How to Deal With the Limelight if You're a Shy Bride
If you hate being the center of attention and consistently categorize yourself as an "introvert," you might just be dreading your upcoming nuptials because you know all eyes, literally, will be on you for an entire day. A wedding is supposed to be a happy moment, but you almost feel like it could turn into an anxiety-ridden ordeal.
But the truth is, there are a lot of traditions you can ditch and things you can tweak to make a wedding perfectly tailored for you (and your aversion to the limelight). It's your day, after all, and if cutting the cake sounds like the stuff of nightmares, don't do it. Find out how to turn your wedding into a calm, comfortable happy place.
Make a small guest list.
The first step you can take is making sure your guest list is small and intimate, so you feel as relaxed as possible. In some cases a large guest list is inevitable (say, if your partner has a huge family), but this is a good place to start.
Think of bridal shower activities that don't revolve around you.
For shy brides, having all eyes on you while opening presents can be painful. Ask your bridal shower attendants to spread the word to guests not to wrap their gifts so there's no unboxing process. Additionally, think up activities that don't focus on you. For example, interactive games like bingo and trivia that get guests involved but take the attention off of the bride.
Have a point bridesmaid.
If you already know you're going to feel overwhelmed or flustered during your wedding weekend, designate a point bridesmaid to be your spokesperson. That way, if there's an onslaught of questions the day of your wedding, she can be prepared to answer them—which, in turn, will take the pressure off you.
Don't walk down the aisle.
It may seem mandatory, but it actually isn't. If the idea of having all of those eyeballs on you at once makes your stomach turn, you have some options. Either skip it entirely by having your guests enter the ceremony space after you or behind you in a processional, or come up with an alternative way of getting to the altar. Why not set up your ceremony so you can casually mingle with your guests as you make your way to the front?
Skip the first dance.
There's no rule that says you have to have a first dance. In fact, you really don't need to make much of an "entrance" at all if you have a cocktail hour prior to the reception and simply walk in with your guests. You can happily hit the dance floor later on once your guests are out there movin' and groovin' too.
Some brides just don't like speeches (or emotions or mushiness). Thus, toasts are entirely optional, and if you do choose to allow them at your reception, simply tell people to try to limit them to two minutes or less if it makes you feel more comfortable.
Don't cut the cake.
So you want cake (obviously), but you don't want everyone staring at you while you cut it. It's a good idea to have a big dessert table to begin with, so you can simply use your cake as a centerpiece there rather than a standalone entity. It's unlikely anyone will notice (or care) if you ditch the tradition of cutting it with your new spouse.
Focus on your partner.
Most importantly, remember this day is about you and your partner—and the masses of people attending are solely there to support you. When in doubt (during your vows, for instance) simply focus on them instead of who's watching. So no matter how nervous or anxious you might feel, you'll remember you're exactly where you're supposed to be.