Introvert Bride Guide
The Introvert Bride's Survival Guide
The very thought of planning a wedding – not to mention the day itself – can be the stuff of nightmares for introverts.
But don’t fret: there’s plenty of ways to help ease your anxieties and, believe it or not, even enjoy your day! Let Wed show you how…
A growing guest list. Juggling multiple suppliers. Being in the spotlight. And worst of all: small talk. It’s fair to say many introverts might struggle with the idea of a typical wedding. If that’s you, here are some tips to take you through from engagement to the last dance, sanity intact.
During the lead-up
Edit your guest list
Do you find being in a large crowd or hanging out with a big group of people draining? Welcome to the Introvert Club; take an (appropriately spaced) seat. You could, of course, elope for a just-the-two of you do. Or you could whittle down your guest list to only your nearest and dearest. Of course, if your fiancé has a huge, tight-knit family you might have to compromise. This is where having some pre-agreed guidelines can be useful, for example, restricting invitations to people only both of you know or not inviting children.
Get on board
Accepting that you are going to – for a least a little while – be the centre of attention and have to make a bit of small talk is key. As someone who is fairly introverted and currently in the throes of wedding planning, I can’t recommend this step enough. Instead of obsessing over the stressful details I have found focusing on all the positive elements much more useful. After all, everyone is there because they care enough about you to attend your wedding and share your joy. And how special is that? Very! It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’re not going to be the centre of attention all day long. Weddings are a great chance for family and friends to catch up and enjoy each other’s company.
Divide and conquer
Stress can amplify the natural tendencies of both introverts and extroverts. In my case, the key to managing this has been splitting big tasks into small, manageable chunks. That way, I don’t feel the need to retreat and avoid. If you haven’t already, write a master ‘to do’ list. It might seem overwhelming but, once you start breaking it down into smaller tasks, it will start feeling achievable. I’ve personally found spreadsheets and deadlines effective for staying on track. It’s also worth taking into account where you and your fiancé’s talents lie. For example, if your partner is more extroverted, perhaps he or she would enjoy contacting and organising suppliers.
Tweak your timings
Who says a wedding has to run until midnight? If being a social butterfly all day and night doesn’t appeal, tweak your timings to suit. For a shorter wedding day, consider starting a bit later: evening ceremonies are increasingly popular and incredibly romantic. Alternatively, end the evening earlier and finish your big day hanging out with your new husband and some wedding cake. What could be better?
Pick a petite bridal party
Keep your bridal party numbers down to keep your stress levels in check. It’s much easier, for example, to find a dress that suits a couple of people rather than five! If you plan to get ready on the day with your bridal party, it will also mean a calmer, quieter environment. Win win.
On the day
Schedule in alone time
A bit of ‘me’ time during the morning will help boost your energy levels and prepare you for a day of socialising. If your day is starting early, get up 30 minutes earlier to spend some time on your own. You could go for a run, have a solo breakfast or do some simple meditation exercises – whatever will lift your spirits and leave you feeling energised.
Do a ‘first look’
If the thought of your fiancé seeing you for the first time in front of a large crowd fills you with dread, plan a ‘first look’ instead. This is much more intimate and allows the two of you to share a special moment before saying ‘I do’. If you let your photographer in on your plan you’ll also have some very sweet photographs to boot.
All about angles
If you’re particularly nervous about saying ‘I do’ in front of lots of people, pay attention to angles. Instead of looking directly at your fiancé, angle your bodies slightly towards the front. This way you’ll block out the crowd behind you and still feel connected to your partner.
Ditch the first dance
If the thought of taking centre stage on the dance floor doesn’t appeal, don’t do it. Traditions are not mandatory – so if you’re not a fan of dancing, you don’t even have to have a dance area! If you’d still like a hint of a tradition, why not do a mini first dance by having your DJ or wedding coordinator usher everyone else onto the dance floor after 30 seconds?
As with the first dance, all traditions are up for debate these days. If there’s anything that you feel uncomfortable with, either modify it to suit you or leave it out altogether. For example, I’m having both of my parents walk me down the aisle, my brother is in my bridal party and there will be no flashy reception entrance!
Pick a planner
If the idea of being in charge makes your skin crawl, why not hire a wedding planner or an on-the-day coordinator to ensure things run smoothly? If your budget doesn’t allow, consider asking a close friend or relative to organise some of the main aspects of the day. This will free you up to focus on the most important moments rather than having to deal with any last minute stress.
Small talk like a pro
Many introverts dislike small talk – but, let’s face it, there’s bound to be some casual chit-chat and it’s best to be prepared. We’re not suggesting you prepare reams of robotic conversation, but just consider some of the main talking points in advance. This will help you feel prepared on the day. And if all else fails – remember, this is Britain – a comment about the weather will always go down a treat.
Remember, your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience so try and make the most of it and soak up the wonder of the day. Focus on the magic of everyone you love and who loves you coming together to celebrate the two of you. Besides, you’ll get plenty of alone time on the honeymoon!
words Abby Driver
Copyright Wed magazine 2017