At your wedding and reception, you’ll likely be the center of attention among lots of people for many hours, which can be tiring and overwhelming for introverts.
And wedding planning means literally hundreds and hundreds of decisions, which can lead to overwhelm for an HSP.
Decisions like: who to invite, invitations, a color scheme, the caterer, the menu, gift registry, music, the bouquet, centerpieces, photographer, videographer, bartender, bridesmaids & groomsmen, hotel reservations, travel arrangements, the cake, dress, rings, vows, shoes, hair, makeup, nails, rehearsal dinner, seating arrangements, toasts, thank you letters. And the honeymoon.
Goodness gracious, I rattled off this list without really even thinking about it. Within every one of those things is another hundred smaller decisions. Ugh!
All these decisions may lead to one of two things for an HSP: Extreme stress or shutting down.
Just knowing that there were so many decisions ahead of me made me shut down. I didn’t even want to think about wedding planning anymore.
So, I boiled it down to the most basic things I thought were most important.
I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money. We ended up having the ceremony and reception at Jim’s parents’ nice new house on the other side of the country.
I felt strongly about my wedding–that I wanted to do what my husband and I wanted to do. I didn’t care what meaningless tradition dictated. All I wanted was for the most important people in my life to be together and have fun. I believe that’s what we will remember years from now–not a flower arrangement. I simply didn’t have the capacity to care about things that were unimportant to my overall goal.
Jim and I divided up assignments. I did everything involved with the invitations (easy! I can handle that!). Another of mine was to find a company that rented huge tents for parties. I did a lot of research online, but when it came time to to call people and negotiate prices (which I hate), I felt stressed. Jim was understanding and took over the rest of that assignment for me.
Truthfully, I opted out of a lot of stuff. Family members helped us SO much. They bought flowers when I showed no interest in them. They decorated. They used their connections around town to hire a bartender (family friend), DJ (a cousin who did it free), photographer (neighbor), and a caterer they’d used before.
His sister asked how she could help out with the wedding and I assigned her the task of buying the cupcakes (I didn’t want a wedding cake). Once I did that, I didn’t have to worry about dessert again. I let it go, and let her take care of it.
As an introvert, I didn’t yearn to be the center of attention. So, we didn’t do any toasts, speeches, or special dances. We didn’t cut a cake together. I definitely didn’t walk down an aisle with everyone staring at me! The actual ceremony (held on the stairs of his parents’ deck) was probably 10 minutes long. After the little ceremony we joined the party with everyone else. We didn’t sit at a special table at the front of the room. We just sat wherever. I also didn’t wear a traditional, white, fancy wedding dress (It was lavender, knee-length, and from an upscale shopping mall), so I looked like everyone else–a partygoer.
My tips for minimizing stress and “shut down” when wedding planning as an introverted HSP:
- Ask yourself, what is the most important goal of your wedding day? For me, it was having fun with all the people in my life I care about. Then ask yourself: What can you eliminate and still accomplish that goal? What will make this wedding memorable in the ways you want?
- You don’t have to care about meaningless tradition. Do what you want to do.
- If you need some alone time during the party, do it. Go sit in the bathroom and breathe for a bit. No one will freak out if you are gone for a few minutes.
- Let people help you. Delegate! They might be delighted to do help on your special day. Once you assign a task to someone, stop worrying about it and let it go.