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 — one of us is on the spectrum, one of us has general/social anxiety, and one of us is 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!
Introverts and those with anxiety issues usually have an interesting time navigating the various social situations that inevitably take their toll — especially for folks who identify as neurodivergent! 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…
Lesson #1 for an introvert wedding shower: 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.
Lesson #2 for an introvert wedding shower: 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!
Lesson #3 for an introvert wedding shower: 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.
Lesson #4 for an introvert wedding shower: Have a quiet room!
Create a private or semi-private place for downtime. A coat room, a baby changing area, a patio, a darkened corner… any place that can serve as a quiet room / recharge area. Let your friends know that this area exists for a place to retreat at any point during the party. This is also really important if you have folks who are neurodivergent!
Lesson #5 for an introvert wedding shower: 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?