Post # 1
I have been engaged for 15 months now with my wedding coming up in July (about 200 invited). I have really enjoyed the planning process as I am a planner by nature. I have always enjoyed "small details" and I have had no real stress until about 1 month ago.
I have always been EXTREMELY shy. I am a total introvert and homebody and all of a sudden the reality of an entire day when I will be the center of attention has me TERRIFIED. I am having problems sleeping, I can tell my blood pressure has risen. I have always been the girl to shy away from attention, so now I can’t figure out what pocessed me to think that just because it’s my wedding I would be ok with it?
If my parents hadn’t already fed thousands of dollars into this wedding I would cancel the entire thing and just have a private ceremony with just family and close friends. Obviously, that is an obnoxiously selfish idea (and not really an option),and just because I am anti-social that really isn’t an excuse to steal the whole "wedding experience" from my Fiance, my parents, his mom, and our friends. (really…I think I would be perfectly fine doing the entire ceremony from behind a blanket blocking everyone from view…yes, I am kidding…kinda).
I am so excited to marry my Fiance and I really want to enjoy that day and enjoy the ceremony… I can’t phathom being able to think about anything other than all the people looking at me! And deep down I do want all of our family and friends there to celebrate with us… I just am dreading that all the focus will be on me.
Does anyone have any good advice or pearls of wisdom on how to actually ENJOY my wedding? Something other than, "imagine everyone naked" or "have a few shots beforehand" (actually…the shots idea is pretty much my plan at this point).
Post # 3
I’d love to see what people say to this too — I feel the same way! I’m just not big on getting so much attention. When we started our guest list I definitely had a few cry-my-eyes-out evenings looking at my FI’s side and realizing how many of them I hadn’t met and how much MORE nervous I’d be in front of people I barely know. But what are you gonna do? His family insists the distant relatives be there. I wish we were eloping or having a very small ceremony & BBQ, but I’m the ONLY one who feels that way, haha. I just don’t want to walk down an aisle with everybody staring at me and be the center of attention for so long.
I wish I had some solutions for you (& myself!) on how to deal with the attention! I’ve been trying to just incorporate as many ways as I can to lessen the impact. No big formal head table on a stage, both my parents walking down with me, etc. I feel for you though!
Post # 4
Ah yes, I too suffer from this! In fact, my fiance and I were just talking about it last night because the plan was to have an extremely small ceremony and invite everyone else only to the reception. This was a great idea until we discovered there are too many people that "have" to come to the ceremony and I almost passed out when we tallied up the numbers to 80 people! I had imagined maybe 25 at the actual ceremony…not 80!!! Needless to say, this caused me to breakdown in tears last night.
What’s even worse than just the anxiety is that I am very fair skinned (thanks to my British parents, argh) and get bright red and blotchy all over my face, neck and upper chest when I get nervous, overly-exited, when I drink…it pretty much happens anytime I show emotion haha. It also worsens when people stare at it or ask what it is! Just the thought of 80 people is causing me to break out in the blotch, nevermind on the actual day! So I get to walk down the aisle in all my blotchy glory, not something I’m looking forward to.
I agree with minneapolitan though, there doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid the anxiety other than changing other details around (the head table, parents walking you down the aisle, etc.) or to elope! Here’s hoping that we’ll be so excited on our own wedding day that it erases the nervousness!
Post # 5
I know what you are going through. I too am a very shy, and do not like being the center of attention. I was worried about all of the same things. But I can tell you this, When it actually came to that moment when I had to walk down the isle in front of all those people… I was calm and it didn’t matter. I was actually very calm all day and just excited to be married. I won’t lie and say i didn’t notice everyone there, but it didn’t matter. I focused on my Husband, gripped my mom’s hand and we were off.
During the ceremony, it was a bit strange at first, but again, I just focused on my husband, staring at him the whole time. Our ceremony was very personnel, we even wrote and recited our own voes (which gave me plenty of anxiety before hand) but that was fine too. I actually manged to speak pretty loudly, for me anyway. We did practice, which helped. ( My husband had me stand in the other room of our apartment and say my vows to practice being loud )
After the ceremony, everyone won’t be so focused on you. They will be into their own conversations, drinking, eating, etc.
I think you need to try to keep in mind that everyone who is there, is there because they love the both of you and want to be there to celebrate with you.
Also, my tip is try to have a stress free and peaceful day before everything begins. It helped me immensely and set the tone for the rest of day.
Post # 6
I had a bit of anxiety about being the centre of attention at my wedding, but when the time came I was really too excited to care.
Have you tried visualization of your wedding day? As in picture various situations (ie. walking down the aisle, having everyone watching you during the ceremony, reception and/or first dance) work through how you’re going to feel and react in that situation. It also helps to know that everyone there is supporting you and not wanting to rip you to shreds with questions, etc.
You can do it! 🙂
Post # 7
From a medical perspective, beta blockers are wonderful and can help those with severe problems (especially with blotchy-ness and racing heart).
Post # 8
ditto what msbean said- you get so excited and focused.
the first few minutes of photos feel weird but then you get used to that too. Try to relax and let go and think of what a fun day you have ahead of you
Post # 9
I saw a good post on offbeat bride about this. The link is below:
Just remember everyone there loves you and is there for you and your fiance, and you are there for each other. But there are also things you can do to tone-down the "me me me"-ness of it all. Good luck!
Post # 10
There is also a calming serum called Rescue Remedy that you can get in health food stores and places like Whole Foods. I took this before an exam once and it helped. You’ll be ok!
Post # 11
I think there are things you can do to minimize the attention on you, if you really don’t want it. You can eliminate some of the "events" like announcing the weding party, the receiving line, even the first dance if yo’re that self conscious. You could tell the best man you don’t want any toats. It’s your wedding. You don’t have to follow those traditions. Don’t cut the cake if you don’t want to.
But you might find that you enjoy some of those things on your day. It’s all a blur. You might find yourself less preoccupied with others looking at you. And with a few hard drinks, even less so. But I think the big hurdle is walking down the aisle. Once you get past that, I think it will be pretty easy.
Post # 12
Thanks Ladies for all your suggestions! I am sending my Fiance to whole foods to pick up some rescue remedy today!
@kdunham: you have me beat! Luckly I don’t have "the blotch" to battle with as well. I feel for you!
You all said that the day of you just get too excited to care…and boy, do I sure hope you guys are right. Because right now it’s the opposite I am worried about… being too anxious to be excited. I am also worried about living with this level of anxiety for 4 more months… it can’t be healthy, right?
@doctorgirl: after a googlefest of beta blockers last night, i think they are more suitable for "day of" anxiety, which sounds great! But is there something I can take in the months leading up to the wedding to relax me? (I am not typically one for "non-necessary" medication, but at this point I don’t think my "self-medication" of half a bottle of wine a night is good for my waist line…er, I mean my health).
Post # 13
- Wedding: June 2007 - Bride's family summer home in the Adirondacks
I was also worried about this, but as soon as I saw my now-husband up at the front of the aisle, I just kept my eyes on him and everything else kind of disappeared. My first few seconds stepping out onto the aisle were definitely "WHOA!! ALL THOSE PEOPLE!!!" but everyone was smiling so it wasn’t that stressful and then I just locked eyes with my husband and wasn’t remotely nervous for the rest of it.
The other big wedding event I was terrified about was the first dance. So we just did about 30 seconds ourselves (shuffle & sway) and then signaled to a bunch of people who we had notified beforehand that they should come join us for the rest of the song. So we still have a few good "just us on the dancefloor" photos, but just as I started getting anxious that everyone was just STARING at us, we got everyone else to join in so we were no longer the sole focus.
Post # 14
@ bluebell — I somehow hadn’t even though of that for the first dance! I’m definitely going to be running that by my Fiance. Or maybe have my dad and his mom come out after half the song to dance w/us & get both dances out of the way in one song.
Post # 15
I’m super duper nervous about the big day too…i’m getting married in July as well. I’m overly shy, hate being the centre of attention and i don’t know how i will deal with the hired paparazzis that day. FI said he will start taking pictures/videos of me everyday and get other people to do it so when the time comes, i’ll be used to it. Thank goodness it hasn’t started yet.
Instead of me having to meet some guests for the first time at the wedding, we started throwing parties like crazy so i get to meet them and won’t be shy around them. We’re having 3 couples showers in the upcoming months, we had our themed engagement party last year and last month we had our stag and doe party.
I also keep reminding myself that we’re spending quite some money for our day, especially for the photographers/videographers and if there’s any time to overcome my shyness, that day better be it!
Post # 16
Lilbird- I guess it depends how debilitating your anxiety is… I think most primary care providers would recommend daily exercise and relaxation to manage jitters, but if your symptoms are more severe than can be managed that way, I would suggest getting evaluated by a provider for anxiety.