Article by Gwen Lewis

For brides who hate taking centre stage, a wedding may cause more anxiety than excitement

Not all brides wish to be the centre of attention on their wedding day. For women who are natural introverts, a day filled with constant fawning – not to mention being the centre of all the guests’ eyes – may be too much to handle.

Hosting a traditional wedding while keeping the event low-key may seem like an impossible feat, but for shy brides, a wedding should not be all or nothing. You can have your privacy without sacrificing the perfection of your big day.

But how do you keep the biggest day – the biggest event – of your life low-key? Honestly, for brides who really want to protect their privacy and keep their nerves in check, planning and preparing in advance is the only way to have the day the way you want it… without all the fuss and insanity of holding court as a centrepiece bride.

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Shy and introverted brides need to make sure their partners know that they are, in fact, not comfortable with being the centre of attention on their wedding day. And if parents are paying for the wedding, the bride also needs to make her wishes clear so that the plans don’t get out of hand.

To plan a low-key event and to stay out of the bridal limelight, here are a few things to bear in mind when designing your dream wedding:

1. Limit the guest list

For brides who hate attention, keep the numbers of eyes watching you to a minimum. Think about how many guests are ‘too many’ for you to handle. Is it 50? Or 100? Work on creating a number that makes you feel most comfortable… and fits your budget. Maybe you just want to say your vows in front of immediate family and friends.

Just be sure to keep the guest list consistent so you don’t inadvertently hurt anyone’s feelings.

2. Don’t include a processional

You don’t have to walk down the aisle as a show-stopping statement. Some brides love when all guests stand at attention as they make their way to the front of the ceremony. Others cringe at the very thought of having all those eyes focused on their walk.

You can walk out quietly and without pomp and circumstance with a parent or with your partner. Create an entrance that doesn’t make you feel like fainting.

If you shy away from the spotlight, plan a wedding that fits your personality

3. Host a receiving line

If you hate small talk and the idea of making the rounds, make greeting guests easier by hosting a receiving line after the ceremony or at the reception. You need to greet everyone at your event, but a receiving line helps you anticipate those meet and greets without any awkward moments. Each guest will only have a few minutes to chat in the line, so just be prepared with a few conversational prompts for each guests. Don’t worry about awkwardness, as guests will know the excitement of the day leaves many brides tongue-tied.

4. Handle planning online or via email

Many wedding details with vendors can be scheduled and handled online or via email. Just don’t avoid all face-to-face meetings. You need to have a good working relationship with photographers and other vendors for a great wedding experience. Plus, you can’t taste cake samples online.

Handle the little details online, but grab your partner or a friend or parent for face-to-face meetings.

5. Plan a destination wedding

If you want a memorable wedding day without the crowd of guests, opt for a destination wedding. Then limit the guest list to just close family and friends. You can plan a fun weekend of activities leading up to the wedding and enjoy a meaningful celebration with your nearest and dearest.

For brides who hate taking centre stage, the wedding day may cause more anxiety than excitement. But not all weddings have to be large over-the-top extravaganzas. If you shy away from the spotlight, plan a wedding that fits your personality. Opt for a smaller guest list, a destination wedding or just drop the big traditional walk down the aisle. Create a wedding ceremony that makes you comfortable; your wedding day should be a happy memory… it should not, however, trigger a panic attack.

Gwen Lewis is a writer and make-up artist based in Southern California. Because of her passion for beauty and health, she hopes to help others not just look great but feel great! In her free time she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf. If you want to learn more, follow her on Twitter @GwenEveLewis