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The Single Gal's Guide to Wedding Season

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Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, but it's also the official start of wedding season. Between the last weekend in May through October many of us 20- and 30-somethings will be attending at least a handful of "fairytale" weddings. And if you don't have a permanent +1 in your life, your blissfully happy friends may not have the budget or the headcount to allow you to bring a date, leaving you at the dreadful singles table.

But fear not! Being a single lady at a wedding is no longer an opportunity to answer embarrassing questions from nosy relatives of the couple, such as: So when will it be your turn? Nor will you have to act like a football player, diving across the dance floor to catch a bouquet for dating luck.

It's time to embrace your just-for-you wedding invitation and have a blast on someone else's dime. Here's my easy-to-follow guide for how to have the time of your life as an unattached wedding guest:

  • Pamper Yourself
    Photo via Visit Fingerlakes/Flickr: Beau Monde Spa in Victor in the Finger Lakes
    So you’re not in the bridal party, that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a facial and mani/pedi before her big day, right? A few days before, book yourself into a local spa for a day of pampering so like the bride, you’re glowing on her wedding day.
  • Make the Best Dressed List
    As long as you’re not wearing white, you should find the hottest dress around, and if there isn’t one already hanging in your closet that no one else has seen you in, borrow a designer look from Rent the Runway. The site recently launched their Wedding Season 2014 Lookbook, but you can find fabulous frocks from any “store” on the site. And don’t forget to borrow a few accessories to complete your look!
  • Be Prepared, for a Hook Up
    If you read my story last year on how to discreetly hook up at a wedding -- read it here -- you’ll remember that there are plenty of places for your own wedding night action. And while your clutch may barely fit your phone and keys, make sure you can store a few X-rated essentials so you can play safe.
  • Plan to Meet The One
    Haven’t you heard that many people meet their future spouse at a wedding? Keep an open mind while eyeing the groomsmen and other, unattached, male guests. While you don’t want to overtly suggest that the handsome guy who has asked you to dance how he envisions your future wedding, definitely keep an open mind when chatting it up at cocktail hour.
  • Make It Ladies’ Night
    Photo via Georgia/Flickr
    A wedding could be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends. Find out from the bride (or groom) which of your mutual friends will also be attending and make it a night out with the girls. You have everything you’ll need: open bar, yummy menu and a great band or DJ to keep you on the dance floor all night long! And if it’s a full wedding weekend away, save some money by sharing hotel rooms for an old-fashioned slumber party complete with chick flicks and cocktails the night before.
  • Survive the Hangover
    If you plan on taking advantage of the open bar, it’s important that you stock up on hangover cure essentials before the big day so you can attend the post-wedding brunch looking as fabulous as you did the night before. Plan a quick trip to the drug store the week before the wedding, or purchase a pre-packaged Hangover Kit, like the one here available on Etsy with water, pain reliever, mouthwash, Gatorade pouch, mints, eye drops, and a protein or energy bar, and make sure it arrives before it’s time to party.
  • Rent-a-(Hot)-Gent
    And in the off chance that you’re invited to bring a date with you and no one in your contacts is available, Rent-a-Gent has a wide selection of hot guys in 11 states and the District of Columbia available to play the perfect gentleman. You can request guys by height, eye color, level of degree, language and body type. You’ll shell out about $200 per hour, but won’t it be worth making your high school frenemy jealous of the stud you came with? (Pun intended.) By the way, have you met Sean.