wed­ding cer­e­monies for shy cou­ples

My Wedding - - VINTAGE BRIDAL TRENDS -

Reg­istry Of­fice Wed­ding

Why not forgo a wed­ding cer­e­mony al­to­gether? Why should the first thing you do as a mar­ried cou­ple be some­thing that makes one or both of you un­com­fort­able? Just get mar­ried at the Reg­istry of­fice. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear a pretty dress or have a friend as a wit­ness or that you miss out on a fun cel­e­bra­tion. Many peo­ple who have reg­istry of­fice wed­dings throw a party af­ter­ward for fam­ily and friends. You sign some pa­per­work, say some sim­ple vows, and you’re done. No speak­ing in front of peo­ple. No pres­sure. Wouldn’t this be the best op­tion? Ex­am­ine care­fully your rea­sons for want­ing a tra­di­tional wed­ding cer­e­mony – are you go­ing through with one be­cause you feel it’s what you’re sup­posed to do, or to please a fam­ily mem­ber? It might be time to talk to the peo­ple con­cerned and put for­ward what you re­ally want.

Trust­ing Your Cel­e­brant

The wed­ding cer­e­mony it­self is usu­ally the most ter­ri­fy­ing mo­ment for shy cou­ples. Bar­ing your soul in front of a room full of peo­ple – some of whom you may never have met or are still try­ing to im­press – can be ut­terly ter­ri­fy­ing. It helps tremen­dously to choose a cel­e­brant you feel com­fort­able with. Your cel­e­brant should be able to make you feel at ease at the al­tar and take some of the pres­sure off you. If your cel­e­brant has an out­ra­geous per­son­al­ity, a dy­namic stage pres­ence or a unique flair, that’s even bet­ter. They will ab­sorb the at­ten­tion and revel in it, cre­at­ing a cer­e­mony that fo­cuses on the event it­self, not you.

Prune the Guest List

One of the best ways to cut down on your anx­i­ety is to make sure only the peo­ple you WANT at your wed­ding ac­tu­ally at­tend. This might mean hav­ing a coura­geous con­ver­sa­tion with your fi­ancé, your fam­ily or some of your friends about in­vites. Ruth­lessly cut peo­ple you don’t know or who make you feel un­com­fort­able. For ev­ery per­son on the list, ask your­self if you’re OK with him or her hear­ing your in­ti­mate cer­e­mony. If any­one asks why they haven’t got an in­vite, blame it on fi­nances and ex­plain you’re keep­ing the wed­ding very small. I’m not say­ing they’ll un­der­stand, but you can try.

Al­ter­na­tives to Vows

Time to Your­self

If you’re shy, noth­ing sounds worse than stand­ing up in front of a crowd of peo­ple and say­ing your wed­ding vows. For many shy brides and grooms, their loathing of talk­ing in front of oth­ers can mar what should be a happy day. Here are a few ideas to help!

One shy cou­ple, ner­vous about speak­ing their per­sonal vows in front of ev­ery­one, took my ad­vice and wrote them down on pa­per, seal­ing them in en­velopes to be ex­changed and read in pri­vate later. This is a great idea - it gives you a beau­ti­ful, pri­vate mo­ment to en­joy later in the day, and avoids the main is­sue many shy peo­ple have with the cer­e­mony - hav­ing nerves ruin the most per­sonal mo­ment. There’s no such thing as the “right” way to con­duct a wed­ding cer­e­mony. As long as the le­gal bits are ad­hered to, you can come up with any man­ner of creative ideas to keep your cer­e­mony stress-free. Af­ter the cer­e­mony, sched­ule in time - even if it’s only 10-15 min­utes - for the two of you to be to­gether ... alone! En­joy a walk through the gar­den or find a quiet cor­ner to sit down. Laugh, smile, cry - just en­joy each other’s com­pany. You could even de­velop a se­cret sig­nal with your part­ner - like a tap on the arm or a “T” for “Time Out”. When ei­ther of you gives the sig­nal, it’s time for the two of you to run off to­gether for a few mo­ments of alone time. You’ll come back from th­ese lit­tle es­capes feel­ing re­freshed and ready to brave the crowds again. Th­ese pre­cious mo­ments - quiet, away from the chaos - will help to an­chor you and keep you calm through­out the day.

Your wed­ding cer­e­mony should re­flect your per­son­al­i­ties and com­fort lev­els – and should be con­ducted in a way that makes you feel com­fort­able and re­spected. Talk to your cel­e­brant about ideas for tak­ing the stress out of your cer­e­mony.

St­eff Moore is an Auck­land-based mar­riage cel­e­brant spe­cial­is­ing in al­ter­na­tive wed­ding cer­e­monies. Visit her blog at http://goth­icwed­ding­plan­ner.com for a feast of weird and won­der­ful wed­ding in­spi­ra­tion. Con­tact her on st­eff@goth­icwed­ding­plan­ner.com.

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