While some people dream of their wedding day their entire lives, for a lot of people, the thought of having all eyes on them, all day long, is a little… terrifying.
And hey, I totally feel you! I’m an introvert who wasn’t that excited about being the center of attention on my wedding day – and in a world that seems to be designed for extraverts at every turn, weddings are no different. There are speeches, dances, photos, crowds, vulnerability…. But it’s totally possible to have an amazing wedding day as an introvert, and I always encourage couples to toss out traditions that don’t fit them. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your day, and some wedding ideas for introverts!
For a lot of introverts, the idea of being in front of all those people brings on a little bit of stage fright – and that just increases when you add in the super emotional vulnerability of reading your vows! I recommend using the traditional “till death do us part” vows, and saving the more personal stuff for when you’re alone with your partner! You can write your own vows and share them with each other either before or after the ceremony – away from the audience.
The tradition of not seeing your spouse until you walk down the aisle is one that many couples have been forgoing for years. While I think a first look is a great choice for any couple, it can be an especially great idea for introverts! First looks happen before the ceremony – your photographer will position either you or your partner so that you can’t see the other, and then the other person will walk up behind them and tap them on the shoulder. The moment they turn around to see their almost-spouse for the first time is always so meaningful, and it makes for amazing photos!
But, more importantly, a private first look, away from your guests and your bridal party takes the pressure off and gives you a moment alone with your partner. So many couples say that their anxieties melted away after they saw each other for the first time on their wedding day, and if you do decide to do private vows, you can read them right after the first look!
Walking down the aisle is often one of the more stressful aspects of the wedding day for a lot of introverts! You know everyone’s watching, and adding a pair of high heels will only make things more precarious! There are different approaches and traditions to walking down the aisle – grooms often walk down alone, and brides are typically accompanied by their fathers.
To take some of the pressure off and make that aisle feel a little less long, I recommend having two people walk you down the aisle! Whether it’s both of your parents or two people who mean a lot to you, having people by your side for support can add so much confidence.
One of my favorite wedding ideas for introverts is to make some adjustments to the reception – if hitting the dance floor isn’t your thing, you can plan some other activities to keep the party going! Board games are always a hit, and lawn games like cornhole or horseshoes are a lot of fun (and especially great for keeping kids entertained throughout the day). For smaller weddings, keeping things casual with a bonfire allows you to spend time with your guests, and you can even set up a s’mores bar and end the night relaxing by the fire.
If you still want to dance, there are still some tips and wedding ideas for introverts that will make it more enjoyable! The first dance together, along with parent/child dances seem to be something that a lot of introverts are anxious about. I know I was, so at my wedding, my dad and I had the first 30 seconds of our song to ourselves, and then the DJ invited other fathers and daughters to dance. We did the same thing with the mother and son dances, and this took the pressure off of us, and gave our guests the opportunity for a special moment with their families.
If you’re anxious about the thought of having people make speeches and being on the receiving end, it’s totally okay to skip the speeches! It’s a lot of pressure on you to feel like you need to give a good reaction and knowing that everyone’s watching is scary – so if you want to give your family and friends the opportunity to express their feelings without all the publicity, you can have them write letters to you so that you can read them after the wedding.
If you don’t mind other people giving speeches but you’re not keen on standing up to make your own, you can just skip the “thank you” speech. You can show your appreciation with thank you cards or party favors. And hey – your guests are likely getting a free dinner and drinks, they know you appreciate them!
While it’s totally possible to be an introvert and still want to have a large wedding with all your loved ones, it’s also okay to keep things small! There can be a lot of pressure, from the wedding industry, from family, from friends, to throw a huge party – but if that just doesn’t feel right to you, you can elope, have a small backyard wedding, or just keep the guest list short. That can take a lot of the pressure off, and make you feel a lot more comfortable.
With all the pressure to throw a party for everyone to enjoy, there’s also pressure to follow tradition. One of my favorite wedding ideas for introverts is simple – if you don’t want to do it, don’t! If the idea of a garter toss makes you feel uneasy, skip it! If you don’t want a bridal party, you don’t need one. Your wedding is supposed to be the best day of your life – so make sure it’s a day you get to enjoy.
I know that as an introvert, I can feel when my battery is draining – so it’s important to take breaks from the crowd on your wedding day! When you’re writing up your wedding timeline, schedule some time for you and your partner to step away from your guests and take a moment to yourselves. Throughout the day, try to focus on your new spouse, and remember that this is what it’s really all about!
Photos are a great opportunity (excuse) to get away from the crowd and take a minute to yourselves – and if you’re thinking being in front of the camera is just another stressor for the introverted, I get it! As a photographer, I think the most important part of my job is getting you comfortable and making sure your photos are a good time – not a chore. I know that while spending time with the people you love on your wedding day is incredible, it can also be a little exhausting! So during your photos, I won’t make you pose or force a smile. My approach is all about letting you be yourselves and have fun, while I just happen to be there with a camera! If you need a photographer who gets it, and who can give you more tips and wedding ideas for introverts along the way, contact me!
2022 Caitlyn Cloud
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Kansas City Wedding Photographer
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