So, how many of you plan and execute outdoor weddings and/or events? It does not seem to matter where I am, Nashville, Antigua, St. Lucia, Jamaica, New York; there are always bugs, mosquitos and spiders. I thought if I was working at some of the top resorts in the world, I would be safe. WRONG! As one of my friends told me, “Angela, bugs don’t have a zip code.”
It is SO important to know what you’re allergic to and how your body can react to different things like heat, pollen, bites, and even chemicals. These triggers can really wreck your health for an event and the entire next week. I feel like a walking pharmacy, but at least I am prepared! Once I was stuck on a private island with NO epi pen and I thought my feet were going to pop off (from accidentally eating seafood I am severely allergic).
All this to say, I find it very important to be prepared for everything that could happen when you’re outside in the cold, heat, and anything mother nature throws your way. I’m excited to share with you the tips I’ve learned after numerous spider bites, bug bites, and hives (oh my!).
Prepare Your Team
In my experience, prior to an event, making my team aware of what they need to bring to prepare for a long day and night of work, makes everyone more comfortable. This could be anything like allergy medication, sunscreen, water, snacks, a jacket or umbrella, and, of course, a phone and iPad charger. In the long run, having a prepared team will save time so they can focus on the event rather than pass out from dehydration or have an allergic reaction because they forgot to take their allergy medication during a spring wedding weekend.
Having a first aid kit on hand is essential; it’s best to think ahead when it comes to your health, much rather than thinking on your feet. Preparing for any situation entails having a kit with basic supplies (like bandages and antiseptic) and planning protocols for more serious situations. It’s also important to know when it’s time to seek further medical care.
Walk-In Clinics and ERs
I always make sure to know where the closest ER or walk-in clinic is located, especially when I’m doing destination weddings in unfamiliar areas. In the case anything goes wrong, I’ve learned that knowing where to refer someone or find more intensive care can benefit the health of anyone who needs help, whether its a client, guest, your team, or yourself.
Personally, I’m allergic to A LOT, and when you’re working outside, there are endless opportunities for crazy kinds of reactions. I never had allergies until I turned 30. Then everything seemed to go haywire. It started with my feet itching when on carpet barefoot. Then me taking Aleve daily for a year, after I broke my foot, and developed an allergic reaction to Naproxen. And I happened to learn that on the night I was supposed to be taking my niece to her first concert ever (a Taylor Swift concert). On the way, we ha to pull over at the ER so I could get a shot.
Go All Natural
I have tried just about everything. I know way more about DEET than I want to know. I do know that none of it works, on me personally, and over the past few years, bugs seem to love me and my guests at outdoor weddings and events. I have learned that using essential oils, such as lavender spray rather than bug repellent. I am the nerd that wears the repellent bracelets. But it offers anti-inflammatory effects for bites/allergic reactions, all while offering a lovely relaxing fragrance. Another essential oil I LOVE is eucalyptus. I use it as a naturally healing pain reliever for bites, stings, and burns! It’s also a natural “anti-microbial” (so basically, it kills germs).
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This blog was edited by Lauren Ringo
Photo: Angela Proffitt