The marriage rate in the United States is around 80 to 90 percent, which means most of us introverts will end up planning a wedding at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, many wedding traditions are in direct contrast to our introverted nature. There is nothing an introvert loves more than having the personal and intimate nature of their romantic relationship put on display for hundreds of people to see, amirite?
Planning my own small wedding made me realize how challenging wedding planning can be for us introverts. Here are five tips I’ve learned on how to stay sane when you’re an introvert planning a wedding.
1. Plan the wedding you want.
There is one important lesson that all introverted brides and grooms need to learn: you don’t owe anyone a big wedding. Not your family. Not your partner’s family. Literally no one. If you have always dreamed of a large fairytale wedding, then there is nothing wrong with planning that for your big day. But if you feel more comfortable saying your vows in front of a small group of family and friends, then you shouldn’t feel guilty for not having a large wedding. Don’t let others make you feel bad for planning the wedding you want.
2. Fight decision fatigue.
Introverts and extroverts both can suffer from “decision fatigue.” Decision fatigue strikes when you use up all your decision-making brain power by having to make a lot of choices in a small amount of time. This phenomenon doesn’t just apply to wedding planning; important leaders such as Barack Obama and Steve Jobs were both aware of the brain’s limited decision-making resources. Both men were known to limit their wardrobe to a small selection of items so they would not use up their decision-making brain power on something rather trivial — compared to running a nation or an international tech company.
To take a page out of their books, limit the amount of choices you make each day and prioritize which decisions warrant your attention. This way you will have all your decision-making brain power at the ready if you prioritize and spread out important wedding planning duties.
3. Don’t do it alone.
Most introverts are fine tackling big projects alone, whether it’s at school, work, or in our personal lives. However, most people are not professional party planners and may not have the knowledge or organizational skills needed to plan a big event. Even if you’re planning a courthouse wedding with a small reception, you would be surprised at how many components go into a “small” event like this one. Enlist the help of either a professional wedding planner or the help of friends and family. I wouldn’t know what to do without the ISTJ organizing skills of my mom to help me with my wedding plans.
(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)
Also, make sure both members of the couple are involved in the wedding planning. It’s not unusual for one party to be less involved and interested in wedding planning, but that doesn’t mean this person should get off scot-free while you stay up all night handwriting addresses on the invitation envelopes. A good marriage is built on teamwork — and so should planning a wedding. Look for a few tasks that your beloved can help with.
4. Ditch traditions you don’t like.
Much like wedding size, you are also under no obligation to keep wedding traditions alive. Does the garter toss make you uncomfortable? Skip it. Don’t want bridesmaids? Don’t have them. Just because “everyone does it” doesn’t mean you have to have a particular tradition at your wedding.
Instead, incorporate a tradition or ritual that is special to you. Maybe your family or culture has a particular wedding tradition you love. Maybe you can honor your family by wearing your great-grandmother’s wedding veil. Weddings should be about the unique love between the couple getting married. You can find a way to make it special without having to participate in wedding traditions that you have no interest in.
5. Don’t surround yourself with people on the days leading up to the wedding.
An introverted friend of mine made this mistake. In the five days leading up to her wedding, she attended bridal showers, bachelorette parties, a rehearsal dinner, and a few impromptu pre-wedding get-togethers. On top of that, she had almost all her bridesmaids sleeping over at her house. By the time her wedding came, she was stressed out and run-down. Thankfully, the ceremony and reception went well, but I bet she would have enjoyed her big day even more if she had scheduled some “me time” to let her introverted brain detox.
If you’re an introvert getting married, don’t forget to recharge your mental battery by taking time for yourself. There is nothing wrong with scheduling a few quiet hours on the days leading up to the big event.
I hope these tips will help you feel less stressed about your wedding plans. Best wishes on the road ahead!
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