This post will not have pictures

I’ve been unsure about blogging this, but it’s most definitely behind me now, so I’m going to go ahead.

I was quite relaxed in the lead up to the wedding, I thought. I finished work on Monday, went to pilates class in the evening, and then Mum and my step-Dad arrived. All was good.

Tuesday I went out to the wedding hotel with the parents, then had a coffee and scone with them at M&S, and saw them off safely to visit their friends.

I headed into the city centre to buy a few bits and pieces, pootle a bit, and collect some of the wedding suits. I was in and out of Arnotts and Debenhams a couple of times. (This may be important)

When I got back to the car my face felt a bit hot, and I noticed I was getting a couple of spots on my cheek. it had been a warm afternoon, so I thought nothing of it.

I got home, had a cuppa, and waited for L and S to come over so that S could do a trial for my wedding make up. (Incidentally, S is awesome at make up. I don’t usually wear make up and was nervous but she is wonderful).

My cheeks and neck were quite warm, and my skin felt really rough all of a sudden. I freaked out a little bit but the lovely people on Ravelry calmed me down and pointed out that it was probably just a stress thing. That seemed most plausible.

All was good. Late in the evening it got bad again. Itchy, rough, and hot. Off to the late night chemists I went, where I confirmed that I hadn’t eaten anything unusual and had no known allergies.I didn’t mention the make up trial. I knew it wasn’t a reaction to that: it had started before, and was on my checks and neck rather than where the make up had been. Stress, was the diagnoses through the window, and some weak anti-histamines were given to me.


Wednesday morning I still felt bad, so I planned on going to a different chemist to get something stronger. Then I got up and looked in the mirror.

My face and neck were swollen. I looked like the young Monica from Friends. It was not pretty. It was not how I wanted to look on my wedding day.

I rang the GP.

My morning plans cancelled, I sat at the doctors trying not to freak out and cry. What if I was contagious? What if we had to cancel everything? What if my face stayed like that? What about all the things I had to do?

I go to a great doctors’ surgery. They are lovely and friendly and sympathetic and they listen.

The best guess was an allergic reaction. As I hadn’t eaten anything unusual, and my lips and throat weren’t swollen, it seems likely that it was something in the air when I was shopping on Tuesday. Hence the relevance of walking in and out of Arnotts and Debenhams a few times: I suspect there’s a purfume out there that doesn’t like me. Even then, that’s a bit odd. I’m not allergic to anything. I have easy, not sensitive skin. It was all very strange. I’m possibly allergic to getting married, but once should be enough for that anyway.

I left the doctors with instructions to get some better anti-histamines, and prescriptions for antibiotics and steroids. There was talk of IV steroids too, but thankfully that wasn’t necessary.

I went off to meet my Dad and step-Mum at the in-law’s house, took my drugs, and everybody watched as my face went down.

That evening I went to hang out with a bunch of my family, and if anyone noticed they were too nice to say. It was a lovely relaxed evening and I’m glad I ventured out, I wasn’t sure about it at first, the way I looked.

Back to the doctors again the next day, with more wedding preparation plans scuppered. More waiting, more prescriptions, but a lovely doctor who didn’t charge me for the second visit, and who assured me that all would be ok in the morning, which it was.

The family and friends that knew what was up were brilliant. I know that there are loads of you reading this now who would have helped too, if I had asked. I didn’t want the wedding to be all about me and sympathy for my swollen itchy face though. I wanted it to be about my love for Donal, and the two of us making a commitment, and having a lovely party with our closest friends and family. Which is what it was.


Unfortunately, as my cheeks and neck cleared, the side effects from the steroids kicked in, and the day after the wedding my forehead broke out into really nasty acne. I weaned myself off the drugs sooner than I was supposed to (but still gradually in case anyone is worrying), and my skin is almost clear again.


Our first full day here in Tuscany we spent relaxing outside until the sun went down over the mountain across from us. It was lovely.

The mosquitos think so too. I have 19 bites. My neck is clear, my cheeks are clear, my forehead is clear, and my legs look like I’ve been attacked by a small octopus.

Still, my heart is happy, my brain is happy, and we’re off to Florence for the day tomorrow, so there will be no more self-pitying posts.

14 thoughts on “This post will not have pictures

  1. Have fond memories of lovely Florence but my wife very badly affected by mosquito bites and i had liitle or no reaction to the same creatures. Best to take some tablets before you go but not even hives or mosquito bites can take away from the magic of Florence! You have my sympathy but I’m sure that you still had the time of yourlife!

  2. Oh no, I had no idea, as I am just now reading this because I am a terrible friend, but how awful. I’ve actually had stress-related hives (including face swelling) on a couple of occasions, and it was terrible. I thought it might be allergies, and then I did a lot of reading about it (because the hives lasted for six months…lots of time to read up about it…) and found out that stress can have an effect on allergic reactions. So maybe it was a combination of factors–an aggravating perfume plus stress. :|

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear it’s gone!

  3. Gosh that must have been very scary just before the wedding. Glad you had a great day and looks like your having a fabulous honeymoon. Enjoy.

  4. I noticed. You looked awful.

    No, that is a total lie. You looked great.

    Perhaps, if you were picking up the wedding suits, you had a reaction to chemicals used to clean the suits?

  5. Ahh, the story of our wedding. Yes. Quite the tale. It’s enough to put you right off weddings – and I still don’t think we’ve watched the video, some 16 years later.

    I developed an allergy to my cologne (Bay Rum) sometime during the process. It raised welts on my skin, and burned miserably. I’ve never been able to wear it since.

    We did our own decoration, and we did our own flowers – 225 roses. We stayed in T’s sister’s apartment, the night before, working on all of the floral things.

    I had a sty in both eyes, for the wedding, and resorted to makeup to get rid of the black circles, sort of. We both slept for probably 12 hours, the night after the wedding.

    4 years after the wedding, I finally realized why a particular smell made me ill: it was the smell of roses. Spending a night cooped up with 225 of the things will definitely put you off of them!

  6. Sometime D. will have to tell you about the sty — two of them, actually — he had in BOTH eyes during our little fêtê. He looked like he had two slightly blackened eyes… stress is a crazy thing, but you sailed through with a gorgeous and memorable ceremony, I’m sure, and now you’re in Tuscany and off to Florence – well, that’s definitely recompense for all your angst! How lovely.

  7. Poor you – I think you have every right to a self-pitying post! I’m glad everything turned out okay in the end though!

    Do you think it might be useful to look into allergy tests when you get back, so you’ll have some idea how to prevent this from happening again in the future?

    Have fun in Florence! :)


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