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How to Navigate a Wedding Without a Plus-One

Attending a loved one's nuptials solo? We've got you covered.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Charlotte Jenks Lewis

We've all been there: You're heading to a wedding without a plus-one, and you're feeling a little stressed about spending the evening alone. Whether it's travel constraints on your end, or the happy couple's budget that leaves you without a date for the wedding, you don't need to spend the evening sulking in the corner while families and couples enjoy the party. Use these tips to get conversation going, be comfortable, and dance the night away—even if you're going to the wedding alone.

 

Things Every Plus-One Needs to Know

 

Be friendly and relax.

You will be attending a party, after all. Treat the event as the leisurely affair it's meant to be. "You're only job is to be open, friendly, and honest," says matchmaker and relationship consultant April Beyer. "Let other guests know you're single, but only if asked," she adds, nothing that the rest will naturally take care of itself. Also, don't be afraid to speak up at the dinner table! "Shyness doesn't read well [when] you're an adult. It will only make you look and feel closed off," Beyer says. "Turn your light on and let people know you."

 

Take the focus off of yourself.

Establishing a guest list is difficult enough for a couple that has either a limited budget or tight venue capacity. Don't make them feel regretful about not giving you a plus-one because you're not sure who you'll interact with during the reception. "Never pressure the bride or groom with your hesitation about being solo," Beyer says. Instead, be supportive. "Remember it's their day, not yours." Your presence at the wedding is to witness the union of a happy couple. "You'll also be less nervous—and more attractive—if you put your focus out, instead of in," she adds.

 

Ask to be seated with the married couples.

While it may not sound like it at first, this is an investment in yourself. "Married couples are 10 times more likely to be invested in your personal success, and are much better allies than single people," Beyer says. "Misery loves company, but so does happiness," she adds, noting that other singles are too busy searching for love themselves than to take their time to help you.

 

Offer to help out.

If you're worried about passing the time during the reception, make yourself useful in ensuring its success! "Although your friends [may] have a wedding planner, brides and grooms always underestimate the last-minute hiccups or minor family dramas that occur," Beyer says. "Get involved with the day, and soon you'll be in the middle of the action with everyone noticing how gracious and helpful you are."

 

Seek out a dance partner.

The whole purpose of attending this wedding alone is not to find love, so it's wise not to pressure yourself into meeting a potential partner during the event. Have some fun without the thought of meeting your match in the back of your mind. "Lose the nerves, spot whoever is single, and ask them to dance with you regardless of their age or looks," Beyer says. "When you lose the attachment to an outcome, you always have more fun and inspire others to do the same."

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