For outgoing, extroverted couples, planning for a big wedding is a dream come true! What could be better than a huge event filled with all that ‘pomp and circumstance’… where you feel like and are treated like royalty all day?! And there’s awesome parties before and after, too! Well, we know everyone is different of course, and what sounds like magic to one person can easily signal worry or even pure dread to another, particularly for an introvert.
Introverts are people who think and feel in the complete opposite direction of their outgoing friends: they’re driven by internal thoughts and feelings rather than external stimulus. They’re often quiet, introspective and reserved… expending energy in social situations (rather than gaining energy from them, like extroverts) and they recharge their internal batteries with coveted alone time.
For introverts and those who are shy (which is not the same thing), excessive social interaction is exhausting. And keeping stress levels down generally means avoiding being the center of attention. So for brides and grooms who are either introverted or shy, thoughts of their upcoming wedding day can certainly bring lots of anxiety.
We’re so lucky that today, complete customization has been a rising trend in wedding event planning year over year. Weddings simply don’t all look the same anymore. So while you may have thought that all the typical ceremony and reception customs are wedding canon, know that there truly are a lot of traditions that can be altered or skipped entirely to create a wedding that’s truly yours. Remember, ultimately, it’s YOUR wedding and all of the day’s activities should be ones that you genuinely enjoy.
If you consider yourself to have an introverted personality, here are some practical tips to help you plan the wedding event of your dreams:
Keep your wedding guest list on the smaller side and invite only your closest friends and family. This tip also applies to the selection of your wedding party to help keep all of your day’s activities and events short and simple.
Have a first look before your ceremony. You’ll feel more comfortable having the first time you see each other on the wedding day be alone and without an audience. You can also then have your photo sessions following the first look, also in a private setting.
Be sure to run through everything in rehearsal. As stated very well on the website, Introvert, Dear, many introverts feel a greater need to plan and practice than others in order to feel fully relaxed and anxiety-free.
Don’t walk down the aisle for your ceremony. You actually have the option of standing at the front with the entire wedding party before guests even begin filing in and taking their seats. Just be sure to discuss your plans with your officiant, wedding coordinator, photographer and videographer early on.
Meet with your guests in smaller groups, or one-on-one, to thank them for attending so you won’t feel overwhelmed in the crowd of well-wishers. If you don’t like people focusing too much on you in conversations, be ready with questions for them, such as “Did you enjoy your meal?” and “Have you been out on the dance floor yet?” This takes the focus off you for a bit and places it back onto them. And you don’t have to make a 'thank you' speech at your reception if you don’t want to take the mic.
At the reception, feel free to skip the announced entrances and the first dance. While these certainly are traditional events, they are not requirements at any wedding. Again, with so many people are embracing today’s modern, fully-personalized wedding events, the old “rules” really no longer apply. But, if you are going to have a first dance, be sure to take lessons beforehand to be fully prepared and to feel confident.
Plan for interactive games that focus on guest involvement and/or include additional exciting entertainment options. Give your guests something to focus on other than you! For an outdoor wedding, have cornhole, ladder golf and Giant Jenga games set up. Or consider hiring an acoustic band for the cocktail hour or a live painter, photo booth and/or live band for the reception.
Make the cake cutting a private event. More and more couples are choosing to cut their cake away from the crowd with only their photographer and videographer (and sometimes their close family) there to witness it.
And some additional advice for maintaining a healthy mindset before and on your wedding day:
Take time out before the wedding to envision your perfect wedding day. Imagine being relaxed, in control and having a ton of fun!
Use relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, all throughout your planning process… and especially on your wedding day.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, talk about your feelings with a close friend or family member.
Always remember, your friends and family are there to celebrate with you and support you!
If you're a highly sensitive introvert, be sure to check out Introvert, Dear for even more helpful tips for enjoying your wedding day!