Weddings For Anxious Introverts

A few weeks ago we were talking with friends who got married about a year ago. The topic moved to weddings, and the former groom said, “You won’t have time to be nervous. It all just goes by so quickly.”

“You don’t get it,” I replied. “When I think about the wedding itself I actually start to feel panicky, just sitting here.”

It’s true. I think I have a touch more anxiety than the usual pre-wedding jitters. Mr. Dragon is the same way. Neither of us can really start thinking about what it’s going to be like to walk down the aisle/wait at the front without having to shut it down immediately because we start feeling terror.

I really am excited about our wedding, as is Mr. Dragon. It’s just that as the days tick by, everything is becoming a lot more real instead of that nice, fuzzy abstract image of wedded bliss.

It’s not that we don’t want to get married, it’s just that there are going to be SO MANY PEOPLE staring at me. At least, that’s my problem. Mr. Dragon gets nervous when he’s stuck in a situation he can’t gracefully duck out of, and one can’t really gracefully duck out of a wedding when one is the groom. And now I’m at the point where I’m anxious about what to do if he faints from anxiety and we’re stuck in an anxiety cycle.

Another problem for me? I’m an introvert. I like small groups, quiet get-togethers, controlled scenes where I’m not bombarded by fifty people trying to hug me, talk to me, or otherwise engage with me. How the heck do introverts tackle weddings?!

I’m afraid that, with all the people to see and things to do before the wedding—and during the wedding—that I’m going to melt down into a puddle of leave-me-alone and hyperventilate. I’m really hoping that blissful bride feeling takes over before that can happen.

So, hive, can you help me out? Are there any fellow panicked people/introverts out there who successfully made it through their own wedding without fainting or hiding in the bathroom? I’m willing to entertain any and all coping mechanisms. Even writing this entry has me feeling a bit panicked!


Mrs. Dragon

Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ON
Wedding Date:
September 2012
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  1. Member
    coasterkim 61 posts, Worker bee @ 9:55 am

    I consider myself an introvert and hated the thought of everyone’s eyes on me…but the blissful, happy bride came through and I totally enjoyed our wedding day! The only awkward part for me was the special dances. I didn’t enjoy those too much, but the rest of it was amazing! I think you’ll do fine….just concentrate on each other and smile!

  2. Member
    msfairy 976 posts, Busy bee @ 9:58 am

    Oh no, good luck sweetie!! I hope you feel calm and peaceful during the walk down the aisle!

  3. Member
    hyena 2537 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:13 am

    OMG yes! I was terrified that I was going to have a panic attack and have to dash out of my own ceremony just because so many people would be looking at me! But I survived, and other than having to take several minutes to focus solely on my breathing at the beginning of the ceremony, I was okay. But Mr. H held my hand and let me lean on him, and as soon as we were actually facing each other and saying our vows, all my nerves went away completely. Try to focus on each other and not on everyone else. You’ll be okay!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Allison, Guest @ 10:17 am

    Oh girl. I feel your pain! I have to sometimes take medicine while ordering things. Even the simple things like my hair flower…. it starts my heart racing and getting tight. I dont know why!!! I am so excited to get married. I dont want to take medicine on our day so I have been going to yoga and acupuncture to help me. They are kind of working, but what brings on the worst panic attacks is thinking of the walk and the first dance. I hate all eyes on me, so that is a problem. Also my nightmares about not fitting into my dress usually wakes me up with an attack. My sister told me to have a mimosa before hand… haha. If you find a way to calm down, let me know!!
    Good Luck!

  5. Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 10:24 am

    Oh gosh, I am feeling the exact same way (and my wedding is Saturday, so it’s an immediate concern now, haha). I never like being the center of attention with all eyes on me for too long because I just don’t know what to do with myself. I am just trying to remind myself that the people surrounding me that day are people who love me and know me inside and out, so they are not expecting me to “act” a certain way — they know me, and they aren’t going to be analyzing and scrutinizing my every move, because even though I’m *The Bride*, it’s still just me in that big white dress.

  6. Member
    dragonlover 578 posts, Busy bee @ 11:02 am

    I’m not quite an introvert, but i get “Big crowd” syndrome. I do not like feeling I’m the center of attention in a crowd –

    FH is the opposite. He thrives on spotlight.

    He will be doing our thank you speech.

    Also – we’re not sitting at a traditional head table. We’re doing a sweetheart table – and god no, not in the middle of things, off to the side. That way we, the newly weds, can eat in peace without feeling stared at (or I won’t eat at all).

    I figure if they want/need us for something, its not hard to find me in the all-white dress. We don’t need to be seated at the center table of a three-ring circus to be found.

  7. Member
    pinkwaterlily 35 posts, Newbee @ 11:05 am

    As an introvert who got married a little over a year ago, I am here to tell you that it will be OK! I stressed out a lot over being the center of attention and feeling so uncomfortable during the day, but it turned out all that worrying is for naught.
    As a bride, you are always met with so much love and affection on your wedding day that it overshadows any anxiety you might normally feel during social situations. Everyone is basically there to cater to you, and to congratulate you, and to smile at you — not to judge you or expect something out of you.
    Some things that helped:
    - We did not write out own vows, because I couldn’t imagine standing up in front of everyone and gushing about my husband-to-be out loud. I just focused on my FI’s face during the ceremony, and was able to stay calm that way.
    - I had a drink at the beginning of the cocktail hour which had a stronger-than-usual effect since I didn’t have much to eat that day. That *really* helped to calm my nerves, and made me a lot more social. I wasn’t sloshed during the reception or anything, but having a slight buzz definitely helped to take the edge off.
    - We did not do a big speech to welcome out guests at the beginning of the reception. DH said some sweet words about us being finally married, and I just said “thank you all for coming!” and raised my glass of champagne in a toast. Short and sweet!
    - I had one close friend be my go-to person if I needed to vent about something or just take a break. She knows my personality well, and was always there to keep me company if I needed to leave the a few minutes and relax. It made it look less weird than if I had just left the room by myself to take a breather.

    All in all, despite my extraordinary capacity to worry and stress out about social situations, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I handled my wedding day. It really does go by much faster than you ever expect; so many things happen in such a short span of time that you don’t even have the chance to stress out about things.

  8. Member
    Bias 98 posts, Worker bee @ 11:29 am

    Hi Miss D, I’m really enjoying your posts and this is a great topic. I got married last month and I have to say the single biggest fear was being the centre of attention. I kept saying to my fiancé that I need to get through three things: 1) our vows (and the whole ceremony), 2) our speech, and 3) our first dance. All three were killing me to imagine . . . although I am comfortable with teaching (my part-time work), I am in a controlled role at the front of the classroom, not bearing my heart for all to see at my wedding!

    The night before the big day, I spent some time journaling which was great to just come back into myself after so many visits with family. In the morning, I spent 15 minutes doing yoga/stretches, which also helped me to assert that “today is for me,” and I think the day really got off on the right foot. I became, magically, that blissful bride. Nothing could interfere with our wonderful day. The ceremony was easy-peasy (there’s actually a great photo of me laughing at how ridiculous it was to hold microphones while we said our vows), and I almost didn’t care about our speech and dance after that. The day is just so busy and it does go by quickly, but like others have said – you are truly surrounded by love and comfort from your friends and family that have come to support you. Sure, the day is about you, but it wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be! I can honestly say I have never felt as much bliss as I did on my wedding day and that’s an awesome thing to remember! As I have come to realize, all your planning is just that – planning. The day of will be a new day, and it will be just spectacular.

  9. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 11:38 am

    I definitely felt some fear having so many people watching us the. whole. day. but, I remembered that everyone was there to support us. With that in mind, it made things so much more bearable throughout the day. Good luck staying calm, and remember that everyone there loves you :)

  10. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 11:45 am

    You guys are all so helpful and reassuring! Thank you!!

    @Allison: Thinking about the walk is a really scary thing for me. I’ve made it down the aisle at other people’s weddings with a small amount of terror before, but in all of the photos I’m kinda shoulders-up, gritted teeth. Add in the fact that I’m likely going to be a big ball of emotions… yikes.
    @Miss Wizard: Good point Miss Wiz — and good luck! :)
    @Bias: I’ve seen quite a few brides get into that state where nothing can bug them so I really hope that magic takes over for me!

  11. Member
    Future MrsB 865 posts, Busy bee @ 12:10 pm

    @anemonie: Don’t worry about the aisle. Just look at your FI and you’ll be at the end before you know it. All I remember from mine was searching for his face to see his reaction, and then it felt like a second later I was there next to him. I don’t think I looked at anything other than him. No one will expect you to acknowledge them. If you happen to look at someone else, just smile.

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Mrs.Farmer, Guest @ 1:36 pm

    I was the exact same way when I got married last year! A couple months before the wedding I felt so anxious about our ceremony and standing up in front of everyone. The “What if’s” were starting to take over. My Aunt is a homeopath and recommended I get some “rescue remedy” drops at Whole Foods. They are basically a natural stress relief (liquid drops that are made of all natural stress relief’s like flowers etc.) You put a couple drops under your tounge and it helps ease any anxiety, stress you’re feeling. It totally helped and I was fine the day of my wedding. Once I saw my soon to be husband standing there, I focused soley on him and made it through. Best day of my life! Don’t worry!

  13. Member
    repeart 8 posts, Newbee @ 2:45 pm

    This post describes my feelings exactly — I’m so glad I’m not the only person out there feeling like this!

    Thank you for sharing <3

  14. Member
    HummusGal 178 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:56 pm

    Thanks for this post, I loved reading all of the responses… and may refer back to it closer to the big day for me :) Good luck ladies!

    PS – @Mrs.Farmer: Totally going to look into that Whole Foods remedy!! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Member
    crisy003 641 posts, Busy bee @ 7:46 am

    I’m so nervous just to be a guest at a wedding… my SO is a groomsman and the bride is his cousin, groom is his best friend. I’m SO anxious to go to the wedding and it’s today! They have a guest list of nearly 150 and I know about 3 people total… I’m super nervous because the bride changed her mind from letting SO’s sit with the bridal party for the reception and also the ride to the reception, so now I have to drive over an hour away, show up to a large wedding, not know anyone, sit by strangers, wait 3.5 hours for the reception (with no where to go since it’s out in the middle of the country) Drive ANOTHER hour to the reception alone, and have no clue who I’m supposed to sit by for the dinner. It’s utterly terrifying for me and it makes me tear up and have a panic attack thinking about being alone in a crowd of strangers… Idk how I’m going to deal… The groom said it’s ok if I just go to the reception dance but then I feel bad for not attending the wedding and having that memory. It’s not that I don’t want to see the ceremony, it’s just that I’m horribly terrified and afraid I’m going to have a panic attack around strangers and have no where to go and no one to talk to!

  16. Member
    sweetbee29 525 posts, Busy bee @ 5:44 am

    @ crisy- I probably wouldn’t show up. If they say anything about you RSVPing yes and not showing, I would let them know that you committed based on the prior info that you would be driving in and sitting with your S.O. For me, attending wouldn’t be worth a panic attack

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