Post # 1
My wedding is 9 months away and yet I’m already dreading it. I wish I had never gotten engaged. I love my fiance, and I want to marry him, but I hate the whole wedding planning process (well, I hate about 90% of it, some things like the cake tastings and dress shopping I enjoyed) and I don’t want to be the center of attention. Because I don’t want to be stared at we considered eloping, but it won’t work. I want my grandmother to see me get married, and if she’s invited it opens the floodgates, and the ceremony can’t just be parents and siblings. His family is huge, and accounts for about 3/4 of our guest list.
But I’ve pretty much shot myself in the foot with the planning I’ve done so far. We picked a gorgeous venue for the ceremony and reception that has a complete package and will save us so much money, but it has a very long walkway to the altar with about a million stairs. That seems like a very long time to have 130 people, most of them strangers, staring at me. I just know I’ll turn red and trip on my floor length gown. I’m definitely wearing flats. I would feel better walking down with someone, but my fiance wants to have that moment where I’m framed in the doorway and he sees me for the first time in my dress. And I hate the idea of being given away by my father, especially since we’ve never been close and I’ve recently lost all respect for him because of how he’s been treating my mother. So I’m going to be making that long, steep walk all by myself. I could barely sleep last night for thinking about it.
Last point: the one thing I knew when I started planning my wedding was that I would not do a first dance. It’s a sweet idea, but neither of us have any idea how to dance, and once again I don’t want to be in the spotlight more than necessary. But my future MIL wants to have a mother/son dance, which means I’ll have to do a father/daughter dance, which means we might as well just do the first dance. I want to bury my head in a pillow and just ignore it. I want to not be engaged anymore. But I don’t feel like I have any options because we’ve already spent almost $2000 on deposits for everything.
Do any of you have suggestions for how to relax on the day? Or magically have a solution to my problems?
Tl;dr: I’m a shy person. But I am going to be in the spotlight on my wedding day and it’s making me regret getting engaged. Advice?
Post # 3
When I planned my first marriage, I chose an afternoon wedding for two reasons: my Dad was an alcoholic and I didn’t want to risk him making a scene, and also because I was young, immature and didn’t want all eyes on me- so I can relate.
Is there anywhere you could start your entrance partway down the long hall, staircase etc.?
Instead of having all those dances, why not condense it down to one dance?
Start with your groom for a few bars of music, then switch to your Dad, while he dances with his Mom, then switch back to your groom, your Dad can join your Mom and his Dad can partner with his Mom. You might need to pick a song long enough to do this, but at least it would only be one song.
Post # 4
1) Just keep your eyes on the groom when you come down the aisle, it’ll probably come naturally.
2) For the dance, just remember slow dancing from high school: hold each other close and sway, nothing fancy. For father/daughter, considering your feelings toward him, do it a little less close.
3) A shot (just one, remember the girl on Bridezillas!) and your favorite song playing in your bridal suite before the ceremony will probably help relax you, too.
Post # 5
@julies1949: I think this is a great idea for the dance dilemma!
Also I am not very close with my dad. Honestly I’m in the same boat as you, I’ve lost a lot of respect for him because of how he treats my mother, my brother, and well, me! But I ended up having him walk me down the aisle and it wasn’t too terrible. What about having both of your parents walk you down the aisle?!
Honestly, when I walked down I didn’t care if anyone was staring at me, because all I was doing was staring at my future husband and getting lost in his gaze. The guests just melted away. Good luck!
Post # 6
Oh man, do I sympathize. I’m you- hating wedding planning, stressing out majorly about being stared at, and feeling the “I either invite nobody or everybody” stress. Only I’m getting married this August, with around 175 guests coming.
Planning has dragged on and on because I. Hate. It. Not because it’s a pain in the ass (which it is), but largely because I just don’t care about details. I never dreamed about a big white wedding. I was definitely guilty of burying my head in the sand for awhile because I simply didn’t want to have to make any decisions. I don’t give a hoot what kind of flowers we have, and DIYing is the last thing I want to do with my evenings. I wanted a courthouse wedding, but FI (and my mother) wanted a “real” wedding. So here we are. FI has done probably more than half the planning, which I think is fair since he’s the one who really wanted this.
I’ve tried to minimize the “being stared at” issue as much as possible- which is hard when you’re the bride! I’m doing this by having FI and I walk down the aisle together, both for emotional support and I’m not keen on the history behind being “handed off”. We’re keeping the ceremony SUPER short. As in five minutes short. I’m not sure if you have this flexibility with your officiant, but we do and it’s such a relief to me.
Could you combine the father/daughter and mother/son dances? That way it’s over in one shot. You could then maybe start your couple dance for a few seconds, and have the DJ invite guests to join you on the floor, or just nix it altogether. You don’t have to do anything you’re uncomfortable with. We’re not doing a bouquet or garter toss, nor an “exit”. Have your friends and family rally round you so that they understand that you don’t want to feel the stress of 150 pairs of eyes on you.
Honestly, if I could do it all over, I’d stand my ground for the courthouse wedding. Talk with your FI, decide what is really important to both of you, and do that. And if you decide to take a different route, don’t worry if you have to lose $2k in deposits, it’ll a drop in the bucket a few years down the road!
Post # 7
I hate being the center of attention. I also hate dancing. I’ll be taking a xanax with a sip or two of a mimosa before i go down the aisle:)
Post # 8
Just so I don’t so ungrateful, I should also add that I’m super excited to celebrate with friends and family, and it is really cool to have the chance to unite important people from different circles of our lives together. I just wish I could force them to wear blinders when I walk down the aisle
Post # 9
I nixed the dances. Every first dance I’ve witnessed felt so @#$%ing awkward with everybody staring!
Post # 10
I read a blog recently where the bride and groom threw tradition right out the door and greeted people as they arrived to the church. Maybe if you’ve already said hello to everyone–and they’ve already seen you–you won’t feel quite as much like there are 200 strangers staring at you?
Post # 11
@katehh08: I’m laughing because you’re not alone. Wish I was one of those girls that had it all planned to the T. But one day I was presented with a ring and boom out of now where, wedding planning, LOL. I was excited, going to marry the love of my life, and pictured small intimate wedding.
But within months grew to 180 guests, which were mostly on his side. He has a large family. I never met some them, until wedding. I am also extremely shy and get super red. I too dreaded first dance, and always thought, hey well if I mess up just do the hoe down. I would get overwhelmed at times and my FI would say, “hun, look at it this way, it’s a big party to celebrate us“….honestly that alone would make me feel better than to think “wedding” . Told myself many times, why do brides to be put themselves to this stress, not fun! I just want to marry him. It was months and months of planning BUT IN THE END WAS ALL WORTH IT. Everything came out beautiful. Wasn’t just our day but our families too. Big celebration of 2 famllies uniting. It is the biggest day of your life, so of course, you will be stressed the months before and days to it. It is worth it in the end. You’ll be one happy bride the day of 🙂
I have yet to see our wedding video, dread watching myself. Yes, I’m one of those people that just can’t handle all eyes on me. I want to hide 🙂
Post # 12
I hated the idea of being the center of attention too.
So, instead of me having the grand entrance where everybody looked at me while I walked down the aisle, my FI and I walked in together. That way, the attention was shared and less stressful. Plus, it calmed me to be able to hold on to my FI.
The entire day was pretty much like that for me. Any time there was a center of attention thing happening, my DH was there with me to share it and make it better.
I ended up having a total blast and all my fears about being the center of attention turned out to be unwarrented!
Post # 13
1) Are you close with a brother, grandpa, etc. that could walk you down the aisle instead of dad? I’ve also seen brides walk down with BOTH parents…is that an option? Also, like PP’s said—keep your eyes on groom. I’ve been told many people are so caught up in the emotion that they don’t notice the others standing nearby.
2) What about starting off each of the dances as just the specified pair (bride/dad, son/mother, bride/groom), but then having the DJ invite others into the song. So for the Father/Daughter dance, shortly into it the DJ would invite all fathers present with their daughters to join. Same for Mother/Son, and then for you and groom, invite the wedding party pairs in?
3) Stick with your girlfriends. That’s my plan. I know they’ll try to keep the day as perfect/calm as possible, tell me if I’m being out of line, or take care of any drama. Remember to step out of the moment when you’re overwhelmed, take a deep breath, tell yourself you can do it, and do whatever it is that’s stressing you. Remember what the day is all about…people celebrating and supporting your love for FI.
Post # 14
First, I really am so sorry you’re feeling this way. But I think there may be at least partial solutions to most of the problems you’re having:
1) Since you don’t enjoy most of the planning and it’s stressing you out, is there any way your FI or someone else you trust could take over some of the responsibilities from you? Is hiring a planner or coordinator an option? If not, could you try to articulate in more detail exactly what parts of planning you do and don’t enjoy so that the bees can give more specific advice?
2) It sounds like you’re quite close to the women in your family. Why not have your grandmother and your mother walk down the aisle with you? I think it would be really sweet, and it means that if you get nervous or flushed during the walk, you can squeeze their hands and turn to look at them for a moment while you regain your composure. And for your FI’s special moment, you could do a first look, or simply stand alone framed by the doorway for a moment before your mother and grandmother step out to join you. (There are other possibilities too–you and your FI could ::gasp:: walk in together; you could walk in with both of your parents, which is customary in Jewish weddings…you get the idea.)
3) Take a few dancing lessons, or simply watch dancing tutorial videos (I’m sure there are some on youtube, and others available for purchase). Practice lots together in your living room (one of my favorite parts of planning–DH and I had some really sweet moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world. And I’m now a much more competent and confident dancer, which comes in handy sometimes). Pick something slow that you can sort of stand and sway to–the shorter the better. And do a combined F-D/M-S dance, to relieve some of the pressure and decrease time on the dancefloor. Or you could try to negotiate some sort of compromise with your MIL. Maybe she’d settle for a mother-son dance after the rehearsal dinner?
4) Consider scheduling a few minutes of private time with your new husband immediately after the ceremony before you go out to face your guests. This can be incredibly calming and grounding, and it means that your guests will have had time to mingle, have a drink, and become engaged in conversation, giving you some respite from all those pairs of eyes even when you do rejoin your guests.
Post # 15
I think you’ve gotten some really great advice. Just to add a few things:
-The walk SEEMS daunting, but it can go as fast or as slow as you want it to. I PROMISE you, the second you lay eyes on him, you’re not going to be thinking of anything else. Also, you can PRACTICE the walk! Good idea to wear flats…I did and had absolutely NO problems!
-Great idea to break the song up. If you pick correctly, you can bite the bullet long enough to dance with Dad for no more than 30 seconds. DH and I aren’t dancers, but we are in love so we just twirled around and looked at each other and it looked great, LoL! I’m sure FMIL will understand your delimma and the awkward way it would look if they had a separate dance but you and Dad didn’t.
-130 is a pretty big wedding. Another Idea: If you don’t like the attention, have you ever considered inviting them to JUST the reception? I knew a girl who did this and because I knew how shy she was, I wasn’t offended AT ALL. I thought it was sweet that she had a ceremony with just her immediate family and a few of their best friends.
You can do this! I had my moments and it was worth every tear, sleepless night, stressful scream, and wrinkle!
Post # 16
@Hippos: The thing is, he’s not going to be walked down the aisle by his parents. So it’d look weird and I’d feel like a little kid if my parents had to escort me. Also I don’t think there’s enough room on the stairs for three people.