A Single Girl's Guide to Surviving Weddings in 9 Easy Steps

1. Don't RSVP out of obligation.

Yesterday I received an email entitled, "The Single Folks' Guide to Surviving Wedding Season (opens in new tab)." This particular message seemed extremely relevant to my interests due to three important facts:

1. I'm a single gal.

2. Wedding season is nigh, and...

3. I go to an awful lot of weddings (not because I'm particularly popular, but because my friends are nothing if not excellent at getting hitched).

In fact, prior to just about this time last year, I thought I might make my fortune with the tales from my days on the wedding circuit, but then Jen Doll (opens in new tab) released her book, Save the Date, (opens in new tab)and that dream was dashed...

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. I like Apartment Therapy and find that, generally, they offer solid advice about homemaking and profile enviable living spaces. They had to have some good, spunky advice for the modern wedding guest, right? WRONG. So I have taken it upon myself to offer some alternative advice (cultivated from nearly a decade's experience and some wedding wins...and losses) for your impending wedding adventures.

1. Don't RSVP in the affirmative to a wedding that you are going to out of some sort of obligation. You are doing no one a favor. You are not being a "good friend." You are being totally self-serving because you will inevitably tell everyone who will listen that you don't want to go. In reality, you sound like a jerk. Bright side: this should help eliminate ole Breaux's tip not to "dig your face in your smartphone" or her intimation that going to wedding is a "chore." If either of these resonate with you, you may want to reconsider your friendsets. Even if you have to go to a family/coworker/boyfriend's third cousin twice removed, there's always something enjoyable. Eat, drink, dance, people watch. You can do it, I have faith.

2. Do not, under any circumstances, drink more than three glasses of champagne before dinner. Don't ask me how I know this.

3. Wear whatever makes you feel the hottest in the (likely) chance that you run into someone you used to date or a foxy fellow guest or waitstaff who you may want to chat up. We have 364 days (or 350, depending on how heavy your wedding agenda is) a year to dress more sensibly. I troll Gilt (opens in new tab) and the ShopItToMe (opens in new tab) emails all year long in attempts to curate a good bunch of frocks that I can have ready to go. I realize in the days of social media you don't want to recycle the same dress too often, but eff it. Whatever you put on should make you feel either delightfully comfortable or make you say, "Damn!" when you look at yourself in the mirror. If you don't look great in the official photos, you can recall this feeling and convince yourself the photographer simply didn't get your best side.

3a. This advice goes for footwear as well. Personally, I love wearing sky high heels to weddings. They bring me up to the height of an NBA point guard, but who cares? I am also very quick to take them off. No one who matters will judge you. Just beware of fallen glassware.

4. Use your unattached status to keep an eye out for and capture a great picture of the couple in action. They will have millions of amazing ones from the professionals, but it's fun to produce something they love and can give instant gratification. Try to make it candid, and have fun with it. Don't get in the way of big moments though. Again, I have faith in you.

5. Commit to having a great time on the dance floor. Even if you cannot dance, it is a fun place to be. One caveat: this does not mean dominate the center of the dance floor and command everyone's attention 100% of the time. I stay away from specialty moves (minus the worm in maxi dresses...after some trial and error) and I don't much care for dance circles (unless there's a chance you may play an impromptu game of spin the bottle or build a firepit (opens in new tab) of extraneous clothing and accessories). At one of the first real weddings I attended, we actually broke the dance floor. This set a nearly impossible standard for all other dance floors, but I give my very best effort with each performance.

6. As a single person, be ready to DJ the after party. This is one of my favorite tasks. I have a solid playlist on the ready that I prepared for a friend a few years ago, and try to keep updated. People will generally appreciate your efforts, but one word of caution: be sure to read the crowd, both in mood and makeup.

7. Give a wedding gift that is reflective of your relationship with the couple. If you're not feeling the registry gifts (especially if you are like me and by the time you get there it is basically just diamond encrusted candle holders or dish towels), ignore the registry. Now, I say this, but let me be honest: I'm terrible at getting people gifts, in large part because the peak years of wedding attendance coincided with my graduate school stipend of $Zeroteen.99.* Related: I'll catch you all with something fun and unexpected later, and in the meantime, I hope you'll forgive me for the glaring hole on your impeccably curated gift Excel sheet! My go-to gift when I am more on top of things and fiscally flush is from Brooklyn Slate (opens in new tab). Not going to tell you what though because more of you guys will get married and I'd like to leave a little mystique.

*This message also goes out to all of my friends and family who had birthdays during those years.

8. Be thankful you have great friends and family, and spend the majority of your time with the ones who make you happiest. There will always be high school foes you'd like to avoid or family members who insist on only asking you about your lifeplans in a crowded room. Avoid putting yourself in those situations and draw life and fun from those who you love the most. Weddings are joyful, remind yourself of that.

9. Revel in the fact that when the weekend is over, you get to return to your single behaviors, including working on your dance moves for the next wedding.

Coming soon: a how to guide for engaged couples on how to put on a great wedding. (Kidding, all you need is to love each other a lot, friendship, some tasty beverages, and a great playlist).

This article originally appeared on A Kaleidoscoped Life (opens in new tab).

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