25 March 2009

Being the single girl at a wedding

By: Jessica B.
Despite being a social person, I hate going to events alone. I have a tendency to be the awkward girl lingering by the door, frantically texting or scanning the crowd for a familiar face.
Which is why I’m a little nervous about going single to a wedding this weekend. I’ve been single at weddings before, but I always brought a guest with me.
But this time, I decided to go on my own after talking/begging two guy friends to go with me, only to have one turn me down and the other to conveniently be out of town. Asshats. However, after talking to two co-workers who will also be there single, I decided to be bold and go on my own. Oh it’s Ladies Night for us.
But despite being single, independent women at this lovely wedding, I can’t help but feel a little nervous, considering I only know a handful of people that will be there.
Here’s what I’m not looking forward to about being single at a wedding:
  • The stares. The oh-you’re-so-brave-and-independent-so-we-won’t-talk-about-it stares with silent judging and nods of encouragement
  • Pressure. The inevitable, lingering pressure to hook up or keep yourself open to finding “the one” at the open bar or buffet table
  • Slow songs. It’s like being back at a high school dance, but without a date. Which means during slow songs I’ll be saddled up to the bar, swearing like a trucker and dreaming of a cigarette
  • Bouquet toss. I don’t know if the couple is actually doing it, but I’ve never caught one, yet don’t want to look too desperate in reaching for it to see what sucker catches the garter
To overcompensate for these things, I’ve spent a painful amount of time picking out an outfit, to dress up the fact that I will be drinking heavily to feel more comfortable.
Maybe if I look good with the “girls” and my other single ladies, this won’t be too bad. It’s an evening wedding so I’m even planning to trying to hit up the gym earlier in the day so the “gun show” is locked and loaded for the evening.
Oh and since there will be a candy bar, I need to stuff Ziploc bags in my purse for treats to take home. Yes, you heard me right. I will be munching on candied apple slices and M&Ms; on the bus ride home.
So how have you survived weddings that you’ve gone solo to, or what things bother you the most about weddings? From cash bar to bad food to awful music?


  1. widget says:

    I have done this a few times. It is hard. The hardest was when I was the only single at my table – the couples (all good friends) talked about babies, marriage and other stuff. 3 1/2 hours!

    The bouquet toss is awful – why do it at all? But I was at a wedding and stood up the back and suddenly found myself being pushed in the back by a well meaning male, married friend. As a result of the push – at the same time as the bride released the bouquet, I caught it. Still not married!


  2. Jessica says:

    I’m still not sure how to survive weddings alone :)

    I usually find myself awkwardly wandering around the cake table as couples pair up for the slow dance…

    Ultimately, I hear a speech about my constantly ticking biological clock.

    I think the worst wedding to be single at is yet to come, though. My little sister gets married this June…

    Should be great!

    Love your blog!

  3. I hate the “party table” at weddings. There always seems to be this group of people trying to convince everyone that they are “oh-so-crazy” and they know the bride and groom “oh-so-well”. Get over it. The wedding is not about you.

    I just tend to stick close to the people I do know. Granted, the last wedding I hit solo, I knew three people in total. I didn’t leave their side. Sigh.

  4. Word Perv says:

    I was once the only single girl at my friend’s son’s 1st birthday. It was all couples and couples with kids. And then me. I felt like the slutty single girl… Yeah…

    In October I’m in a friend’s wedding. I think I’m the only bridesmaid who will be walking up the aisle without a groomsman as the groom doesn’t have any more friends/family he’d like to include in the ceremony. So dancing alone at a wedding is difficult, but WTF am I supposed to do during those required “and now the bridal party will get up and dance” song?! FUCK!!!!

  5. erin says:

    I asked the bride if I could bring a girlfriend to the last wedding I was stuck going solo to. Luckily, she was totally cool with it… I don’t think I would’ve survived without my friend along. With that being said, I am SO IMPRESSED you are going on your own, you are going to rock it! Between you and the other single gals, I think you will have a great time. All you need is one person there to chat with and it’ll be great.

    P.S. Love the shoes, LOVE!

  6. for the last 5 years i have attend on average 8 weddings a year. all single, all without a date. hell, i barely even get the plus one option.

    last summer weddings were really tough on me, i was sooooooo sick of going to them alone. meh.

    i’m over it.

  7. Katelin says:

    okay that candy bar sounds amazing. i love it. and i think you’ll be fine at the wedding. ladies night all the way, so fun!

  8. Erin says:

    A candy bar???? I want to get married again just so I can have one of those!

    The thing about weddings is that, no matter what your current situation, they are the perfect place for people to judge you. I’m not single, but I dread going to weddings because I hate having the, “Why aren’t you pregnant yet?” conversation. There’s always something.

  9. laurwilk says:

    I’ve gone dateless to the large majority of weddings I’ve been invited to. (Most of the time I wasn’t single but my SO was unable to attend.)

    I certainly prefer going alone rather than bringing along someone just for the sake of bringing someone. Have fun! Weddings are fun without a date. Enjoy the candy bar and the BAR BAR and get down. Who cares if you’re single!

  10. Most of the weddings I’ve gone stag to are family weddings.. because my significant other REFUSES TO GO TO WEDDINGS WITH ME. if it’s for his family and friends, I have to be there.. but if it’s my family or my friend, I have to bribe or nag.

  11. Vanessa says:

    Sorry it’s been so long, I’m finally coming up from the fog of finals, broken bones and potential lawsuits.

    To respond to your post…

    Society can be so unkind to singles. This is why I love the QuirkyAlone movement so much. I usually handle it by grabbing a drink and making it a point to talk to as many new people as possible then try to remember all their names. Or if I’m just not having a good time, I make up an excuse and leave.

  12. I loved going to weddings alone when I was single, you met some really great people…and really you never know who your going to meet! Since high school I’ve really come out of my shell (you probably can agree with this), and love going to events where i don’t know anyone and then just talking to people that you don’t know. Although for the bouquet toss, I always dodged it.

  13. A Super Girl says:

    I was a bridesmaid in a wedding I went to alone. The only people I knew were the bride and groom and the I’d met the bridal party like once. It was fun, but I’d definitely wished I had someone with me and I definitely left early-ish (which I felt bad about given that I was in the wedding, but I think they understood!)

    And as for the bouquet toss, I haven’t seen a lot of people still doing those, so maybe you’ll get out of it!

  14. Cass says:

    don’t you worry, we’ll have lots of fun! Aa will be busy with his bromance, so we can all hang out and enjoy the candy buffet together! ;-)

  15. Lil' Woman says:

    You can do it girl!

    Have fun and stuff those pockets! :)

  16. Bookworm says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but have never commented. But I’m going to a wedding alone this weekend too, so I feel your pain! In fact, I went in with a co-worker and her husband on the gift, so signing it from her, her husband and myself was kinda funny :) Love your blog, and have fun this weekend!

  17. SoMi's Nilsa says:

    Oh I can’t tell you how many weddings I went to solo. If I wasn’t dating someone (and I usually wasn’t), I went as a single – no scrounging up dates for me. Sounds like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself. I mean, I never felt judgmental stares from people because I showed up solo. Nor did I feel pressure to hook up. Oh and those slow songs? Even as a married person, I abhor them. How did I survive? I survived because it felt great to watch two friends say their vows. I didn’t need anything more than that.

  18. Mandy says:

    Be brave Jess you can do it! Have a fantastic time at that wedding.

    I went to a friends wedding alone and single a few weeks ago. It was fun actually. I didnt have to entertain anyone because he didnt know anyone else there. I was able to catch up with some old friends. I could leave when I wanted.

    You’ll be just fine!

  19. Andhari says:

    It’s manageable if you have people you know there and just chill and have fun, enjoy the drinks :)

    ps. candy bar? wow, we dont have those in weddings over here. You should just bring me along :P

    pss. I’ll bring a bigger purse lol

  20. ANG* says:

    at least you know people!
    i go solo to weddings allllll the time. no big deal. i mean open bar…how can anything be *that* bad. just make friends, don’t even address the fact that you dont have a date and dance your little butt off. i bet you make all kinds of friends :)

  21. Single Girl says:

    You are a brave soul. I usually go stag with friends and try to make a quick exit!

    I hate the bouquet toss, I have caught quite a few in my day. One from a good friend who is now divorced, so I think I am cursed.

  22. EP says:

    I have been the token single friend at multiple weddings before, and it’s not so bad. Trust me. Just enjoy a few of the drinks, have fun with your friends, and it’ll all be OK.

  23. chickbug says:

    I’ve been to three weddings in the past four months SINGLE. And I LOVED IT. I thought I would hate it. I dreaded it. But, once I realized it wasn’t about what everyone else thought…it was about what I felt, then it was fine. And you’d be surprised how many single guys there are at weddings. =)

  24. LBluca77 says:

    You can do it!! I am ok going to weddings alone if there at least friends there. Or you can always be the wedding floozy!

    One of my best friends is getting married this year and me and like 3other girls will be the only single people at the wedding full of married people.

  25. Jamie says:

    I’ve never been to a wedding (except when I was a flower girl,) so I can only imagine! It’s even awkward for me going to any family function and my only other girl cousin, who is younger brings her boyfriend. Of course they ask where mine is. UGH!

    I just wanted to say thank you for the advice you give! I appreciate it!



  26. Blaez says:

    I bill the client for the weddings they have my resort so I guess my Pet Peeve would be those who don’t have final payment when they’re supose to, or a valid CC on file for overages! lol

    on a serious note: I’ve never really been affected by being at a wedding as a single person. When single I was either: in the bridal party, sister of the bride, etc so I was kept busy…

    I have a cute single cousin but he’s in Arkansas…

  27. Midtown Girl says:

    I had to go to wedding of a guy friend last summer. He was a guy my fam & I had grown up with, so I did not want to go solo. My mom & brother were going as well – with their significant others – hell no I was not going alone – so I asked the guy I was seeing at the time (for a mere 2 wks)and he said 'sure, no prob', came with, and we had a super fun time. I was lucky bc he was one of those social, super friendly guys that loves new situations. I only dated him for a few wks more after the wedding, but I was glad he came.

    If it were not a fam friend/close relative, I would NOT have minded going solo – I think you will be fine & just have fun w/ the girls that eve!

  28. Maxie says:

    I don’t mind going to weddings alone as long as other friends will be there too. I always have a ball!

  29. I understand your worries. I have a wedding coming up that I will be going solo to…and the ex is standing up in it…so that should be AWKWARD. Thank Heaven for open bar. Dance with your girlfriends, and steal lots of candy! :)

  30. Heidi Renée says:

    I like your style re: the booze and candy.

  31. jlc says:

    You can do it!!!

    I had to face a wedding with my fave gal pal to avoid getting the “pity look” of ohhhhhhh “that’s the one with the hubby in Iraq.”

    There are always pros…. you can find the man of your dreams there while lookin’ hot. ;)

  32. cavy says:

    absolute DITTO to mandy. it’s nice to not have to entertain your guest and parade him around introducing him to everyone and hoping they get along. and leaving when you want might seem minute, but it’s awesome. simply awesome.

  33. Kali says:

    Yes, it is awkward. Especially when the person responsible for inviting you to the wedding drunkenly takes pity on you and says “oh look a slow song! Dance with her Henry/David/James!” and then winks at you non-too-subtly while shoving you at some obscure relative of hers who looks more than a little put out at having to dance to some Barry White song.

    Having said that – free booze!

    Every cloud has a silver lining.