My oldest friend Katie got married last summer. We met in 7th grade as awkward, unattractive 12 year olds and our friendship continued to grow throughout high school. Even though we rarely see each other these days, she is still one of those friends that I immediately pick up with as if no time has passed at all. I had her wedding date marked on my calendar pretty much since they day she got engaged and it is literally something I would not have missed for the world.
Since the ceremony was taking place back in our hometown, I decided to take the week off of work and make a much needed extended visit to western PA. I was given a “plus 1” on my invitation (don’t even get me started on being invited to weddings without a date…discussion for another time), but since I was traveling 7 hours and staying the week with my parents, there really wasn’t a feasible way for me to bring a date. Anyway I was banking on the fact that our other high school friend that I semi keep in touch with (read: the last time I saw her was NYE 3 years ago) but still really like, would be there. Well I was wrong, she couldn’t get off of work, so it turned out that I would be riding solo for this wedding.
Did I just quote Jason DeRulo? Yeah, I went there. Are you judging me a little bit? That’s ok, you probably should, I don’t mind.
As I stood in my parents’ bathroom, straightening my hair and changing into my dress, I definitely had mixed feelings. I was excited to witness my dear friend’s nuptials but there are something things you’d just rather not do alone. Weddings are one of those things. They are the ultimate coupley event. Even more so they are the ultimate friend-group event. But this one? This one I was doing alone. Regardless of the way I was feeling, I signed my card and drove the 10 minutes to our local country club.
In a moment of weakness and in an effort to make myself feel less lame about the whole datelss/friendless wedding scenario I was living, I snapchatted a selfie to a few of my guy friends before I got out of the car. I sent a cute photo to one of the guys I had a crush on, and a goofy one over to a couple of my just-friends-guy-friends. I figured if I sent a pic to three people instead of one, I had a better chance of someone responding and telling me that I looked hot—just the confidence boost I was seeking. The just-friends-guy-friends never responded, but my crush did in fact snapchat me back with the comment “Looking Good!” which is close enough to “You’re Hot” for me to live with.
[On a side note, as I type all of this I realize just how pathetic it sounds and is the perfect example of how to not ride solo. I’m human though, so cut me a just a little bit of slack for my insecurities, and keep reading because I chose to grow up and act like an adult instead of an immature, self-absorbed teenager for the rest of the evening.]
After the snapchatting selfie incident, I decided to lock my insecurities in the car along with my pride and make my way to the back of the country club for the ceremony. I said hello to a mutual high school friend’s parents and found my seat. The ceremony was lovely and beautiful and so-very Katie.
I knew the wedding itself would be fine, but I was a little concerned about how cocktail hour would go. I made my way up to the country club after extending my well wishes in the receiving line, and took a seat on the patio. Most of the twenty-somethings in attendances had gone to college with the bride and groom, so they were busy catching up with one another. I tried to smile sweetly as I quietly people watched and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.
I wasn’t quite sure how long I could hold the sweet smile before I just started looking creepy, so I couldn’t have been more happy when a girl named… we’ll call her J… came over and introduced herself. It turns out we had met through the bride years prior, so I immediately jumped at the chance to make conversation with someone. If I recall the story correctly, I believe that J had a very very very (lots of very’s) messy breakup in the final days of college with another one of the wedding guests. Her current fiancé was there as her date, but I suspect J was looking for an escape from the awkwardness just like I was.
Well J introduced me to Robin who was an absolute doll, and she introduced me to her husband, and another of their friends and his girlfriend, and next thing you know I’m sitting a full table on the patio sipping on a glass of moscato and cracking jokes. Before I realized it an hour had passed and a member of the country club staff came out to call us to be seated for dinner.
I was sat at a hodge-podge table, a collection of friends who all knew the bride and groom from different places. To my left was the groom’s only high school friend which seemed appropriate as I was the bride’s only high school friend. To my right were two of the bride’s co-workers who might just have been the funniest pair I’ve ever met. By the time the salad course was finished, you’d have thought we were all the oldest and dearest of friends. Love when that happens! When it came time to for the band to begin playing, I followed them to the dance floor and continued our conversation. At the end of the night, it was hugs all around, everyone feeling like they had made new friends.
For as anxious as I was about doing a wedding solo, it really couldn’t have gone better. And it was good practice, because this certainly is not the last event I’ll be attending solo. Given my success, I put together a short list of rules to help all you single folk out there navigate your way through the awkwardness that can accompany doing life (or just an event!) alone.
It seemed like a lot for one post, so check back this afternoon for my list of rules! Let me know if you have any more suggestions for the list, because let’s be real, I can use all the help I can get!
PS: Fast forward 4 months and the looking-good-crush-guy I mentioned above is actually my date to Maria and Cal’s wedding this week. So I guess the snapchatting incident wasn’t all bad, right?