You might not imagine someone who leads wedding ceremonies would describe themselves as shy… but for a long time that’s how I thought of myself. I’ve come to realise it’s slightly more complex than that. I’m an introvert and for those who don’t know what that means I’d suggest watching this.
Getting married should be one of the happiest days of your life. But for introverts the pressures and expectations of the Big Day can make it a chore or even a struggle.
Sadly, the wedding ceremony is often at the heart of all the stress. Standing up in front of other people, to speak and be seen, can be stressful and uncomfortable for an introvert. The excess of emotion, the pressure to perform and expose your heart in public can be almost excruciating.
Elopement might be a good choice in this case; but what if avoiding a public gathering is not an option? Perhaps a partner or other loved one needs people to witness this moment as much as you want to avoid it?
Fighting against your nature won’t help. Instead introverts, you need to think carefully about every choice you make and ensure that the day – especially the ceremony! – is in service to your unique relationship with that thing called love.
The Right Place
Standing in front of a group of people can feel exposing for many introverts. It is however, an unavoidable part of a wedding with guests in attendance.
Taking control of the space you are in and how that space is arranged, can give you the confidence and comfort to tackle this challenge with minimal strain.
A Celebrant wedding can take place in any location you choose, so choose a venue close to home, where you feel most comfortable. You might feel more secure and welcome in your own garden or at a local community space, instead of a mainstream wedding venue.
Break free from traditional seating patterns. Instead of setting up chairs like an audience, putting you centre stage as you say your vows, gather your guests in a circle or semi-circle around you. Do away with chairs use benches, camping chairs and picnic blankets instead. Encourage your guests to feel relaxed and informal and you will feel the same.
The Right Time
Give yourself lots of time to plan your wedding. We introverts don’t do well with snap decisions so factor in plenty of space for daydreaming and imagining the solutions to the all decisons and choices you will have to make.
Book your Celebrant early. This will allow for plenty of chat and creativity around the ceremony content, both with the Celebrant and in your own head. The longer you have between booking and Big Day, the more likely you are to dream up the perfect elements for you.
The Right Words
Feelings and emotions are precious and vital to introverts. We are enlived by sharing them with others and when we feel safe and secure with a person we will often share deeply and openly.
The value we place on our feelings means we are often not comfortable sharing them in open spaces. Many intorverts will have been teased, abused, or taken advantage of in the past when making a poor choice of companion. Overcoming the fear that the same risk is being taken, is one of the biggest challenges introverts face on their wedding day.
When your Celebrant is preparing your ceremony script they will make choices and decisions based on everything you have told them in the preceeding meetings, and their own intuition. I encourage my clients to trust me but also involve them in the drafting process to ensure every story told, thought shared, and word spoken feels right and safe for them.
Knowing in advance what you will be saying and doing in front of a group of people can be a huge confidence boost. Never be afraid to be explicit with your Celebrant about what you are and aren’t happy saying/doing and how they can make the process feel safe for you.
The Right Kind Of Romance
Every one of us has a unique relationship to love: how we experience it and how we express it. Many of my introverted couples have a deeply personal language of love that has formed over their time together. Words and actions that seem strange or disconnected to outsiders mean everything to them.
Celebrants like myself start creating ceremonies from a blank page. It is our duty to express the love and connection you share through the language you use with one another.
So don’t be afraid to ask for that favourite movie quote to use in your vows! And be sure to tell your Celebrant if the colours of your handfasting cords match your Hogwarts house! A good Celebrant will incorporate the myriad ways you say ‘I love you’ into your ceremony so that you are saying it right when it matters most.
The Right Start
Introverts tend to be reflective and live in a constant balance of the past, present and future. It can be harder for us to live only ‘in the moment’ because we can not ignore the importance of our whole journey.
I have wed many folks who have met later in life, having followed a twisted path to find one another. Rarely do I come across the fairy tale simplicity of love; my folks have usually wandered in the woods for a little while before reaching me.
The journey deserves acknowledgment and may set a more complex tone for the ceremony than simplistic ideals of ‘true love’. There are many symbolic acts that can honour this: at the start of the wedding ceremony, couples might lay stones on the ground in honour of their past journey, step over a threshold of flowers and leaves to leave the past behind, or simply take some time to consider all that has come before with a moment of silent reflection.
This acknowledgment allows those of us who are deeply connected to our past to move past it and be fully present in the cermony that follows.
The Right Ending
I advise every single one of my wedding folks – introverted or not – to make a clear exit from the ceremony space when it is over. Even if you don’t have a traditional aisle, or if your ceremony and celebration are in the same space, find a way to seperate yourselves from the guests in the immediate aftermath.
This is especially important for introverts! We become overloaded and exhausted after being in groups for a long time, particularly if we have been the focus of attention. You will need a few minutes alone without any pressure or demands from family, friends, or photographers, to relax and absorb all that has happened.
Ceremony changes us. The impact of making intentional vows and promises is powerful and transformative, whether we realise it or not. Taking some time to be quiet, to hold one another, to simply breath and bask in the glow of that transformation will be necessary for your wellbeing and will become a treasured memory of the day.
Introverts are my people and I hope this has given anyone who recognises that quality in themselves the confidence and inspiration to create a wedding as beautiful, deep, complex and joyful as I know you are!
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