Hi there, fellow introvert. I understand that you find yourself in a bit of a predicament. You want to celebrate your marriage... but you don’t like being the center of attention. You want to gather your loved ones around you... without feeling like you're in the spotlight all day. That’s okay!
The key is to turn the spotlight from you to the beauty of the occasion. You can make it more of a shared experience without losing any of the joy, beauty, or magic of your wedding day. Some of these ideas are a little "wedding rebellious", but if you're willing to think outside the box, I think you can have a lot of fun. Here are my top wedding planning tips for when you don’t like being the center of attention:
1. Do the first look
Seeing your fiancé all done up for the first time (and knowing oh shit, this is happening!) is so special. We put a lot of thought into how we want to arrive to our marriage and we strive to look our best. It makes sense if this is a moment you want to put a lot of thought into.
The idea behind saving all those "first look" emotions for the ceremony is sweet, I get it! In reality though, all eyes are on you during the ceremony, not only those of your soon-to-be-spouse.
Consider keeping this moment private and splitting up some of the pressure. Your first look is a great opportunity to help you calm your nerves and take a special moment with your person before the ceremony. Expressing everything that you're feeling will be easier without an audience.
Your timeline will thank you! Cool photo ops are in the first look. You can take care of portraits and family photos and even try out some cool locations. Now you have more time to enjoy your cocktail hour, reception, or other festivities.
2. Skip the sweetheart table
The design of your space can amplify your feelings of togetherness. That's especially true for your floor plan! A sweetheart table for two can be very romantic, but also puts you on display. Consider sitting amongst your guests, not in front of them, for those cozy reception vibes.
With an intimate guest list, try a king’s table where you seat everyone together. You can attempt it with larger guest counts (50+), but it works great for small ones (>25). If you have a larger guest count, try sitting at a table with your wedding party and/or immediate families. Arrange the rest of the tables around you for an intimate atmosphere with more people. If you still want something special to differentiate the marrying couple, try sweetheart chairs instead.
3. Rethink Your First Dance
photo: Kuburas Photography
First dances can be tricky. You want it to be a special moment for the two of you, and you want to keep your guests engaged. You don't need to be an excellent dancer, but you have to appreciate some showmanship to do it justice. Most will appreciate a simple two-step or sway as long as its enthusiastic. Otherwise, it's a wedding moment that is prone to becoming dry, trite, or awkward. If you don't like all eyes on you, you might not enjoy it. Feel free to skip it in favor of things you're more excited about.
Try this instead…
You can still dance without the audience! On the more stylized end, arrange to have your first dance in private. You can find a picturesque location, bring along your documentation team, some music, and dance. It will be intimate, romantic, and your photos will be stunning.
If you’re the type to want to let loose and have a little fun, no one cares if you play Backstreet Boys! Take that private moment and get out all that nervous energy in a private dance party.
No need to make a big production out of it if that’s not your thing, either. You can share this moment with your entire tribe. Add it to the "must play" list and slip onto the dance floor with everyone when your song is comes up. Enjoy a spontaneous first dance and have a great time!
4. Build "Recharge" Opportunities
Into Your Timeline
There are actually several natural opportunities for private time throughout a wedding day! Take advantage of an intimate getting ready group, or get ready on your own (spa day?!). Ride alone with your spouse to and from venues. Take extra time for photos. Build it into your day's timeline early on and be intentional about taking care of yourself.
Key moments to recharge...
If the aisle and altar are big "spotlight" moments for you, take some time after the ceremony to reconnect. This is a great time for that private first dance, or a brief walk around the grounds just the two of you. Another great moment to recharge is after your meal. The festivities will be coming to a close in a couple hours or so... and you did it! You're married. You've celebrated. The next stage is beginning. Take a moment to soak it all in, then go have one last hurrah.
5. Rethink the Ceremony Format
The ceremony is often a place of anxiety for more reserved people. Understandable! Most ceremonies are very visual, with the couple front and center. Its just about impossible to avoid attention. Still, there are some changes you can make to lessen the pressure.
Think of ways you can enjoy the ceremony with your guests as participants instead of audience members. First, consider not making the ceremony your first activity. You can enjoy some time letting the group settle and getting comfortable before things get started. You can try a pre-ceremony welcome, cocktail hour, or open mingling.
You don't have to hype up the "big reveal" of one partner, or have an aisle of people to walk between. Just like the reception, the ceremony can be a place for togetherness if that is your intention.
Imagine walking into a pre-ceremony cocktail hour by a lake. The couple is rocking full wedding gear, relaxed, greeting everyone as they arrive. You mingle and get comfortable in the environment, enjoying the music and apps. After a while, lanterns are handed out and you are gathered around the river bank. The couple says their vows and you all release lanterns over the water, then enjoy the rest of the evening. Beautiful, heartfelt, full of ritual, way less spotlight.
6. Keep it Intimate
Being introverted doesn’t mean you don’t like to have fun, or that you can't celebrate well with your tribe. It just means you don't like the spotlight, and you get drained when you have to keep your “mask” on for too long. You like your tight-knit groups, inside jokes, and quiet moments. You should design your wedding just like you!
My biggest tip for you is this: keep it intimate. You can’t avoid all the spotlight on your wedding day, but you can control how harsh it is. Gather with those whose light feels warm and inviting. Be with the people you can forget your mask around. Send an announcement card to all the other wonderful people you love, and celebrate well.
Got some great tips? Great! Send this to all your introverted nearlyweds and make their day. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.