Oh, weddings. They make the occasional guest appearance in your early twenties, then pile up in bulk a few years later (like student loans! and wrinkles!), progressively losing any of the associated glamour and morphing into money-sucking productions that strip you of your hard-earned cash and precious weekends. If you happen to be single, they also inadvertently highlight said fact by putting you in a number of consecutive awkward positions, from booking solo hotel rooms to sharing tables with fellow lepers singles while all your coupled-up friends have fun just a few feet away. Having endured my fair share of such extravagansas, I find myself aptly fit to provide a wedding survival guide that will teach you to approach said mission with military level-strategy.
Step 1: Evaluate the wedding
As a general rule of thumb, there are two types of weddings. First, there are the Weddings with Potential (WPs) i.e. the weddings of people you do not share social circles with – think coworkers, 3rd degree friends, or Fancy Friends whose weddings entail exotic locales and custom hashtags. WPs must be hardly seen as a burden, but more as a prime opportunity to meet fellow singles in the magical setting of a Mediterranean villa and Mastika. Then, there are the Weddings with No Potential – those of childhood friends, family members, and anybody else who has zero matchmaking tricks up their sleeves. In addition to being romantically barren, they are often flooded with bored older folks just waiting to poke their gossipy little claws into you and cross-examine your love life.
Step 2: If necessary, recruit a date
In the case of a WPs, dates are prohibited, so proceed directly to step 3. WNPs however, particularly those with too many ex-boyfriend-related danger zones, give you leeway to recruit a Filler Date, i.e. a man invited exclusively for the purpose of alleviating the pain of tap dancing under the table à la Scarlett O’Hara with your 1.5 single girlfriends (or, worse yet, dancing with the kids!) The choice of Filler Date must be made wisely, as everything this person says/does will reflect on you, so you better make sure he has decent social skills and owns a tux (head over to our Wedding Date classic to learn more!) Keep in mind that you will also have to pay for his seat, so if you cannot find somebody fitting for the job, gather your balls, tie a Vera Wang bow on them, and go solo!
Step 3: Maneuver your seating assignment
When it comes to weddings, seating is half the game. Your seatmate is the person you will be forced to witness all the awkward sentimental moments while stuffing your face with overpriced sea bass. Call in a favor and request to be seated next to the funniest single guy at the wedding – trust me when I tell you that this trumps the hottest guy at the wedding, as hot people tend to be incredibly dull. Funny people, however, can light up your life and make you forget that you are in the middle of a real-life Nicholas Sparks book, dramatic family moments and tears included!
Step 4: Shine bright like a diamond.
Or opal! Or ruby! The beauty of weddings is that they are some of the few occasions that actually give us the opportunity to get out of our sneaker-clad comfort zone and experience a bit of old-school glamour, so relish in this opportunity. Personally, I can never get a wedding dress code right – yet, the more I get it wrong, the more fun I have. There is something about showing up to a diamond-dripping Orange Country production looking like a Venice Beach hippie, or a country wedding looking like a man-hungry Russki in red (both of which I have been guilty of) to inspire rebellious behavior!
Step 5: YOLO it
Because, as hard as being sans romantic counterpart may seem to the beat of Adele, there are way more difficult things in life than being young(ish) and single and going to a fancy party in a nice dress to watch two people to celebrate their union. So just enjoy the damn moment with them and dance your ass off and have your positive vibes spread like glitter dust on the dance floor and maybe, just maybe, something great will come out of it. And maybe it won’t. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.