The music strengthens, the crowd stands, and they turn and look…AT YOU! For introverts, having all eyes focused on you can be anxiety inducing. However, there are ways to mitigate the stress.
Not everyone likes to be the center of attention, and that’s okay! I myself struggle with social anxiety from time to time, which is why I’ve put together these wedding planning tips for introverts:
Do a First Look
First looks are great. They let you control the situation where you first see each other. It can be very emotional and maybe you don’t want to share that with a whole bunch of people.
Maybe you want to keep it just between the two of you and that is totally okay.
If you’re still on the fence about a first look, you can click here to read the post I put together to help you decide whether it will fit your style.
Schedule time for yourself
Before and after the ceremony, make sure you budget some time for just the two of you. It will help you release some of that built up pressure.
It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, even just five minutes will help you decompress and get you away from the crowd, the questions, and people competing for your attention.
If You Can, Keep it Small
A smaller, more intimate wedding means less pressure AND less eyes on you. It also allows you to have more genuine time and conversations with your guests.
Choose the people who are truly important to you to be there. My wife and I had less than 100 guests at our wedding, and I have to say, it was great! We were able to talk to everyone, and not just in passing. We were able to have entire conversations.
I thoroughly recommend it if you find it easier dealing with smaller groups of people or just talking one on one.
Remember You Can Change Your Mind About Things
Things change. You might have planned to do family photos after the ceremony, but then realized that everyone would probably be watching you.
So, let’s not do that. Talk to the appropriate vendors and remind family that this is your wedding and this will make you more comfortable. It’s okay to take care of yourself.
Make the Wedding As Private As You Want
I’ve seen a lot of great ideas for making parts of the wedding more private. Of course, having your first look in private is pretty obvious.
I’ve also seen private vows exchanged. They whispered their personal vows into each other’s ears, with only a few ‘public vows’. This makes for less pressure to ‘perform’ your vows for your guests.
On a number of occasions, I’ve also had couples perform a more private ceremony with just a few close family members and friends, and then open things up for the reception.
While you’re thinking in that direction, perhaps consider eloping. Keep it super small. I’ve been the witness at dozens of elopements as well as the photographer…just sayin’…
Keep Your Time in the Spotlight to a Minimum
Don’t like being the center of attention? Find ways to take the spotlight off yourself.
During your first dance, only dance by yourselves for 15-30 seconds then have your guests join you. Or don’t dance by yourselves at all!
Another idea is to ditch the ‘sweetheart table’. Sit with some of your closest guests and you won’t feel like all eyes are on you for the entire reception.
Assign a Gatekeeper
You’re going to have a lot of people vying for your attention on your wedding day, but that doesn’t mean you have to give all your time to other people.
Assign a person to be your ‘gatekeeper’ who can step in and run interference for you, keeping over affectionate guests from making you feel uncomfortable.
I always keep an eye on the couples I work with, making sure that they don’t need to take a break from all of the attention. I stealthily swoop in and politely whisk you away, saying I need you for photos, but really I just want to give you a minute or two to yourselves.
I am happy to be your Zuul…do people still get that reference?
I’m here to help…
Seriously, feel free to ask me for help if you’re stressed that your social anxiety or introversion are going to be an issue at your wedding. Drop a comment, contact me, or feel free to check out my wedding photography survival guide for introverts by clicking here.
And, if you want a wedding photographer who understands how anxious you’re feeling, be sure to reach out. I’d love to photograph your wedding, and help you feel more comfortable throughout your wedding day!