Post # 1
Ok, so terrified might seem like a very strong word to use when describing the emotions I am feeling about my wedding day. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I honestly have heart palpitations whenever I stop to really think about my wedding day. I’m fine with making the plans and booking the vendors, but when I think about being the center of attention, I feel like I’m going to pass out…and there are still 8 months to go! I have never been one to enjoy the spotlight. Rather, I much prefer to watch from the sidelines and enjoy the show that others put on. I’m not a wallflower at all, just never been one for a lot of attention; makes me very uncomfortable. Everyone who talks to me about the details of my wedding makes me feel more anxious (unintentionally), as they say things like ‘Oh no one cares about anything but how the bride looks and how the food tastes’ or ‘The exciting part of any wedding is the bride!’ Not only am I averse to attention, I am also super emotional…I feel like I am going to be a tear-stained mess all day and night.
I know I just have to resign myself to being the center of attention on my wedding day. I’m just wondering if anyone has experienced or is experiencing this kind of ‘spotlight anxiety’ and how they dealt with it? Also, are there any tips for how to squelch the emotions somewhat so I am not crying all day?
Post # 3
@Toronto2014: I have social anxiety and generalized anxiety. The only way I’m getting up in front of 100 of my closest friends and family is either medication or alcohol, and probably the latter one.
Sorry, I have no solutions, but serious heart palpitations and nightmares just thinking about it.
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
Is there a reason you’re not eloping?
Post # 5
@prahajess: We considered eloping, but it just felt like a cop-out when we genuinely do want to celebrate with loved ones. I want to conquer my anxiety, not give in to it..
Post # 6
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
@Toronto2014: I think the fact that you want to celebrate with loved ones will be the thing that helps you the most. I wish I had concfrete suggestions of how to calm yourself down when you’re in the spotlight. I”m sure people have told you a million times that no one will be judging you; they’re going to be there b/c they love you and want to support you– basically for all the reasons you want them to be there.
Surely a professional would have real advice. Meditation, self-talk, something!
I think it’s great that you want to conquer your challenge!
Post # 7
I’m the same way. SO started talking about bridal parties last night. I told him I didn’t think we’d even have one because it just seems like a waste of their money and time. I also said I’d prefer to elope, but I know that he doesn’t want that, so we would have to compromise. He started to tell me how 50-100 people really isn’t that many. I told him I would definitely not feel comfortable getting up in front of all those people, and that I would probably end up passing out and not focusing on what’s important that day. He’s not super close with his family, and I’m really not sure why he wants a bigger wedding to begin with. I’m not going to make him elope, but no, I’m not going to be able to get up in front of 150 people either…maybe 30 max. Sorry for venting, but I totally know how you feel. We aren’t even engaged yet, and this is already something that I think and worry about almost on a daily basis.
Post # 8
@Toronto2014: Honestly, I felt the same way for our Engagement Party (we had about 180 people there) I hate being the centre of attention. I was freaking out for months before the party.
But honestly, when your in the moment, the crowd of people becomes a blur. The only time during the party I was scared was when FI and I said our thank you’s on the microphone.
Seriously you’ll be fine. I was, I had a great time at our party, and I was dreading having the party up to and including the moments RIGHT before it started.
Post # 9
Felt same way. Anxiety was so bad that I wished I had planned to elope. But part of me was just like you – I did not want to run away from it. Thought I might regret not having a wedding day. I am lucky that the day came and it was beautiful. Very special. Received many compliments.
If possible, do not invite a ton of people who don’t mean that much to you. People closer to you will be excited for you, and not just judging the occasion.
Post # 10
@Toronto2014: This article really helped me move away from the idea of being the center of attention: http://apracticalwedding.com/2010/01/your-wedding-is-not-show/
Post # 11
I’m someone who is prone to a lot of social anxiety, as is DH. He was very worried about being the center of attention, and me too (although not to the point of wanting medication– DH did get some anti-anxiety medicine). Looking back, it really wasn’t too bad (though we had a small gathering as opposed to 50-100+ guests). The days leading up to the wedding, I was so focused on details and preparations, I had no time to be nervous.
Walking down the aisle, I didn’t see a crowd; I saw individuals whom I cared about, and I focused especially on DH. During the reception, I mostly got with people one-on-one. It’s not like everyone spent all of their time huddled around me in a giant circle– people talked to each other, too.
The best piece of advice I got was to avoid trying to entertain your guests. The occasion is centered around the fact that you and your FH love each other, so show them that. Focus on your new husband, show your love for each other. I took that to heart, and people still remark how they feel they were witnessing something special because of it.
Post # 12
@Toronto2014: i could have written this post! I feel exactly the same way. I think I enjoyed my brother’s wedding more than I will enjoy my own.
I don’t like that much focused attention on me. I plan to get throught he evening with wine, and anti-anxiety meds. Oh, and my fiancee reminding me I look fine and all that jazz 🙂
Post # 13
Don’t do something that you’re actively not going to enjoy just for the sake of conquering a fear. Have a wedding without all the fear-inducing parts. You don’t have to make a grand entrance and walk down the aisle, you can be there receiving and talking to your guests before the ceremony starts. You don’t have to say personal private vows in front of everyone. You can just be married and then say your vows in private. There’s no need to have a first dance while everybody watches. The DJ can open the Dancefloor and invite everyone to dance as you dance with your dad. Plan a wedding that you’ll enjoy because of who you are and not despite of.
Post # 14
Same fears… so we invited only 4 people!
Post # 15
@kenziemt: and @Toronto2014: That article is great, I love that website so much. I just looked for another article on there that I read a few months ago but couldn’t find it. It basically said that everyone WON’T be looking at you the whole time, contrary to what you may think. People will also be looking at the bridesmaid, groom, groomsmen, officiant, flowers, decor, scenery, the details in your dress, and so forth. So the actual number of eyeballs on you at any given moment actually isn’t that many. And that’s just the ceremony… At the reception I think it’ll be easier.
Also, can you avoid doing any kind of speech? Me and my FI both are not going to do any speeches, it makes us too nervous. Also not doing the garter or bouquet toss… Can you exclude some of these things so it makes for a more relaxed event for you? Oh, and the other thing we’re doing is we’re limiting speeches from other people – invite only (no open mic) and limited to 3 minutes max (they will know this beforehand). Even though you may not be the one giving the speech, it might make you nervous to have lots of different people up there talking about you guys so limiting the number of them and length of them could help. We have one friend who I definitely don’t want giving a speech because he could mention something I don’t want him to mention, so I’m going to tell our MC to not let anyone else do a speech who’s not on “the list”, so to speak. And make sure the people who are doing speeches know that you don’t want anything embarassing or anything related to past boyfriends, etc – only positive sentiments in speeches. Your friends and family may know this already, but it may be worth mentioning to them, so you’re not stressing about what they might say.
Post # 16
You could always have a small wedding or elope.
I hate being the centre of attention too. That’s one reason my husband and I eloped.
I couldn’t imagine having a huge wedding like my parents were trying to force on us.