How to Survive a Wedding When You Only Know the Bride (or Groom)

Just because you're on your own at a wedding is no reason to act like the last kid picked for the team in gym class. You'll have to work a bit to have fun and meet people, but it'll be worth it. These tips will guarantee you won't spend any time watching the party go by as you watch from a corner!

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Brett Heidebrecht

Offer up your most confident self. 

You look good and you know it in that brand-new dress. Your French perfume is magnifique. You're feeling less uncomfortable. You got this one—just let your mind replace "awkward" with "attitude," and you'll kill it!

Chat with your tablemates. 

We doubt the bride would be so clueless as to stick you at a table full of couples who just want to make out all night and avoid everyone around them. So be the ice-breaker by introducing yourself and gabbing with the person on either side. Never-fail conversation starters: How do you know the bride and groom? Are you from this area? I love your dress—is that silk?


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Volunteer to help. 

We don't mean slinging hash or clearing tables but something that doesn't involve getting dirty, like manning the escort-card table or directing people to the cocktail-hour space. It'll give you something to do and an opportunity to meet people. Of course, if anyone treats you like the hired help, evacuate your station immediately!

Introduce yourself to another solo player.

You're standing in a corner, drink in hand, eyeing the crowd, maybe cursing the bride or your ex for putting you in this situation when bam, you see another solo player (look for her or him in another corner!). You've just struck wedding guest gold. Unless the person is a shrew, they'll be happy and relieved to meet you. Suggest getting a drink, looking at the cake, stepping out on the dance floor, or chatting with other guests. Now you'll experience the wedding with your temp BFF.

And don't forget the older folks. 

Whether it's the long-married couple (you can just tell) near the crudité platter or the bride's gray-haired granny parked at a table near the bride and groom, these guests will be among the most willing to chat with a pretty little thing like you. They'll be happy to make intros, probably to other guests your age, and they'll likely never run out of conversation. At the very least, they'll share with you all the family gossip, like who's not talking to who and which aunt just got a little nip-and-tuck. Good stuff!

Get on a line.

Line dance, that is. They're ridiculous, silly, and awesome, and possibly the greatest way to meet people. If you can't make a connection with someone as you're doing the Electric Slide, you never will.


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About the Author

Nancy Mattia

Though Nancy has been writing about weddings for years, she admits that watching a bride walk down the aisle—even on TV—still makes her tear up. The New York-area writer's other favorite wedding moments are when the groom sees the bride for the first time, hearing the toasts, and when she sees a waiter with a tray full of hors d'oeuvres walking towards her. 


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