We’re dangerously close to the month of June—30 days set aside to commemorate National Adopt a Cat Month, National Accordion Awareness Month, National Iced Tea Month, National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month, and even Turkey Lovers Month.
But let’s be honest, most of us really didn’t know those celebrations existed. We know June for what it is: the most popular month for having weddings.
I realized the other day that I only have one wedding on the books for this summer, and it is in a distant July. I feel like I’ve been paroled for the summer. Well, more like a limited parole with an ankle bracelet because, you know, there still is that one wedding.
As a retired bridesmaid, who has 7 weddings (and the dresses to prove them) under her belt, I feel the pain of my fellow single brothers and sisters who are enduring seemingly endless summers of showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, wedding cakes, and dances to the Beyonce song that shall remain nameless.
It’s because of this vast experience I feel I’m more than qualified to offer a few tips that have served me well in past monsoon wedding seasons. Godspeed to you, my friends.
1. Go rogue on a gift.
Of course the happy couple only registered at Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel. You can bet I will, too, if and when I ever get my turn. But if you’re knee-deep in weddings, and especially if you’re in the wedding party and kinda expected to purchase multiple gifts, let a sister just release you from the financial stress of it all with these 2 words: Go rogue. You do not have to purchase straight from the registry every time. You can buy
cheap thoughtful, unique gifts that are far more meaningful than the 1 hand towel you can afford from PB.
Don’t embarrass yourself or your mama, though. Those thoughtful and unique gifts require just that—thought. It doesn’t mean looking at the hand-carved Bamboo spoons on their list and buying wooden ones in a package at Dollar Tree instead. We’re all about masking our cheapness, not flaunting it, friends.
2. Take a posse with you.
Weddings can be really fun, and weddings can be even more fun when you’re hanging out with friends. If you have other friends who are invited to the wedding, plan to go and sit together. If you’re emotional, you’re less likely to go all waterworks during the ceremony and keep it to more like a leaky faucet with them by your side. At the reception, you can make a game out of people watching. Place bets on who is/is not single in the crowd. The loser has to ask one of the single people to dance before the night’s over.
Don’t go rogue and go by yourself, especially if you’re teetering on the edge of a breakdown because of this particular wedding. Remember Julia Roberts in My Best Friend’s Wedding? She never should’ve gone to Chicago alone in the first place. Learn from Julia. Take at least one wing man.
3. Treat yourself.
Is one of the weddings on your summer list a destination wedding? Make a vacation out of it—go early or stay later than just the wedding weekend. Girls, get a mani/pedi before the big event. Guys, buy a new shirt and tie. Make a plan with other friends who are attending the wedding to go on an outing afterwards if it’s an afternoon wedding. Since you’re all dressed up, make reservations at a swanky restaurant or get tickets to an arts event.
Don’t treat yourself by spending ridiculous amounts of money that you don’t have. You may have 99 problems, but don’t let poor stewardship be one.
4. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Are you feeling vulnerable? Be careful around the open bar, microphones, or the dance floor. And while you’re at it, be careful on social media as well. Again, you don’t want to embarrass your mama. Sure, your emotional fragility is a decent excuse on the morning after, but people love to watch a good train wreck and if you’re not documenting it, they’ll be more than happy to make sure your 15 minutes of fame lasts an eternity.
Do have fun! If someone asks you to dance, don’t turn them down. You are dressed to impress, after all. It might just be the thing you need to get over yourself.
5. Bolt when they call for single people.
I’m sorry, but no one should be doing the bouquet and garter toss anymore. Even when I was younger and fresh out of high school and college, it was humiliating to stand next to little girls for a hot mess of a photo op. And, maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always found it awkward when the groom has to search for a garter underneath yards and yards of tulle and chiffon while the bride’s father and grandfathers are in plain sight. So if I’m offering tips here, you have my permission to bolt when they call you for either of these ridiculous traditions. Guys, choose that moment to go shoe polish the honeymoon vehicle; girls, go check your lipgloss in the bathroom.
Don’t sit where the bride or groom can see you, though, if you choose to stay in the room. In the chaos of the moment, they’re more likely to forget about you if you’re not in plain sight. If they do, there’s a good chance they’ll drive you crazy and wait until you drag your lethargic self up to the spotlight. Unless, like me, you’ve got a killer teacher glare that lets them know if they so much as utter the first letter of your name, the friendship will end on the spot.
6. Find the silver lining.
So none of the weddings this summer are yours. Okay, I get it. There are still 2 other reasons to enjoy the occasion: Weddings are some of the few formal events we have left in our society. It’s good to practice our manners occasionally. Plus, maybe you’ll meet new friends, especially single ones of the opposite gender.
Ultimately, don’t make this all about you. It’s about your friends. You know, the ones who have walked alongside you in various seasons of your life. Yeah, them. You’ll want them to
keep their junk together be excited for you on your day, too, won’t you? And no, you do not have permission to skip the wedding—unless you’re closing on your house in Texas and the wedding is 5 states away on the next day. Maybe then.
Do you have any other advice for singles who are weathering the monsoon wedding season?