While we’re in the midst of wedding season, my mind has engaged in deep thoughts and extensive visions about my future wedding day.
My partner and I are nowhere close to tying the knot (I am telling you this to prevent him from getting scared when he reads these lines), but as a planner, I tend to think in detail about anything and everything. My hypothetical wedding celebration is no exception.
After thinking about what type of food I would like to be served during the reception, or if end of September would be a good time to get married, I realized that what I envisioned did not seem to fit with the usual wedding etiquette.
The idea of a magnificent ceremony, with dozens of pairs of eyes looking in my direction, brings discomfort and anxiety in my mind. Formal, planned out nuptials now seem a bit theatrical and unnatural to me.
What happens when you dislike being the center of attention? How do you navigate a day like this as an introvert when you have such a special status? How do you deal with the expectations you, your partner and your guests have?
Taking these questions into consideration, I pinpointed what could be a source of worry and tried to find solutions and adjustments to help:
Planning a wedding means having to contact numerous vendors : a caterer, wedding officiant, photographer, florist, a DJ…
I know that all of these interactions can be stressful for some introverts, who struggle with making phone calls and meeting unknown people.
Consider asking your partner, friends or family for some help. You could delegate or partner together in order to tackle the tasks you do not feel comfortable handling by yourself. Having some support when planning such a big event is always a plus!
Another way to avoid having to deal with a lot of people at once could be to hire a wedding planner, which means having one intermediary to take care of the exchanges with the vendors.
The guest list
I firmly believe that who you do things with is more important than what you do. Being surrounded by supportive, loving and caring people on your wedding day should be the number one priority when you and your partner decide on the guest list.
A good rule of thumb is to only invite people that would be missed if they were not there. It may seem harsh, but negative, complaining or usually criticizing people will not take part in our wedding, even if they’re family.
Knowing that the people invited will enjoy sharing that special event with you, even if the wedding cake is not their taste, will cut on unnecessary stress both when planning and on the big day.
Shortening the guest list also means that you could feel more at ease, celebrating with fewer people.
The places you choose will give the tone of the ceremony and reception. A cozier house may suit your needs more than a spacious hotel wedding venue would.
I know that when it comes to planning events, especially a long time in advance, I feel better when everything seems under control.
As a consequence, I would consider choosing an indoor venue (as much as I swoon over photographs of string lighted outdoor receptions), just so I can have my piece of mind and not have to worry about the weather on the wedding day.
If you are prone to think and obsess about the worst-case scenarios, try and pick a solution that will have less imponderables.
The wedding apparel
Wedding dresses and suits are one of the focal points of a wedding. Your taste and wedding theme (if you have one) should guide your decisions.
I know that clothes that do not feel like me, restrict my movements or require regular adjusting will impact negatively on my wedding experience, more so when feeling like all eyes are on me.
My advice would be to not feel pressured into getting a wedding outfit you do not truly want and fully feel comfortable in, just because you feel like you should meet relatives’ expectations or follow rules that dictate how white or lacy a wedding dress should be.
I usually tend to avoid being photographed at all costs. Nevertheless, I know that I will make a special effort to get out of my comfort zone for this unique day.
My advice would be to talk about your concerns with your photographer, and maybe ask for more candid or group photographs.
Moreover, an engagement shoot could be a good way to get used to having your picture taken and could also be an opportunity to get to know your photographer better, so you feel more relaxed on your wedding day.
Seeing the great photographs that result from this first shoot could also become an extra boost to get you posing with ease!
The ceremony and reception
Regarding if you are having a religious, secular or nondenominational ceremony, they usually involve a large audience assisting.
I really can’t picture myself walking down the aisle, all eyes on me. If it is the case for you too, I would recommend only inviting close friends and family to the first part of the day, extending the number of participants for the reception and soirée.
You could also imagine a different setting that will allow you to not feel too exposed––maybe arriving with your partner instead of alone, sitting among the guests during the ceremony to avoid facing them. Do not hesitate bending the usual rules to suit your needs. This also applies to your choices when it comes to the first dance or how you choose to organize the evening party.
Additionally, scheduling some alone time with your spouse (even a few minutes) during the day could help you recharge your batteries.
With all that said, in my opinion, the most important thing is to communicate with your partner. You are not alone in this, and your soon-to-be spouse will be there to listen to your concerns and doubts about the wedding planning. Together, you could come up with ideas and solutions that will both match your personalities and meet your expectations, making you comfortable and the ceremony true to yourselves.
If in the end you cannot accommodate the day as you wished, try to remember why you and you partner decided to get married in the first place.
No matter what happens, focusing on celebrating the love you share will make this day more than enjoyable.