What if you’re shy and retiring?

Jan 7, 2019
wedding speech

On your wedding day, you can’t avoid being the centre of attention. That’s as it should be, of course, but if you’re shy and retiring, 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.

A Prequel

Odd as it may seem, a lunch or dinner the day before with a number of family members and/or friends will help. They can chat with you, so it will mean less pressure on you on the big day, as you can give your attention to other people.


With bridesmaids and a party come dresses, hairdressing, delegated jobs, etc. These can be stressful.

Why not reduce the number of these? That will mean less tension beforehand, and fewer attendants will allow you to enjoy more peace 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.


Since you crave quiet, maybe you can schedule a few moments away from the maelstrom and take a little quiet time to recharge your batteries. That could be 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.

The reception

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 (one hopes!) 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.

Even if you’re shy and retiring, the event should turn out to be a lot easier and more wonderful than you ever expected.

For more advice, speak to Michael.