How to Cope with Stage Fright on Your Wedding Day

Afraid you'll have anxiety about being the center of attention? Learn how to combat it.

How to Cope with Stage Fright on Your Wedding Day

Photo: Kimberly Jarman Photography

While your wedding day can be one of the most spectacular events of your life, for many, it’s downright nerve-wracking. Some brides and grooms are focused on planning and decision-making, while others may be dreading being the center of attention. If you’re not one for being in the spotlight, the idea of all your guests’ eyes on you as you walk down the aisle, say your vows, and dance may feel uncomfortable. Everyone deserves to be excited for their big day, and if you know you’ll experience “stage fright,” we have some tips and tricks to bring down your anxiety level during your event and help you to enjoy the celebration of your nuptials.

Cut your guest list. Often, the smaller the room, the more comfortable you will feel. If you find yourself questioning whether or not certain people should be invited, don’t be afraid to make cuts. There are so many essential people in your life, you don’t need to stress out about your 3rd cousin that you haven’t seen in years.

Flank yourself. Some feel that the most nerve-wracking part of the day is the initial walk down the aisle – if this is you, create a human bubble! These days, it is becoming more popular to have both parents accompany you through your ceremony space. If that isn’t an option, selecting a sibling, uncle, aunt, grandparent, or even your MOH to stroll with you is a sweet and sentimental way to help ease the anxiety.

Make vows short and sweet. If you plan on writing your own vows, have a conversation with your future spouse about an approximate word count, and keep that number low. Vows don’t have to be penned in the style of a novel to have meaning; shorter, poetic words let your sweetheart know what your promises are while avoiding being overwhelming for you, your beloved, or anyone else.

Ditch the grand entrance. The idea of a grand entrance at the reception has been made incredibly popular in recent years, but they are by no means mandatory. It’s very easy to do without the theatrics of a modern entrance; you can simply be announced and clapped for without music or frills. You can enter with the bridal party or your parents, if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Make your first dance simple. Instead of trying to choreograph a complicated number, keep all of your moves minimalistic. You can simply sway to your selected song while having a sweet chat with your new spouse right there on the dance floor. Having the extra pressure of a full-on performance would only serve as harmful to your overall stress level, so focus on one another and the meaningful song instead.

Have a head table instead of a sweetheart table. Instead of isolating you and your love at a table for two, surround yourself with your bridal party and close family members. Having loved ones near to you takes the focus off of just you two and disperses it: plus, sitting next to your closest friends will prompt you to chat, laugh, and feel at peace.

Thank your friends and family together. If you desire making a speech to thank attendees for celebrating with you, do so together. Just a simple, “we thank you so much for taking the time to be with us on our special day” will do! You will be showing your gratitude through food, drink, dancing, and actual thank-you cards after the fact!

Be mindful of the love and support around you. Remind yourself throughout the day that the eyes on you are all from those who care about you and support you the most. While being the star of the show can be incredibly intimidating, the reason you have an “audience” is because your guests are happy for you both and want to see you succeed. Throw the performance element out the window as much as possible – enjoy your day with all your heart – because in the end, it’s all about L-O-V-E.

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Opening photo by Kimberly Jarman Photography