How to cope with wedding season when weddings hurt your feelings and your brain

And maybe you also hate dancing in public

Ah, weddings. A fun excuse to see all your friends who’ve moved to different parts of the country or a way for smug coupled people to try to one-up each other? Or both? It’s all in the eye of the beholder, we say. But it’s definitely hard if you’ve just gone through a breakup, are single and don’t want to be, feel behind in any way in life, used to date the bride or groom (you’re a saint if you show up!), or just hate dancing in public.

This one’s for you—the unsung hero of the wedding reception with the fake smile plastered on your face at all times in case one of those stealthy photographers gets you in the background of a candid shot during the father-daughter dance. With these 8 tips, you can do it, friend. We believe in you.

1. Skip as many events as possible

As recently as ten years ago a wedding was a single event—the wedding itself, which consisted of a ceremony and a reception, usually in the same location. But now, there are all sorts of surrounding events, like a welcome party, a luncheon, an after-party, and a brunch, and that’s just the wedding weekend! Don’t forget the bridal showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties. We don’t know about you but that requires more outfits and more patience for the groom’s sister than we’ll ever have. So just don’t go to everything.

2. Turn an out-of-town wedding into a vacation

Even better, if you can pull it off, turning a wedding weekend into a vacation by adding a few days off on either end can really decrease the dread factor. It can also help with any resentment you’re feeling if you have to pay a fortune to fly to the wedding. And then just tell yourself you’re going on vacation and during your vacation, one of the things you’re doing is stopping by a wedding.

3. Wear something you actually like and can eat in

Comfortable clothes that make you feel cute are SO important. If you’re uncomfortable physically as well as emotionally, four hours will feel like twenty-four hours. If you like to dance, wear something you can dance in. If you’re us, just wear something you can eat in.

4. Don’t stay at the designated hotel

Unless you’re friends with a whole bunch of people who are also staying there, do yourself a favor and get a room or an Airbnb somewhere else. After escaping from the endless wedding events, the last thing you need is to run into fellow wedding guests when you’re just trying to go to the ice machine.

5. Say no to peer pressure

You don’t have to dance/give a toast/try to meet someone if you don’t want to. Try this line if your “friends” are pushing you (literally) onto the dance floor: “Ouch you just stepped on my foot and broke my toe. Shoot, I can’t dance now.”

6. Don’t take the shuttle bus to the reception

If you can swing it, find an alternate means of transportation to and from the reception so you can leave whenever you want. Maintaining as close to total independence during this whole ordeal is key.

7. Sneak out after they cut the cake

There’s no rule that says you have to stay until the wee hours. Just make sure you’ve had your allotted 45-90 seconds of face time with the bride and groom, and then sneak the f*ck out the back.

8. RSVP no

Problem solved! Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one.

Written by Lauren Kernan, MA

Lauren Kernan is the Director of Content and UX Strategy for Bedsider and Abortion Finder. In her spare time, she can be found sewing or starting and giving up on various other crafts.

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