How to Deal with Social Anxiety During Your Wedding

When it comes to marriage, it’s safe to say we’ve all thought about it. How could we not? The promise of marriage is a big and beautiful one. True love that will last forever is an appealing notion, of course. Then, that’s the fact that, regardless of your feelings on the matter, culture at large tells you marriage is the correct path through life. So, we’ve all had to confront the idea of marriage, at the very least. However, before you’re taking your husband or wife to Barnes and Noble for a good book to read by the fire in your shared home, you’ll have to actually get married, and now more than ever, that’s the hard part.

My generation, the so called “millennials,” are the generation of mental illness, and there’s one that’s more prominent now than ever before, and that’s social anxiety. Perhaps you’ve heard the statistic that the number one fear in America is public speaking? Well, for many millennials, speaking to strangers in general causing them to panic. Therefore, public speaking is a waking nightmare, and a wedding ceremony is even worse, still. That being said, it’s not all doom and gloom. All it takes is some hokey therapeutic techniques to rein in your anxiety for the ceremony, or perhaps an alternative ceremony.

For the former, one popular method is the mantra. Mantras are essentially a motto that is calmly chanted to inspire a feeling of tranquility, and believe it or not, they tend to work. “Fake it ‘till you make it” works surprisingly well with human emotion. Another similar technique is to force a smile. Before you know it, you’ll actually feel pretty good, and your fake smile has become genuine.

Then, there’s the idea of alternative ceremonies. One interesting idea is one that takes the form of a masquerade. In a setting in which everyone is masked, you can’t see anyone’s faces and, more importantly, they can’t see yours. This ability to “hide” from people can help alleviate your anxiety, despite your disguise literally asking for attention. This effect is somewhat paradoxical, but it works wonders. Another idea is an outside, night time wedding, or one in a dimly lit environment. In general, the less your guests are able to see you, the less anxious you’re likely to be, and your ceremony will be all the more memorable for the quirk.