I’ve been perfecting the “single at a wedding” routine for over a decade now and really, it’s not that bad. Here’s what I’ve learnt:
- Look fabulous. This is a given.
- Be fabulous. The thing about looking fabulous is that you have to back it up with being fabulous. And the best way to be fabulous is to be wholly and utterly you. God made you you, He didn’t make you anybody else, so just be you and you’ll be fabulous.
- Have a wing woman. This is a good one. If you know you’re going to a wedding that you’re feeling fragile about, find that one person who you can go to and say: “I’m not enjoying this day.” Tell them in advance that you’re worried about it, ask them to be available if you need a little retreat and time to recuperate. Try not to spend the whole day clinging to them weeping, but if you do, send them flowers on Monday. Also, note to wedding planners: if you know you’re inviting singles, be kind and think about whether they might want the option to bring a plus one.
- Pay attention to the vows. It was early on in my wedding-attendance career that I suddenly heard the vows for the first time. I literally wanted to stop the wedding and make sure the couple knew what they were promising each other. Those commitments are epic. They are the hardest thing anybody can ever promise another person. That’s why marriage is so special: because you don’t take it lightly. And the reason you’re not married is because God hasn’t given you the person you can make those ridiculous, intense, and spectacular promises to.
- Don’t intend to find your husband. It just never works to turn up at a wedding with the intention of finding your one true love. You’ll just miss the fun because you’ll be eyeing up the drummer for hours before you clock his wedding ring (or, as I learnt early on, look for the ring first, that also saves time). Do be available to interesting people, but not preoccupied with your imaginary nuptials.
- Let loose on the dance floor. Do not be too shy to throw your shapes. If you hesitate to let go because you think your future husband might be in the room and you don’t want to look like an idiot, you’re wasting your life. Any man who doesn’t respect your moves isn’t the one for you.
- Pray. Obvs.
- If your singleness is complicated by broodiness, talk to the new mums about childbirth. It’ll put the whole super-cute-baby thing into major perspective. And then enjoy dancing into the evening after they’ve left exhausted and pre-occupied at 7:30pm.
- Try not to discuss which elements of the day you would or wouldn’t have at your own wedding. When has that ever been helpful? No one likes a wedding grinch.
- Singleness is a gift. Embrace it.
- Also don’t get drunk: #messy.
- And, yes, have a hilarious/witty/unapologetic comeback prepared for those awful marrieds who ask about your love life: they deserve it. You could go with: Them: “So, how’s your love life?” You: “Probably about as exciting as yours.”
- And also, give yourself a quota of boring stories about other people’s children that you’ll listen to: we’ll call it a “politeness quota”. After you’ve had your quota, don’t be afraid to walk away mid-story.
“Girls definitely think a lot more about these sort of things than guys. Writing 13 points as opposed to my six shows that pretty well. I’m glad that even though she has thought about this in a lot more detail than me, we both love a good boogie on the dance floor.”