Tips for Attending a Wedding By Yourself

It's not as bad as it might sound!

Whether you are currently single and didn’t receive (or choose to use) a plus one, or your significant other is simply unable to attend, there may be a time where you find yourself going to a wedding without a date by your side. It’s often assumed that this should be an unpleasant experience, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Social butterflies are likely to embrace the opportunity to mingle, but even if that doesn’t describe you, there are still ways to make sure you have a fun time. It just takes some communication, an open mind, a good attitude, and the following tips!

black-tie tented wedding reception with drapery, chandelier of greenery, large golden candlesticks
Photo by Paul Barnett Photographer

- Scope out the guest list. If you’re going to any pre-wedding showers or parties, you will have an idea of people you know who are attending the main event, as well as a chance to make friends before the big day arrives. You can even decide to split a hotel room or carpool with someone, if that will make the trip easier for you. 

- Explore the location. If you have to travel to go to the wedding, take the chance to play tourist in this new city in the days before and after the nuptials. 

- Look your best. You’ll feel more confident if you make some effort in your ensemble, even if you aren’t looking to make a romantic connection. 

- Chat up folks at your table. The couple put you at this table for a reason; it’s worth seeing if you click with anyone. You may find a buddy to spend the rest of the reception with – and you may even make a lifelong friend in the process!

- Embrace the dance floor. Lots of people dance in groups, rather than just couples together, so don’t be afraid to join in!

- Ignore your phone. Staying glued to your screen will just make it obvious that you feel awkward being alone. 

- Don’t drink too much. This is good advice for anyone attending a wedding, but having people figure out who needs to keep an eye on you won’t have you feeling good in the morning. 

- Avoid bemoaning your singlehood. Complaining about not having a date to anyone in earshot both makes a bad impression and will put you in a negative headspace. 

- Leave early if you’re uncomfortable. If after following all these tips you find you’re just not having a good time, embrace the freedom that comes with attending alone and just leave! Keep in mind that it’s considered proper etiquette to stay until the cake is cut, but otherwise there’s nothing wrong with giving your best wishes to the newlyweds and heading off to do whatever your heart desires. 

Discover what to do when you have to cancel your RSVP and learn the eight things you should never tell a bride on her wedding day

Authored by: Emily Lasnier