Manage Wedding Vows With Social Anxiety Disorder

Tips for Managing Wedding Vows Anxiety

If you suffer with social anxiety disorder (SAD) and are getting married, you may be worried about saying your wedding vows in front of a large group. In addition to receiving proper treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or medication, there are strategies you can use to reduce wedding vows anxiety.

  • Make them meaningful. If possible, write your own vows. Saying something that is personalized and has meaning to you will be less anxiety-provoking than simply reciting traditional vows.
  • Practice out loud. Make sure to spend time practicing your vows out loud before the big day. Even better, try them out on a friend. Practice speaking loudly, clearly and slowly. Pause at the end of each sentence by saying a keyword such as "breathe" silently in your head.
  • Memorize. When saying your vows out loud, make an attempt to memorize them. This will add meaning to what you are saying when the moment comes. Don't worry, however, if your memory fails you. Keep a copy of your vows in your hand in case you draw a blank.
  • Visualize success. See yourself confidently saying your vows. Instead of imagining everything that could go wrong, expect that everything will go right.
  • Speak in unison. If anxiety is getting out of hand, make a plan to have the officiant and your future spouse whisper your vows with you as you say them out loud during the ceremony. The audience won't notice and you will feel less like the center of attention.
  • Breathe deep. Prior to and during the ceremony, practice deep breathing to induce relaxation.
  • Look at your partner. When the time comes, gaze into the eyes of your future spouse. Imagine that you are talking only to them and you will be put more at ease.


Alan Badmington. Wedding Vows: For Better For Worse. Accessed October 25th, 2008.

Afraid of Speaking a Speech. How to say your wedding vows. Accessed October 25th, 2008.

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