Many girls love the attention and adoration that comes along with being a bride. You hear brides saying phrases like, “This is MY day,” or better yet, “This is supposed to be the best YEAR of my LIFE!” I’m only slightly exaggerating here. And while obviously every woman wants her wedding day to be perfect and memorable, not every girl thrives as the center of attention. Between the daily questions like, “How’s the wedding planning coming?” to the endless justifications for parties and showers plus the all-eyes-on-you “big day” itself, there is a panic attack that lies waiting to spring on the wallflowers-at-heart.
As someone who has always done well by flying below the radar, I was thrilled when I managed to create a wedding day that promises to shirk some of that attention from myself and onto the rest of the family. I did this by keeping things small (family and closest friends only), and by having a reception that showcases talents of our guests attending (sort of like a court entertaining the king and queen). I had a rather rude awakening when I realized, however, that the “big day” isn’t the only special day I will have to get through.
Before you determine that I am just cynical, you may not relate to this feeling, so let me try to describe an everyday scenario for a bride-to-be like me:
I’m sitting in the break-room with the girls in the office, enjoying some cookies and milk for a co-worker’s birthday, and suddenly the conversation shifts from my pregnant, birthday-having friend to me. Girls are commenting on my ring and asking about the proposal story. They’re asking about when and where the wedding will be and what my colors are. I politely respond to their inquiries of course while desperately trying to divert-DIVERT-DIVERT, but the questions persist. The room goes dark except for the bright fluorescent light flickering above our table and the girls that were across the table from me just a moment ago are now inches away from me, practically breathing on me. I start getting squirmy, losing eye-contact with my peers as I’m looking for the closest exit—and when did it get so hot in here? Again, I’m only slightly exaggerating here.
If you do relate this feeling, just know—IT IS NORMAL. I know because many of the important women in my life have related these very same sentiments to me, much to my surprise! I felt like a jerk when I tried to reject offers for showers and dinner parties. After I spoke to some very sound women who have been through these same twisted emotions, I was comforted to know that learning to accept the expression of love and happiness of those around you is just part of the package. The people who love you want to celebrate with you—even if they won’t be at the wedding. Allowing others to shower you with love, gifts and celebration isn’t as narcissistic as it sounds.
Weddings for Wallflowers
So for all the introverts, wallflowers or nervous Nellies out there, here is my best advice:
- Don’t feel obligated to throw a party for yourself. Chances are someone else will want to do that for you–and you should let them!
- If bridal showers seem too overwhelming, have a couples’ shower instead.
- If a typical bachelorette party just isn’t your style, try having brunch or getting a private karaoke room for a more low-key celebration.
- If you don’t like surprises—make it known and BE FIRM about it.
- Let people dote on you however they choose. In doing so, you will find it easier to focus on them and take some of that pressure off of yourself.
Are you an introvert? Can you relate to this feeling?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.