Allergy-Proofing Your Wedding

When the bride or groom suffers from seasonal or environmental allergies, the last thing either wants is a runny nose (the polite term is rhinitis) to spoil the day.  Thus, in planning their wedding people with allergies should think ahead to help avoid or alleviate symptoms such as sniffling or nasal congestion.  Here are some tips to minimize the possibility of your nose interfering with your “I do”:


Flowers           When plagued by allergies, engaged couples are probably concerned about seasonal allergens such as pollen and flowers.  To minimize the likelihood of needing tissues during the ceremony, affected couples may wish to avoid outdoor weddings during the spring and fall allergy seasons.  As for bridal bouquets, bridegroom boutonnieres, and other floral arrangements, there are many wedding flowers that don’t trigger severe allergies. 


According to Jennifer Sparks, Society of American Florists, much depends on the type of allergy and the individual involved.  Allergies to flowers are typically a result of pollen rather than fragrance.  Flowers begin to release pollen due to the aging process, so use the freshest flowers available.


In fact, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology suggests using large, brightly colored flowers such as roses, daffodils or daisies. Their large pollens are too heavy to be airborne and less likely to cause allergies. Other alternatives include using dried or silk flowers.


Beyond the Bouquet          Couples should think beyond the bouquets and boutonnières.  Although many people may not realize it, nasal symptoms do not always come from allergic reactions, but instead can be caused by everyday non-allergic triggers in the environment — and not just during the allergy seasons but at any time of the year.  Examples might be…

· Hairspray and perfume as the bridal party puts on the finishing touches

· Cooking odors and second-hand cigarette smoke at the wedding reception

· Honeymoon travel involving changes in temperature and cabin air pressure on the plane


If any member of your planned wedding party suffers from rhinitis, it might be wise to share with them the foregoing tips.  After all, just as you don’t want to be blowing your nose through your solemn vows, you don’t want your fervent “I do” interrupted by nasal symptoms from a bridesmaid, groomsman — or worse, by your officiant as he/she is about to say, “I now pronounce you . . . “!


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