The temperature is getting warmer, flowers are blooming, magazine covers are starting to feature smiling brides-to-be and Pinterest’s servers are groaning under the weight of all the wedding planning boards getting filled up...wedding season is coming. No matter your age, if you’re single (or one of the many modern relationship statuses that makes it unclear how many people to mark in the RSVP blank), consider this your guide on surviving another wedding with your pride, budget and sanity intact.
Don’t feel obligated to impress with the most expensive wedding gift ever
If you can afford to splurge on expensive items for your about-to-be-married friends, go for it! If you’re trying to figure out how you’re going to pay for gifts and hotel rooms, then get started on gifting early. Visit their gift registry as early as possible to check out the whole range of items (and prices) that the couple listed. Are you artistic? Consider creating a portrait of the couple or some other creative gift they might enjoy. Or, since you won’t be sharing a wedding gift purchase with a significant other, consider gathering a group of other wedding guests to pool together money to buy a more expensive item on the registry.
Make it a mini vacation
Once you’ve decided which weddings you will be attending, consider making the wedding a mini vacation — see if you can take a day off of work before or after the weekend, book an extra night in a hotel in a cool part of town, and have some adventures. Feel like you should be catching up with friends and family instead? Rope some folks who aren’t in the wedding party into adventure plans. Check out the local museums. Book a spa appointment. Don’t make having to attend a wedding a chore; make it just one activity in a full weekend of fun things that you like doing.
Consider going solo
Though there can be a mad dash to lock down a plus-one as soon as invitations arrive, as a single person I can tell you I’ve attended a few weddings solo and with friends, and I’ve had way more fun solo. Though you can get (or more likely, feel like you’re getting — less face it no one is probably actually paying attention to you) confused looks or “oh really?” answers when asked who you brought, going solo to a wedding has a ton of benefits. You can sneak in and out at your leisure, you don’t just have to dance with the one who brought you, you can leave when you’re ready and you’ll meet a lot more people (and perhaps even have more fun) when you jump into a mix of new folks instead of sticking to the side of someone you know.
Have a flexible wedding attire uniform
Having a lot of weddings to attend can be a bit stressful when you know you’ve got to also look presentable. While it can be tempting to feel like you have to a have a different outfit for every ceremony (thanks to Facebook and other social media that splash your outfit choices on the internet immediately), you can absolutely get away with just a few outfits you love that you alternate between nuptials. Or you can have a type of outfit that you feel your most confident and comfortable in, and vary color and accessories to achieve a new look for each ceremony.
Wear comfy shoes
This is just good advice for everyone, regardless of relationship status.
Don’t stick your face in your smart phone
Similar to the idea of going to a wedding solo, don’t let your smart phone be the only thing your attention falls on, even if you get nervous or shy. Pack it away so you’re forced into real face time with people. And though you’ll be tempted to snap some shots and social media immediately with the appropriate hash tags, try just snapping a few shots of the night and then putting the camera up — the couple has already paid for a photographer who’s probably going to take much better photos than you.
Go light on the booze
While having a good time is certainly aided by an open bar, don't be the guest that ruins the reception (or the wedding photos) by indulging a little too much.
What would you add to this list?