Guest Guide

8 Ways to Work a Wedding Without a Plus-One

Customize your own event checklist with due dates, personal reminders, and timelines for all your wedding to do’s.

Find out if you’ll know anyone else there.

After you’ve decided to attend alone, ask if there’s anyone you might know on the guest list. Whether it’s a college friend or the bride’s sister, knowing you’ll know a few people there, even just casually, is a relief. Bonus: the couple may know of another solo guest who you might get along with, and they can introduce you via email or Facebook before the wedding.

Offer 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 help 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.

Go into it feeling confident.

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.

Make new friends during cocktail hour or dinner.

Sure, you might feel odd as the single person at a table full of couples, but do your best to be friendly and social. It’s not like being alone in a bar or a 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. Our go-to new friends at a wedding? An older married couple.

Identify lone family members who might be easy to talk to.

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 single aunt, the bride’s pregnant sister who isn’t up for hitting the dance floor, or the table filled with grandpas and uncles. These are great people to strike up a conversation with on the sidelines.

Have a plan for the slow songs.

Many people are comfortable hitting the dance floor alone during the fast songs, but they panic when the slow songs hit. While you could make a beeline for your table each time the song changes, 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.

Know that it’s OK to 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.

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 survive.
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