Surviving the Wedding Weekend as an Introverted Bride
I shopped for my wedding dress all by myself. The woman at the salon was surprised, too.
“Nope, it’s just me. No moms or bridesmaids.”
I sometimes forget that there are people who always prefer to be surrounded by people. I’ve been an introvert my whole life. Not that I’m shy. I just enjoy spending time alone. I need to spend time alone. I love spending time with friends and family, too. More than anything, actually. But I can’t do it all the time.
Introverts like to compare their frame of mind to the idea of a cell phone. Time spent with friends and family is like streaming an entire season of Orange is the New Black in one sitting: Amazing, but leaves you with an empty battery. Getting time to yourself after spending time with others is a relief—like finding an empty outlet at the airport—and gives you some time to energize.
I love our people, but having them around all weekend for our wedding is sure to be exhausting for me. I’m anxious about all the attention. Saying our vows, having our first dance, greeting all our guests. Part of me is excited to be in the spotlight at those moments. But it’s this kind of disassociated excitement, the same I feel when I imagine myself as a pop singer or host of a talk show. I can imagine myself in it, but it’s some other version of myself. A me who is more confident and well-spoken than I am. That girl can handle having everyone’s eyes on her as she walks down the aisle. But this girl I am today just hopes she can get to the coffee machine without running into somebody.
I have to reconcile the idea that I won’t be a different person just because I put on a white gown. So part of my wedding planning prep has been a regimen of reading up on introversion. I’ve been soaking up whatever stories I could find from introverted former brides online, trying to gain some perspective on how to handle it—not just the ceremony spotlight, but all the interactions with friends and vendors leading up to the wedding.
My Wedding Weekend Plan
I’ve decided that my first strategy definitely needs to be carving out alone time for myself, even and especially the night before and morning of the wedding. I need to set aside some brief “no contact” time to be alone, then protect my small respite with the ferocity of a tiger.
For the purpose of clarity, I should mention that time spent with my familiar and understanding fiance functions the same as solo time to my internal battery. Which brings me to strategy number two: Having Roo around as much and as often as possible. He knows me better than anyone and over the years he has developed an astute sense of when everything is becoming too much for me to handle. I’m looking forward to spending the night and part of the morning alone with him to face down the nearing wedding chaos together.
With time set aside (with or without Roo) to recharge, I think the hustle and bustle of the wedding weekend should be a breeze. But I’d love to hear stories from other introvert brides. I know everyone’s experience is different, but if you found some tip to deal with everyone wanting your attention or some phrase that instantly puts you in the right frame of mind, please share!