Opposite of extrovert. A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.
Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to “recharge” afterwards. The word “Introvert” has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.
—courtesy of Urban Dictionary
As an introvert myself, I completely understand that a wedding means spotlight, and to an introvert, spotlight means cringe. Weddings mean constantly being the center of attention, meetings and phone calls, bridal showers, family and friends constantly buzzing around, and lots of other activities that the extroverts in this world live for.
When introverts spend time with and expend energy with large crowds and extroverted energy, it can literally drain the battery and bring fatigue-like exhaustion…..no offense to extroverts or large crowds…that’s just the way we’re wired.
It’s not to say that an introvert doesn’t want to have fun and enjoy their wedding celebration, and any extroverts reading this may not understand the point of this blog post. But, if you are an extrovert who has the honor of being in the wedding party, or are the parent of an introverted bride or groom to-be, you are awesome for just reading this!
So, how is an introverted bride or groom to make it through? Better yet, make it through in one complete, safely introverted piece? How do you avoid the anxiety, the energy drain, the wanting to call off the big wedding to escape together and elope?
Here are my tips for you:
1. Throw a small, to modestly sized, wedding.
Just because you aren’t going to run off and elope, doesn’t mean you have to have 200 guests at your wedding. Opt to invite the friends and family you see on a regular, almost daily basis. You can hire a cinematographer to document your wedding day to share with other family members and friends who would’t be attending the wedding.
2. Choose a venue that is not a wedding factory.
Some venues are constantly abuzz with crowded weddings…some hosting up to 3 a day for the entire weekend, every weekend. Choose a more intimate venue to avoid the wedding crowd overload.
3. Don’t announce your appointments/plans on social media until after you’ve attended or made them, if at all.
When I bought my most recent car, I did not tell one soul I was going to the dealership. I had already spent weeks researching pricing, styles I liked, what I could afford, etc. I did not tell anyone about the purchase until after I chose my car and signed on the dotted line.
Do the same thing when you are selecting your wedding professionals. You and your soon-to-be can browse websites and request pricing for your favorite local wedding pros, sit in on those in-person meetings together, and make that decision together. If you have people constantly throwing names out or asking “have you chosen your_____________ yet? My sister used ____________.”, thank them for their suggestion and tell them you’ll make a note of the name of they are suggesting, or tell them you have already made the decision.
4. When choosing your dress/attire, invite one person to attend with you…in person or virtually.
Even when you watch Say Yes to the Dress, you will often here them giving advice to not bring too many people to the appointment, because it means that many more opinions. Choose one close person to shop for gowns with you. Whether that is your significant other, your mom, you maid of honor, your dad….whoever you want to share that special process with.
You can always ask the person with you to either take some video of the process, or when you have officially decided on your dress, you can Facetime your wedding party to show them and share the exciting moments following your dress selection.
5. Be sure your mom, or maid of honor, know whether or not you really want any pre-wedding celebrations.
We all know that bridal showers, or Jack & Jills/Jack & Jacks/Jill & Jills, bachelorette/bachelor parties…are all traditional pre-wedding events. If you are sure you would prefer not to have one thrown, don’t hesitate to let your parents, best man or maid of honor know this ahead of time. Or, let them know you want a small celebration with just your party and parents, as an alternative.
6. Hire a wedding planner.
As a wedding planner and day of manager, I can act as your go-to person. When your wedding pros have questions throughout the day/night of the wedding (or month leading up to it), you will not constantly be approached and interrupted because I’ll be there to give them all the information they need.
I’ll also be there for parents and wedding party questions and concerns, and can ease your mind, too! The busy work and interactions will be something I handle for you.
7. Walk the aisle together….or not at all.
Walking the aisle is really, absolutely, truly about you. Everyone literally turns in their seat to watch every step you take up that aisle. Sooooo, yikes! What do you do? Consider having BOTH parents, or one parent and one sibling, or even your partner walk the aisle with you. People will still look at you, but will also observe your parents’ emotions and how proud they look.
I have also had couples not walk at all, and each of them simply enters together from either side of the top of the aisle.
8. Take some time during the cocktail hour to regroup and spend some quiet time together before the reception.
I stress this for EVERYONE, not just introverts. Whether you do your first look and photos before or after the ceremony, take the time during the cocktail hour to sit together, have a drink and a few bites, let your nerves and excitement wind down and be shared in quiet moments together. You just said “I Do”, so take a moment to look in each other’s eyes, take a breath, put your arm around each other and wind down before you head into the reception.
9. If you opt to do intros…
Occasionally, couples opt to forego the intros. They prefer a quiet entry and to make their presence known by greeting guests, or just heading into their first dance.
If you opt to do the introductions, let your wedding party steal the spotlight with super animated entries, or choose to have your flower girl and/or ring bearer enter right before you/with you and everyone will dote over how cute they are. Let your DJ know that you are not thrilled about having this huge build up just before you enter, and any experienced, professional DJ will have advice and alternatives for you.
10. Your first dance…(major spotlight)
I think you want a first dance together, and your guests expect one. Some options would be to have your wedding party stand to either side of the dance floor as they are introduced. When you get introduced, go right into your first dance, and then have the party join in the dance a minute or two into the song. You could also ask your DJ to invite both sets of parents to join in the dancing with you a minute or two into the song.
11. How to survive going to table to table to greet guests.
You can either tackle this together as a pair, or you can opt to do a receiving line after your ceremony.
I want to give you a little advice for the receiving line option. Personally, I think this is a great option. The thought may seem overwhelming, or even old fashioned, but you will be side by side with your new spouse and all of your parents and some of your party. You will not be going this alone. It also allows the greetings to be done then so you can actually sit and eat something and to enjoy your reception. Each guest will need to keep it brief in the receiving line, as they know there is a line of people behind them. The nature of the line lends itself to them flowing outside, rather than stopping to talk. If you go table by table during the reception in lieuf of the receiving line, sometimes your guests will keep you there for a while, and before you know it, you’ve spent an hour and a half of your 4 or 5 hour reception going table to table. You’ll have plenty of time to have fun with all of your guests on the dance floor after some food and a few drinks!
If you opt for the receiving line option, you need to set aside about an hour or so, depending on guest count, after the ceremony and before cocktail hour to have this receiving line happen without imposing on the timing for the rest of the evening.
If you have specific questions I have not answered in this blog, comment below so I can reply!