Post # 1
Originally I wanted a very small private wedding with only a couple people there. Somehow I have ended up with 90 guests! (thats just the day). This is great as I would love for all my friends and family to share the day. However, I am now 4 weeks away from my wedding and the intense fear of walking down the aisle has kicked in!!
I keep telling myself that it is normal to have pre-wedding nerves, however, these seems much worse as I have started having panic attacks at the thought of it. Although I could use technicquies to try and manage panic attacks to get through my ceremony, I cant help but feel that I will be wishing my ceremony to be over rather than enjoying the moment. This has started a spiral of me now wishing we hadnt invited so many people…. why did we book the wedding…. etc etc So I feel I have to get control of this fear of walking down the aisle and standing at the alter.
I am currently thinking that to nip this in the bud, I could ask for a private ceremony. Invites have gone out already… but I could explain to guests my nerves and that I want to enjoy my ceremony. I could then walk down the aisle with only a couple witnesses there, have an intimate and private ceremony – while our guests mingle in the bar, 15 mins max – then once we have had our private part of the ceremony, invite the guests in to join us for the exchange of rings and kiss. This is appealing to me as I then do not have to walk down the aisle infront of everyone and I will only be stood in front of people for 5 mins max. I would personally enjoy my ceremony a lot more this way BUT is it rude to ask guests who have been invited to the whole day to wait while we have a private ceremony and only let them join at the end for the kiss and ring exchange? AND will people think I’m an idiot!?
Just so you know – our ceremony and reception are in the same place so guests will be there all day anyway.
Nerves really have got the better of me on this one! and I am trying to find ways to still be able to enjoy my day and avoid an epic meltdown on the actual day. I have even got to the point of being nervous of the speeches… not because of the speeches but just because people will be looking in my general direction…
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated bees!
Much love x
Post # 2
SapphireBride2: do you have an anxiety disorder? If you do and your guests are aware of it I think most would be understanding. If it’s just nerves as such though inevitably many will find it rude if it’s coming out of left field. Someone I know was invited to just the reception of a wedding as the groom didn’t want many people watching the ceremony and many were offended. I’m not saying this to dissuade you but it is the reality of what you may face. My Fiance also hates to be the centre of attention and was very nervous about the ceremony, speech etc. On the day we were honestly in such a happy bubble that we almost didn’t even think about the fact we were being ‘watched’ and we felt such support coming from our friends and family. This may or may not be the case for you of course.
Post # 3
Thanks Lollybags. I have never had aniexty disorder but my doctor has recognised that wedding worries and other stresses have triggered me to start having panic attacks for the first time ever. He firmly believes that they will subside after the wedding. Possibly to come back in the future if I find myself in another stressfull situation. But for the time being, he is focusing me on getting through the wedding. I am managing them well but am very worried about them flaring up on the day. I had a hug panic attack at my birdal shower. As I have not had them my whole life, they are new to me and I have not quite learnt what to expect from them in situations such as the ceremony. The worry of “what if I have an attack in front of everyone” is definitly making them worse.
It is good to hear that your day went well though. Always good to hear positive stories.
Post # 4
I don’t think its ‘rude’ as such, just it might seem a bit strange to your guests. What if you and your Fiance do a first look and walk down the aisle together? A lot of people say a first look helps calm their nerves and then you would be able to walk in with him and get confidence from that without feeling that all eyes were on just you.
Post # 5
Hugs! My mother was recently diagnosed with anxiety disorder so I understand how something like this can send you spiraling.
glasgowgirl: This! I think it’s a great idea. Who better to calm your nerves than your Fiance 🙂
Post # 6
@glasgowgirl @golden ticket I agree, I think a first look and walk together could be a great idea. My Fiance and Mum are the only people who know about the panic attacks so that would be calm me. Hopefully it would lighten the mood and ease my nerves too.
Thanks for the help
Post # 7
Hope your Mum is coping well. It is not nice at all!! In this situation do you think she would do the walk down the aisle or go for the private ceremony?
Post # 8
I was very anxious about being the center of attention. It’s ok to be nervous. Try to remember that everyone there loves you and is excited for you.
Also, have a drink or two! Relax and focus on your husband walking down the aisle, and also you probably wont even face the crowd during your vows. You won’t even notice them. I worried and stressed for nothing, it was the most enjoyable day ever. I actually regret not putting on my big girl panties and giving a speech, that’s how much i enjoyed myself! I made it into something much bigger in my head. Youtube some wedding videos and watch how imperfect other people’s cermonies are – the tears, nerves, awkwardness. It will be fine and you will look beautiful. X
Post # 9
And anxiety attacks, boy do I know those. Focus on taking deep breaths, like really deep breaths. And keep telling yourself ‘I’m ok, I’m doing really well, nothing bad is happening’. I find my breathing gets shallow or i hold my breath and I have to focus on breathing to keep myself from getting dizzy and self reassurance.
Post # 10
Our wedding was a little over 100 people and we had a ceremony earlier in the day with 27 people- close friends and immediate family only. We re-did a shorter version of the ceremony and ring exchange at the “wedding” (which was basically a giant cocktail party.) My husband and I originally wanted a courthouse ceremony, but we knew our immediate family would be hurt so we compromised on this.
No one has said anything to me about it, however our wedding was a little unusual anyway so I don’t think they were surprised. I think most of our guests were happy to not have to sit through a ceremony, and we were SO glad to do it with only our closest friends. It worked out well for us.
Post # 11
I would suggest doing a first look so you can see your Fiance beforehand and get rid of some of the nerves. I’ll be honest, if I was invited to a wedding and then there really was no ceremony…I’d be kind of annoyed. That’s generally what most people want to see.
Post # 12
As a guest I would be so annoyed to arrive to your wedding on time to see you and then told nope, wait bride and groom will be delayed by the ceremony they are conducting in pruvate. Can youjust do the ceremony earlier? And whe . The guests arrive start the restbof the festivities
Post # 13
Unfortunately, I do think that many of your guests would find it odd, or even rude, to be disinvited from the ceremony. If you had sent the invitations for only the reception and done a separate ceremony that was private, I think that would have been fine. But to invite people to the ceremony and then disinvite them would get a bit of side-eye from some people. Especially if you don’t have a history of a anxiety disorder, people may not understand why this is happening.
I think it would especially awkward to have most of your guests sitting at a bar twiddling their tumbs during part of the ceremony while VIPs get to watch and then be expected to come over and join the last part of the ceremony. That just seems way to complicated. I would also be worried that guests would see the small group of VIPs that get to watch the ceremony as “the people we really care about” and feel slighted and left out.
So I would recommend either sucking it up and having everyone for the whole ceremony or having a completely private ceremony with your VIPs before any of the other guests arive, then just have the full guest list participate in the reception. You will still get some people who will wonder why they don’t get to see the ceremony, but they won’t be force to hang out while it happens or watch from a distance. <br />
If you big concern is walking down the aisle, then can you simply arrange the entrance so it’s less nerve wracking for you? Walk down the aisle with your fiance. Or you could both enter from behind the altar, so you don’t even have to go down the aisle. Or you and your fiance nad bridal party could already be at the front of the church when people get seated, so all you have to do at the begining of the ceremony is stand up! What’s the layout for your ceremony space?
Also, I’m not a pill pusher, but since this is such a specific fear, have you talked to your doc about a mild, temporary anti-anxiety medication? If you’re having panic attacks now, you could try it to see if it helps/if it makes you too loopy.
If you decide that it’s just too much anxiety to have all yoru guests for your ceremony I would explain the situation to your nearest and dearest and ask them to spread the word that you will be having a private ceremony prior to the big reception, but you’re so excited to see everyone at the reception. Then you can just change your timeline to fill up the time that would have been used for a ceremony. I love cocktail hours with apps, so you could just have a long one prior to dinner and you’re back into your regular timeline.
Post # 14
SapphireBride2: I went to a wedding where the bride and groom got married in a private ceremony beforehand, then joined everyone for the reception. I think it was fine, just make sure your guests know that the ceremony is going to be limited to family, etc.
Post # 15
I would second the previous poster’s suggestion that you do a first look, then walk down the aisle hand in hand.
One thing to remember is that when you’re walking down the aisle, you will likely be so focused on your fiance that you won’t really notice other people there…that’s what happened for me (although my groom was at the end of the aisle, not walking with me). We did the whole ceremony, and only after we were married did I look around and notice all of the friends and family in attendance. I was a very anxious bride, so I understand to some degree what you’re feeling!
Good luck with whatever you choose!