What to Do if You're Nervous About Being the Center of Attention at Your Wedding

Find out how to move forward when "all eyes on me" isn't for you.

For some people, being the center of attention is half the fun of having a wedding, but for many others it is a nightmare.

Photo: Heather Kincaid

For some people, being the center of attention is half the fun of having a wedding, but for many others it is a nightmare. If you have social anxiety or are simply very shy, you may dread the idea of a wedding with all eyes on you – even if you’re excited to marry your beloved. The obvious solution would be to elope or have a very small guest list with only your closest friends and family in attendance. However, that’s not always a practical solution, especially if your partner always dreamed of having a large celebration and you don’t want to take that away from them.

Luckily, there are other ways to help prevent feelings of stage fright on your wedding day. Below are suggestions for both the ceremony and reception to limit the times you are the center of attention on your big day. 

when you're afraid of being the center of attention at your wedding

Photo by Lauren Gabrielle Photography; Floral Design by HeatherLily; Planning & Design by A Charming Fête; From Real Wedding: NFL Player Mitchell Schwartz's Luxe Wedding at a Historical Venue

What to Do at the Ceremony: 

Keep it short and sweet.

As long as there are no religious restrictions dictating a longer service, you can make sure your ceremony is as short as you’d like so you won’t have to worry about everyone looking at you the whole time. After a quick vow exchange, you can get to the party surrounded by loved ones!

Let the officiant do the talking.

Vows can be read by you, said in a “repeat after me” format, or read by the officiant with you responding “I do” at the appropriate time. The latter will help with stage fright because you won’t have to say much or worry about public speaking.

Have both parents escort you.

If you don’t want to skip walking down on the aisle all together, having both parents (or two important people in your life) on either side can almost act as a shield from your guests.

What to Do at the Reception: 

No grand entrance.

Instead of the MC making an announcement for a grand entrance, you your new spouse can quietly join your attendees at cocktail hour and take your seats together. 

Sit among guests.

A sweetheart table is a popular trend where the bride and groom sit at a table separately from their loved ones, but it really narrows the focus of your guests. A head table can help keep you from feeling too focused on, as there are more people seated with the newlyweds; however, if you still feel too on display, there are no rules saying you can’t simply sit at a regular table with your family. 

Skip the traditions.

Cake cutting, bouquet tossing, even the first dance – if the thought of everyone watching you take part in these customs makes you too nervous, it’s okay to not do them! If your sweetheart really wants a first dance, choose a short song and don’t worry about planning special choreography. 

For more ideas, find out why you should consider a destination wedding and get ideas on how to get a groom excited for wedding planning