The thought of planning a wedding can be an overwhelming thought for the most outgoing Bride to be.
So, how do you cope with planning an event that is going to make you the centre of attention when you are a self confessed introvert? When you would happily stay at home in your own little world rather than venture out.
Introversion is considered a personality trait and tends to involve being more self aware, thoughtful and quiet or reserved in large groups. It can be energetically draining to be in noisy, busy social situations.
Layla Saad had that to contend with in the run up to her wedding back in 2008. She admits that even now seven years on, just thinking about the planning process is overwhelming! "All of the little details associated with a wedding are just not my thing. My energy is drained so easily by making those sorts of decisions. To make things easier for myself I would just end up choosing the first thing I saw."
The love story
Layla and Sam have a wonderfully romantic story. They spoke to each other for the first time on Christmas Day and when Sam flew to Qatar from Dublin to meet in person 8 weeks later, it was quite literally love at first site! They decided to get married straight away and the date was set for Valentines day.
As practicing Muslims, their marriage involved two parts. A legal ceremony and a big celebration which involves the Bride, Groom and her family being seated on a raised stage facing their guests after a procession through the room. Potentially an ordeal for an introvert!
The legal ceremony is viewed almost as an engagement period where both parties agree to marry. A couple are then free to get to know each other better, without the need for chaperones.
With the first part attended by only 20 people, attentions then turned to the big celebration scheduled for July.
Layla and Sam both have incredible Arab African heritage that spans from East Africa and Oman to Cardiff and Dublin! So they had a number of cultural elements to fuse together.
The main event was an evening do at the Marriott Hotel Doha. Traditionally weddings can have from 300-500 guests, so to have settled on 150 this was viewed as an intimate event!
A novel idea!
In a bid to stop overwhelm from setting in, Layla decided to hand all of the planning over to her mother. Surely something a significant number of Mothers would be beside themselves with glee to have the opportunity to do! Her Father was also given the job of sourcing the music.
"Initially when we started the planning process and were looking at venues I was bored and not enjoying things at all which initially upset my Mum. I had to reassure her that it was only because I didn't enjoy it rather than because I didn't appreciate what she was doing or that the day itself wasn't important to me."
Trying to minimize the stress you put yourself (and others) through when planning a wedding makes sense. Use any and all offers of help that come your way as long as you trust the person will deliver what you are after. Alternatively consider using a professional to guide you through all or part of the process.
Layla continues "My advice to an introverted Bride would be to hand over all of the details that you know are going to drain your energy to someone you trust who will take care of them. I made two decisions for the wedding, my dress and the flowers! My wedding wouldn't have been as elegant if it had been down to me. I trusted my mother 100 percent. "
"Because I knew the planning side of things was taken care of I was able to focus on the excitement of seeing all of my friends and family who had travelled from the U.K. and Oman for the wedding."
"When I walked into the room I was super happy to see all of our friends and family. I wasn't nervous at all because I hadn't allowed myself to get stressed out about the day itself."
"The hardest part in the run up was that my parents had a lot of our guests staying at their house, but in line with our cultural traditions no-one sees the Bride for a few days before the wedding. So I could hear everyone partying and having a great time but I couldn't join in!"
By working to her own strengths Layla was able to navigate the planning process with next to no stress and achieve her perfect day!