You may remember our post from a few months ago about how to handle being an introverted bride, but what if you’re the super-outgoing maid of honor or friend of the bride and you just want to help her celebrate in the BESTWAYEVER!?!?!?!??!
Well, as much as we know your heart is in the right place for wanting to throw her a huge bridal shower and an extravagant bachelorette party, that might not be the best approach for your friend. As an introverted bride, your friend is already likely in full-anxiety mode over the many different events at which she’s going to need to be “on.” If you’re an extrovert, it’s hard to relate to this, but just take a moment to imagine whatever is most stressful and draining to you and that is every single typical wedding event she’s about to have in the coming months.
So, what do you do? Here are some fab tips on how to help your friend navigate these events in a way that will actually be enjoyable to her!
There are two main hurdles for the shower as an introverted bride. The first is the expectation to mingle among the guests throughout and the second is sitting in front of all the guests opening gifts for an hour or more. These are two very draining experiences for the bride. So, how, as her maid-of-honor, or bridesmaid do you help her?
First, think carefully about how the shower will be structured and try to plan some downtime for her. For example, if you choose to play games, perhaps letting the bride sit back while the “toilet paper wedding gowns” are constructed and letting her simply award the prizes at the end. If she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed after having mingled for the first hour, this will be a good opportunity for her to enjoy some of the food, have a glass of champagne and decompress a bit without actually leaving the party.
Second, why not relieve her of the whole opening-presents-in-front-of-all-the-guests part? Host an “open gift” shower where guests are politely asked to bring an unwrapped gift. When they arrive, there should be a clear space (usually a couple of large tables) for the guests to leave their gifts for the couple. This will actually allow the bride to mingle with her guests at a more relaxed pace since the majority of the event won’t be spent with everyone watching her open presents. And as an added bonus, she won’t have all eyes on her when she opens up the present full of wedding-night lingerie. (I think that everyone wins in that situation, not just the introverts!)
The Bachelorette Party:
The same concerns tend to pop up for the introverted bride, regardless of the event and the bachelorette party is no exception. Being the center of attention can be difficult and so can having a huge crowd of people around that you’re expected to get crazy with all night (or all weekend). How to help your girl get through it?
Consider if the standard wild & crazy night on the town is what she would want to do! Is your introverted bride the kind who might not actually enjoy being decked out in a plastic tiara, fake veil, feather boa, etc. while being paraded through town from bar to bar? Not every bride is super excited about that part of wedding planning, believe it or not.
Maybe your friend would enjoy a quiet experience with her best ladies, for example a day at a spa, enjoying pedicures, snacks and pampering by the pool or hot tub. Or, if she IS the kind to get into the wild & crazy, but wants a more intimate setting, consider bringing the party to a more familiar, comfortable location like a friend’s place.
The Big Day:
The wedding day itself could be causing your introverted friend quite a bit of anxiety in anticipation of all that is expected of her, so the best thing you can do is help her get the quiet, downtime that she needs. Don’t be offended if she wants to have her hair & make-up done separately from the bridal party. Even though you want to party with her, don’t forget to give her space and time with her new spouse. And if you see her getting stressed or near-meltdown, step in and help her out of that situation. Whether it’s an exuberant uncle that you ask to dance to help her end the conversation or a sorority sister who insists she and the bride re-create their Greek Week flash mob dance that you need to distract with a cocktail, the best thing you can do for the bride is help her enjoy herself.
So, to sum up- just remember that not everyone loves being the center of attention and becoming a bride won’t magically change that about an introverted person. So, if you’ve got a friend who’s feeling a bit of anxiety for her upcoming nuptials, just remember that and do your best to help her through it and make it as enjoyable for her as you can. She’ll be incredibly grateful, trust me.