June is the start of wedding season and the biggest month for couples to say "I do." For those of us who receive a bevy of wedding invites, but seriously lacking a steady party date, the plus one season can feel a lot like dodging emotional landmines. First, we are presented with the happy couple, ostensibly off to a lifetime of wedded bliss. Despite how bad we feel about our own marital demise, we wish them well! No bad relationship karma necessary. Second, it is hard not to feel like the solo albatross in the banquet room. We're the girl standing on the sidelines, all dressed up, with no dance partner. But with a slight shift in your perspective an evening out at a fancy party can be a fabulously good time and open season for finding your next best pairing.
Here are a few tips for surviving the + one wedding season with aplomb.
1. Always accept a wedding invitation.
Just because you are not part of a matched set does not mean that you have to stay home in your housies and avoid all couple oriented activities. The reality is weddings can be the perfect opportunity for a stellar offline (vs. plentyoffish.com online) "fishing" expedition. Weddings are a happy occasion and most people attending are in a good mood. They're predisposed to upbeat connections and smart small talk with other guests. Even if no one else attending the soiree is single, the party guests may know the perfect friend, uncle, cousin, newly divorced neighbor, they can introduce you to!
2. Boldly and beautifully go solo.
It is a night to look your absolute best. Take the time to do your hair and make-up so you look beautiful. You may even want to treat yourself to a department store makeover. Why not, they're free and fun, and those counter ladies know what they're doing. Don your favorite little black dress that makes you feel stunning and confident. Hail your most alluring smile and hold your head high as you proudly walk into the reception room. The attitude is infectious and people are naturally drawn to happy confident people.
3. Work the room.
When you arrive at the party make a point of introducing yourself to as many clusters of attendees as you can. An easy way to insinuate yourself into a group is start with a friendly icebreaker. Compliment one person in the group on an item of clothing, hairstyle or shoes. Ask what they're drinking, where they put their gift, or what the they thought was the tastiest nibble at the food table. Next introduce yourself. Boldly state you're single status, you want to start planting the "set me up please" seed early. Ask how they know the couple getting married and let it flow from there. Stay in one group long enough to meet everyone then move on to the next. The idea is to make memorable contact with as many guests as possible.
4. Ask for the seat you want.
Call the bride prior to the event and ask her to seat you at the table with the other eligible singles in attendance. If there are no others that are solo, then ask her to seat you at a table of your peers. Once you get to know them, and share your status, it is likely that they'll know someone to introduce you to. If they don't offer any dating prospects, you make the suggestion with something like, "If you ever run across anyone who you think might be right for me, keep me in mind!" That should get their matchmaking mindset revving.
5. Hang out with the real grown-ups.
The bride and groom's Grandpa and Grandma (and their crowd) love accolades and attention just as much as the rest of the wedding party...maybe even a little bit more. Take a stroll over to their table and congratulate them on the nuptials. Take your charm one step further, and if it's okay with Grandma, ask Grandpa for a dance. It's not only a good deed, but it makes it clear you're single and it will get them thinking. They know people, who know people too, and Grand's love playing yenta.
Most importantly have a good time. Live in the moment because that truly is your bliss. Enjoy the environment, great music, good food and party atmosphere.
Do you have a great "I met a man at my friend's wedding" story. Let me know @ kerrizane.com.