Bringing a date to a wedding can be a blast, but there are times when it makes more sense to go solo. Maybe you don't have a date, you weren't given a plus-one, or your significant other can't attend. But you should still RSVP "yes"! Though it might seem awkward, it doesn't have to be; here's how to make the most of it.
1. Do a little research to see if you'll know any other guests.
After you've decided to attend alone, find out if there's anyone you might know attending too. Whether it's a college pal or the bride's sister, knowing you'll know a few people there, even just casually, is a relief. If there isn't someone you know attending, there may be another solo guest you might get along with whom the couple couple could introduce you to via email or Facebook before the wedding.
2. Volunteer to help.
Even if all the official roles are filled, many couples still need an extra set of hands on their wedding day. While you certainly don't need to do extra work just because you're attending alone, doing something like breaking down the ceremony decor during cocktail hour can help stave off boredom and help you avoid mingling with strangers.
3. Get your game face on.
Whether you need to go for a run the morning of the wedding, get a blowout, or put on your highest heels, do what you need to do to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin for the event. Note: if your confidence typically comes in a bottle, you may want to consider another option. Getting sloppy drunk at a wedding isn't good for anyone.
4. Use cocktail hour and dinner to make new friends.
Do your best to be friendly and social. It's not like being alone in a bar or restaurant; you have at least one thing in common with everyone there and "How do you know the couple?" is a great way to strike up a conversation. (We also have a list of great conversation starters you can use!) Our go-to new friends at a wedding? An older married couple.
5. Introduce yourself to solo family members.
It's not unusual for family members of the couple to attend alone, or to not spend the entire night with their significant other. So keep an eye out for the groom's pregnant sister who isn't up for hitting the dance floor, or the table filled with grandmas and aunts. These are great people to strike up a conversation with on the sidelines.
6. Have a plan for the slow songs.
While you could make a beeline for your table each time the music slows down, you could also invite other guests (probably ones you know, even if just from cocktail hour) to slow dance with you, letting their dates take a break. And if you know the kiddos at the wedding well (and you have their parents' permission), you could twirl a flower girl or a ring bearer around the room for at least one slow song.
7. Go ahead and leave on the early side.
The formal end of the wedding is the cake cutting, so feel free to peace out after dessert if you're just not feeling it anymore.
8. Don't make a big deal about it.
Your single status at a wedding is truly not that big of a deal; it's four hours of your life that really aren't about you. You'll be fine.
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