Post # 1
I’m having issues because I have basically ruined proposal and wedding plans due to anxiety. My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years, and he would like the traditional proposal and wedding, but I have told him I really don’t want either, which has him understandably bent out of shape. The reason for this is that I have anxiety about getting attention (to me this is unwanted attention), I don’t want people asking about the ring or the wedding. I try to draw as little attention to myself as possible, and I really don’t want my family to start bugging me about details or tradition. I didn’t even go to prom because I didn’t want to deal with unwanted familial imput about my non-traditional self. When it comes to the wedding itself, I fear standing in front of people and being the center of attention. Dressing up is also an issue because the thought of being stuck in formalwear all day sounds like torture, especially because a dress has never made me feel “pretty” just not me.
I also have a really small family and so does my boyfriend, between the two of us, we’d have about 15 family members and a handful of my boyfriend’s friends. I really have no friends to invite to a wedding, so at most 20 people or so. I want to make him happy and have some sort of wedding, but it seems pointless to me. I’m not a party person and the number of guests isn’t conducive to partying, so I just don’t know what to with this. I don’t want to elope, that will just be a horrible amount of negative attention from my family, but I just don’t know what to do at this point.
Post # 3
I understand not wanting to be the center of attention, that’s one of the reasons we are doing an overseas wedding, so it will be mostly just family members there 🙂
It sounds like you have a small potential guest list already so that’s good. If you are feeling like you want to scale it down even more, maybe a courthouse ceremony (with only the very closest family and friends) and then a small dinner out at a restaurant for a reception… then you could skip the first dance and those types of “events” that most people expect to see at wedding receptions. Doing a restaurant reception also means that the evening would have a clear “end” that doesn’t demand the party to continue any further unless you want it to.
Good luck… and compromise, compromise!!
Post # 4
@writershabitarium: Maybe just have a short afternoon wedding? Unless you’re wanting a religious ceremony, you can work with the officiant to make it as long as you’re comfortable with. Then, first dance, cut the cake, say your goodbyes. A friend of mine is doing this, her whole wedding is only expected to last 3 hours tops, most likely less.
Post # 5
After reading your post I really feel like while you are very iffy about having a wedding and your future FI really wants the experience, so you have to consider his feelings. I am sure both of you are planning on getting married once and although guys don’t typically “dream” of a wedding they also want a special experience to remember and share with their closest family/friends. If you don’t like attention, a small ceremony on the beach somewhere far away could be a perfect way to go (just you two or just the very close people to you). You don’t even have to have a typical wedding dress if you don’t want to. You may not want some of those things now, but do you think you will regret it later? Anxiety can be very hard to overcome, but if you talk things out and get more comfortable with what you both want it might ease the stress.
Post # 6
I don’t think you’ve ruined it at all! You say that you and your bf have been together for 7 years, so naturally he should understand that you feel this way about being the centre of attention. Have you two discussed the wedding/proposal etc, I wasn’t 100% clear from your post?
Secondly, your wedding is exactly that…yours
If you want to only have 3 people day and everyone wear PJs, who cares? As long as it’s special to the two of you it’s not about spending thousands of dollars, a big white poofy dress or inviting 200 people. It’s about the commitment the two of you are making to each other…at the end of the day that’s all that counts and that’s whats going to last!
Alternatively, you could just elope in secret?
Post # 7
Check out the offbeat bride website and maybe the book A Practical Wedding, to hear stories of nontraditonal weddings and and dealin with your own wants vs those of others.
I can relate somewhat, but in our case SO and I are generally on the same page, but are still having a wedding for the sake of our relatives. We won’t have dancing, first dance, speeches, bouquet toss, any of that. We will probably be legally married ahead of time ourselves, but have a church wedding / blessing for family to attend, followed by a casual get-together with food, drinks, and maybe lawn games because there will still be around 50 people. If it were 15 people, it’d make things even easier. SO and I don’t really like being the center of attention either, so we probably won’t write personal vows to say in front of the crowd, just do the rote ceremony.
I also opted out of an engagement ring, partially for some of the reasons you state.
Your wedding doesn’t have to follow a formula, it can be anything you make it. Maybe you can talk with your SO and come up with some solutions that could satisfy both of your needs.
Post # 8
Good luck to you guys figuring it out. Maybe you can do a small, casual wedding without all the walking down the aisle stuff.
As some encouragement, you’ll find that most people don’t ask about wedding plans to be nosy, they’re just happy for you. And at our wedding, yeah, everyone was looking at me, but I only saw my husband. And once I got up with him, I never thought for one second about the 40 people sitting behind us. I only saw him and heard the pastor.
I’m sure you guys could manage a compromise where you get the wedding experience without the wedding stress and drama.
Post # 9
Thanks, everyone. You’ve made me feel a lot better about this. My boyfriend and I have talked about this stuff on and off for several years now, but never reached a decent concensus on anything. I saw these events as an anvil hanging over my head, but to have it put into a better perspective helped a lot. I think we may do a courthouse ceremony with a little get together with food somewhere, preferably somewhere a little spooky =) Maybe I’ll plan a wedding and not tell anyone until they get their invitations, it would keep the familial imput out of my planning.
Post # 10
@writershabitarium: Have a real talk with your bf about what he needs to do to consider himself married.
I mean, ask him to dig deep down and identify what is emotionally important to him. IF you ask him “what do you want in a wedding” he might just take the easy way out and simply list the things he thinks are part of a normal wedding: chruch, white dress, family, dinner, dancing, etc. That’s not what you are about here, you want to find the 1 or 2 things are are important to him.
You do the same thing–what would you really like? Rather than focusing on the negative (you DON’t want to be center of attendion, you DON’T want family telling you what to do) pick the 1 or 2 things that you would like to do to constitute a wedding.
wait–I just read your update–that sounds good!
Post # 11
@lazy: I like the idea of reading up on very small intimate weddings and sharing it with your SO. Like, find beautiful/cute photos and stories that might inspire your SO about a small non-traditional wedding. Sometimes people are so stuck on expectations and traditions that they don’t even understand what the alternatives are. Good luck!
Post # 12
I also agree that a small, courthouse wedding with close family and a few friends would be good- that way, you’re not up there for ages, and you won’t feel to anxious about planning etc. And, the restaurant idea sounds awesome!! Don’t worry about it not being traditional hun, it’ll be yours and your boyfriends special day, so the only thing that matters is how you two feel about it And, if you’re afraid of your boyfriend proposing infront of other people (that was a MAJOR fear of mine! I also hate being the spotlight of attention- if he had proposed in a restaurant or something I would have fainted!) then talk to him about it, and share your concerns and fears with him. I did the same with my FI, and he proposed in my bedroom with just the two of us there.
Also, if you aren’t getting treated for your anxiety then I suggest that you do. I know how much of a pain in the ass it can be, and it can be treated Have you tried rescue remedy and deep breathing? Also, councilling works well too.
And, you haven’t ruined a thing!
Good luck OP
Post # 13
I suggest that you let him do the traditional proposal and then work hard to compromise on the wedding. I felt similarly to you, but for different reasons. (I just think most engagement- and wedding-related events are disproportionately expensive in terms of time, effort and money. It wasn’t important enough to me to justify the costs. I was more interested in being married than in planning a wedding, and I would have preferred to indulge in a fancy honeymoon and a larger downpayment instead.)
At any rate, my husband still wanted to buy me an engagement ring, so I let him. People only comment on it for a couple of weeks after you get engaged. After that, no one notices. After all, most married people wear one. You would need a grape-sized diamond to draw ongoing attention. I wear my ring everyday, and sometimes it is just a nice reminder of my husband. Every once in awhile he will admire it when we are spending time together. Two years later, he is still proud of the ring he gave me. I’m glad I didn’t protest too much just because he wanted to do something nice and generous for me.
We also had a bigger-than-I-wanted wedding. It was way too much work and expense for my taste, but we had a nice day and have nice memories. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to take away his opportunity to have a big bash just because I didn’t want one. I think my sacrifice was smaller than his would have been. So, it was the right decision for *us* even though it wasn’t *my* first choice.
Post # 14
@writershabitarium: I think that you should compromise. Tell him that if he proposes, it has to be a secret and without a ring that way no one knows about it and you can plan the wedding in private until everyone gets their invites. The compromise is that you’ll do a small wedding that you two get to plan on your own without anyone’s input, like you said. Maybe that’s something he’ll go for?
Post # 15
@writershabitarium: It sounds like there are larger issues here; it’s one thing to be shy, but it seems like you’re debilitated by anxiety. Have you considered seeking treatmeant and/or taking anxiety meds like Zoloft or something? I’m not a doctor, but it seems that your anxiety is actually getting in the way of you living your life. I would urge you to see a doctor. This is no way to live.