It's that time of year again: Wedding Season.
It begins when you open your mailbox and, under the mound of bills and ValPak coupons, there it sits:
The four pound envelope.
Inside you find a million little pieces of paper ("Reserve your hotel room!"; "Directions!"; "Tracy and Phil are registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond!")
Then out floats the most dreaded piece of paper of all: the R.S.V.P. card:
(SFX: The theme song from the "Psycho" shower scene)
"[Insert your name here] ... AND GUEST ___ will attend, ___will not attend."
It's like, "Oh thanks, Tracy who I haven't heard from since college, not only are you getting married and I'm not, but now I have to stress out trying to figure out who my "and Guest" will be?!?"
No need to have a "wish-I-was-a-Bride"-zilla freak out! Your good friend Paige is here with 5 Survival Tips for a Drama-Free Wedding Season!
SURVIVAL TIP #1: Don't put up with pressure.
The next time Grandma Phyllis decides to ask the whole family over dinner why you're still single, politely reply, "Thanks for your concern but I am very happy with my life! And when I meet the right man who's worthy enough to share it with, I'll be sure to let you know."
In fact, you may have no desire to get married anytime soon (or again... or ever!) and that's ok! This is your life - you can't live it for anyone else.
SURVIVAL TIP #2: Accept what is.
It's understandable that your first reaction might be, "I'm not getting married this summer. This sucks."
Especially when that fact is compounded by unfair details, like your (much) younger sister is getting married before you or your best friend is getting hitched to some guy she's only dated for six weeks (and whom you totally dislike).
Whatever the situation, it is what it is. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you'll get to a place where you can focus on doing what will make you happy.
And don't forget, just because a person is getting married doesn't necessarily mean they're happy. We never know what goes on inside other people's relationships. You don't have the power to change circumstances, but you do have the power to make your own life as fulfilling and exciting as possible!
If you notice feelings of jealousy and bitterness, try to let them go. Being happy for your friends (or even your bridezilla cousin) just feels better than holding onto negative energy. And when you're in a positive place mentally and emotionally, you are automatically more attractive to others. (Hellooooo cute groomsman!)
SURVIVAL TIP #3: Don't "obligate" yourself into Wedding Overload
You may feel obligated to go to every shower, bachelorette party, and wedding you get invited to. And all those the plane tickets, hotels, dresses, gifts and open-bar tabs should set you back roughly, oh -- every penny in your bank account.
You're only human. There are only 14 weekends in your summer. Before you R.S.V.P., ask yourself:
If you answer "yes" to these questions, then reply "Yes." Otherwise, politely send your regrets (and a thoughtful gift) and then let yourself off the hook!
SURVIVAL TIP #4: Carpe Reception!
Instead of dreading wedding season, why not recognize it for what it is: a great opportunity to meet men!
A reception is basically like the bar scene except that cocktails are free and everyone is one degree of separation since they know the bride and/or groom, just like you do!
Also, witnessing the sacred union of two people can have a profound effect on the single guests (men included). Many are thinking, "I wonder when I'LL find love like that?"
(Note: by this I actually mean making a connection with another guest that could lead to future dates - not hooking up with the Best Man after 8 Kamikaze shots and catching the bride's bouquet with your teeth.)
SURVIVAL TIP #5: Celebrate where you are and believe that the love you desire will soon be a reality.
Take a moment to recognize how well you're doing right where you are.
You have made a commitment to yourself to examine your life (which takes guts) and do what it takes to achieve the fulfilling love life you know you deserve.
Real love is a journey (which is why marriage can't be the final destination). By building your confidence and making a decision to date without drama, you are closer than ever to finding it.
(And who knows... it might just be you sending out that four pound invitation next summer! Wahooo!)
Follow Paige Parker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PaigeDWD