On your wedding day, you can’t avoid being the centre of attention. That’s as it should be, of course, but for an introvert, it can make life very difficult indeed.
An introvert prefers remaining in the background, doesn’t relish small talk and likes the quiet. None of these are staple constituents of the average wedding!
Of course, your celebrant will help you through it, but are there some strategies you can employ to reduce the stress?
Easing the Pressure
Let’s start at the planning stage.
You don’t have to have a huge, ostentatious affair. Why not arrange a sunset ceremony on a beach, or even a gathering in a back garden? A small occasion can often be thoroughly memorable and enjoyable, so don’t feel you can’t opt for a more modest event.
Try and keep fellow-planners to a minimum (well-meaning as others may be) . Sure, you’ll need advice, but it’s your day. Too many voices will just cause you needless stress.
If you’re going for a bigger bash, an idea is to go to the venue beforehand with your partner. Whether it’s a church or a hotel (say), just walk down the aisle together and get a feel for what it will be like. You’ll be surprised how helpful that can be.
Odd as it may seem, a lunch or dinner the day before with a number of family members and/or friends will help. If they can chat with you then, it will reduce the pressure on the big day, as there’ll then be fewer people demanding your attention.
Bridesmaids and the like entail dresses, hairdressing, delegated jobs, etc., and that can be stressful.
It may be easier to reduce the number of these. That will reduce the tension beforehand, and fewer attendants will mean it will be a bit more peaceful in your retreat just before the off.
Ensure that the attendants you choose will field requests, make introductions and organise people on the day (which might otherwise prove overwhelming for you). (Of course, a wedding planner/co-ordinator can do this job too.)
On the Day
If your partner is an extrovert, ask him/her to take the limelight, making small-talk and thanking everyone for coming.
As you crave quiet, maybe you can schedule some time away from the whirl and have a little quiet time to recharge your batteries. Maybe it’s just a few minutes in the powder room, or perhaps you and your beloved have a room in the venue and you can ‘take five’ there.
If you allow yourself to recover, you will get through the day more easily.
A nice idea is for the newly-weds to be seated at a table with their attendants (and partners), rather than on a ‘top table’, where they are inevitably the centre of attention.
The day before the wedding, you should allow serious downtime for pampering, so that you are at your best for the day. Also consider deferring the honeymoon a while. Ideally, go a couple of days after your wedding, as you’ll want to recover, so you can get the most out of your trip. You’ll be surprised how much the nervous energy etc. will drain you.
Remember that your wedding will (presumably!) be a one-off occasion – perhaps the only time you’ll have so many family and friends from both sides together. People will be on your side, surrounding you with love and goodwill. Don’t fight it, but allow yourself to absorb the atmosphere and revel in it.
It may well turn out to be a lot easier and more wonderful than you expected.