Anyone planning a wedding with social anxiety?

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
Member
112 posts
Blushing bee

Not only am I planning my own wedding, but I’m a bridesmaid in another wedding. I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life, stemming from childhood abuse.

 

There are several things you can do to ease the anxiety, but there is no one solution and no solution that will just make it go away. That’s the first thing you need to realize – it’s here, and you can’t make it go away, you can only cope with it. I hope this helps!

 

To start with, the most helpful piece of advice I ever got was from my mother, who is also somewhat socially awkward: People don’t know how afraid you are unless you show them. When I step out of my apartment, I put on my public face. I smile, I act pleasantly, I talk pleasantly, and it does help to ease my raging fears because the saying really is true – “Fake it ’til you make it.” 

 

Second, take breaks. When you’re in a highly stressful social situation, you need to let yourself breathe now and then. Don’t think it’s rude to excuse yourself for a few minutes to the bathroom or to a quiet corner. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, and replace your public face. Remind yourself that the situation you’re in will not last forever. It will end sooner or later, and it’s only temporarily that you’ll have to deal with it. I have to do this when I’m in a crowd. I suffered a traumatic event that leaves me terrified of crowds, and I have to take breaks every half hour or so. 

 

Third, be kind to yourself and forgive yourself. Part of the anxiety, at least for me, comes from feeling like there’s something wrong with me. There is, and I’m doing my best to cope, but it’s OK. We all have our faults. Every single person who will be at your wedding has some deep dark fear that they are dealing with – maybe even anxiety like you have. Know your limits, and know that it’s really alright to have a problem or two. We don’t have to be perfect.

 

Fourth, talk about it. People are generall understanding, and these will be your friends and relatives. If you start to feel a panic attack coming on, let someone you trust know. Tell them how it feels, what it’s like. Share your experience if they want to listen. Better yet, before the event, have someone or several someones as your support group – people you can go to when things start to get hazy. Talk about your anxiety with them beforehand, and see if they’d be willing to take action if you need them to. My husband is awesome at this. He can sense a panic attack coming a mile away, and knows to lead me somewhere quiet and talk me down when I start to tunnel out. Communicate with your loved ones, and they may be more than willing to help you.

 

It also helps to have a relaxation routine. Take care of your mind and body. We don’t always have the time to do that, but find a routine that soothes you – half an hour of yoga, a cup of tea, some soft music, whatever. Take time to wind down every day. 

 

Finally, if you really need to, talk to your doctor about getting on anti-anxiety medication. You have plenty of time between now and then to find something that works for you. Medications are NOT a miracle pill that will just dissolve all of the anxiety, but they can help to focus your mind and to block out the “noise” that tends to crowd around you when you go into a panic attack. Dosages range from steady time-release pills that keep you even-keeled all day, to one-time-use pills that can be taken to stave off a panic attack. 

 

Well, hope you found some of this useful. Good luck! 🙂

Post # 3
Member
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

My anxiety gets so bad that I couldn’t even stomach the thought of having a wedding. We compromised and are having 30 people come to an intimate restaurant bistro wedding. If i had to do anything bigger tgan that i wouldnt do it at all! There are still days i wish i could just run down to city hall!!!

Post # 4
Member
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I am planning a wedding with several anxiety disorders along with an autoimmune disease. It has been the most miserable experience since the week I got engaged, not just because of the anxiety but of course the anxiety affects everything else. Honestly, I need the medication for the big events. I’ll probably have to take it on my wedding day. But I did just hire a wedding planner for partial planning, and I feel relief already. The anxiety from having to talk to vendors, especially the phone calls (I have a really hard time with that), it was too much. Now I have one person I talk to and thats it.

Post # 5
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I have really bad social anxiety. I hate parties. And now I am throwing one where I will be the center of attention for hours. I don’t love the idea of taking any medication because I want to be present on my wedding day but I will have Xanax as a backup. I also invision escaping to the bridal suite at the venue at least a few times when the party gets to be too much. Plus I keep reminding myself that I actually know everyone who is attending (unlike every other huge party ever) so that helps. Good luck! 

Post # 6
Member
488 posts
Helper bee

I have social anxiety and its hitting me more as my wedding day gets closer.

The reason I wanted to have a reasonable size wedding (70 invited) is partly to do with the social anxiety. Maybe because of it, I have never held a party and probably never will again. I guess I wanted to use this occasion as an excuse to have one and have people somewhat forced by social convention to attend. 

Hardly anyone has RSVPed yet and no one planned a hens party or shower. I’m not sure whether that has made the social anxiety worse or better. Better that fewer people will be staring at me on various days, but also worse because clearly my fear about people not liking me is not unfounded. Now I am feeling panicked about ten people turning up and standing around awkwardly in a room that seats 80. 

I also had a reasonably short engagment and I have thought at times I wish it was further away. But when you think about it, this way the anxiety will be over sooner, so I think we both made the right call on that one. 

 

Post # 12
Member
2011 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

hannahbanana29 :  I’m not at that stage yet, but I totally understand. The thought having all eyes on me during a ceremony is nerve wracking. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention and my SO and I are both introverted. 

We have also talked about eloping, but what I keep coming back to is that I don’t want to regret not having a wedding. If you think that you might also regret not facing your fears for your big day, maybe that will help motivate and encourage you?

Post # 13
Member
19 posts
Newbee

I think a surprising amount of people struggle with this. 

thunderbuns :  your advice was SO helpful. I could feel myself calming down as I read it. All excellent tips and I am definitely going to consider doing some of these at my wedding. 

 

OP, I feel the same way as you. I’ve struggled with social anxiety ever since I was about 10. I used to be really good at public speaking and won many competitions, but one day I forgot my speech and had a breakdown. Ever since then I have been SO frightened of speaking in front of adults (I’m a teacher ironically, but speaking in front of kids I find super easy!) to the point that if I have to talk in front of a group of people, I get a serious rash on my chest, and I get so shaky and nervous that I actually blank and forget what I want to say. 

For our wedding, we tried to keep it “small”, but I come from a very large, very close family so we ended up inviting 170 people!! Waaaaay more than I’m comfortable with but I keep reminding myself that at least I know pretty much everyone that will be there. 

My fiancé is also aware of my anxiety and has done a lot to assist me through feeling comfortable on our wedding day. He said he will do our “thank you speech” and that anytime I need to get away for a bit, to let him know.

we are also doing a receiving line for our guests so that we don’t have to go table to table thanking people (I’m sure some people disagree with receiving lines and find them rude/ annoying… but too bad.)!For me I find it easier to speak with people if they “come to me” as opposed to “me going over to them”. 

Good luck and what I try to remember is at the end of the day everyone is there to celebrate and have a good time, and while eyes may be on us at some points, most of our guests will be too busy having a good time to bother paying attention to what I’m doing the whole night! 

Post # 14
Member
253 posts
Helper bee

My fiance and I both! We also decided to keep it small. We’ve been engaged for over two years. We’ve procrastinated, and a lot of it is because I was paralyzed at the thought of it all. I was terrified of public speaking, and being judged on our decisions. At first, I couldn’t handle it at all. We gradually had conversations about different scenarios. We decided that small/informal was best for both of us… and that maybe we’d actually have fun, too. Imagine that!

I keep reminding myself that (a) the only people invited, we already both know and love, (b) they know each other, for the most part, and I don’t have to be an MC at my own wedding, introducing people and what not, (c) no one’s going to remember details a year or two from now. I can (and probably will) torment myself with doing or saying something dumb, but almost guaranteed, no one else will remember or care. 

Best of luck to everyone struggling. 

Post # 15
Member
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017 - Ocean front

anonymouslybee :  Hi bee, I can totally relate to your symptoms of anxiety, as I also get blotchy, shaky and a quivery voice (when I get really anxious) my biggest fear is that I wont be able to put the ring on his darn finger because I will be so shaky?! Lol

I really don’t want to look like a freak up there.  :+(

Oh well,  short of getting drunk (I don’t drink) I’ll hope I’m wrong and maybe I’ll be calm and serene….unlike the ugly vision in my head! 

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