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An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving the Week Before the Wedding


Oh, the week before the wedding. Everyone talks about the wedding day, but no one mentions that the week before the wedding is its own animal. It’s something to be survived, a wave to be ridden. It’s filled with lots of people coming into town, projects to be finished, booze to be carted around. Even as an extrovert, I found the wedding week stressful. But since we’re tackling taboos this week, I’m thrilled to bring you Vanesa’s post on surviving the wedding week as an introvert. Because it seems that being a shy bride is still a conversation we’re not supposed to have (since we’re supposed to enjoy Every Part Of The Wedding Process No Matter What, God help us). Instead of that nonsense, let’s discuss the truth.An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving the Week Before the Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Two days before our wedding, I had my very first full-blown panic attack. Crying, hyperventilating, the works. Why? I’m an introvert, and a wedding means people. People who sometimes decide to come to town early so that they can spend more time with you. Introverts and wedding weeks are a bad combination.

I should probably start off by saying that I have been an extreme introvert my whole life. I knew as soon as we decided not to elope that the wedding would be rough on me, so I mainlined all the “advice for shy brides” articles I could find and tried valiantly to identify and make plans to deal with the things that would be problematic for me. I thought that if I could just prepare for every contingency, I could ignore my introverted nature for the wedding—it’s my “special day” after all, so of course I would magically get over thirty years of being an introvert just for the occasion.

The thing about all those articles, however, is that they focus almost exclusively on the ceremony. I’m not sure about other introverts, but I have no problem being the center of attention in a formal event. I don’t find it enjoyable, mind you, but after years of presentations for school and for work, I have figured out how to make myself stand in front of a crowd and deliver some pre-prepared (albeit incredibly important) words. The ceremony wasn’t the problem. The week leading up to the wedding was. Trying to hang out with friends, play tour guide, communicate last minute details with vendors, and, oh yeah, go to work in the days leading up to the wedding was simply too much interaction for me to handle without taking time to be alone and recharge my energy. Ignoring my nature couldn’t change that, and preparing for the day of, but not the week before, turned out to be my downfall.

So, I want to offer other introverts the wedding week advice that I wish I’d had. None of it is mind-blowing, but it is another reminder (and goodness knows we need as many as we can get) that caring for yourself, your partner, and your relationship is a vital part of planning a wedding.

  1. Aggressively remind people that being female doesn’t mean being in charge of the wedding. (Or any of the following, as applicable: being a groom doesn’t mean not caring about the wedding, being gay doesn’t mean being an expert in weddings, being one of two brides doesn’t mean wedding planning will be inherently easier/harder.) I’m pretty sure that all of us have had to deliver some variation of this reminder at least once, but I think introverts and their partners need to work even harder to make this clear so that when they’re trying to take a moment to themselves, they’re not constantly interrupted by people who think that they must have an opinion on the latest wedding detail (or, for those who aren’t “supposed” to care about weddings, so that they’re not ignored when they’re expending precious energy to communicate their opinions to people). The day before my panic attack, I spent my entire lunch break returning the incredible number of texts, emails, and calls I’d received asking last minute questions. My partner was home from work, carrying around an iPad with all of our planning documents. He didn’t receive a single call, email, or text. Every person who contacted me had his contact information too. Many of them knew I was at work and he wasn’t. One of them was even in the same building with him. They chose to contact me because they all believed that, as the bride, I would care more.
  2. Plan no-contact times into your schedule and protect them. The best days I had that week were ones where we were able to spend an hour or two quietly following our normal routine—checking websites, playing video games, and NOT ANSWERING THE PHONE. We didn’t explicitly plan these moments but began to carve them out when it became clear how badly I needed them. The key to these no-contact times is not to give in when loved ones want you to do something else instead. It’s hard to say no to something that sounds fun, especially when you’re feeling ok at the moment, but cutting out too much no-contact time eventually ends up hurting. Fortunately for me, while I thought I could ignore my introverted nature, my family knew better. My partner called his family and our friends to cancel plans when I overbooked myself, and my mom insisted that we spend Friday morning alone together.
  3. Connect your friends to one another. I felt enormous pressure to be a good hostess, especially since so many of our friends and family were visiting our town for the first time. I knew that they were adults and could entertain themselves, but I couldn’t get past the idea that they were my guests. The problem is, no one has a good time if you’re so stressed out by showing them around that you’re losing your ability to be nice. Your friends and family are all awesome people—introduce them to each other! The best decision I made was to tell a couple friends that I couldn’t make it to the activity we had planned and then give them each other’s contact information. They had a blast, and I got a chance to recharge.
  4. Remind your partner that you love them. My partner is an extreme extrovert. We have spent our entire relationship learning to understand each other’s different approaches to people. He has learned that I need an hour of alone time after I get home from work, and I try to remember how important it is to him that I listen while he tells me absolutely every minor detail about his day. We’ve learned to protect each other’s energy reserves, and we (usually) accept our differences gracefully. That’s under normal circumstances. During the week leading up to the wedding, we had to consciously remind ourselves of those lessons. In the midst of all the excitement and stress, he had to remember that my need for silence didn’t mean I was mad at him and I had to remember that his eagerness to go out and spend as much time with friends as possible wasn’t an attempt to avoid doing wedding chores. Constant reminders that we love each other was the only thing that kept us from repeating some of the nastier fights about personal space that we had in the beginning of our relationship.

It seems silly, looking back, that I ever thought that I could just float through the week leading up to our wedding blithely ignoring a fundamental part of my nature. The thing is that weddings come with a lot of pressure—pressure to be a charming hostess, pressure to make every moment count, pressure to bring together our community of friends and family. The picture we always see is of a smiling bride surrounded by the people she loves best. I love those pictures. I’ve got some great ones from my own wedding. What a picture like that doesn’t show, however, is all the times leading up to that wonderful photo when the bride locked everyone (especially people carrying cameras) out of the room to take a moment for herself.

Photo by: Jesse Holland (APW Sponsor)

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  • http://minnesota-chic.com PA

    I don’t think it was silly to believe youbcould get through the wedding week without pnaicking. I think during wedding planning, we reach a stage of believing, “I know this will stress me out, so I’m prepared for it and will be able to cope with everything elegantly.” Ha! No. (Even funnier: that’s where I am now; the last paragraph helped me figure it out. Guess where I’ll be in a few weeks…)

    This has helped me recognize some things I’ll need to plan on the week of: no-contact time, and an hour or two at least of COMPLETE alone time (the overwhelmed-introvert thing where one lies in a little heap, breathes slowly, and stares at the wall). Thank you, Vanesa! I’m sure this wasn’t going to be one of the “853 HELPFUL TIPS” that TheKn*t sent me…

    • Christine

      Yes! This post helped me think about that too! I had always planned 10 minutes, right before the ceremony, to sit in a room totally alone, but imagine building 2-3 hours into the wedding week! It’s perfect! I am working it into the week schedule right now!

  • http://teanhoneybread.com Tameka

    I read this post through swollen eyes and a craft brew hangover. I am exactly one week out from my wedding day. My long distance partner is in town in all of his extroverted glory and the phone calls haven’t stopped coming in. It seems the more excited everyone else is the more panicked I become. I had a feeling I might get overwhelmed and planned for a two-day getaway to a quiet bed and breakfast here in the desert. I’ll veg out and recharge there until we head to our ceremony destination and I don my game face. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve muttered and even bellowed the word, “Cancel…” Thanks for your post, I feel less alone and stronger in my resolve to take moments for myself (read:sanity) and take good care of me.

    • Ari

      I really love this pre-wedding breather idea. Take good care of yourself, find quiet spaces, and congratulations!

  • Francis

    This is SO true! I need to exactly this whole post!
    Being an introvert myself I had my break down two days from the wedding as well, I was so scared of all the people coming to see us (although all of them were people I LOVE) that I was sobbing for about an hour to my fiance accusing him that he hadn’t wanted to elope… not my best hour I’m afraid.
    What helped was him being loving and reassuring and not in the least offended (luckily he unterstood perfectly well that this was not about me not wanting to marry him but about me being my typical introvert self) and spending the day before with two of my best friends whose presence calmed me down very much. I wish I had planned for some no-contact-time though.

  • Margaret M.

    Oh, such a useful and important topic.

    One thing I might add would be find people who will go to bat for you and run interference. My husband is an introvert, so basically I excused him from the week prior to the wedding. He stayed at home while I managed things with a friend. He spent time with a few close friends. It was good and necessary. Then, our officiant at the rehearsal told everyone that introverts need time to recharge during the wedding and to be mindful of that.

    But of course, it was easier for him to opt out of that week than it would have been for me, given people’s expectation of women and their weddings.

  • Bethany

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m getting married on Saturday and woke up yesterday with this deep anxiety that stayed with me all day. I couldn’t really articulate what it was, other than that I’m afraid of letting everyone down. This sentence sums it up: “The thing is that weddings come with a lot of pressure—pressure to be a charming hostess, pressure to make every moment count, pressure to bring together our community of friends and family.”

    As an introvert, I’m terrified of being on display. I love my family and friends and know they’ll probably never all be in the same place at once again and I feel all this pressure to soak it up and enjoy every second. That pressure is made even worse by my need for quiet time and solitude. It’s hard to be “present” when you really just want to hang out by yourself for a while. I’m just glad to know I’m not alone. This post could not have come at a better time for me. Thank you!

  • http://www.lyssabeths.com Maureen

    Fabulous post! I’d like to point out that many of the above tips could also apply to the MOB–who also gets slammed during the “week of.” As an introvert MOB, I wish I’d used these tips when my two daughters were getting married.

    One point of distinction that gets blurred above–and that I feel compelled to point out so that introverts are sure to recognize themselves when they read this article. “Introverted” and “shy” are not the same thing. Everyone knows the characteristics of a shy person. However, an introvert is simply one who needs quiet time to recharge. We get drained by constant noise, other people, festivities, etc. Not that we don’t enjoy those things to a point, but then we need to retreat to recharge our batteries.

    Not all introverts are shy (I am a very non-shy introvert). Most people who are shy know that they are so. But many introverts haven’t yet put the pieces together for themselves–especially if they come from a gregarious family.

    Bottom line is that if you think the above piece doesn’t apply to you because you’re not shy–think again. Approximately 25% of the population are introverts.

    • One More Sara

      So true! I always thought I was an extrovert because I am extremely social, but I’ve been figuring out slowly figuring out that I am much more introverted than I thought. (According to personality tests, I lean extrovert by a whopping 1%) I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out that I need time to recharge. While I don’t expect to be totally overwhelmed by all the people, I will definitely try to refer back to these tips if I feel like I might be losing my mind :)

      • Beth

        Yes, I remember reading the term “gregarious introvert” in a book, and recognizing myself. On my wedding day, I woke up in a B&B with my groom, got a massage, got my make-up done, and my sister came and did my hair. When I was sure I was ready, I invited my bridesmaids over. I didn’t want my entire morning surrounded by a group of my best friends– I embraced my introversion, my need for time alone and one-on-one time. And I appreciated not feeling trapped in a room with a bunch of people with no way out.

  • Valerie

    You know I never realized that this was a taboo topic but then I could be living in my own little world where it’s totally normal aquaint the week before the wedding like the week before a show opens and refer to it as “hell week”.

    I love the advice in this article because I’m also an introvert and yes, the ceremony isn’t something that bothers me but I get stressed out on a normal week if I don’t get some “me time”, I can imagine that the week before the wedding is going to suck on my emotional and psychological well being. I’m definitly saving this page to refer to later and remind myself that it’s okay.

  • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

    This was a very timely reminder for me. I was doing up my own timeline for wedding planning (yay for borderline obsessive organization!!) and realized I had better try to keep as much of the week before the wedding clear of to do lists as I can. Simply because I’m going to need time to just be a hermit. I don’t want to be that girl wandering around with a look of panic, and shouting at people to go away. Too many people do that to me. Sometimes I feel sort of panicky if I spend too much time at the mall. So, I guess I’m going to build some time in with just me and my MOH early the morning of, and some time for my man and I after the ceremony. Hopefully that will keep me from getting too overwhelmed.

    I second the bit up the page about having people to run interference. Generally, I have learned to run my own interference, but my dad is super awesome at recognizing when it’s time to pack it in and do something with less people around. If you’ve got someone that is a calming influence, then have a few words with them and ask them to corner you and drag you away for a few minutes if you look like your on the edge. Also, all the talk on APW about the wedding stage manager. Make sure people know who yours is.

  • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

    “The problem is, no one has a good time if you’re so stressed out by showing them around that you’re losing your ability to be nice.”

    This, times a million. The week before and even the day of it’s important to remember that protecting our alone time when we’re introverts is important for our guests too, because it so affects our ability to be a gracious hostess.

  • Kara

    As another introvert, YES. Plan in that time. I did a bunch of coping things and still was overwhelmed with it all. And recognize that the people who love you best will want you to do what you need, even while they’re demanding your time.

    My coping measures included:
    (1) Deciding that I needed to do a couple of the airport runs early in the week (and telling everyone else to take Super Shuttle). Specifically, I picked up 2 of my brothers and my dad on separate airport runs. This gave me (a) 30 minutes of utterly alone time (with NPR and music) on the way, (b) time for a quick cup of coffee once there, and (c) individual time with JUST THEM on the way home.
    (2) Leaving when I needed to, even when there were people at my place doing things for me.
    (3) Creating some smaller group activities to enjoy. Probably, having all my aunts and female cousins at my house for brunch the day before the wedding wasn’t the wisest idea, BUT it gave me a smaller group of people to deal with (and love) and made me stop and enjoy them for a while. Then they all put together programs and favors while I took a nap (see what I mean about leaving)?
    (4) Having my sanest, quietest, most lovely friend stay with me the night before the wedding. Just one person. We chatted, she helped me pack for the honeymoon (and did laundry for me), and then she made me go to bed at reasonable hour.

    Finally, for about an hour 2 days before the wedding, I played with 10 day old kittens a neighbor was fostering. Didn’t have my phone with me, didn’t tell anyone where I was going, just went. Now, I recognize that not everyone has tiny kittens around, but those little things gave me some total recharge time.

    • Laura

      Where do I sign up for the 10-day-old kitten therapy? ;)

      • Kara

        Apparently the feral cat society of DC (who knew?). Kitties need to be socialized.

        • KB

          Ooh, I’m a DC bride as well, looks like I’ll be investigating this option for my week-of….:-)

      • Copper

        Something I do when I’ve had a particularly stressful day at work is go to the pet store at the mall to pet the puppies. If you don’t have access to teeny kittens, maybe adorable pups can help?

        Also, glad to know that I’m not all that strange for indulging in animal therapy.

  • Jessica

    This is such a wonderfully articulate post. I wanted to add that whether you’re an introvert or not, sometimes it’s helpful to think about a honey moon of sorts BEFORE the wedding. We took a week off before the wedding to get away and it was the most amazing break ever. It was like having the morning before the wedding to yourselves except the power of that times a zillion. It was such precious time for the two of us to center ourselves, enjoy each other, and get ready for the onslaught of loved ones and constant up-time. So if you have some extra vacation days and can get away (even if it’s just taking stay-cation) then I would highly recommend it!

  • http://twitter.com/itsradishtime Taylor

    Thank you for this! I needed this encouragement to give my permission to say “No. I Just need to be alone, okay?”

    Especially since my future mother in law keeps suggesting she wants to throw me a shower (already a panic inducing event for an extreme introvert) on the day before the wedding. She insisted that event thought she was busy the day before her wedding and she still had a shower and it was still great. But she is the most extroverted extrovert ever. I’m just going to give her a firm no.

    My original vision for the day before was running around meeting people and doing all sorts of social obligations I wasn’t comfortable with, while calling the florist and the caterer and everyone else and maybe finding a few spare minutes to cry in a closet somewhere

    But now, I’m thinking I’m gonna put my momma in charge, change my voicemail to direct people to call her instead of me, and book myself a nice long massage. ahhh. it’ll be okay. it’ll be okay. it’ll be okay.

  • http://ladlelady.wordpress.com Ania

    As an introvert – thank you so much for giving me the words to say what I needed to say. I just sent this to my fiance with a reminder that I liked to leave my birthday parties crying because I was tired of being around people. We’re in the final weeks and I’m realizing that there is going to be a huge demand on our time, whether it be for family meals or to run errands.

    I think the solution might be to lock myself in my sister’s hotel room, with her crazy dog and just ignore everyone for a short period of time. And play with the best bull terrier there is!

  • Laura

    Umm THANK YOU for this. As a fellow introvert, this is an enormously useful reminder. We’re less than a month away from the wedding, and already I can feel my precious quiet/alone time slipping by the wayside. And yes–it is having a negative affect on my sanity. I’m going to start reclaiming it now.

    I think it’s hard, too, because most people don’t really seem to *get* introverts. Or maybe it’s just the wedding culture that doesn’t. My bridesmaids/family assumed I would want to have a big ol’ sleepover the night before the wedding, and all wake up together, and all go to breakfast together, and DO ALL THE THINGS TOGETHER. To which I had to politely, but firmly, say no, thank you, I need to spend that time alone. The recharge aspect is SO important.

    • Darcy

      I knew that to avoid wedding day melt downs I needed to get away with my sweetie so we could both get a good night’s sleep (We are both tapdance the line between extrovert and introvert and sometimes need to be forced to recharge). One of my favourite memories from the entire wedding was that time sitting in a jacuzzi watching the history channel with my sweetie and a glass of wine. I think it hurt my MOH’s feelings that I didn’t want to do “one last girly sleep over” but I argued girly sleep overs didn’t have to stop with the wedding.

      So yes, do what you need to do so you can be fully present.

  • NF

    My solution: Spend 2 of the 4 days before my wedding far from civilization where I had no cell service. I did have to do wedding prep (I had given someone the seating cards before hand but they turned out to be formatted wrong for actually printing onto paper) but I was the only person who could initiate it. And I could do fun things like finalize the playlist for the rehearsal dinner and write notes to our wedding party.

    I know not everyone can take off work (one of the few benefits of being unemployed and having a newly employed husband-to-be who could negotiate for a week off before the wedding as a condition of hire) but if you can both physically and mentally get away from the hecticness of at least some of the pre-wedding week.
    As a more generally feasible alternative, you might also be able to set up call forwarding to a designated willing person, especially if you use google voice. Or just ditch your cellphone–if you give people alternative contact information they will probably use it IF they don’t have any luck reaching you.

  • katieprue

    I spent the night before our wedding alone in a nice hotel suite and it was awesome. Perfect for me. The only thing I would change if I could–I would have turned my damn phone off. Seriously. I ended up getting stressed out and crying to my almost-husband because some people can’t dress themselves or bother to get an address off of an invitation. Argh.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      With two months before the wedding, I’m already getting such inquiries – forwarded from my mother, who herself has all the necessary info. I get that it’s my wedding, so my responsibility (or mine and my future husband’s) to do the un-fun stuff in addition to the fun planning, but it makes me really nervous for a tidal wave of inquiries at precisely the time I’m too busy or stressed to handle them.

      • Jashshea

        See? This is where I employ the grown ass people line – I’m inviting grown ass people to my wedding and I’m giving them food, a party and recommendations on what to do during the non-party time.

        I’ve always managed to get myself to and from weddings in various locales around the US without calling the bride the day of to ask her where the ceremony is. There are about 2 reasons I would accept for calling me – something terrible has happened (death, famine, flood) or something awesome happened (New Kids on the Block can perform at the wedding).

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Ironically, it’s been the grandparent-types with the unreasonable inquiries. They are the hardest to tell, “We’re all adults here. I have _work_ to do. Please figure it out yourself” because of respect-for-the-elderly issues.

          In a way, it’s good this stuff started early, because now that I see the issue, I can strategize future responses. I have some below, about referring people to information already distributed, and I will get better at telling Mom, “It’s simply unreasonable for me to handle all these questions [or keep track of everyone’s travel information]. Why play telephone when you can give them the information directly?”

          One I’ve read about on other sites and just don’t understand, are the calls the day of the wedding apologizing for not being able to come – not the last-minute can’t-comes, but the already-RSVPd-No calls. It would never occur to me to (try to) bother a bride on her wedding day when I could have had a longer chat well before, or sent a nice note. But, apparently, some wedding planning sites think these calls are polite.

          • Jashshea

            For real? Wow.

            I mean, if it’s a really good friend who couldn’t come because of something (death, famine, flood, NKOTB concert), I’d probably love to hear from them. But my mom’s 2nd cousin’s first husband? Less so :)

  • Ali

    Great Advice!

    I am usually able to handle stress pretty well, but two weeks before the wedding, I was running almost daily because it was the only thing that could relieve the stress for me. (Yay – thats when they say that you really become a runner.) All of it was from the stress of being an introvert celebrating a wedding. I knew this was something I was “supposed” to be looking forward to, but the light at the end of the tunnel for me was the Monday after the wedding when My husband and I were walking through the airport to our honeymoon. Thankfully during the wedding and reception I was not stressed at all. (Just a little annoyance at posters and eek no ones dancing to this salsa music that I insisted on having) But everything moved so fast and I put it out of my mind. The week before though was stressful even though I had been looking forward to it a lot!

  • Jashshea

    Funny, I’m generally quite social, but can’t stand to be around people all day long. I always assumed that made me a misanthrope, but Introvert is a much nicer word (though in my case I fear it’s actually misanthropy a good percentage of the time).

    Hearing stories of epic craziness the day and week before the wedding have made be uber-protective of MY/OUR time. And this post only strengthens my resolve:

    There will be no last minute crafts. There will be no 20 person mani-pedi trips. My two dear friends will be tasked with keeping crazy people* away from me during the night before and morning before.

    *My family is large and insane and loud. That is not who I’m talking about. I’m talking about the person who wants to whine about centerpieces/groom’s sock choice/gluten free vegan restaurant options with me while I’m getting my hair done.

    Thanks for the great advice!

  • kathleen

    oh, thank you THANK you for this. I’m getting married in October and the week before the wedding (as an introvert, and a very sensitive one at that) is easily the thing that has kept me up worried, more than anything else. Here’s what we’ve implemented so far, and I’m going to nab some of the above tips as well:
    – the weekend before the wedding (Thurs-Sunday) we will spend at a b and b in the mountains together
    – my sister is coming early to manage the family for me and work as an intermediary
    – no one is staying with us, and we are staying together in our house, and will work to keep most daily stuff normal (exercise, coffee together, etc)
    – only one wedding event a day- I had a ladies lunch AND the rehearsal dinner scheduled for the same day, but moved the ladies party to Thursday, as I think I’ll only be able to handle one thing a day (even thinking about one party a day for many days gives me palpitations)

    I’ve also made a list of how I want to be that week (generous, funny, giving, “present”) and behaviors/things I need to help be that way (being outside alone, time alone with my fiance, food every 4 hours)….it sounds so silly, but just looking at those lists make me feel better.

  • Jess

    My husband and I are both introverts, although not especially shy, and we totally lucked out with a few things. First, one of my bridesmaids threw me a bachelorette trip to the beach the Thursday and Friday nights before the Sunday wedding. This meant I had to have everything done by Thursday – passing off all the responsibilities I could to other people. Then, I had 2 relaxing days with some of my closest friends, people who totally knew that I was happy to sit around the beach house and read, walk, hot tub, watch movies, etc. Perfect time to recharge. This also meant that my now-husband got to have 2 days alone in our apartment to be as alone as he wanted! So I highly recommend some sort of get-away (especially if you can get someone else to plan it, haha).

    If you can, take time off work. I think I had the whole week off – but give yourself at least a day or two if you can.

    Have some quiet time before the wedding itself. I had an afternoon church wedding (like Vanesa, the ceremony didn’t intimidate me) and I was supposed to attend the morning service. I was a little worried about lots of people approaching me during the service, but I was thankfully left alone for two hours of beautiful mental calm (I also high-tailed it out of there a few minutes before the service ended to avoid chit-chat).

    Plan a shorter reception. If you get drained by large crowds, but still want the party/reception, build in a nice end point for yourself. We only served snacks, drinks & dessert in an afternoon reception, but still had dancing and lots of fun. Most people were gone around dinner time, which made it easy for us to slip out at a decent hour without feeling like we’d missed the fun. Then we still had time at home to decompress (and have wedding night sex), and still get enough sleep before catching a morning flight for our honeymoon.

  • Zeph

    Oh such perfect timing. My wedding is this Sunday and I’m finding that looking at this week ahead is causing me more anxiety than all of the wedding planning combined. There are so many people who assume that I must be feeling one way or the other. Thank you for this reminder that I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way and that feeling like this does not mean that my wedding day is doomed.

    • http://minnesota-chic.com PA

      Good luck with this week! I hope your wedding goes spiffingly – and we get a picture post!

  • http://nickandnoragettingmarried.wordpress.com Annie

    Excellent post. I manage well in social situations, but I don’t like being the center of attention (deflect! deflect!) and they really exhaust me. The lead up to the wedding went well for me because it built slowly. On Wednesday evening, we got into town and had dinner with my parents. The next day we did lots of pre-wedding checks; I was supposed to go out to dinner with my family and several out-of-town guests, but I got overheated when I went for a run and begged off. I thought my parents would be upset because I wasn’t going to go out, but they were totally cool and my mom brought my a peanut butter sandwich instead. Having the night off was key. The next day increased activity (rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, etc) and by the wedding I felt like I was geared up for seeing absolutely everyone. It also helped that my husband and I managed to take a honeymoon after, where we didn’t have to host anyone. Even though you might not be able to avoid lots of people wanting to talk to you, it can help to plan out your schedule so you’re not overwhelmed all at once and are allowed to take breaks as necessary.

    Also, I’m not Jewish but I love the Jewish tradition of letting the bride and groom share private time after the wedding ceremony (like 15 minutes). Why don’t we all do that?

    • KB

      Amen, I LOVE the idea of 15 minutes of alone time with your partner, just to be like “Oh, hey – we’re MARRIED” and just take a minute to not have to go anywhere.

      • kathleen

        our wedding planner insisted that we do this, and has even set up a room at our reception with full plates for us to eat as we have 20 minutes alone together. the plan is to walk directly out of the ceremony, get in the car, and sit in a back room at the restaurant where our reception is to eat for a while as everyone else drives over. This sort of smart-y planning is why I’m pro- wedding planners.

      • http://www.breakingdownthebank.blogspot.com EmilyEF

        We did this, and I’m so glad we did. Our photographer even snapped a few photos of us from a distance, and we look so relaxed! We just had a drink, let it sink in, and talked about our favorite parts of the ceremony.

  • KateM

    I am a major extrovert and that week is just tough. But kind of awesome too. I was able to take off 3 days before our wedding, I had a breakdown right before leaving my apartment but for me that was the worst part of the week, so worried I would forget something important and knowing that when I next was home it would be married.
    I realized I had inadvertently planned some really nice down time. My closest sister and I went to pick up the classic convertible that I had rented for the week an hour and a half away. She and I got to visit and chat and have just us time that with her two little girls we don’t get to do often, and then I drove the car back with the top down. At first I was really bummed that it didn’t get anything but am radio but that quiet time cleared my head and relaxed me like nothing else did.
    The remaining two days I spend with all 6 of my sisters, but everyone was relaxed and it was quiet time, sitting on the porch drinking a few beers, doing the flowers, calming my mom down. I think because it was just our family in my parents house, everyone knew who needed space and was able to take it. We were pretty prepared going into the week, so the small last minute things were just that, small and not a ton of them. I have to say that those days leading up to our wedding are some of the best memories I have. Our wedding was at 3:30 in the afternoon, the morning of, I took off alone, got coffee, ran into my old college professor, went by the reception site and got to see it all set up and empty and then took that time to write my note to my soon to be husband. At noon I went back to the chaos that is 15 people getting ready for a wedding. We also had a full Catholic mass, which means after your vows, there is still 30 mins left of the ceremony, which gave me time to process it. Also the 30min car ride to the reception with just the two of us really helped. No limo with the bridal party, no chauffeur. Just us.

    • KateM

      I forgot. Turn off your phone. People who really need to get in touch with you can, and everyone else will figure it out. Check your messages once a day if you can manage. You don’t realize how much quieter your life is without that damn thing.

  • http://theroadto92912.blogspot.com Molly

    Meg always says that people don’t stop being who they are just because it’s your wedding. I think that often times, brides don’t think this applies to them. Thanks for writing a great how-to guide for relieving wedding week stress, introvert or not.

  • http://www.breakingdownthebank.blogspot.com EmilyEF

    We tried desperately to schedule the whole week before our wedding alone at my family’s cabin. It is 45 minutes away from the wedding location, and we thought it would be the perfect escape. We would be close enough to conduct planning, but far enough to turn off our phones and enjoy the quiet lake.
    Unfortunately, we ended up being crashed in our pre-honeymoon by my cousin and his girlfriend. Then 3 friends asked to throw us parties the week before the wedding. Then my Dad asked to plan “adventures” ranging from a triathlon to a sailing trip. I was so thankful to these wonderful people who wanted to celebrate with us, and wanted to be present for every moment, but it was so overwhelming! Every time I got asked for another guest list or realized I needed to buy ANOTHER cute white dress, I just wanted to cry. Didn’t these people realize I was already planning a HUGE event and didn’t have time for anything else?
    I wish we’d stuck to our original plan of being alone, and I wish even more that I had found a tactful and kind way to thank the people who wanted additional celebrations and told them “no”. It’s so hard to protect your space when you are having a big wedding, and this advice couldn’t be more spot on with how to do that.
    All that said, my now-husband and matron of honor were amazing at protecting what little space I had left. My husband handled ALL of the vendors, my MOH handled all of the address/attire/timing requests that came in and my Mom scheduled a 2 hour nail appointment 2 days before and forced me to go alone after telling the nail tech not to talk to me at all.

    • Jashshea

      Tactful and I are “on a break,” if you want to know the truth. My dad started in on day of brunch of somesuch during our last conversation and I just said “do what you want, I won’t be there.”

      • KB

        Yeah, and even when you DO try to be tactful, people don’t take a hint! I want to print up business cards that say “What part of ‘no, thank you’ were you not clear on?” and just hand them out when people INSIST on doing whatever it is you tactfully declined five minutes before. For example, I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but I am annoyed as all hell when people keep offering me help after I’ve said I don’t need any. I realize that you may think I need help, you’ve made your availability known, I will call on you if I decide I need help. It’s like they’re just WAITING for you to blow up at them and scream, “STOP!”

        • Jashshea

          Yup, tactfully declining to have a bridal shower got me three (3) showers.

          Everyone has been wonderful about offering help and I’ve taken people up on it (my friend helped me address and stuff envelopes this weekend with her 2 month old attached to her chest), but people mysteriously disappear when it’s boring work.

          Example:

          “I’d love it if someone took this example invite to the PO to see how much postage we need”

          Crickets.

          • KB

            Oh, do not get me started on the people who are like “Let me help! How can I help?” ad nauseum and then when you finally say, “Ok, you can help me with ___” they disappear. Or it gets half-done. Or they complain about it the whole time.

          • Jashshea

            I do want to make absolutely clear that friend who helped with invites would help with anything. She’s the bees knees. She doesn’t live in my town, has an almost 2 yo and was PG for most of the planning, otherwise, she would have done everything with/for me.

        • http://prettypicturesbydanielle.tumblr.com/ Danielle

          By necessity I’ve learned some about assertive communication, and one key is to REPEAT yourself. Some people can’t hear you after one “No,” but replying “No thank you,” five times (after each of their nagging, I mean, persistent requests) might do the trick. Keep it simple, no need to explain, just simple repetition.

          It sucks, it’s not fun, but persistence can be key to getting what you want sometimes.

          Right on, fellow (sister?) introverts!

      • http://www.breakingdownthebank.blogspot.com EmilyEF

        THIS! That stupid day after brunch! UGH! I was so exhausted the morning after the wedding. Having to set an alarm and head back to my parents house and be a charming hostess for 4 more hours almost pushed me off the deep end. My best advice for introverted couples (or all couples, really) is to skip that stupid brunch. Let your parents throw it, but don’t show up. Just sleep in and enjoy being married and alone.

        • Kara

          Really? I loved it! Granted, it didn’t start until noon (and we were late), but I sat with a cup of coffee for a while and let people come to me. It was at my sister in law’s house, much smaller (and with family I don’t often get see), and if I wanted to snuggle some of my newest (baby) cousins, that was ok.

          • http://www.breakingdownthebank.blogspot.com EmilyEF

            I suppose something like that would have been okay. A lot of my stress was due to my “perfect hostess” gene that I inherited from my mother, and the fact that our wedding was HUGE (in my opinion). I’m also an only child, so I feel like my parents went a little bananas with all the events, whereas I would have happily eloped if it wouldn’t have broken their hearts.

  • Alicia

    Thank you so much for this post. I am an introvert, and I fear the thought of ever having a wedding because of my reserved nature and dislike of large group situations. I don’t want a first dance, or a cake cutting, or to say vows aloud in front of 100 people, or anything else that will put me on display and photographed like I’m a celebrity in front of paparazzi. So I would love more posts on this topic (or to be pointed to them if they’ve already been written): how to deal with differences in outgoing-ness within a relationship (I’m dating an extrovert right now), how to integrate yourself into an outgoing in-law family when you’re an introvert (or vice versa, for my poor boyfriend who has to try and get to know my extremely shy and awkward mom), how to actually get through your wedding day without hyperventilating from having to talk to every guest at your wedding, or how to help yourself let go of your reservations and embrace the moment during your wedding day.

    • Not Sarah

      I am an outgoing introvert, which means that I tend to find myself drawn to extroverts. I think I’m finally starting to get better at understanding how much personal space I need, which is really key for explaining it to a significant other.

      Something else that has been important is having discussions around how much time we will stay hanging out with his friends, with my friends, how to let the other person know that you’ve had enough and how they can appropriately compromise. That word or phrasing is really, really important. I dated someone who wouldn’t listen when I tried to tell him that I’d had enough social for the evening, which finally resulted in me just leaving since we had thankfully met at the venue. Dating someone who actually listens when you say that (or who actually compromises instead of compromising and then never following through) is really awesome.

      Those things aren’t specifically related to a wedding, but those are things that have helped me. Good luck!

    • Ana

      I’m an introvert marrying an extrovert, and what has worked for me was explaining early in the relationship that I didn’t hate her and I wasn’t being mean when I said I’d had enough or when I decided to stay in. She quickly realized that I was miserable on the nights she sweetly forced me to stay out past my stated limit. She realizes that it is for the good of all for me to have some quiet time, and that me staying home alone while she’s out with friends isn’t a reflection of how much I love her. When I am with my future in-laws (all extroverts like my honey) she helps me be firm with my boundaries but also lets me know when things are just important and I can’t call in “introvert”. For instance, it’s important to her that I go to all her family celebrations and stay the whole time and chat with every body and hold babies, but once the event is over she supports (defends?) me in going home instead of to the after after party at some cousin’s house. Her family will sit around in their party clothes for 2-3 hours AFTER someone’s wedding to talk about how it all went. 8 years in to this, I just put on my PJ’s and say goodnight and no one thinks I’m weird. A big part of this was getting my fiance to understand that introverts aren’t weird, they’re just different. There’s an old article I showed her, I think it’s called “Caring for Your Introvert” or something like that. Maybe that will help explain things to your boyfriend!

  • KB

    I don’t consider myself an introvert, but I do have what I like to call the Only Child Phenomenon – I have a very defined level of social interaction for any given day, and once I am past that point, I’m done. As in, must go home. Like, a gas tank – I have reached the point at which I can smile and make small talk and hang around and I literally cannot bring myself to concentrate any further on being around people. I used to wonder if I had some sort of autistic trait because I get literally tired of talking to people and it’s painful for me to keep socializing after I’ve reached that point.

    This is why I’m SO grateful that you posted this – it’s a reminder that all of us need some alone time, not just to savor the moment, but collect our thoughts and energy on important days. I’ve been worried that my wedding was going to be like my graduation where it was GO-GO-GO every second and everyone makes A Huge Effing Deal About Everything, when all I want to do is sneak away for one hour of alone time in front of the television before gearing back up to talk to everyone all over again…

    • Kashia

      I am exactly like this! Only Child Phenomenon. Why did I not think of that term? If you don’t mind I’d like to use it from now on. It makes so much more sense than trying to explain that I’m only a sort-of introvert and the desire for attention is balanced by the intense need to be alone for long periods of time.

      Luckily even though I didn’t have the right words for it, my husband has figured it out pretty well. He is good at trying to remind me when I forget that I need to plan some alone time into days full of people.

      In the week leading up to the wedding I really didn’t get very much time alone, but the boy made plans so that starting the next day we had several days alone. It made all the difference for me. And now I can look back at the week before the wedding fondly because I didn’t totally burn out by trying to have energy for people the week after as well.

    • Jashshea

      I have a sibling and am like this. I can get used to anything, so I was fine in college always having other people around, but now that I’ve lived alone (and now live w/one other quiet person), I just don’t have the tolerance I used to for constant companionship.

      • KEA1

        I, too, have a (completely fabulous) sibling–not to mention wonderful friends–and I also have a limited range of energy to be around other people. I’m a social, non-shy introvert, and so the breaking point can be pretty dramatic. One minute I’m laughing and carrying on in a conversation, the next minute I’m upstairs in a room with the door closed!

  • http://smittenimmigrant.wordpress.com Pluis

    This is precisely why I, getting married on Friday afternoon, worked until Thursday evening, came home, drank a glass of wine with the transatlantic in-laws and FH and then went to the hair dresser. I think I arrived at my parents’ place at midnight.

    When anyone asked mefor anything I could just say “Sorry, working!”. They may have felt sorry for me not “being able to get time off”, but had some secret guffaws about the success of my get-married-while-sane-plot.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I was supposed to be in trial out of state for the 4 weeks before my wedding. I was so looking forward to employing this strategy thoroughly. I was so disappointed when the judge kicked that trial. I’ll still be working, but I’ll be at a desk with constant phone and e-mail access.

  • http://www.superfantastic.blogs.com Superfantastic

    One of the nicest pieces of advice I’ve gotten was to schedule a date night four days before the wedding, just the two of us, and don’t talk about the wedding at all. Unfortunately, four days before our wedding is Christmas and we’ll have all of our parents staying with us. So I really needed this reminder that it’s less rude to abandon everybody for some alone time than it would be to lose my sh*t in front of everyone after too much togetherness.

    • Emma

      Oh, that is a nice piece of advice. Particularly if your approach to planning is divide and conquer. It works great, but can mean that you sometimes don’t do as much wedding stuff together. I love the idea of setting aside time before the wedding to just be a couple and remember why you’re getting married in the first place.

  • Ana

    YES. My wedding isn’t until next summer but I started to panic last week when I was at a family gathering and my fiance’s aunts and cousins started talking about renting a big lake house for the ENTIRE week before our wedding. On the way home I said something like “I don’t have to see them everyday, right?”.

    My introverted-ness is also the reason why our reception is ending at 11pm when we technically have the venue until 12:30am. Thank goodness my extraverted fiance understood – we’ve been together long enough that she realizes I will become a withdrawn, crabby mess if I have to make small talk for more than 5 hours, wedding day or not. I also gave her permission to hang out at a the lake house with her family AS MANY nights as she wants the week before the wedding – she’ll recharge surrounded by people, and I’ll recharge at home alone on the couch!

  • http://twitter.com/barnswallowkate barnswallowkate

    I’m also an introvert and I got through the pre-wedding week by getting really, really sick. I could barely speak and spent a few days just laying on the sofa. I can’t remember if people were asking questions but if they did, I sure didn’t answer them myself! I think your methods might be better, though…

  • Sarah

    Yoga. I cannot stress this enough. And not in a class at the gym either. Get a DVD, close yourself in the living room, and say you want to concentrate for an hour. Everyone leaves you alone when you’re doing yoga.

    • Emma

      Totally agree, though I would say going to a class can be useful because it becomes an appointment that other people can’t mess with. And it’s not like yoga class is a social time — I actually really like the practice of being quiet and calm in a roomful of people, because that’s the kind of thing I’m not very good at.

      I plan on scheduling several classes the week of my wedding. Bonus: I anticipate our house will be brimming with people that week (both those staying with us and those hanging around to help out), and this will give me a great excuse to get out for a bit. And hey, if the walk home from class takes me several blocks out of the way for some light window shopping or a solo cocktail, no one will ever be the wiser.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I do lots of weight-training at the gym, but I’m planning on switching to pilates DVDs the week before the wedding because 1) less chance of injury, 2) can be done at home, and 3) consistent pilates practice is great for my posture (for photos). Now I have a 4th reason!

      But, Exactly! to Emma, too. If the only way to be quiet/alone is to be out of the house, get out of the house.

  • Copper

    omg, I had not thought of this. I’m definitely bringing this up with the man as part of the should-we-just-elope conversation.

  • KC

    I am an extrovert, but I struggled with the last two days leading up to the wedding–all the questions and people needing me. I appreciate the advice that just because you’re the female, you don’t have all the information. Except that I kindof did. I was pretty controlling and didn’t write everything down well enough. For the first two days of our honeymoon, my main emotion was relief that no one was going to try ask me any more questions.

    One thing that really did help was making a super simple booklet of information to include with bottles of water, etc, for out-of-town guests at the hotel. I had moments of actually being mad that all our friends were coming to my small home town for probably the one and only time in their lives and that I would be busy the whole time. But making the booklet was a way of still hosting them by giving them our recommendations of where to eat and what to do. We have heard since the wedding that someone went to or did every place or thing we suggested! (Except oops on the awesome bbq restaurant that was closed on Sunday when one friend tried to go…)

    This also helped in reminding people about the actual wedding details. I love wedding invites, but I always forget to put the details into my calendar and then I forget the invite at home on the big day. The booklet had all the times, addresses, and parking information, so no one needed to bug us about those things.

    The booklet suggestion doesn’t help for the really close friends and family who are going to be around you no matter what that week. It’s good to have those people around! This article is great as you consider how to cut out from even those people for your much-needed downtime during the wedding week.

    • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva by definition

      I am totally going to use this for my wedding – thank you SO SO much for this idea.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      People read them? Didn’t lose them?

      I’ve got a group of friends and family for whom I could write down everything in 3 languages, in 5 places, and still, it’d be ignored and lost. *deep breath* I am already practicing saying with an annoyed but polite smile, “You can find all that information [in the email I sent August first / on our wedding website, with the URL … / in the spreadsheets I printed for each of you / etc.]”

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      We did a welcome booklet too! For the same reasons…I wanted to host people, but knew my time/energy/ability to be in multiple places at once/etc would be limited. We had a couple tell us they toasted us at the restaurant where we had our first date and then others went to other restaurants and places we recommended. Really fun to hear stories of what out-of-town people did on their own in the wedding town (where we live).

  • Allison

    Exactly! I got married just a couple of weeks ago and the week-of was indeed a whole other thing. Our turning point came the Wednesday before the Saturday wedding. I believe the phrase “an ocean of tasks” was used to describe how we were feeling about wedding planning at that point. A few key things happened that week that helped me through it: (1) I noticed and verbalized to my partner that I would need time alone, and I tried to take it whenever I could, along with getting as much sleep as possible (2) I listened to a co-worker’s advice and took as many vacation days as I could that week, which meant I was on vacation that Wednesday instead of at work, which helped a lot (3) my day of coordinator (the amazing Elizabeth from Lowe House Creative) spoke truth to me about my plans to make 100 luminarias two days before the wedding (i.e. gave me permission to mercilessly scratch this off my to-do list and go enjoy my bachelorette party with one less thing on my mind). In our final meeting, I vocalized everything I was still worried about, and it felt amazing to hand it off to someone who I knew could get it all done. It really does make a difference to recognize that a wedding will pull some of your stress triggers, and actively care for yourself as much as you can… and ask for and accept help! Thanks for the great post!

  • Emma

    Such a good, needed, post. And I’m not even an introvert! My boyfriend and I are the opposite of Vanessa and her husband — I’m the talkative one, and he’s the quiet one.

    But these words of advice really rang true for me, because one of the downsides of often being the lively, talkative person in any crowd is that you can completely exhaust yourself without realizing it. During my normal schedule, all my extroverted, life-of-the-party antics are balanced out with plenty of forced quiet time — working alone in my office or at home, quietly working or watching tv alongside my boyfriend in the evenings, meditating during yoga class, etc. If my wedding week schedule is non-stop social events, I will just naturally be “on” all the time, since that’s what I do when I’m being social. This is a good reminder to build in plenty of quiet alone time, or couple time, when I can turn it off, so that I don’t burn out before the wedding even happens.

  • Airplane Rachel

    Oy, I love this post. After reading it, I realize I have subconsciously been thinking about these things for the past few days.

    Last weekend was a good friend’s bachelorette party, it was a ton of fun in many ways, but I kept thinking to myself how it wouldn’t be right for me. These thoughts ultimately lead to and are summed up in your wonderful post.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom! And pointing out something I/we might never have thought of in advance.

  • Katherine

    I know that this won’t work for everyone, but the best thing that we did to manage this issue was to have my husband in charge. In our case, we made all initial contacts to vendors through his e-mail and responded to them through that address. They were all given his cell phone number and we had them write down on their contact forms that he was to be called first, not me.
    Certainly this won’t work for every couple, and it helped that most people already contact us through him. I do not usually answer my phone at all, or even have it on me, so most of our friends already know to call him if they want a response. This made him the contact person for most people, which I could not be happier with. He used to direct and perform plays and musicals during college, so he’s used to an environment where frenzied last minute changes and decisions need to be made.
    If you have a partner who is happy to be the contact person for you, make that clear to everyone involved from the get go. While the wedding week was still frenzied, it was so much easier because everything came to me through the words of my partner rather than the ring of my phone. He can filter and prioritize much better than my samsung!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Great post! 2 additional pieces of advice:

    A. Work the alone-time out as far in advance as possible. Because travel arrangements had to be made months in advance, Mom started planning wedding-weekend family events months in advance. This is practical, but it means I needed to have my own idea of what I wanted my wedding-weekend schedule to look like as soon as out-of-town family started arranging for travel. [Our wedding is on a Monday, so the wedding-weekend is the few days before.]

    B. Think through the transportation precisely. I don’t have a car. When I realized I’d be dependent on my parents to get me home from Saturday’s rehearsal dinner and Sunday’s family dinner, I saw an opportunity for disaster. [Both dinners involve personalities the opposite of mine, and lots of high-drama people.] So I re-worked the budget (and week-of schedule) to include a car rental. Put more generally, while sticking with your routine is one approach, consider how the wedding events will force you to break with your routine, and what will keep you calm despite your routine.

  • Taylor B

    Thank you so much for this post! I am still 10 months away from my wedding, but even having attended about a bazillion weddings over the last couple of years, I still needed to have these suggestions spelled out for me. They will be so useful as we approach our celebration, and create a plan that will work for both of us (both not-shy introverts, I am realizing after reading some of the comments). Thank you for sharing your experience, and such practical, useful reminders.

    And congratulations!

  • Denise

    Thank you so much for this post! I am an extreme introvert, and will definitely be putting these tips and those of commenters to use when the time comes. Unlike the OP, however, I am NOT at all comfortable being the center of attention, so much so that I initially begged for an elopement.

    For various reasons, we decided it was important to have a wedding-wedding, but I am still dreading the ceremony- particularly walking down the aisle. (I’m considering calling my bridesmaids “Brides’s Wranglers” because they will be charged with making sure I don’t panic and hide in the dressing area.) Anyone have the same problem? How did you get down the aisle (please no advice involving anti-anxiety meds, I want to be fully present when I’m saying my vows!)

  • Spines

    This is definitely the issue that’s been worrying me the most about the wedding…I’m a pretty extreme introvert (case in point, gave myself a stress migraine and had to bail on my fiance’s friend’s birthday last week).

    Whilst being the centre of attention is no problem (another only child here), it’s the socialising and talking to people that really stresses me. I have a wedding this weekend where my fiance is the best man, it’s his friends’ (who I know, but aren’t really friends with) and it’s a cocktail reception, so hours and hours of mingling, it’s my worst nightmare!

    I have already asked my bridesmaids to organise their own accomodation for the night before our wedding, and I’m staying with my family, but the house my parents have rented allows me to have my own room and own bathroom, so the night before I’m planning an early night and some isolation!

    I’m hoping the week beforehand will be ok, no events planned so far, my Hen’s Night is 3 weeks before the wedding. I think I’m just going to try and have as much planning done as possible beforehand and utilise all the help that I can get!

    The last minute phone calls thing stresses me too-I didn’t know people would phone the bride with last minute questions, I would never do that! Ugh, might have to think of a plan to deal with that!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      We did welcome booklets for out-of-town guests and designated a friend from the wedding town to be the point of contact for all questions. (We also included a number and address for a local pharmacy and other useful info to try to head off questions.)

      We listed our numbers as emergency numbers only. Thankfully everyone took the hint. To make this way easier….this info could be emailed out to all attending guests (or all out of town guests or whomever) in advance instead of doing a (time-consuming) booklet thing.

  • Carrie

    This! All of this! There is so much to do and even if you think you have everything under control, it is a lot. I ended up kicking my brother out of my house the night before the wedding over a VERY little politically based comment and it left my mom in tears. Awesome. I had to call him first thing on the morning on my wedding. Luckily my sister-in-law had explained the stress levels that she thought I was was experiencing to him and in the end it was no big thing…

    Take a breath and don’t let anyone stay in your house before the wedding if you can help it…

  • Ceka

    I’m an introvert, too! I can pull it together and be social but I hit the wall after about 48 hours. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, I can do to stop this. Our family and friends arrived about 72 hours before the wedding.

    I planned not to push myself to the social limit. I told my mom that I would need to take a run every morning and a nap every afternoon, and then I actually did it. My best friend picked me up at 7 am the day of the wedding and took me for a quiet walk. My sister talked me off the ledge a few times, as did the nice lady at the airport when I started crying at the gate.

    So plan plenty of introvert time, but know that it’s okay to cry in front of a random stranger at the airport if that’s what you need to do.

  • carissa

    Ohhhh yes. I am pretty introverted too. The week before our wedding, we had about 20 people staying at our house with more around every day to help out (we made all the food- and everything else – ourselves). I loved getting to spend time with our friends and family who are usually flung to all corners of the country/globe. However, I took a long walk by myself early every morning before anyone else was up, which really helped me to center/recharge.
    And I was just fine through all the events we had scheduled. We did a breakfast and canoe trip the morning after the wedding, and it was great to hang out with everyone some more. But after the canoe trip? When there was nothing else planned, and people were supposed to go away, but instead they were hanging out at the house wanting to be fed? That’s when I lost it.

  • Pingback: Good Advice for All Of Us, Not Just Introverts | Manolo for the Brides()

  • Hannah

    The “connect your friends to one another” part was very meaningful to me. I felt like the first section was speaking the biggest concern on my mind, and the rest was the secret of how to deal with it. Thank you!!

  • Anna

    I am so glad I came across this article, thank you for talking the time to speak up for all us shy/not shy intorverts. This too has been a big theme in my relationship with my very social fiance.
    We have a huge wedding planned over 2 days….and there are days I wonder what the hell I am doing. But I love that everyone we love will be there. I just keep telling myself that I may have to let go the idea of having a deep and meaningful conversation with each and every person. Maybe I will just have to enjoy people’s presence in hindsight, through photos and cards. This is ok. As is not staying till the bitter end, which I know my husband to be will want to do.

  • Calla

    I’m a just-married introvert and I’m so glad I found this article months back! I kept it in mind as wedding stuff heated up and it helped a lot. One other thing I found useful was that there were a few just-before-the-wedding projects that I was able to do totally by myself – for example, the way we did the seating chart was by printing out the lists of people and attaching them to a larger poster that we put at the reception’s entrance. Two days before the wedding while everyone else was running around on various errands and the chaos was driving me crazy, I took it upon myself to hunker down at the computer, make the last-minute changes we needed to make, print out the lists of each table, measure them, cut them out, and arrange them on the poster. Precise measuring doesn’t come naturally to me, so this took a good long time, and I still felt productive but also had some time to myself. I highly recommend this so you get some alone time but don’t feel lazy.

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