I know that the wedding day can be a bit overwhelming for lots of people, but especially introverts, as it combines some of their least favourite things: being the centre of attention, getting their photo taken repeatedly, engaging in small talk and having minimal alone time.
A lot of modern wedding traditions are built for extroverts: the first dance, photo shoots and personalised hashtags all serve the purpose of making YOU the star of the day. That works for some, but I am mindful it’s not for everyone.
There are a lot of introverts and more private people out there who don’t feel comfortable with this level of attention—but that doesn't mean that they can’t have an amazing wedding day.
So if you're an introverted, shy or sensitive person, don't feel the pressure to conform to tradition, family pressure or Pinterest. Like all wedding planning, you have the power to make it work for you. Don’t let others make you feel bad for planning the wedding ceremony you want, especially if that means celebrating in front of just a small number of guests.
1. Choose the right celebrant
Are they too high energy for you? Are they talking too much?
The right person will be sensitive to your needs. They should have the ability to see and meet you where you are at and make you feel comfortable.
I can normally tell from our initial interactions if I am dealing with an extrovert or an introvert. If I think someone is more on the introverted side of the scale, I focus less on chit-chat and try to get to the point quicker. I prefer to build rapport in a different, more substantive way. By the time the ceremony rolls around, we will have built a strong trusting relationship that will help calm your nerves on the day.
2. Ceremony Positioning
I know the idea of standing up in front of friends and family for the ceremony might feel uncomfortable. Rest assured, as your celebrant, I’ll take some of the heat off you. I’ll be there to engage and entertain the guests. You might be surprised to hear, you can get away with minimal speaking during your ceremony. You just have to say the legal vows. If you don’t feel comfortable facing the guests, you can face each other and just pretend it’s just you two up there. If you want to take it down a further notch, you could even consider sitting during the ceremony.
3. The Vows
If the idea of exchanging vows makes you break out in a cold sweat, I’ve got plenty of strategies to coach you through it including helping you write your vows and practicing them out loud. But if you are dead-set that you don’t want to do personalised vows because it’s giving you a gut-wrenching feeling, I’ll respect that too. I’ve got a work-around where I ask you vow questions instead, where a simple ‘I do’ or ‘I will” is all you have to say. Or we can skip that part completely and you can write a private letter to your partner instead.
4. Wedding Party Size
Consider keeping the wedding party small. It might sound counter-intuitive because you might think a big wedding party means the guests have more people to look at during the ceremony, but generally a bigger wedding party, means a bigger sense of occasion and possible more fuss or problems to manage. It will also mean the getting-ready part won’t be so hectic. The time before the ceremony begins should be calm, not frantic.
5. First Look
This quiet moment will allow for you to get out the jitters and nerves so you feel and look relaxed and comfortable for the rest of the photos. It can slow everything down and help avoid a frenzy.
6. Pre-ceremony meditation
Before the ceremony, meditation will help ease the nerves. If I am marrying you, I’ll happily do a meditation with you and whoever is around you, before you walk down the aisle, to ground you and bring you back into the moment.
7. Photo Policy
An unplugged ceremony might be best to avoid the paparazzi feel. You can set privacy as a priority by asking the guests not to post any photos of you to social media.
8. Congratulations Post-ceremony
Allocate a short time for the congratulations after the ceremony as this might be one of the most draining parts of the day for you. If it’s all too much, just ask the photographer to take the group photo and that will get you moving swiftly on to next part of the day and stop the bulk congratulations.
9. Recharge Time
After the congratulations, factor in recharge time. Identify a quiet and secluded space that you can retreat to so you can have a break before the next item on the schedule.
Lastly, try to keep at the forefront of you mind that the eyes on you are from those that love you the most. Being the focus of everyone’s attention can be intimidating, but remember, the ‘audience’ loves you and wants only the best for you.