How I Survived My Wedding as an Introvert Who Hates the Spotlight

An introvert on her wedding day

Having almost everyone I know in one tight space — and looking at me — is not my idea of fun as an introvert.

Getting married means crowds of people — all with their attention on you. (Cringe.) Plus, there’s having to talk to so many people you may not know well and all the “fun” of trying on dresses and having fittings. Then, as an introvert who specializes in overthinking, there is the added bonus of trying to plan for anything and everything that could go wrong. 

My own wedding day was not as flawless as I’d hoped, despite all the planning — something we introverts excel at. But here’s how I tried to make it less daunting.

6 Ways to Make It Through Your Wedding Day as an Introvert  

1. Keep the guest list small.

Because of the uncertainty over COVID-19 restrictions, we kept the number of wedding guests as small as possible. This was also beneficial for me, of course, as I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the number of guests. Don’t misunderstand me, I love all our friends, family, and acquaintances — but having almost everyone I know in one tight space would not have been my idea of fun as an introvert.

And I must say, this helped our budget, too, which was one reason my husband agreed to the small number of guests. Given the choice, eloping would have been my first option, but compromise is often needed when an introvert and an extrovert are in a relationship

2. Do your own hair and makeup.

Our choice of venue only had one opening on a Saturday, like we wanted, so everyone we invited could make it. This meant a 10 a.m. wedding. The upside of this was that unless I wanted to skip breakfast in the hotel — and find someone who could arrive at the hotel at 8 a.m. to do my hair and makeup — I’d have to do it myself.

This gave me the perfect excuse to go into full research mode and learn how to do wedding hair and makeup. As someone who hates going to the hair salon because of all the small talk, this was great. My few experiences of having a makeup artist apply makeup usually resulted in me looking like a clown — but politely telling them it looked great — then feeling self-conscious all day.

Applying my own makeup meant I got to create a look I was comfortable with, and I spent time practicing in the days leading up to my wedding. As an introvert, my hair and makeup added a layer of confidence to see me through the day and cope with being the center of attention. Where I would normally hate having photos taken, I had a few I was okay with, where I looked happy and more relaxed than usual.

3. Buy a dress online — that way, you can avoid trying on dozens of dresses in front of strangers.

By buying a dress online, I avoided all the embarrassment of getting in and out of dresses in front of strangers. Or, worse yet, being expected to make awkward conversation during fittings.

Unfortunately, the process of buying a dress wasn’t as straightforward as it might have seemed. I’d ordered one 18 months before we finally set a date. I’m short, so I thought getting the dress fitted wouldn’t be an issue. Yet so many businesses tried to sell me fittings I didn’t need (I’d already done the measurements with my partner). One person even insisted I needed new sleeves, as though she thought the job wasn’t big enough to accept otherwise. 

As an introvert, I’m not great at standing up for myself, like dealing with situations where someone tries to get me to pay more or buy more services than I intended. Plus, I easily get overwhelmed. I said no, but she seemed reluctant to shorten my dress otherwise. Someone more extroverted may have been able to insist on a simple alteration without feeling like they had to pay for more, but not me.

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4. Rather than a big wedding reception, book an intimate meal for your guests.

Having the wedding so early in the day helped in other ways, too. For instance, my husband’s parents and my mother wouldn’t have had the energy to spend all day out, so a breakfast for the guests after the ceremony was the perfect option.

The breakfast itself was in a restaurant and very relaxed, and would have been even better had I not had a bit of a fall beforehand. Both my mom and I fell down a step on the way back from the bathroom.

This is where being an introvert worked against me again. I was the first to fall and barely realized what had happened. With scraped knees and aching legs, I picked myself up and told people I was okay. Of course I wasn’t okay, but I never like to make a fuss. (We can blame not liking to be the center of attention.) Five minutes later, my mom tripped over the same step, and I regretted not having the confidence to complain. (Clearly, the step was a problem since we had both fallen.) 

5. In the evening, have post-wedding drinks with a small group of people.

We introverts tend to have a small group of close friends who “get” us. Later that evening, we met up for drinks with them in a bar near the hotel. I had been there a few months earlier, so I felt prepared and knew what the place was like. We were also lucky enough to get a corner of the venue to ourselves, which made me feel more comfortable than I usually would. 

6. Realize that, despite any small issues that come up, the “big day” is just a day.

Overall, it was a good day to look back on, and I’m proud of myself for getting through it, despite everything not going according to plan. It shows what we introverts can do when necessary, and of course, it helps when we have supportive people around us who are willing to help.

Would I plan a wedding again if the worst happened and I became single? Probably not. Once is enough. Still, the wedding day is just a day. It’s the marriage part which is the most important — and reminding myself of that helped me get through it.

My fellow married introverts, what tips would you add to the list? Leave them in the comments below.

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