As weddings have taken up so much of my life lately, I figured maybe they should take up a lot of my blog as well. Here’s a special wedding season series – some questions I get asked (or ones I don’t), some things I survived, some truths I’ve been learning. And, an extra bonus: one very special wedding!
“Saturday is opening day!!”
“Opening day for what?” my friend texted back.
“Krysti’s Wedding Season 2016.”
It’s been a running joke with my friends, how many weddings I keep getting invited to. Every time I say “Oh, I can’t that day! I have a wedding” or “I’ll be out of town that weekend, I have a friend’s wedding” the reply is typically “of course you do”.
It’s funny to me, because I know some people who are invited to way more. It’s funny to me, because people assume I’m just so popular (promise, I’m not). It’s funny to me, because it’s the exact same place I was in last summer: 7 invitations, 5 attendances, 0 dates. Soo, same time next year?
I wrote about SINGLE handedly surviving wedding season a year ago, and some people have asked me for me to do another round. I am the self proclaimed authority on singleness (eye roll) and I do love a good pun, so who am I to say no? Maybe this will be a yearly blog in my life. We will see, friends, we will see.
I get asked a lot about how I survive wedding season, single. I actually get asked a million and half questions about my life, specifically my romantic life, when I bring up my wedding season – 5?! 7?? What? How? How??
Here’s the thing I want to be clear about: going to a wedding sans a date is not the worst thing in the world. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again and again and again: I do not understand why people make being single during certain events/ seasons are harder than others. Why is me going to a wedding alone so much more shocking than me going to a friend’s birthday party alone? They’re both parties. They’re both celebrations. They’re both filled with people I love. They’re both parties celebrating people I love. Why on earth would I miss that? Why are earth are you making me feel weird for not wanting to miss that?
But here’s also the thing: going to weddings alone can have its drawbacks. I’m a realist, people. I’m not here to lie to you. And by drawbacks, you know I mean awkward moments.
The 2016 highlight reel includes:
- Getting seated at the same table as my ex. And his new girlfriend.
- Dancing with a piece of cake, not a date, during the token slow dance the DJ’s always play (don’t worry, I did it off the dance floor. I wasn’t that weird)
- Attempting to third wheel during salsa dancing (note: impossible)
- A whole crowd of people thinking I was legitimately my friend’s second wife
- Getting stuck in a half hour plus chat with grandparents, who take you being alone as you wanting to have an in-depth conversation about life (actually, I want a drink and to be on the dance floor….)
- Unintentionally matching with a friend so completely that, when we were walking around together, it looked like we were bridesmaids
- Getting hit on on the dance floor. No, I don’t want to chat about work and life and where you live on the dance floor, I want to dance on the dance floor. Sorry, buddy.
- …also getting hit on on my way to the dance floor. “Sorry to end this conversation, but I really need to go dance to Kesha right now…” was a legitimate sentence I said this summer.
As humorous as all those instances are (now, after the moment has passed, clearly), none of them were the end of the world. None of them made me hate my existence. None of them made me desperate to marry the next man I lay eyes on. I haven’t needed someone to hold my hand during the ceremony. I haven’t felt a necessity for a plus one to mingle with. And I definitely have never dreamed of a date to share my cake with.
But – let me be clear, as apparently my blogs can tend to come off as “I hate dating / men / all relationships / rainbows and happiness” – would it be nice to have a date to all these weddings? Would it be nice to have another name to write in on my RSVP cards? Would it be nice to have someone to share these special moments with??
It would be so nice. As an introvert or as as single person (sometimes I can’t tell where one line ends and the other begins), sometimes you just want someone looking out for you: someone who can tell when you’re slowly dying talking to that stranger and will come rescue you; someone who can tell you need another drink and will go get one without even asking; someone who you can simply be yourself around, let your guard down for a second, and not have to be “on” at an event so very crowded with people, so very full of small talk. Also, as a girl, SOMEONE WHO HAS POCKETS.
And at the same time… I feel like I had those needs met, through my friends. Sure, it meant at times third wheeling or standing in a group of the obvious single ladies. Other times it meant standing completely alone – but why does that seem to be our biggest fear these days? I ate good food and laughed my head off and almost cried through way too many beautiful toasts during way too many beautiful moments – alongside friends. I danced – group dances like the cupid shuffle or attempting to remember how to swing dance with guy friends or like an idiot by myself when Kesha came on (per usual). I even managed to find various men who would carry my phone in their much coveted pockets – that’s when you know the friendship is real.
I found belonging and fulfillment and the ability to celebrate alongside people in my life through relationships that are purely platonic. And I think that’s okay. Maybe that will change one day, maybe I’ll be celebrating other’s love alongside someone I’m in love with – and that will be okay, too. I don’t happen to think one is better than the other.
I think it’s so great to go to a celebration of love with someone you’re in love with. I think it’s so wonderful to be able to hold someone’s hand as two people promise forever to each other, to dance to the slow songs, to share a piece of cake. I’m not against that in any way, I’m not hating on that at all – it’s just not where I am in life. And because of that, I don’t think I lose out on celebrating. I don’t think I have a worse time or a painful celebration or can’t be just as happy for the couple. I can celebrate love without having a boy holding my hand. I think we all can.
It’s painful is when people assume I can’t. When people assume I’m having a hard time, when they assume I’m struggling. And it’s fine, if you’re friends with someone and know their struggles, to ask and check in and be sensitive about those things. But please, PLEASE, don’t overhear I’m going to 5 weddings and ask how hard it is for me. Don’t hear me complaining about how busy my summer is, and assume I’m really complaining because all my friends are getting married and I’m not. Please don’t assume my pain is your pain, my hurt is your hurt. Don’t decide for me that my life isn’t okay, because no matter what I tell you, you still believe my life isn’t okay. And that’s what I have a hard time with, above anything.
I came home from my last wedding of the season pretty exhausted, for various reasons. I chatted with my roommate about my trip, as I looked at our fridge – realizing it was finally time to take down all the save the dates, bridal show invites, and wedding details that had cluttered the space for months. Always the sentimental one, it was a bit sad for me. But it was also a bit therapeutic – the ending of a season, the beginning of another. I’ve been so grateful for all the special moments I’ve been able to witness, the celebrations I’ve been a part of. But I’m also grateful it’s come to an end. My carry on has permanently been in my room over the last few months, constantly in a state of being unpacked from the last trip or being re-packed for the next. I’m ready to stick in the garage, let it gather a little dust. Let my feet get used to this ground again, my soul get used to new rhythms.
Being invited to someone’s wedding is truly an honor. I think we forgot that, sometimes. Or at least I do – in the midst of being invited to so many, in this season of life where it feels like everyone is getting married, I forget what a gift it is to get an invitation in the mail that says “We’re starting a new life together, and we want you to be there. Will you join us? Will you be a part of that sacred moment?”
One wedding this summer was on the smaller side, and as I looked around during dinner I was overwhelmed with the idea that the couple chose me to be there, gave me a seat, asked me to join them. I was reminded of what a holy moment that day holds. Earlier this year two of my best friends got engaged, and it was the most special of days – I remember thinking I got a glimpse of something eternal, something truly sacred. Weddings are that multiplied tenfold. What an honor, to be invited to witness that.
For anyone who ever questions why I go to so many weddings alone, why I haven’t reached my limit and stopped attending, I wish I could sum that up in a sentence. I wish I could fully articulate how meaningful it is to watching someone’s first day of the rest of their lives. I never want to miss that honor – with or without a date.