How To Do A Wedding When You’re Single Or Flying Solo
Everyone loves a wedding, right? The magic of two people committing to each other for life. Champagne flowing freely as young and old gather to celebrate. When you’re single though, this public proclamation of love can feel more like the universe has recognised all your insecurities and rubbed them in your face. Sometimes, you don’t even have the luxury of a wing-person, friends or family for support. So what do you do? You embrace it. Here’s how.
#1 Introduce yourself
Knowing no-one at a wedding can be overwhelming, but things can only go up from here! Put yourself in situations conducive to talking to other guests. Depending on the format, it may be smart to arrive on the early side – it’s a smaller crowd to work with, and people will be more open to mixing before the rest of the guests arrive. If it’s a seated event, get to know people on your table. Remember that you all have something in common – the couple getting married – so asking about the connection is an easy ice-breaker.
Whether it’s waiting to sign the wedding book, in the toilet queue, or at the bar, there are plenty of opportunities to meet people in a casual environment. Not everyone will pick up on the fact that you’re alone and will leave you to your own devices, but don’t be offended. Smile, move on and be proud that you at least tried.
#2 Don’t discriminate
As a single person, it’s easy to have your blinders on, only checking out the prospects/any eligible talent. But be open-minded. Not only can there be a surprisingly low amount of single people at weddings, but spending time with people of varying age groups and genders can be rewarding.
The parents and grandparents of the happy couple are going to be pretty chuffed on the day, so take advantage of their merriment and have a chat to them. It’s likely they’ve played some part in organising (or paying for) the wedding, so expressing your appreciation can never go astray.
The word “networking” might feel wrong at a wedding, but the benefits of chatting to everyone and anyone can surprise you. You may come out of a conversation with new perspectives on your career, or even a professional contact.
Hanging out with kids at weddings can also be lots of fun. They’ve got plenty of energy, so bust out some moves with them on the dance floor. They might even invite you to play with their toys or game, which is a great way to avoid adult conversations if you’re not in the mood.
#3 Comfort is key
You may be tempted to wear your finest stilettos or that nice long-sleeved shirt despite the extreme heat, but be practical. Unless you’re the world’s biggest extrovert, you’re already stepping outside your comfort zone by going solo – wear something you’re comfortable in so you can focus on everything else.
When it comes to social mores, don’t feel forced to participate in things if you don’t want to. If you feel awkward about slow-dancing with a stranger, or trying to catch the bouquet or garter, there’s no harm in making yourself scarce.
#4 Enjoy the experience
Weddings have all the key ingredients to a good time in constant supply: food, drink, and reason to celebrate. So appreciate it and enjoy what’s on offer. Having a few drinks is great to loosen inhibitions, but be sensible out of respect for your hosts.
Going to weddings can also be an opportunity to see what you might do for your own wedding, or in the event that you become a bridesmaid or groomsman one day. Cocktails or sit down meal? DJ or live band? Winery or beachside? Hey, you might even realise you don’t want to do a wedding at all.
#5 It’s not about you
In among all this self-reflection, the most important thing to remember is that this isn’t your day. This is a really important occasion for two people, their family and friends, so feel honoured to share it with them. Try to move past your own hang-ups. The main thing is that the newlyweds have a good time.
Likewise, this isn’t a night where you have to force yourself to have the best night of your life or stay until the very end. If you meet the love of your life or a crew of new besties, that’s great, but if you don’t that’s cool too.
You might feel a little lonely now, but most people have been in your position at some point. Plus, no matter how happy the people around you may be in their relationships, there’s a great sense of freedom that comes with being unattached. Some people might even be a little envious of your position, so enjoy it while you can.
Lead image: Bridesmaids
Chelsea McIver is a freelance writer and editor based in Melbourne. Her work appears in titles including VICE, Junkee, Broadsheet and The Big Issue. Tweet her @ChelseaMcIver.