Liz Marsh
Liz Marsh

Health vs. the wedding monster

At my cousin Angela's wedding, her sister Colleen couldn't move her head. After months of planning, weeks of making travel arrangements for people and crafting decorations, and days of cooking and cleaning and doing yard work for the "simple backyard ceremony," the stress of being the bride's sister had finally caught up to her. Her poor neck — which had borne the brunt of the worry — had finally just frozen up, and no amount of muscle relaxers or pain pills would help her.

I remember thinking at the time that she was being awfully dramatic.

That was then.

Now I am the bride's sister.

Most of my fingernails have been chewed off, I've developed a caffeine-related twitch in my left eye, my bank account is almost overdrawn, I wake up in a panic at 2 a.m. every day, my brain buzzes with thoughts of speeches and airport pick-ups and bridesmaid dresses and cake orders.

The wedding is on March 25, and the ceremony is going to be outdoors. This is Colorado. We could have 3 feet of snow on March 25. There is a Plan B if that happens, but it's not a good plan. Plan A is really the only plan. It has to be 80 degrees; it has to be Plan A. But of course we won't know that until days before the wedding. The uncertainty is killing me.


All of this, coupled with the fact that I haven't had a restful night's sleep since Jan. 19, meant I was powerless against the recent bout of office virus. What should have been a few days of stuffy nose turned into a solid week of being completely flattened. As I watched my 10th episode of Law and Order in the middle of the day last Thursday, it occurred to me that in the battle of my health vs. the wedding monster, I was losing.

One by one, I closed the open documents on my computer, the wedding spreadsheets and lists, minutes from the last family meeting, the reception playlist, the draft of my speech and the price quote from the bartender. I booked myself a flight.

On the day my sister and her husband leave for their honeymoon, I will be Florida bound. In the name of self-care, I intend to be sipping a cocktail poolside by noon. And most importantly, I intend to be blissfully remiss of a single wedding-related thought.

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