Wedding Survival Tips


I’m wasting a perfectly good Saturday this weekend to attend a wedding.  I always have such mixed feelings about these things.  The bride and groom are good friends of mine and I’m happy they’ve found each other (a success story), but weddings usually bore me:  it’s like watching the same play over and over, just with different actors.  Of course there are moments of happiness, laughter, fun, and good food and drink, but it’s spread over way too many hours of “not much”.  I usually spend some of that time pondering ways to shorten a wedding and reception, start-to-finish, to 2-3 hours.  Most wedding events take twice that amount of time, during which I try hard to remain social while really wanting to tiptoe out…without being rude.

My “date” for this wedding is a good Spinsterlicious friend of mine.  Together, we’ll figure out a way to make it fun.

The one thing I want to commend the bride on is that I, a single woman, was allowed to bring a guest.  Huge kudos to her because so many people don’t extend this courtesy to single people and it annoys the heck out of me.  So much so that I’ve turned down some wedding invitations when I didn’t want to go alone.  Other times, I’ve left early because I’m just not that good at working the room by myself and I no longer feel like I have to try, if I don’t want to.

So it was really timely when someone sent me a link to this article by Meredith Goldstein in the Washington Post called Twelve Tips for Singles at Weddings.    The author gets it. I think her tips are smart.  Except for #11.  I think she must’ve been drinking when she wrote that one.

Anyway, here’s a truncated, sometimes paraphrased,  version of her list.

1.  If you have to travel out of town, stay with the group.  Stay where other people are staying so that it’s easy to be included in the pre- and post-wedding activities.

2.  Eat.  Enjoy the cake.  Don’t deny yourself.

3.  If you’re traveling, don’t be cheap. Treat yourself to your own room.  Make it into a mini-vacation.

4. Show up in pictures.  You’re part of the moment, so make it known.  Remember to look cute.

5. Table hop. She says to find a new table if you don’t like the one you’re at.  I love this one.  I’m sure some brides or whoever did the seating might not approve…but so what.  The should have set me with “better” people.

6.  Help.  Give yourself something to do, if you’re feeling aimless or losing your mind.  Something like taking pictures or volunteering to lend a hand to someone who needs it.  I think this is a good idea…but one I’m likely not to do.  I’m not usually looking for work.

7.  Take in the sights.  Again, if you’re traveling, treat it like a mini-vacation; build in some fun.  If there’s something interesting nearby –a park, restaurant, cultural event– take advantage of it.

8. Don’t overthink it. The wedding doesn’t mean anything about your life and where you should be.  I love this one, and it’s great to be reminded.  I think we sometimes bring our own baggage/issues…unnecessarily.

9.  Try a new outfit.  It might be fun to try out a new look, especially if you don’t know a lot of people in attendance.

10.  Ask one person to dance.  Or more than one. Be bold. Pretend you’re at a club.

11. Play with the kids.  This is the one where I think she’s a little nuts, but that’s just me.  I’m not even thinking about doing this one.

12.  Get yourself adopted.  Make a friend or two–even if it’s a couple– and hang out with them.  More than one person is almost always more fun than being by yourself in this situation.

You can read her whole article, here.

Do you have any wedding-survival tips for Singles that you can add to this list?  Please share…

NOTE: The Spinsterlicious Life: 20 Life Lessons for Living Happily Single and Childfree— has been published and is available here and  hereand on Amazon.

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This entry was posted in being single, Going Solo, I hate weddings, Meredith Goldstein, spinster, spinsterlicious, The Washington Post, weddings. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Wedding Survival Tips

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanksk for recognizing singles – I am 56 and will be attending my niece's wedding out of town next year. First of all, I am the only family member who will be attending – except for my sister, her husband and daughter who are of course all busy on the wedding day. I can't think of anyone who would come with me (my social life isn't exactly full). Also, since I don't have a car, I will need to stay for two nights (when did hotels start having 2:00 p.m. check in for 4:00 p.m. weddings)? I will likely get put at a table with my sister's in laws or the family of the groom, people I either haven't seen in over 25 years or have never met. As much as I love my niece, the cost of this is quite prohibitive. She's marrying on a holiday weekend in a popular tourist area of Ontario. There's no hotel near the wedding venue and a return taxi fare will cost at least $50.00. That doesn't include other taxi fares to and from bus/train station. I may stay where other guests might be, but it is in a really incovenient area if you don't have a car. I will try to look as nice as possible, invest in a nice outfit, and try to survive on my own. More than likely, I will be the only person alone there.

  2. eleanore says:

    @Tony: Ok, I'm waiting for you to write that blog post and send it to me! I'm serious

  3. Toni says:


    Another great article!

    My friend and I do have a “checklist” for funerals. It could actually be a drinking game, but I don't drink, so I turn it into a Bingo game. I've been to funerals of all races and religions, and this “game” started as the Black Folks Funeral Game.

    The main thing I've seen at almost every funeral is that the person chosen to read the obit has no clue how to read things out loud and not only stumbles over names (granted, some of the names had way too many vowels) but would totally skip over words and talked either too loud or too soft.

    And of course there was always a few folks dressed for a night at the club.

  4. The whole concept of the wedding has become so disingenuous…all of the time and money spent on these things and then the couple is getting divorced two years later. What do they really mean anyway? It really makes you think…abuse in the relationship, rampant cheating, growing apart…

  5. eleanore says:

    @Annabelle: Your comment “But really, being bored for a few hours is such a tiny price to pay to be there for friends at an important moment” is so true and it's a nice reminder for me when I'm pouting through the downtime.

  6. Annabelle says:

    Interesting list. I can't quite see myself doing the table hop, but it does sound like a good idea.

    Most of the weddings I've been to recently have been fun, but certainly a lot of them are boring. But really, being bored for a few hours is such a tiny price to pay to be there for friends at an important moment.

  7. eleanore says:

    @Anonymous: Hmmm. I'd love to see one for funerals, too. Do you want to write it?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Would love to see a list for attending funerals.

  9. Julia says:

    This may qualify me as a raving bitch, but one of my rules for weddings (most, at my age, now for nieces/nephews) is that I don't do destination weddings. I don't do weddings more than 3 hours away.

    It may seem rude, but I don't intend to spend a ton of money on travel and hotels to attend a party where I'll hardly have a chance to talk to the bride and groom. They won't remember whether I was there or not, particularly if it's a big wedding. I'd rather send a great gift, and see the bride & groom at another time.

    (Then again, I didn't like either of my OWN weddings…not a wedding person.)

  10. Janine says:

    It's times like this I really appreciate being a life-long fag hag – so few big white weddings to deal with. Those I do go to make me feel uncomfortable – all formality and religious ceremony does. I have a workmate who seems to not only attend weddings every other week, but is frequently the bridesmaid. I pity her.

    This tip list makes the single sound like such an outsider though. I don't really understand the tip about eating. Why would you not eat? Why did you fork out all that money? Just go with the flow. It's not as though the couples there aren't going to circulate and talk to you unless they don't like you.

    The closest I get to weddings these days is watching the photo sessions outside my building every weekend (a reserve looking out to the Harbour Bridge). I stand back from afar and silently critique the dresses, which are frequently atrocious, then wander inside and get on with my chores – perfect!

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