Advice on how to plan a small, intimate wedding without pressure if you’re a shy bride, or hate being the centre of attention.
Wedding tropes often revolve around the day being more the bride’s than anyone elses. Bridezilla (though we don’t care for that term) jokes might begin, “on my – oh er I mean OUR – wedding day,” and women are typically pitted as being the main organisers, wear the most eye-catching outfit and kick off the occasion by walking through a room full of silent, staring people.
Although joyous, you could look at it as quite a lot of pressure. So, what if you’re planning the big wedding, but the idea of being the centre of attention makes you want to strap on your trainers and do a Julia Roberts, running for the hills?
Of all the wedding-related topics that we revel in discussing again and again, from wedding guest horror stories to this year’s biggest wedding trends, how to get through your wedding if you’re shy or feel uncomfortable in the limelight is not something we think is brought up enough.
Well thank goodness, then, for the women of Reddit who share these feelings, and have come together to help out future brides-to-be with ways of how to deal with the pressure of a wedding day, or how to plan a day that misses out some of those potentially nerve-wracking moments.
Reddit user u/ContourNova asked the forum, “Women of Reddit who don’t like to be the centre of attention – how did you make it through your wedding?” – and the responses came in quicker than wedding guests flocking to a free bar.
We’ve picked out the best pieces of advice here, for you to try yourself.
Combine your hen and stag do if the thought of pre-wedding celebrations also makes you nervous
“Luckily my husband now (boyfriend at the time) was down for doing a joint shower and bachelor/bachelorette party.
“We just went to a restaurant and a bar with a bunch of friends which was easier to tolerate with him there. Our wedding was smallish; it was outdoors at a campground/outdoor area that had an old barn with picnic tables in it. It was cheap and cute and people loved it,” says MeanHuckleberry.
Try to just focus on your partner
“During the ceremony, I did my best to stay focused on myself and my husband and what was happening – it was like the guests weren’t really there. At the reception, the guests were mostly busy talking to and hanging out with each other, so that in itself took a lot of the pressure off.
“I also ended up spending a lot of the night in the lobby, because it was quieter and therefore easier to chat with people, especially as they started to leave. I feel a little weird about it because the bride wasn’t at the center of the reception, but…it was a good night anyway,” says kaeorin.
Don’t do traditions that make you feel uncomfortable, like the bouquet toss
“I didn’t do a garter toss or a bouquet toss. We didn’t do a grand entrance, and did the majority of our pictures with family and by ourselves before the ceremony. I did a first dance with my husband and that was it.
“We tried very hard to just make it a party for friends and family to share our special day. We had corn hole, a food truck, it was so relaxed. I still have people telling me three years later how awesome are wedding was,” says MRSD1640.
Only invite people you really want there
“I gave my husband the big wedding he wanted and I regret it. In hindsight so did he! He and I both wish we hadn’t sent any ‘obligation’ invites and only invited those who were truly important and part of our lives. Don’t be like us, invite only those you truly love being around,” says 3ll3girl.
MaliniWillheard agreed, “The MOST important part of it is the guest list. I can’t stress it enough. It’s going to be tough to cut family, but if you want to feel comfortable on your wedding day, you have to only invite people that you WANT there. People who you KNOW are happy for you, who love you and your fiance, who won’t judge you, who only want the best for you.
“A lot of hating to be the center of attention is fear of judgement, of looking silly, so it’s essential that you only have people there who have your back. Then the whole event feels like a big five-hour cuddly hug.”
Ask someone who will make you feel at ease to walk you down the aisle
“The only time I was legitimately terrified was when I was walking down the aisle. I was physically shaking. My dad was walking me down the aisle and he could feel my whole body shaking. He just kept on saying, ‘it’s ok, it’s alright, don’t be scared’.
“Eventually I made it up there and then I just kinda forgot we were in front of almost 200 people. Then we were married and the party started and I didn’t care, I just wanted to eat and drink and have fun. And I did! So the scariest part for me was actually walking down the aisle, because all of the attention is ON THE BRIDE but I think focusing on/staring at my husband helped me a little. And having my dad there too helped, he’s pretty awesome,” says albino_oompa_loompa.
Plan a surprise wedding
Kooku_kanooa says, “We didn’t tell anyone it was a wedding, in the middle of our daughters baptism we got up, got married and sat down while baptism continued. Went to a restaurant. Surprise wedding! No reception, had a blast!”
Cut the dancefloor if the idea of dancing fills you with dread
“As for the reception, there was no dance floor so none of those awkward moments where everyone watches you dance. We had a cocktail theme so no one had assigned tables, and I didn’t have to sit apart from anyone. So besides the cake cutting, I wasn’t in front of people all that much,” says kovixen.
Keep the ceremony short
“5-10min ceremony helped! And then getting to the reception faster was more what we cared about,” says 3dayeventing_pdx.