Brides (and Grooms) who Don’t Love the Spotlight

Did you know half of the population considers themselves shy, and that 13 percent of the population has an extreme form of social anxiety called social phobia? For this reason, says IntimateWeddings, it’s safe to say that there are many brides and grooms who are terrified of getting married. It’s not that they fear marrying the wrong person… the are just not happy about the thought of being center of attention! Some brides (and grooms) are shy of having all eyes upon them. Others are afraid of doing something embarrassing or clumsy. If you tend to shy away from too much attention,  here are some ideas to consider when planning your wedding (thanks, Offbeat Bride):

  • Choose an outgoing officiant who can take over the major speaking parts of the ceremony, and absorb the stage fright.
  • Keep your vows short and sweet. You can have your officiant do “repeat after me” vows, or just read off a paper.  No one will really mind if all you say is, “I do.”
  • After the ceremony: You may want to schedule some alone time for just the two of you immediately after the ceremony.  Or, conversely, if you want to eliminate a grand entrance into your reception, you can slip right in there together with your guests.
  • Limit the toasts: Avoid making formalized speeches, and do what you can to keep the number of toasts low.
  • Use the “The I Love You Break.” Here’s how it works:

Decide on a secret signal with your fiance: an ear tug, scratch of the nose, squeeze of the hand, whatever. Stick close to each other for the entire day, and whenever one of you starts get getting overwhelmed or anxious, give the signal.Then, the other partner should politely step in and say “Excuse us for a moment” or gently place a hand on the other’s cheek. Then just stare into each other’s eyes and both whisper “I love you I love you I love you” for as long as it takes to calm down a bit.

  • Don’t be afraid to cut out attention-grabbing scenes, such as a first dance, cake cutting ceremony, or bouquet/garter toss. You don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable, especially if it doesn’t have that much meaning to you anyway.

Here are some mental exercises that you can practice in order to stay calm on the big day, provided by IntimateWeddings:

  • Practice a technique called Grounding. It’s about maintaining composure, being aware of sensations, and proper breathing. Read more about it here.
  • Practice a technique called Visualization. This one is about imagining a time beyond the wedding, when you can be relaxed and look back at all the wonderful memories you’ve created.
  • Practice a technique called “welcoming people with your eyes.” If greeting everyone individually seems daunting to you, you can practice welcoming others silently with the warmth of you eyes.  Avoiding eye contact at your wedding creates tension and prevents you from being in the moment.

And just remember, if the feeling that all eyes are upon you is unnerving, just think about how much everyone loves you, and how they are there to support you and wish you well! Do you have any other tips for brides and grooms who don’t love the spotlight? Please share them in the comment section!!

feature photo from weddingslimmer

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