09/05/2017 09:50 BST | Updated 09/05/2017 09:50 BST

Wedding Planning For Introverts

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Planning a wedding when you're a classic introvert is a bit terrifying. All those people, all day, wanting to chat to you... Even if they're your favourite people, your introverted nature probably means you're wondering just when you might get five minutes to yourself for a breather.

Carl Jung, the psychiatrist who created the concept of introverts and extraverts defines introversion as "being characterised by an inward flowing of personal energy". Introverts are "usually happy alone with a rich imagination and they prefer reflection to action".

It's not always black and white either. I'm an outgoing introvert. I love to be social and to party and hang out with friends, but I need to retreat to peace and quiet and recharge my batteries.

This was true of my wedding day to some extent. I loved every minute of it and I loved being with all of my favourite people at once but there were things I'd probably do differently now, if I had to do it all again.

Here are some of my suggestions for wedding day survival if you're a bit or a lot of an introvert. They'd probably work really well too if you're planning a wedding with a chronic illness too. Use your spoons wisely.

1) Pick a venue with lots of space

If people are able to spread out, everything will feel a lot more relaxed. If your venue is smaller you'll find it harder to move from one place to the next without being stopped every few minutes for a chat.

Imagine needing the loo and taking 20 minutes to get there because you need to make conversation with the 15 people you have to squeeze past!

If your venue has on site accommodation you could even disappear for a 15 minute disco nap.

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2) Think carefully about timings

If you know your energy levels won't last the day, book a late ceremony.  Or make your drinks reception a bit shorter (but not too short, don't forget your wedding photographer needs enough time to do their thing!).  Or cut some stuff that you don't need / want.

Your wedding is all about you and you don't need to have a whole load of wedding traditions just for the sake of having them.  Work out what's important to you.

Check out this post about wedding day timings for more information about how much time to allow for each section of the day.

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3) Limit the busy

If the thought of 20 different people popping into say hi while you're getting ready fills you with dread, then aim to get ready with as few people as possible in a different location to the majority of your guests.

Maybe limit it to one or two people who can help you and arrange for everyone else to either arrive just before you leave or to meet you at the ceremony venue.

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4) Get planning / coordination help

Whether it's a full wedding planning service, on the day coordination or even a super organised friend with a clipboard, having someone to take the lead on the day so you can relax and enjoy it will be one of the best things you can do to make sure your wedding day is stress free.

5)  Keep it small

Smaller guest numbers mean fewer people that you have to work around. 

If you do want a big wedding consider having a receiving line.  I know they're old fashioned and traditional but they really are a great way of making sure you've briefly said hi to everyone, so you can enjoy the party without worrying.  Set the line up straight after the ceremony and that way it's done.  15 minutes of mild discomfort, rather than a whole day of worrying about whether you have socialised with everyone enough sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

Or you could just elope...

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 6) Collude with your wedding photographer 

What's that?  You want me to leave you alone for 15 minutes at the end of our portrait session? Ohhhhh you also want me to grab you again a bit later in the day for some more pictures and then leave you on your own for another 10 minutes?  Done!

If you're an introvert it's a great idea to allow additional time for your wedding pictures as it's one of the most relaxed part of the day, where you get to be with the fewest people.  You get to spend some time alone together and I get to spend extra time creating your wedding portraits. Everyone wins.

I'd recommend a minimum of 45 minutes and longer if you can manage it.

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7) Don't worry about your guests

Seriously, don't.  They'll chat to each other, chat to new people, eat drink and be merry whether you're right there with them or in another part of the venue.   You're not there to entertain them, they're there to celebrate with you.

8)  Don't feel that you have to make a speech

When I got married I ran through a list of thank yous with my new husband.  Many couples I work with don't do any speeches at all.  You can thank your guests for coming with a card after the wedding.  You can thank your wedding party members personally.

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9) Skip the first dance

If the thought of 100+ pairs of eyes on you while you shuffle around the dance floor fills you with dread, you could kick off the dancing by getting your whole wedding party on the dance floor.   Or bribing some extraverted friends to start a dance off.  Gin works well as a bribe, FYI.

10) Take what you need

If you want a small, intimate wedding but also want to have a big party then you could have a small legal ceremony and then have the party another day.

You might not want a party at all.

One of my couples wanted their wedding to be "just like a night in the pub with our friends" so they had a reception in a pub. With their friends.   Other couples have got married at the registry office with a very small number of guests and then gone to lunch in a nice restaurant, before heading home.

I've photographed everything from picnic weddings for six people to 75 people having a pint and a slice of cake in the pub.  Non-traditional formats work really well for introverted couples.

Are you an introvert?  What will you be doing on your wedding day to stay energised?