Post # 1
I was hoping to get a little advice about something. I’ve been asked to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man in two upcoming weddings; one this winter for my childhood friend and one next year for my sister. I’m a naturally shy and introverted person. I don’t club, I don’t dance or really like to drink. I’m very much a bookworm who is most comfortable in a small group of people I know well then in a crowd.
Because these two Brides (and their fiances) are very important to me, I fully intend on attending any pre-wedding activities they have planned (or want planned; it’s a bit early to know what they have in mind). Because I’m socially awkward and overthink everything (which leads to pretty bad anxiety) I’m stressing myself over whether I’ll be able to enjoy myself at these events. I won’t know too many people in the first wedding and I should know more people at the second, but still (I’ve been known to get anxious at family events where I know people well).
So my question is mainly for Bees who have similar issues (or those who know people who do): Do you have any advice on how to feel more comfortable at these events and around people I don’t know in general? Is it ever ok for a Bridesmaid or Best Man not to attend one of the pre-wedding activities (except the Rehearsal Dinner, I absolutely refuse to miss that)? Any personal stories to share?
Thanks to everyone in advance!
Post # 3
@LoggerHead91207: I wouldn’t miss them. I would push yourself to go no matter how terrified you are – and go to as many of them as you can. While you don’t know all the people in the parties yet – you will by the time the wedding rolls around. They will all be just as nervous 🙂 Just roll with it.
It will get easier with each new event. Sometimes I have to push my Fiance to interact socially but almost always – once he gets to the event and interacts a little he ends up enjoying himself.
If you get nervous – find a mantra. Focus on things like – how often will you see these people ever again? If you did make a complete fool of yourself (fell while walking down the aisle) – what is the Honest-to-God worst outcome? People will laugh? You’ll scrape a knee? All in all anxiety comes from building things up bigger then they are in reality – take a step back when you start getting nervous and ask yourself the real-world implications/consequences of ‘messing up’ in your current situation.
Almost always they are minimal – you just have to remind yourself of that and try to relax.
Post # 4
@suburbian: Lol! Thanks for the advice! I could totally see myself tripping during the ceremony (or walking into a door, falling down stairs, or accidentally hitting myself…. I should probably just start living in a giant hamster ball to be honest). And fun fact, I actually did fall and scrape my knee when I was a Flower Girl (after the ceremony though).
I do intend to push myself because these two girls are so important in my life (and my sister would never let me live it down if I didn’t) and I really feel like I need to push myself out of my comfort zone more often. My SO is really good at getting me to relax and we’ve been working hard on trying to get me to be more social, so at least having him in the same room during the actual wedding will be helpful (even if we aren’t next to each other the whole time).
And I figure if it gets too be a bit too much I can always run off to the restroom for a minute or two to regroup. 🙂
Post # 5
I don’t have this issue, I love social settings and I’m an extrovert mostly. That being said, I would assume your sister and friend know your persoality type. Hopefully they are sensitive to that and will plan accordingly. Maybe for a bachelorette party they do an intimate dinner followed by the craziness, and you can bow out of the wild festivities, etc… Try not to get worked up about things you cannot control, and don’t borrow trouble before it’s there. I DO have anxiety sometimes, and I also over think things. Both of these weddings are far away but you are already giving yourself anxiety about them! Don’t borrow trouble! Try to relax, realize it’s suppose dto be fun, and realize what will be will be. WHEN you get to the point of parties, and the social events, deal with them as they come. if you have to excuse yourself from part of something to take a deep breath, THAT IS OK!
Also, just let these girls know you are honored to be in their weddings, and you love them and their fiance’s so much, but that youa re concerned about your anxiety, and you will try to be there for them the best way you know how. I’m sure you will feel a lot better if you say up front what your fears are, and if they know you they way they should, they shouldn’t be surprised by any of it.
Post # 6
@LoggerHead91207: The restroom idea is good – but also practice NOT running from the situation. RIght while you are in the heat of an anxiety rush – learn to start talking yourself down.
“This is ok – I am not in danger – no one is judging me – I am not going to ruin my life by saying something silly – I look fine – these people are kind and sweet – etc etc…”
Hopefully you can build up your self talk enough so you are able to fend off an anxiety build up before it happens and then in the long term you can cut them out for good!
Post # 7
@MsJ2theZ: I know! It’s completely irrational and ridiculous that I’m worrying about this already. I have gotten a lot better over the past few years though, so there is hope for me!
@suburbian: I think, for me personally, the main issue is not know what to say or how to talk to people. I overthink everything I could possibly say in a conversation, to the point where it just gets awkward. I’ll have to see if my boyfriend and I can come up with ideas to help me get better at that (at least I don’t always freeze up the way I used to).
Post # 8
Smile, introduce yourself, help with anything you can (decorating for a shower, etc). This will go a long way! As long as the bride is happy and relaxed at these events, usually most of the other people are too.
You can always go to a bar, smile, ask questions or listen, order a fancy non alcoholic drink. You’ll be fine.
I’m sure the bride knows you well, but you could mention to be left off any lists for readers, speeched, toasts, etc.
Post # 9
@LoggerHead91207: I was a bridesmaid for someone when I was 14 and I didn’t know anyone but the bride and her sister. The wedding party had 7. I attended the shower, the bachlorette party (not the bar part though – just at someones house) rehearsal dinner, etc. etc.
I am extremely shy, so I can tell you it wasn’t easy. I stuck to people I knew (my mom haha). I don’t talk a lot, and I was probably super silent unless someone asked me something directly. I helped at the shower by passing gifts and also writing what the gift was on the cards.
I was not prepared for the bachlorette party. There were no strippers or anything, but there was a cake and baloons and stuff… I didn’t realize it was about that ‘stuff’ and I felt really really uncomfortable. I wish my mom had warned me haha. But I got through it.
I’m not sure if you drink or not, but now I find that I’m more talkative when I’ve had a drink or two. I’m still pretty quiet and I get nervous, but I’m not AS shy.
I think you should give an effort to be at the events. I think the bride would appreciate it.
Post # 10
@MissKit: I don’t like Alcohol that much and there’s a family history of Alcoholism that makes me wary to have more than a little bit. I do drink occasionally though, but I always feel like I look like an idiot when I do. I may decide to have a bit during the events, but I’ll make that call when the time comes.
And I fully intend on attending the events, I just wanted to see if anyone could give advice on how to get through them without getting ridiculously uncomfortable or anxious (your advice on sticking with a buddy could be useful, so I’ll keep that in mind). 🙂
Post # 11
@kerensa: Really good point about speeches any stuff! I didn’t even think of that! And thanks for the other good advice!