We are introverts – how should we plan our ceremony?

‘We want to get married, but we are introverts and the idea of standing up in front of everyone gives us the screaming heeby-jeebies.’
You are not the first ones to tell me this, and there are ways to work with who you are and what you feel most comfortable with. I love being creative, and making this a day that works for you, so here are some ideas:
• Choose the two, or ten, people or whatever number feels good to you of your family/friends, to be present while you say your vows to each other, and sign your documents, and then you have any other guests show up later for a huge celebration.
• Have a brief ceremony without walking in and out, or you walk in with your families, or each other, or you are already there when we begin the ceremony, to reduce the stress.
• Have the ceremony in a garden, or your home, or somewhere else you feel safe and familiar. I have taken a wedding in the hills, where the couple felt most comfortable before they went on for a special meal.
• Have vows that are meaningful to you and keep them short and real. These can be repeated after me or read off a card.
• Have a ‘moment’ after the ceremony to yourselves, just gives you some time before everyone comes and celebrates with you, so you can breathe and hug and be just you two. Some of my brides and grooms have gone inside and grabbed a glass of water and had a wee tear, or just a bit of time, then come out for photos.
• Reduce the stress of the photos by having clear guidelines with the photographer, and have the photos taken that are meaningful for you.
• Have an unplugged ceremony. No photos or cell phones on, and no tweeting, Instagram’s and uploading to any social media by your guests without your consent. This way your guests understand that it is a quiet intimate and sincere moment for you.
Breathe. Just breathe. Deep and slow. Lots.
If you’re thinking about having a ‘surprise’ wedding be careful. Parents often feel a bit left out – and if they get pre-warned it is a big secret for them to keep. Surprises aren’t always stress free.
If you don’t wish to write your own vows and have a personal touch to the wedding, a Registry wedding with as few as just 2 witnesses may do the trick.