It’s that time of the year again and many singles find themselves trying to survive the wedding season, solo. If chuppahs, horahs and “when are you going to settle down” comments from well-meaning friends and family have you worked up into a frenzy, you’re not alone.
Marriage celebrations can be extremely isolating and stressful for individuals, especially in the summer months when it can feel like you are on a constant circuit alone. Before you forego the festivities for good, consider that there are some perks that come with being single.
Weddings can be the perfect remedy to a social slump or dating funk, and can alleviate some of the pressures associated with making weekend plans. Take 36 year old Jeffrey, who was still hurting from a divorce: “I was invited to a string of Saturday night weddings and decided to suck it up and go. Not only were the parties a blast, I met several quality people with whom I know I can become good friends which I needed after my recent split.”
Sure sounds easier said than done but Jeffrey is not alone. I checked in with single men and women on the wedding scene to find out how they cope with summer affairs. Despite the angst, pressure and fears, many reported positive stories and tips to help get through the stress of wedding season. So read up, take notes and take heed of this advice:
1. Be Open to the “Just One” Invite: It’s easy to get your guard up if you’re invited to a wedding sans date, but you may want to assess the circumstances under which the soon-to-be-married couple planned the event before you hastily decline. A small budget, tight guest list or other constraint factors may be at play, so contemplate your decision carefully before taking offense.
2. Get the 4-1-1: If you can, try getting the scoop about the invite list beforehand. Connecting with acquaintances in advance may soothe some of the pre-wedding jitters and offer you a lifeline during those awkward moments.
3. Ask to be Connected: Familiarizing yourself with a few of the other guests before the big day may take some of the edge off. There’s nothing wrong with asking the bride and groom to-be to make those connections in advance and don’t be to shy to make the first move. Bachelor/ette parties and out of town dinners are perfect meet and greet events, so think twice before bailing out on them.
4. Suspend Beliefs: Don’t for one second make the assumption that you are the only single person in the room or that couples are not interested in talking to you. Guests may appear to be happy or paired off off but everyone has a story. If you give it half a chance, you may, like Jeffrey, actually meet some good people.
5. Act Like a Butterfly: No one is going to find you with your back up against the wall. So come prepared to kick off your shoes, table hop and talk to strangers. Humans by nature gravitate towards confident, engaging and outgoing people. And yes, you can be that person for one night – it’s almost easier when you don’t know anyone as it becomes all about the attitude.
With some new “I Do” guidelines, weddings can be blissful for more than just the married couple. Raise a champagne glass and test them out!