I have recently realised that I am an introvert. This is something which people often disagree with, as being an introvert is regularly confused with being shy or socially awkward. It is a complex personality trait which can be misunderstood.
I am not shy; I can be pretty loud and love to chat. I have a relatively busy social life, a client facing job, love meeting new people and hosting parties. However, all these activities leave me completely drained of energy and I need time by myself to re-charge. My ability to fall asleep in social situations is a running joke amongst my friends, I hit a wall and my body just shuts down.
Signs of introversion include enjoying and needing time alone, being most creative when you have time to think and a craving for deeper, passionate conversations. Whilst I love hosting and attending parties, I find myself taking a few moments to recharge, often by petting the family dog! My husband is the complete opposite, the ultimate extrovert who thrives off others and leaves events charged and full of energy.
Introversion vs. extroversion is something I have only recently understood. Our creativity and energy levels stem from completely different sources; we process information differently and think differently. We even enjoy different types of movies and books.
This knowledge has helped improve our relationship and I realised that my husband and I already took steps to adjust our behaviours over the years. As an example, my husband recently told me that he always makes sure to keep the day after a busy event free, knowing I will be drained and will need time to recharge; whilst I force myself to go to events, even if I would rather be snuggled on the sofa watching a movie, to make sure he doesn’t get bored.
Where you sit on the introversion and extroversion spectrum affects your daily life, so it is undoubtedly going to impact the wedding planning process and the day itself.
I can get lost in Pinterest or Instagram for hours. I go down rabbit holes and ideas flow as I get lost in another world. However my husband gets ideas from discussion and interaction.
When we first got engaged I would use my evenings and breaks at work, to delve into this online wedding world. My styling ideas evolved as I realised what images I was drawn to and the “secret garden” theme emerged. Once I had my ideas for the styling I showed my fiancé a limited selection of images which represented my vision of the day. Luckily he was fully on board with the theme and from there we talked through his ideas. I made sure we went to interactive events such as wedding fairs, so he could speak with wedding vendors and see different ideas in reality.
He came up with some of my favourite elements of the wedding including the design of the cake and the idea of storing our favours in locked boxes, with a guest from each table holding the key the box on their place card.
Think about when and how you and your fiancé are most creative and use these methods during wedding planning.
Our wedding day
I knew that our wedding day would be extremely draining for me. I was worried that I would be exhausted before the evening even kicked off. I tend to take in everything around me and knew it would be sensory overload. I was also expecting a lot of small talk and conversations with family and friends that I didn’t see very often.
I took steps to try to limit how tired I would feel. I set aside time in the week before the wedding to have quality time on my own. Then whilst we were getting ready on the day I played a relaxing playlist of songs and tried to keep the atmosphere calm. I choose a small bridal party and we got ready at my parents house, so I was not overwhelmed with people early in the day.
After the wedding breakfast I spent about 10 minutes in our room alone, retouching my make-up and recharging. Although it was a short period of time in the scale of the day, it helped me feel refreshed and ready for the first dance and cutting of the cake. I also took time out between talking to guests and slipped away from the action for short periods of time.
Plan an introvert friendly day
It is important to remember that it is your day and you can plan it to be as comfortable as possible for you. Here are some tips on planning an introvert friendly day:
- Arrange a small or relaxed wedding, with your closest family and friends.
- Avoid some of the bride focussed traditions, such as the bouquet toss.
- Invest in a performer, a photo booth or party games for guests, use entertainment to focus their attention elsewhere.
- You could include your bridal party in your first dance, so it is not just you and your new husband.
- Forgo the traditional top table as it can feel like you are on display.
- Arrange for your bridesmaids to walk down the aisle first, so all eyes will not be on you.
- Make sure there is somewhere for you to go to be alone throughout the day and build this into the timeline of the day.
- It may be helpful to go for a walk on the wedding morning, or to have your hair and make-up done away from everyone.
- Instruct a wedding planner or a day of co-ordinator, so they can field queries from vendors and guests.
- Book a photographer and/or videographer with a reportage style, so you are not involved in hours of posed shoots.
- Avoid the receiving line, this forces you into small talk with every guest, rather than joining groups who are already in conversation.
As an introvert weddings and all the related events can be a bit overwhelming. Ensure you take steps to recognise this and plan accordingly. Take time out regularly and mention it to your spouse, friends or family if it is worrying you. They love you for who you are and will want to help you feel as confident as possible on your big day. It is important to realise that the day isn’t actually all about you; it is about you and your other half getting married and enjoying the day with all your guests.