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The Shy Bride's Guide to Enjoying Her Wedding Day

Many people enjoy being in the limelight, but you're not one of them.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: KT Merry

Being a bride on her wedding day is a lot like being Jennifer Lawrence at the Oscars. All eyes are on you, people you don't recognize want to talk, and you hear "You're beautiful!" every time you walk by someone. Being looked at as some form of modern-day princess is every girl's dream—except for those who consider it a nightmare. If you're one of the "please stop staring at me" breeds of bride, you're not alone. We'll give you survival tactics for dealing with all the attention and offer tips for stepping away from the limelight and giving yourself a break at your own party.

 

The Emotional Stages of a Wedding Day

 

Cut the guest list.

If you're anxious about making small talk for four hours with 100 guests, plan a wedding that's much more intimate and invite just your nearest and dearest. The fewer invitees, the fewer times someone will ask you, "So where are you and Dan going on your honeymoon?"

 

Don't worry about your vows.

If you're stressed at the altar, it wouldn't work for you to recite your vows from memory. Instead, have your officiant make you "repeat after me." And be sure to keep them short.

 

Hire people you're comfortable with.

We mean your photographer, officiant, wedding planner, and anyone else you'll be in close contact with on your wedding day. Find vendors who make you laugh and put you at ease.

 

Focus on your fiancé.

Okay, so seriously reducing your guest list isn't realistic in your situation. Do this instead: When you're on the altar, block everyone else out but him (and the officiant). Face each other but angle your body towards the officiant so the crowd isn't in your peripheral vision.

 

Choose a short first dance.

If you're self-conscious about everyone watching you take a spin around the dance floor, don't pick a song that runs long. Pick a tune that's brief or have the DJ invite the bridal party to join in sooner rather than later. Apply this idea to the toasts too: Ask one or two people (traditionally, the best man and maid of honor) to make brief toasts so you won't freak out when people are talking about your greatness.

 

Take a first look.

Instead of waiting until the ceremony to see each other for the first time, arrange to see your guy for a few minutes before the proceedings when you're both dressed and ready to go. This "first look," a new concept, is sure to relax you. Also take a few minutes for just the two of you right after the ceremony is done. Taking portraits together will give you a chance to connect with your new husband too, away from the masses.

 

Schedule some alone time.

If crowds overwhelm you and make you want to run away, figure out when and where you can take an occasional "me" break and catch your breath in a quiet place (like an empty side room) during the reception.