wedding ceremony and social anxiety?

posted 2 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I also have terrible social anxiety and speaking in front of people is one of the things that sets off my panic attacks. I don’t have any advice I just thought id let you know you’re not alone! 

Post # 3
1302 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2015 - Chapel on Base

Beta blockers can cause depression.   I was on them when I was diagnosed as clinically depressed.   It’s been about 20 year since I took them so I can’t recall if they helped with anxiety or not.  

Post # 4
83 posts
Worker bee

Hi i think you should definitely ask your doctor about beta blockers. Im taking them at the minute due to a lot of ongoing stress and find they really bring down my heart rate, butterflies etc. I also used them as a one off on my driving test and they were really effective plus they dont make you drowsy or anything which is good.

Im not trying to sound like an advert lol, it just might help you in your situation. You will be fine. Good luck.

Post # 5
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

You’re definitely not alone (and I think we might also be date twins … December 6?)! I’ve never suffered from anxiety before but the idea of walking down the aisle and being the centre of attention makes my stomach turn. Even talking about it makes me nauseous and makes my hands shake and sweat. My doctor said I could definitely try some beta blockers but that would mean not being able to drink alcohol on the day (as a side note, she actually recommended a few drinks on the big day to calm my nerves!). Have you spoken to your celebrant/pastor? Mine was great and is helping us by doing the following:

  • Having a reasonably short ceremony (ours is about 15 mins in total)
  • Taking the focus off us by introducing the bridal party (how we met, something fun about each of them) and introducing our parents
  • Having a few readings by close friends so we can sit down for a minute
  • Breaking down our vows into small, manageable segments. She’s actually sent us the segments so we can practice beforehand if we need.

She also gave us these tips:

  • Everyone there is happy for you. They aren’t there to judge you or hope that you’ll fail, they’re there to love and support you
  • Everyone will know you are nervous – it’s completely normal and expected.
  • Don’t worry if you stumble in your vows. It’s a natural part of speaking. Have a giggle and move on.
  • When saying your vows, focus on the words and their meaning, rather than how you say them. Pretend there is no-one there but you and your FI. No-one is going to mind if you take a moment to compose yourself.

Speaking of which, she also gave me a fact sheet on breathing techniques. There’s a relatively simple technique that she suggested using before walking down the aisle. It actually counteracts the fight-or-flight reaction that causes the symptoms of anxiety (high blood pressure, increased adrenalin, rapid heart beat, nausea). You just inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 5 or 6 seconds, exhale for 7-8 seconds. Repeat as needed. 

Sorry to turn it into an essay but I really hope that helps. Hopefully we can both enjoy our wedding days! Best of luck 🙂

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