An Introvert’s Guide to Walking Down the Aisle
The other day I was talking to an engaged couple and asking them about their wedding plans. The bride admitted they were indefinite because of her crippling fear of walking down the aisle. Never comfortable in front of a crowd, she was experiencing so much anxiety about her wedding day, the couple had opted to postpone planning. While totally understandable (many brides and grooms suffer from similar fears), this is such a sad reason to put off your wedding. Here are a few tips to help you get married happily and comfortably!
City Hall Ceremony
One of the easiest ways to avoid being the center of attention is to remove yourself from the spotlight. If the idea of being in front of your friends and family when exchanging your vows is just too much, go away for a quiet city hall elopement. Later, host a great reception. Even though you will be the star of the party, you can avoid public speaking by having your new spouse greet the crowd and skipping rituals like a first dance and cake cutting. Work the room one-on-one (the type of communication you do best)!
There’s no rule that you have to walk down the aisle alone or just with your father. If you want to walk down the aisle arm-in-arm with all of your bridesmaid besties, you absolutely can. Another technique is to have your wedding party line the aisle rather than stand at the front. Having your favorite faces greet you with each step might seem more welcoming to you than the filled pews.
Sure, a giant cathedral might be intimidating, but how do you feel about being the belle of the ball in your own backyard? If it’s impossible to reduce to your guest list to a comfortable number, then perhaps start considering familiar environments where you would be more at ease. When we are facing our fears plenty of sensory elements can aid us. From the smell of a specific perfume to the sound of your shoes on your grandmother’s porch, these tiny details can make us more calm and confident.
Public speaking is a really common fear. Whether you want 1:1 counseling or a classroom setting, there are plenty of avenues for you to pursue to lessen your anxiety. More than likely, this will be something you will need to do throughout your life, from a presentation at a conference to leading a charitable committee. You may find that seeking help with this fear takes a little time, but could be completely worth it in the long run.