Jes And The Puke-And-Rally Wedding


I threw up in my wedding dress. I wasn’t hung over. I wasn’t sick. I was excited. Too excited. Excited and nervous. This wedding thing. This marriage thing. It is beyond important to me. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made, and it was worth the puking.

In fact, the physical trauma wound up being one of the best things that could have happened.

I woke up more excited about anything I’ve ever been excited about in my life. Marshall and I had decided to stay together in our house so that things would feel as relaxed and normal as possible before our morning wedding. I shot awake, bounced on the bed and yelled, “Wake up! Wake up! We’re getting married today!”

Four minutes later, he got out of bed and found me puking in the bathroom.

“Are you okay, baby?”

Covered in snot, crying at the toilet, feeling as un-pretty as I’ve ever felt, I turned to him, “Sickness and health, right? You sure you want to marry me?”

Marshall, laughing, “Let me get you a wash cloth.”

We split up, and I got ready at my mom’s house with all my best friends. They took care of my makeup and hair. I calmed down.

Ten minutes before the ceremony, my pastor says, “Let’s all gather around and pray for Jes to remain calm and peaceful.”

“Nope, I gotta throw up again.”

In seconds my sister had a trash can, my pastor had a cold cloth, my photographer had some toothpaste, a bridesmaid had a mint, and someone made sure there was a glass of water for me at the front of the church. They took care of me.

A few minutes later, my mom told me, “Okay sweetie, time for you to get married. Let’s get your shoes.”

“I’m not wearing any shoes,” I informed her.

“That’s okay,” she replied.

My mom and dad helped carry me down the aisle. My legs were so shaky. They took care of me.

I hurt Marshall’s hands holding them so hard during the ceremony. He swears he doesn’t mind. When we had a few moments to whisper during a reading, I apologized for throwing up again. Then gave him the trash from my mint. He always complains about the tiny trash from mints in my pockets. He smiled as he slipped it into his.

After the ceremony we had a mini-reception at the church. I was hot. And sweaty. And my ribs hurt. From the dress, and the throwing up. My mom and a cousin shuffled me into the bathroom and helped me strip away every petty coat and every undergarment we could. They took care of me.

We left early and went to my mom’s. My back hurt, my head hurt, I couldn’t eat. My bridesmaids helped Marshall get me out of the dress. They brought in every type of cracker my mom had. They made me tea. They ran to the gas station to get Saltines. They drew me a bubble bath. They rubbed my back. Marshall spent his first few moments as husband drinking a beer while I soaked in the tub. They took such good care of me.

Marshall took me home, tucked me in with the dogs on our couch. Put on a rerun of Fraiser. Made sure I had tea and water. Brought me an extra blanket. Got me a cuddly sweatshirt. Read a book while I napped. Letting the first food I’d had in half a day settle, and some medicine kick in.

After a few hours and the nap I felt better. Much better. I got into my party dress and we went over to his dad’s to finish setting up for our reception. We had a wonderful night. It was everything I wanted it to be.

I spent the most important day of my life being taken care of by my family and my closest friends. By the community who has taken care of me my entire life. The sisters and girlfriends who were there for me during heartache, brought me food while sick in the dorms, picked me up in the E.R. during college, nursed me back to health in Istanbul. The pastors who helped me become comfortable with my own beliefs, and who taught me how to help others. The mom and dad who have always supported me, no matter what, propped me up as I walked down the aisle.

Then there’s Marshall. I’m guessing he didn’t plan on taking care of me as I puked my guts out on our wedding day, any more than I planned on throwing up. Yes, he’d taken care of me before, but the most comfortable, the safest, the happiest I’ve ever been was when he was tucking me into the couch. Knowing that the man making sure I had crackers was the man I had married, the man I get to spend the rest of my life with. It doesn’t mean my family goes away, or stops taking care of me, but now I have Marshall. Forever and always.

Also? Best puke-and-rally ever. Just saying.

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  • Oh this is just what marriage is. I am glad after the nap and loving care you managed to feel better, put on your party dress and enjoy.
    You looked beautiful.

  • THIS. All of this. It makes me so grateful for all the wonderful people who surrounded us at our wedding.

  • NB

    Awww! Weep!! This is such a perfect, charming picture of just what I love about weddings. And family (both the ones we’re born into, and the ones we choose).

    So happy for you, and so grateful for your beautiful words!

  • mimi

    This is great! So glad your community got you through it!

    Oh, and side note – I was so inspired by your 3 generations dress post that I”m having my grandma’s (and mom’s) dress re-made for me to wear for my wedding this summer. We found a great seamstress who specializes in working with antique wedding gowns and she’s taken the whole thing apart and is working on piecing it back together. It was a long-sleeved, full-skirted ball gown (lace over ivory satin). We’ve taken off the sleeves and are turning it into a trumpet shape, which is much more flattering for my body type (the dress was a few sizes too big anyway, and my mom and grandma gave me their blessing to do whatever I wanted). I’m so excited to see how it turns out!

    • jes

      Awesome! I’m sure it will be beautiful! With that much love and history packed in, no way it won’t. Can’t wait to see photos!

  • Adi

    This has to be one of my all-time favorite posts. One HELL of a rally, definitely! And yes, the feeling that “I picked this one, this good kind caring partner–I did good!” It’s wonderful. Almost as good as “This wonderful person picked me.” :)

  • Sam

    An amazing post.

  • This is the sweetest thing. But, man, I feel REALLY bad for you and all the puking. Puking is the actual worst.

    Also, this:

    “Then gave him the trash from my mint. He always complains about the tiny trash from mints in my pockets. He smiled as he slipped it into his.”

    reminds me of my favorite scene in the Harry Potter series, when Neville slips the gum wrapper his mother gives him at St Mungo’s into his pocket, because it’s a gift from his mom and he loves her.

    I mean, not that you’ve been driven mad by the Cruciatas curse. But you know what I mean.

    • Rebekah

      I must be super emotional today, because that quote made me cry. I just imagined his face as he was reminded of all the little things that make her the person he wants to marry.

      Mint trash: Who knew it could mean so much?

    • Jes

      My life is not nearly as epic as the Longbottoms. So no worries there. :-)

  • I know this totally wasn’t the point of this post, but I have to say it made me feel SO much better about my own wedding day wooziness. Seeing that someone experienced it worse than I did makes me feel less…weak?

    I started getting lightheaded and overheated and nauseated during our portrait session outside our reception venue. I was pushing through and dealing with it up until our lovely photographer was setting us up for what I assume was to be an amazing shot by a reflecting pool, when I just slumped over and mumbled “I’m gonna faint.” My husband didn’t hear me, so I just weakly grabbed him by his lapels and tried again, “I’m going to pass out. Help.”

    He and the photographer helped me inside the restaurant, my best friend came rushing down the stairs and helped me into the bathroom (past all the non-wedding related restaurant customers) where I ralphed up all the breakfast food I had thoughtfully eaten so I wouldn’t feel faint.

    Even though my experience was like yours–I was surrounded by support and help (a bus boy brought me cookies and water, the head server for our party even brought down a little tray of the appetizers for me since I was still too wobbly to get up the stairs to our reception room)–I’ve been so embarrassed by it. I felt so weak and pathetic and fragile (not to mention awful for ruining whatever the photographer was doing, he was so excited when he found the reflecting pool!), like some stereotypical 1950’s bride getting the vapors from all the excitement.

    But, in conclusion–yes. Exactly to the lessons you took away from your wedding.

    • jes

      I’m so sorry you felt so bad about it! I did spend a large chunk of the day crying a lot (of embarassment, of lost photo opps, of missing cutting the cake). I’m sure more people than us experience attacks from our own bodies on their wedding days, it’s just not something most people would bring up. I hope my lack of shame makes you feel better. :-)

      • Shiri

        You guys are totally not the only ones. I didn’t vomit at my wedding (though I have a friend who did, during her ceremony), but I did collapse in the middle of the hora. I like the way Jes phrased it – “experience attacks from our own bodies on their wedding days”. Yup. I sometimes think of it as my body needing to remind me that those I needed would be there for me, as one friend ran to get my inhaler, a cousin seated me so that I didn’t totally faint (on her), and every doctor at the reception came over. And when I could stand back up, they all went back to dancing with me!

      • Emily

        Actually, I really want to thank both of you for sharing your stories! Of all the wedding-day-related things to be worried about, my biggest fear is that my body will decide not to play along. But both of your “rally” stories have highlighted that even if one does get sick/briefly unconscious, that all the right people will be there to provide support.

        • Hintz

          I second that gratitude!

          The day we finally went to settlement and officially bought a house I was a complete nervous wreck and nauseous, so I too fear such a reaction will happen again on wedding day. I’ve also fainted or near fainted a few times at other important events, so thank you for the awesome dose of perspective :)

          • Jessica

            And this is why i had a prescription of xanax on my wedding day. My doctor would give me a really small dose for when i fly, and i asked for one for my wedding also. My body is always throwing fun things my way at uncomfortable times: i flush easy, stomach aches etc. My mother in law was nervous about it, because she had a niece that had taken a prescription before her wedding and seemed to be out of it. But for me, it really helped me to be a little calm and able to take in things that we’re happening around me.

    • Rachel S

      During my friend’s wedding, one of the other bridesmaids whispered to me suddenly during the ceremony that she was going to pass out. I was caught really off guard, so I just grabbed onto her and held her up. There will probably be really sweet-looking pictures of us looking like old friends holding each other while moved by our friend’s ceremony, when in reality we barely knew one another, and I was holding onto her for fear she’d pass out from bright lights and a too-tight dress (my own was so tight it bruised my ribs). In the end the wedding coordinator swooped in with water and a chair, and she didn’t faint.

      I didn’t puke or feel faint or anything at my own wedding, but I do remember having REALLY shaky legs during the ceremony, crying when I didn’t plan on it, and having exactly zero appetite for any of the food or cake we agonized over.

  • AHAHA! I just sent this to my boyfriend and my sister. Are you me from the future?!?! Because I sometimes totally get SO EXCITED that I lose my lunch. Or at least feel like someone is tickling me from the inside and oh mygoshohmygodohmygod!

    “I woke up more excited about anything I’ve ever been excited about in my life. Marshall and I had decided to stay together in our house so that things would feel as relaxed and normal as possible before our morning wedding. I shot awake, bounced on the bed and yelled, “Wake up! Wake up! We’re getting married today!”


    <3 nervous happy pukes <3

  • Oh! A little health stuff – I just want to say that if this is a COMMON thing (puking from excitement), you could have Cyclical Vomiting Disorder, which is related to migraines (something like 75% of people who have CVD also suffer from migraines?). And basically your body just deals with excitement by ralphing all over everything.

    But! They have medicine to help!

  • Dammit, Jes!

    Who is going to take care of me and bring me tissues in my office?

    And here I was hoping for a story about an awesome rager reception with breakdancing and headstands and aunt June talking about the time she pooped on her neighbors porch.

    Instead I get this awesomeness. ::gulp:: Real love is so great.

  • Katie

    This is awesome. I also puked in my wedding day, while wearing my wedding dress. My bridesmaids were awesome at bringing me water and ginger-ale and raisins (the only food I wanted to eat). Life goes on – you puke and you rally! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jean Dix (Jes’ “Oma = Her Grandmother)

    Jes & Marshall’s wedding day was truly a “miracle day” as we all waited quietly to see the outcome of our darling bride!! Questions is my mind, “will she recover?” – “will there be a wedding today?” “will the guests be patient as they are waiting?” and “will all of us in the wedding party be able to breathe normally after holding our breath for what seemed eons?” As you all know there was a totally happy ending and for me, a day etched in my mind for the rest of my life!! Blessings to all who assisted that day as well as those who responded to the previous writings on this Practical site!

    • Jes

      I’m glad I had you and mom to worry about all those things while I was just taking care of feeling better Oma. You’re the best grandma a girl could ask for ever. Glad you got to read this!

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        What Shiri said. Awwwwwww.

    • Shiri

      Yay for Jes’s Oma!!! I love this comment!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I was worried this would happen to me. I get nauseous when I get excited. I get migraines (and then nausea and vomiting) when I get stressed. (Maybe I have Cyclical Vomiting Disorder…?)

    I designed my wedding day around these concerns. For me, that meant having a not-rushed schedule and just my immediate family around for the getting-ready the day of; doing nothing wedding-related the day before; eating only the simplest foods, in small quantities and slowly on the wedding day; being super-organized and running the day-of schedule through my mind multiple times; and building in some time during the day for relaxing in the presence of just 1 or 2 other people.

    As a result, I never felt more in control of myself and my circumstances than on my wedding day. I did get excited right at the cake-cutting. As a consequence, I could only get in a few bites, even though we had carefully set up the schedule to give us time to eat. But foregoing even our amazing cake (It was the wedding detail we got the most compliments on) was worth never turning pale or green or rushing to the bathroom.

  • I love this story! I mean, not the part about you puking (though it sounds like you didn’t mind, poor thing!) – more the part about how your wedding day was a testament to the closeness and support of your friends and family. It’s truly beautiful, and even though your wedding probably wasn’t what you imagined, perfect is never truly perfect – it’s the unplanned, amazing things that you’ll truly remember, right?


    My mid reception power vom is one of the best memories of the day. I’d been feeling nauseous all day and by the time we got to dessert I just really wanted to eat it. I remember staring it down and deciding to eat it anyway. I did not feel well. A quick power vom later I was back at it. Makes a good story these day and I’m glad to hear I’m far from alone!

  • Emily

    I must say (as someone who is currently spending a great deal of time puking) that I LOVE this. The post and the reality of it. And the wisdom. LOVE.

  • MDBethann

    While I didn’t puke on my wedding day, I did pick up a lovely stomach bug from my tiniest guest, which hit me like a ton of bricks the day after the wedding. I spent our second night of marriage in my in-laws’ bathroom and my poor husband kept checking on me with such concern on his face. I weakly joked that I bet he didn’t expect the “in sickness” part of our vows to occur so quickly. I was so weak and exhausted when we finally got back to our house 2 days after the wedding that he willingly carried me into the house (I know it is a tradition stemming from a barbaric practice of female ownership, but I really didn’t care – it was sweet to me). It was, to me, a demonstration of the care and love he has for me and why I married him (and he married me – he’s been the sick one lately and I’ve been taking care of him). It is what marriage is all about – being one another’s “person”.

  • poppy

    Amazing post! my biggest fear is i will puke on my wedding day! you have made me feel about 100000000000000 x better! you rock!

  • Wonderful article! That is the kind of info that should be shared around the internet. Disgrace on Google for not positioning this put up upper! Come on over and talk over with my site . Thank you =)|

  • Thank you

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I know I’m posting a year later but I just got married in February and was sick for most of the wedding. I was excited and super happy in the morning getting ready. I come from a large family so a ton of people were in the room with hair and makeup. Our ceremony was at 1 in a Catholic Church. The wedding was in Florida and all of our guests were coming from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and across the country. The week leading up to the wedding was the worst storm the north had seen in years so many people could not make the wedding including my niece, sister in law, and one of my bridesmaids, as well as cousins and friends. Anyway, I normally a nervous person with big events but I was trying to act calm, cool and collected. My best friend got my brother down to the wedding by getting the airline to switch her husbands ticket for my brother as his flight was cancelled. I had been struggling with really bad allergies for a month before trying to figure out what was wrong. I also have IBS so I was really worried about it acting up the day of the wedding, thankfully it did not. However, I did get sick right after our first dance at the reception. I missed out on the dinner, dancing and a good deal of the fun. My family took care of me and my husband was amazing. I ended up changing out if my dress and putting on a cute sweatsuit with my vail and went back down after dinner. I got to cut the cake, dance with my dad and hear the speeches. In the end, the stress leading up to the day just got the better of me but it is in sickness and health :-) I keep saying at the end of the day we are married and that is what matters. My husband is my best friend and the love of my life. It was the best day of our lives even with being sick. This article really helped me because you do feel like you are the only one this happens too.