I keep getting asked by clients and couples about how to be a bride or a groom when they HATE attention. I really don't want to break you the bad news, but weddings are ALL about getting attention showered on you. It's like your friends and family are singing "Happy Birthday" to you continuously for the entire length of your engagement. For introverts, that is literally the definition of hell.
My husband and I are both introverts, and literally got married this month - (Thank you). We questioned the wedding traditions pretty harshly and changed somethings in our planning process to make our day easier for us to handle.
This is a list of tips and tricks to either prepare you for your wedding day or to avoid unnecessary situations that we learned in my business working with other couples and from our own experiences.
1. Remember that it isn't just 1 of you as the center of attention.
Stick together and know that you will endure these events together. Spread the events out - don't try to do everything at once!
2. Definitely do have at least 1 engagement party.
This helps introduce that weird feeling of being the center of your friends and family. They will want to celebrate you, but it also allows you to realize that you won't be able to talk to everyone. Hugely uncomfortable, but great to prepare for the big day.
3. You should do the engagement photos with your wedding photographer.
It isn't just for the cute photos, but to get used to being photographed and learn how your photographer communicates with you. It helps you get more comfortable with them as well as the idea of being photographed - raises a bit of confidence too! Completely worth it.
4. Turn the Bridal Shower into a "Wedding Shower."
If the Bridal Shower is that important to her mom or sisters, then have her request it be a Wedding Shower so that it includes your partner and their guys. It basically becomes another engagement party, but she wouldn't have to do it alone! (And it is more fun with more friends!)
5. Pamper yourself leading up to the wedding.
Try to schedule off of work if you can, and create a very low key week before your wedding. Don't go out, try not to socialize too much, start that reserve for the rehearsal dinner and wedding day. Schedule a massage, nail appointments, and do some yoga. On the wedding day, I suggest hiring someone to do your hair and makeup. Being pampered is so relaxing. Also, lots of champagne. (Guys - Go get a nice shave or haircut. Go for a walk to get grounded.)
6. Definitely do a First Look.
With all of the nerves you two will already be feeling, you should release some of that by doing a first look. By seeing each other early, you remind yourself that you will be marrying this person today. That they are 100% your cheerleader to get you through such an overwhelming, emotional day.
BONUS #1: It also gives you and your photographer time to do photos ahead of time with you two and your wedding party before guests arrive. You will get more time to visit with your guests since you won't have disappear for an hour after the ceremony for photos!
BONUS #2: If you are doing all of your photos before ceremony and you will attend your own cocktail hour, you won't need to be announced into the room! You will already be part of the party.
7. Look over other traditions to see if they fit you and your day.
There are traditions that couples are rethinking - being announced, self-written vows, garter toss, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc. If they don't work for you, then don't do them. It is simple. There are ways you can shift them to work for you. This is what we did to make our day work for us:
My husband and I decided to not to do our own vows for the ceremony since it felt too intimate and emotional to share with everyone. We shared our vows alone at the venue the evening of our rehearsal. We decided on very simple say and repeat vows for the ceremony that fit in the theme of our written vows.
We didn't want to be announced into the room - The idea horrified me, so we made sure that we were part of the cocktail hour to avoid it.
We could not avoid the first dance, so we just picked an upbeat short song!
We allowed for 2 speeches only from our Maid of Honor and Best Man.
We ditched the bouquet toss and garter toss. No way.
We decided to not announce the cake cutting, but made sure our planner and photographer knew when we wanted it to happen.
There are probably many more solutions to making this day work for you, my fellow introvert. I would be thrilled to brainstorm with you if you need some extra help! If you have ideas that I didn't list, let me know!