A Single’s Guide to Surviving Wedding Season

It’s that time of year. I’m getting sunburned when I have lunch outside, I find myself eating too much ice cream, and I’m constantly planning my weekends around my friends’ weddings. As excited I am for the engaged people in my life, wedding bells can sometimes ring bittersweet for the single friends left behind.

Of course, wedding season is joyous and exciting. We get to see dear friends and family make vows to love each other for the rest of their lives. Sometimes we even get to stand with them and hold fancy bouquets or wear new bow ties. Then we get to go to the reception, eat, and dance the night away.

But when the slow songs replace the Electric Slide, we are inevitably reminded of our singleness. We literally stand on the sidelines while older couples reminisce about their wedding days and younger couples eagerly anticipate their own. When the loneliness and bitterness threaten to sneak in (and older relatives threaten to match make), remember these tips for surviving wedding season as a single.

  1. Enjoy time with other friends. Weddings are often a mini-reunion, whether people are traveling across the country to be there or you’re celebrating someone you knew in an earlier stage of life. The bride and groom will be busy, so take the time to catch up with old friends. Make that uncomfortable small talk that could lead to genuine connection.
  2. Get your party on. There’s a reason you were invited to the wedding. The bride and groom know you, love you, and want you to help them celebrate the beginning of their new life together. A single friend who has been to her fair share of weddings reminded me to just enjoy the wedding, pushing aside my discontent and viewing  it instead as a celebration of what could eventually take place in my own life.
  3. Remember that your plate cost the same as everyone else’s. Your status as single, dating, or married doesn’t change your value as a wedding guest, and it doesn’t change your value as a person either. Don’t believe the lie that you are somehow less of a person because you’re single.

Dearly beloved, as we are gathered in our various churches, chapels, and pavilions, let’s not be the bitter guests sulking in the back with the leftover hors d’oeuvres (unless there’s mini quiche). Make it your goal not to just survive wedding season but to thrive!

I know I’m not the only one who’s attended weddings alone. What are the most valuable things you’ve learned about how to be the best single wedding guest you can be?

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