t be so many pesky allergens in the air.
Go organic to avoid pesticides on your food and fill up on low-allergen ingredients like brown rice, quinoa, green veg, sweet potatoes, blueberries, blackberries and meats (lamb is considered the most hypoallergenic.)
Maybe a bouquet of fresh flowers isn’t such a good idea in the circumstances. You could speak to a florist about using low-allergy flowers like unscented roses but if you’re still concerned, a bouquet of silk flowers can look beautiful. Silk Blooms will custom-make exactly the bouquet you dream of, from posies to cascading bouquets in whatever colour, flower or style you want.
And this is the worst for me. How to look like you haven’t been awake all night scratching your eyes out! If your antihistamine has made your skin drier or more sensitive than normal, start with a fragrance-free tinted moisturiser like bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, £27 to offer comfort and cover. Concealer is a non-negotiable, especially if you’ve got dark circles under your eyes. (Did someone say wedding?) You may worry that eyeshadow will irritate but I find that a wash of silver brightens my (red) eyes and makes me look (and feel) better. Use a brush rather than your fingers to apply it to keep pesky pollen from getting in your eyes. I also have a nude kohl pencil which I find, drawn along the inner rims of my lower lashes makes a big difference. Rimmel do a good one. Waterproof mascara is an absolute must or go for eyelash extensions. Finally, divert focus away from your poor eyes courtesy of a bright lipstick.
Pollen can stick to your hair so wash it the night before your Big Day, just to ensure that nothing will transfer onto your pillow and then give you a rough night (not to mention morning face.) A lot of hairstylists prefer to undo day-old hair so it’s a win-win.
So the bouquet is going to be a very realistic-looking fake. You’ve ordered buttonholes and bridesmaids posies to match too. What about the centre pieces at the reception though? Pinterest has loads of non-flowery suggestions for stylist centre pieces. Candles, fruits, fairy lights in glass bowls, cupcakes and macaroons. The options are endless…
In case your hayfever attempts to sabotage your Big Day, it’s a good idea to add a few essentials into your emergency kit bag. Things like Vaseline (to dab around the edges of your nostril to block pollen) along with your antihistamine, waterproof mascara, concealer, tissues, paracetamol, face wipes and that ultimate decoy, your bright lipstick.
So do you have any other tips for overcoming hayfever? Please share them in the comments