The brides who get the most attention are the ones who go around screaming “It’s MY day!” or who try to outdo the royal wedding (this means you, Kim Kardashian!). But for every woman who is dying to be the center of attention, there are probably just as many brides who cringe at the idea of having all eyes on them. This is some practical wedding planning advice for shy brides to make their day more enjoyable.
First and foremost, it is important to be true to yourself. If you know that you hate having the spotlight on you or feel nauseous at the thought of walking down a long aisle with everybody staring at you, plan your wedding accordingly. The best wedding planning advice for shy brides is to keep their wedding as small as possible. When you have only immediate family and dearest friends at your ceremony, you will hopefully feel supported, rather than overwhelmed.
In no way should you feel obligated to stick with wedding customs that will increase your anxiety. It all starts with the wedding ceremony. Consider having it in a location that will not require you to walk down a long aisle. Either choose a small chapel with a short aisle, or a site which will allow you to make a side entrance. One very shy bride that I knew opted to have her ceremony in her parents’ living room in front of the fireplace. She entered the ceremony by coming down a set of stairs that led into the living room, and from there it was just a few short steps to her groom waiting by the fireplace. If you are having your ceremony in a place that will require you to walk down an aisle, consider asking both your mother and father to walk with you, so you will be flanked by them on either side. It can help you to feel more sheltered and less like the center of attention.
It is very important that a shy bride choose wedding attire that will make her feel very at ease. If you never wear sexy styles, avoid revealing bridal gowns with plunging necklines that will cause you discomfort. The fact of the matter is that a dramatic wedding dress will draw all eyes right to you, so if you prefer to blend in (admittedly hard for the bride to do), opt for a more understated wedding gown style. A classic A-line or a 1950s inspired gown will probably be more your cup of tea than a va-va-voom mermaid gown with a skin tight top and a cascade of ruffles at the bottom. A lot of brides feel particularly comfortable in wedding gowns with pockets, as it gives them something to do with their hands.
For women who are painfully shy, the first dance at the wedding reception can be a tremendous source of stress. The spotlight will quite literally be upon you, and all of your guests will be watching you. If this sounds like your worst nightmare, there are several options that may be helpful. One is to simply skip the spotlight dances. If you are having a very small wedding, you can opt not to have dancing at all. Just provide nice background music for dinner and cocktails, and leave it at that. It will seem less obvious if you host your reception in a place without a dance floor, such as a restaurant or a private dining room in a posh club. If you can’t get out of the first dance entirely, instruct the bandleader to invite other couples onto the dance floor about a minute into it. You can plan this in advance with your parents and bridal party so they know to get out there and start dancing as soon as they are invited.
Always remember that it is your wedding, and you should be able to have the style of event that will make you feel the most at ease (even if your mom is pushing for a huge bash!). When planned carefully, even the most shy bride can have a wedding that she will enjoy. The wonderful memories of your perfect wedding will last you a lifetime.