Introverts, with their quiet personalities, shy away from the spotlight. And, in most aspects of their life, introverts can pick and choose how to handle their social world. The exception for many introverts, however, is their wedding day.  Tradition has thrust most women into a dream of the big, bustling wedding, complete with a packed guest list, the perfect dress…and all eyes positioned on the bride.

But this dream isn’t every woman’s fairytale. Especially if you hate attention—or, that is, being the center of attention. If the large audience makes you want to crawl in a corner, don’t despair. Instead, plan an introvert-friendly wedding. And begin your toned-down preparations once the engagement ring slips on your finger.

For brides whose personality is more wallflower than social butterfly, get ready to plan your day your way with…. The Quiet Bride’s Guide to Wedding Planning:

Grab a friend…or your parents.

If your mom and dad are helping to pay for the wedding, you have a built-in team for vendor meetings. One-on-one meetings with new people aren’t always the easiest for introverts…so don’t feel like you need to dive into planning all alone. Having a friend or a parent there as a buffer, though, will make the intros easier and the meeting feel not so awkward. While you still need to make some of the decisions, a support team helps ease you into a new social situation.

E-Plan to narrow down choices.

Use the internet to explore wedding apps to ease planning efforts or surf online to research flower arrangements, cake designs, wedding dresses and more. Arm yourself in advance with what you want before meeting with vendors or heading out to try on dresses. Planning ahead saves time and helps you feel a little more in control, especially in situations that may be overwhelming. Of course, knowing what you want also makes those vendor meetings much less time consuming.

Nix the embarrassing traditions.

One of the most frustrating aspects of weddings are the embarrassing traditions like the garter toss. While some brides may find this to be a fun moment to be silly and take the spotlight, introverts may be horrified at the idea of exposing a leg in front of their guests. Don’t feel pressured to engage in any traditions that make you feel uncomfortable, objectified or flat out mortified. Some brides delete the bouquet toss and the garter toss. Keep the traditions you love, but drop any that you just cannot stand.

Exchange traditional vows.

Writing your own wedding vows adds a sentimental and symbolic touch to the ceremony. Unfortunately, these handwritten sentiments may also leave the bride and groom flustered, shaking or too nervous for words. If you’re comfortable scripting your own vows—and saying them in front of guests—then write away. However, if the personal touch flusters you to the point of feeling tongue tied, then just exchange the traditional vows from the officiant. You also may choose to write a personal letter or vows and share them privately—they don’t necessarily have to be recited in front of guests.

Schedule some solitude.

The crowd of guests may seem overwhelming—if you opt to have a large wedding. Some introverted brides prefer to cut the guest list to manageable numbers, but others still want the big audience. Give yourself time throughout the day to schedule some solo moments…even if it’s just a brief reprieve. Plan to have a room reserved at the reception where you can steal away for a moment during times of social stress. Keep breaks brief, but allow time to breathe and relax.

Weddings may be the event of a lifetime for many couples. However, for those with a quieter demeanor and an introverted personality, the wedding day may seem like an overwhelming event filled with social expectations, nonstop chatter and embarrassing traditions. Create your own fairytale day by cutting out any traditions that make you uncomfortable, taking breaks throughout the day and taking a friend or parent to meetings with vendors.  Your day can be—and will be!— a quieter version of perfection.

Many thanks to Shannon Lochwood for this article.

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