Planning my wedding to suit my introverted nature — and ignoring some societal norms — was the best gift I could give myself.
I love love. But as an introvert, I don’t love being the center of attention in a crowd. Growing up, I’d always thought that I’d be the kind of person to do a simple courthouse wedding. No crowds. No fuss. Perfect.
Then I got engaged.
Now that the opportunity for a wedding was in front of me, I realized I wanted to have this life experience. I didn’t want to regret not having a real wedding, not getting to wear the dress, not walking down the aisle with my dad, not having my first dance with my spouse…
I knew I wanted to have a wedding, but I needed to do it my way, the “introvert way.” Here are the six things I did to plan the perfect introvert wedding.
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How to Plan the Perfect Introvert Wedding
1. Set clear, strong boundaries with family.
Weddings can be a touchy subject — they often involve plenty of expectations and traditions. If you’re planning to veer away from tradition to craft a wedding that suits your introversion, you need to be prepared to set boundaries with family.
At the start of planning, parents on both sides raised concerns about certain aspects of our wedding. For example, they tried to convince us not to have our wedding on a Sunday. We’d chosen the date specifically because we wanted to get married under a full moon, so the day of the week was irrelevant to us, and the date was immovable.
As the bride, my parents had offered me money for the wedding. Once they started interjecting their opinions, I called my dad directly and said, “I appreciate that you’re helping pay for the wedding, but I don’t want the money if there are contingencies attached.”
My response was clear: This isn’t your wedding and we’re doing it our way. By setting this boundary at the beginning, I was able to prevent additional meddling.
2. A wedding party? No thanks!
Fortunately for me, my partner is also an introvert, so we agreed on keeping things simple. For us, that meant no bridesmaids or groomsmen. Instead, we scheduled toasts into the reception for our siblings so they could still be included.
By foregoing the wedding party, we were able to avoid the people-wrangling that comes along with having one. I didn’t need to get everyone to agree on bridesmaids dresses or worry about everyone being ready on time. I also had the bridal suite almost completely to myself, which gave me breathing room before the events of the day began.
Instead, my spouse and I were able to focus solely on ourselves and design a day that worked for us as a couple.
3. Have an intimate, short ceremony.
Who wants to be vulnerable in front of a ton of people? Taking a vow of love and making a commitment sealed with a kiss is about as vulnerable (and in-the-spotlight) as you can get, especially as an introvert. My partner and I both found the idea of performing the ceremony terrifying.
When we met with our officiant, we told her we needed a ceremony that lasted no longer than 15 minutes. We didn’t write our own vows, either. Instead, our officiant wrote and recited a personalized speech about what made our relationship special.
We also had a small ceremony and limited our guest list to our closest family members: parents, siblings, and grandparents only. Just 10 people made the ceremony list. Our reasoning was that it really only tends to be the closest family members who care about the ceremony anyway. For distant relatives or friends, it’s more of a formality to sit through before the party begins.
So we limited the ceremony portion of our wedding to only those who would truly cherish the experience. The rest of the guests got to skip right to the eating and drinking, which they didn’t mind.
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4. Schedule some breathing room before the reception.
Unlike the ceremony, our full guest list was invited to the reception, which turned out to be just 50 RSVPs out of the 100 invitations we sent out. Sure, it was a 50 percent turnout, but in the end, 50 guests was perfect.
The remaining guests arrived during the hour between our ceremony and reception. We called this our cocktail hour. Our guests mingled over finger foods while my spouse and I escaped to the bridal suite together.
We took this time to just be by ourselves for some much-needed alone time, without feeling the need to “perform” for anyone. We’d arranged ahead of time for the venue to bring us our own hors d’oeuvres and Champagne. We hid away from everyone else and got to relax in peace. What introvert hasn’t spent a little extra time in a quiet room during a party to recharge their batteries?
To this day, my spouse and I both say this was our favorite part of our wedding day.
5. Don’t feel obligated to participate in certain wedding reception traditions.
Already, our wedding day was less-than-traditional, but it was very us. When it came to the reception, we continued to pick and choose the traditions we liked, and leave the ones we didn’t.
We said a hard “No!” to the clinking-glasses tradition. (That’s the one where the married couple is required to kiss every time a guest clinks their glass.) Your wedding day is busy enough already, and that tradition felt like letting people control us on a whim.
We also said no to the garter, the bouquet toss, and the cake-cutting. Instead, we limited our starring moments to the traditions we cared about, like our first dance as a couple and dances with our parents.
6. Afterwards, book a safe space to process the day.
After the wedding reception, instead of going to a rowdy afterparty or staying overnight in the same hotel where we’d reserved a block for out-of-town guests, we booked a nearby bed and breakfast for the night. Rooms were limited, so we were selective about who we offered a room to.
This provided us with the space we needed to process and relax with only the people we felt we could be ourselves around. I changed out of my dress and into pajamas, and spent time reminiscing about the day with my favorite people before turning in for the night.
Remember, Make Your Introvert Wedding Day Your Own
When I think back on it, I’m so glad I did my wedding the “introvert way,” just like I’d wanted. With creative planning, I was able to have a full celebration while also honoring my needs as an introvert. There are a lot of societal and familial expectations about what a wedding “should” be. But, ultimately, your wedding day is your day, so make it your own. That’s the best wedding gift of all.
You might like:
- 4 Tips to Survive (and Enjoy) Your Wedding Day as a Highly Sensitive Introvert
- 5 Reasons Why Every Introvert Should Elope
- 7 Things to Know About Dating a Highly Sensitive Introvert
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