Survival Tips for Introverted Brides & Grooms
Modern weddings are designed for extroverts. Those large social gatherings can be challenging for introverted brides, grooms and wedding guests, too. So when planning your celebration, just remember that not everyone you invite is going to be into dancing, playing party games and giving toasts. From the copious amounts of photos to the first dance to the cake cutting, it can all feel overwhelming being out there, connecting with people, and making yourself the star of the day. And that works for some, but certainly not all. You and your guests should feel free to enjoy the party however they are most comfortable. There are a lot of introverts and more private people out there who don’t feel comfortable with being the center of attention, but that doesn't mean that all of you can’t have an amazing time on your wedding day.
The good news is that it’s your wedding, you can personalize it, tailor it, and arrange it to meet your needs. You’re in control. So if you're an introverted or shy, don't feel pulled by tradition or Pinterest—make it about you.
Here’s what you need to remember.
You Can Have As Much Privacy As You Need
Most weddings weddings are so “Me, me, me!” that it’s easy to think you have to spend the entire day in the spotlight. You don’t. You really, really don’t. While we understand that not all introverts are shy, but if you are, make your privacy a priority. A small reception or exchanging your vows at a private ceremony can go a long way towards making you feel more comfortable. Even eloping is an option, if that’s what feels best for the both of you.
Consider a More Casual Celebration
A traditional seated dinner can feel a bit formal, however, a brunch wedding or more casual backyard celebration, on the other hand can really add that more low-key feel that will put you at ease while your guests celebrate your love.
Skip the Speeches
Don't forget that it isn't just the happy couple that could be introverted. If standing up in front of lots of people and giving a speech is a nightmare scenario for your introverted maid of honor or best man then ask your bridal party and wedding guests to write heartfelt messages, advice or share a funny story instead. We had one couple who had a book with the same number as on the table the guests were sitting at. They would read the contents of that book on that numbered anniversary, so table four's well wishes, advice and stories would all be revealed on their fourth anniversary. This way everyone will be able to enjoy the day without having the speech looming over their head.
Offer "Off the Dance Floor" Soft Seating
Setting up an area away from the hustle and bustle of the dance floor with comfy chairs and couches will give your guests a place to rest tucked away from all the action where they can either sit by themselves and recharge or partake in a quiet conversation.
You Can Factor In Alone Time And Time With Your Partner
Introverts need alone time to recharge so be sure that you plan for that, especially on your wedding day. With so much social draining, have your wedding planner factor in times that are just for you on the day-of timeline. That way you won't even need to make excuses to get away. They can say that you are needed elsewhere and give you a moment of solitude to recharge. Even if it is only 10 minutes here and there it will give you that much needed time to reset and feel ready to enjoy the rest of your day. We recommend planning alone time with just your partner otherwise it may feel like the whole day is flying by without ever seeing each other.
Ditch the Traditional First Dance
Who says the first dance has to just be the newlyweds, slow dancing all by themselves? Ask your guests to join in too. That way all eyes won't be on you and you won't feel so much pressure.
Keep the Bridal Party Small
Larger bridal parties often lead to larger problems. It could be anything from finding a dress that will fit everyone to one of your girls complaining that her hair appointment is too early. In the end, the fewer opinions that you have to deal with the better off you will be. Not to mention, having too many people around you while you’re getting ready can add unnecessary chaos.
Skip the Small Talk
Small talk is anxiety inducing for introverts. Unfortunately this seems to be entirely unavoidable at weddings. Providing some fun facts on the reception tables can serve as talking points for all guests whether they are searching for common ground or not.
Throw Tradition Out The Window—And Ignore Family Pressure
It doesn't matter if most people have first dances or your mother really wants you to give a speech—it’s your day. The moment you start planning, decide that it’s going to be on your terms and make that clear to your wedding planner. You wedding planner's main job is to advocate for YOU. You should feel safe, happy, and content on your wedding day and if that means it doesn’t look at all like what your in-laws thought it should then so be it. Go ahead. We are giving you permission to throw tradition out the window!
Create a "Call Anyone but the Bride" Phone List
Create a phone list with all of the important numbers for your guests and vendors. That way, people know who to call for what and won’t need to bother you with pesky last-minute questions. At the top of that list should be your wedding planner, the venue coordinator, your maid of honor and your best man.
Provide Ice Breakers
These Guess Who sets, personalized with your guests’ faces, will help family and friends get to know each other a little better under the guise of a childhood game. It’s fun and less awkward than just asking again and again, “So, how do you know the couple?”
You Can Assign A Gatekeeper
This can be a lifesaver. Your wedding planner is your gatekeeper, however, if you don't have a wedding planner, assign this position to someone you trust to keep an eye out for you throughout the day. When the bride or groom gets stressed they can turn to their go-to contact person. Any issues or requests will go straight to the gatekeeper and then they will either handle them quietly or, if necessary, speak with the bride or groom about it. The gatekeeper will also made sure difficult family members are kept at bay. So, if you’re feeling nervous about the social pressures of your wedding day and don't have a wedding planner, assign someone who will have your back the entire time can save you a lot of heartache. Let them make the difficult decisions for you, so you can feel guilt free about not wanting to be cornered by an awkward conversation with your weird uncle for 45 minutes.
Have a First Look Before the Ceremony
Waiting until you walk down the aisle to see your bride or groom may seem romantic, but it’s a whole lot of pressure to put yourselves under. If you plan to have a private first look before the ceremony, just the two of you, you can really go a long way to to relieve some of those wedding day jitters and get all of the emotion and tears (of joy) out fo the way as you may not feel comfortable sharing something that big with your entire world.
Dance Floor Alternatives
Hitting the dance floor is the best part of weddings for some, and for others, it’s the most dreaded. Set up a table with puzzles, cards and other games that don’t require a whole lot of talking to give your non-dancing attendees something fun to do so that they don't feel left out.
You Can Change Your Mind On The Day
This is a really important detail that’s easy to forget. It’s your day. You control what happens on the day. If this means that you suddenly realize you don’t want to do your first dance, that’s OK. If you need an extra thirty minutes to sneak off and rest, that’s OK, too. Just because your wedding planner has created a day-of timeline it doesn't mean that that schedule can't still remain fluid. Its your plan to do what you want. So remember that you can switch gears any time you feel that you need to.
Stay Seated During the Ceremony
We said it before and we’ll say it again: Introverts don't ever want to be the center of attention. That said, consider sitting, rather than standing, during your wedding ceremony. If your knees get wobbly and your palms get sweaty just thinking about all of your guests staring at you, sitting down may help you feel more grounded and allow you to really soak in this momentous moment.
Skip the Sweetheart or Head Table
By eliminating this detail from your floor plan you also do away with the that fishbowl effect. Instead, by sitting at a small table with your closest family and friends it will make you feel relaxed and surrounded by love rather than stressed out and full of furious anxiety.
Delay Your Honeymoon
Consider not jetting off for the honeymoon right away. Having to rush off to the airport would make even an extroverted person feel frazzled. Give yourself time to bask in the post-wedding glow. Trust us. This will help you start your honeymoon off right. A day or two of rest first and you’ll feel recharged and refreshed. You don't want to be cranky because you allowed yourself to get overextended.
Being the center of attention just isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time and that is completely ok. Whether you’re an introvert and need time to recharge or you’re on the shy side and don’t want eyes on you from morning to night, you call the shots on your wedding day, so take the time to make it your perfect day. It’s not about what your parents want, what your bestie did, what Pinterest suggests or even what you've seen shared it on social media...it’s a representation of your partnership. So make it work for the both of you.