Crash plans and mingling: how to host an introvert-friendly wedding shower

Updated Dec 5 2020
Crash plans and mingling: how to host an introvert-friendly wedding shower
Are these your favors? Cat enamel pin
My best friend recently got engaged and I could not be happier for her. I am delighted to be her maid of honor, and to stand with her on her special day.

The bride, other bridesmaid, and I are all introverts and all have general/social anxiety or both. As the maid of honor I want to plan the best wedding shower possible, however I don't want it to be too strenuous on myself, the bride, or the other bridesmaid. Both the other bridesmaid and I shy away from attention. The bride loves to be in the spotlight however gets mentally and physically exhausted by social interaction for extended periods of time.

Can you please help me with some ideas to make the lead up to my friend's wedding as enjoyable and memorable (for all the right reasons) as possible!

– Abby

Introverts and those with anxiety issues usually have an interesting time navigating the various social situations that inevitably take their toll. We've written a few posts with tips on how to make self-care a priority when you're expected to be "on" for extended periods of time, like at your wedding. Here are some ways to ease yourself and your friends into a wedding shower situation without undue stress…

Keep the guest list small

This may not be feasible depending on the situation, but if you're able, try to skim the guest list down to the bare bones to keep the affair more intimate and less anxiety-prone. This is especially okay to do if you know there will be multiple showers thrown by various friends, family, or coworkers.

Designate a separate "host"

Even if you're doing all the behind-the-scenes work of setting up the party, you can feel free to delegate the MCing/hosting to someone with more social stamina. The herding of cats, announcing games, and greeting can all be done by someone else, leaving your energy spent in setting up, tearing down, and other non-interaction tasks. Oh, and enjoying yourself, too!

Create separate areas for mingling

If you can't avoid a large and overwhelming guest list, consider creating smaller spaces for mingling and entertaining. Perhaps there's a game area, a food area, a guest book area… any setup where the guests are broken up into more intimate areas so you can socialize in smaller groups.

Have a crash plan

Create a private or semi-private place for down time. A coat room, a baby changing area, a patio, a darkened corner… any place that can serve as a recharge area. Let your friends know that this area exists for a place to retreat at any point during the party.

Keep it short!

This one's more feasible than it seems since, as the host, you get to decide the length of the party. Feel free to keep it short, an hour or two even, and put that on the invitation itself. Just make sure to keep things moving (like presents, games, eating, or whatever you're planning) so that nobody feels rushed out without getting the full party experience.

Are YOU an introvert planning a wedding party? What tips do you have?

  1. Skipping the wedding shower is a possibility, if it's not important to the bride. I didn't have one and I didn't miss it at all. If she wants one, you could host it at a restaurant or coffee/tea house so there's automatically a 1-2 hour time limit, and the guest list is naturally smaller.

    My bachelorette party was really low key and wonderful, only 8 ladies total. My friend got us tiaras, but we skipped the rest of the attention grabbing decorations. We all met for manicures then got dinner and walked to a fancy chocolate place for dessert and cocktails. It took about 4 hours total and I felt loved without feeling overwhelmed.

  2. I don't consider myself an introvert by any means but I do need "me" time. The tip I like most if having a space to go when feeling overwhelmed. I did not do this for my wedding and by about 7PM the night of the wedding I was ready to murder people! Not because they were doing anything to anger me, but just because I had not had any time to myself since the Wednesday evening prior to the Saturday wedding. I wish I'd set aside an area to go and just breathe by myself for 10 minutes here and there. I tried using a bathroom stall (classy, right?) but as soon as someone else came in and saw my dress under the door they started talking to me!

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