Monday, September 23, 2013

Single Girl's Survival Guide: Attending A Wedding Post Break-Up

The focus of any wedding is - and should be - on the bride and groom. From their first kiss as "man and wife" to the tradition of cutting the cake, all eyes are lovingly on the happy couple. But, when you're attending a wedding right after an emotional break-up, it's hard not to think of your ex. To be reminded of him and what you shared. And wish he was there by your side during this great display of love - especially if you're not over him or not ready to move on.

In my early twenties, attending a wedding solo was exciting. I even shared how much fun you can have when you're dateless at the reception. I easily found the positives in not having to spend $50 on your Brazilian the week leading up to the event and noted how you can always score booze faster by the bar when couples are dancing during the slow songs. Fast forward to a serious relationship in my late twenties, ending in a recent "break" or what most of us would confirm as a "break-up," and my view on attending a wedding as a single lady has done a complete turnaround. Sure, I'm still confident and love spending time with my friends, but when a heartbreak is fresh, filled with random weeknights crying yourself to sleep, attending a wedding alone can feel daunting.
This past weekend I celebrated the union of one of my wonderful past coworkers and her new husband. While they've shared ups and downs like any other couple, their display of unconditional love this weekend was truly overwhelming. As they read their vows, there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd. The love, trust and respect they share is nothing less than beautiful. 
While I'm overjoyed for what they've found in one another, I couldn't help but selfishly mourn my recent relationship all over again as they spoke about the "best friend" they had found in each other. I missed my best friend. I missed the man who held my hand over the past two years. I missed my boyfriend who held me close as we swayed to ballads and made me laugh all night on the dance floor at numerous weddings. I missed the man I had thought was my other half.
So how do you get through your first wedding as a newly single person, without having a mortifying breakdown in front of 200 guests? 
Lean on a friend. Rely on your girlfriend who knows the ins and outs of your recent breakup to squeeze your hand during the newlywed's first dance and make you laugh in the photo booth. Your girlfriends have experienced heartbreak too - and won't judge you for having to take multiple bathroom breaks to clean up your makeup or for sniffling louder than should be acceptable during the vows.

Apply waterproof mascara. I'm not going to sugar coat it. Sobbing is almost unavoidable as a newly single person witnessing true love and everlasting commitment, so be prepared with makeup that won't drop down your pretty face. And it should go without saying to stuff your clutch with tissues before heading out to the ceremony.
Just dance. Shake it to "Single Ladies" and jump around to "Shout." How can you not have fun dancing around for hours with your friends? Get your booty on the dance floor!
Go slow at the open bar. Drowning your sorrows in Cosmos may seem like the SATC thing to do, but avoid getting sloppy drunk at all costs. A Champagne toast to the happy couple and a few comforting glasses of red wine are fine, but doing shots with the groomsmen will only lead to sobbing with your head over the toilet the next morning.
Avoid hook ups. Flirting with the single Best Man seems sexy, in theory, but actually hooking up with a new guy during your emotional state will most likely lead to regret. Go ahead and slow dance, but anything intimate in your fragile state is a no-no.
Don't be embarrassed. Let yourself feel what you need to feel. Don't be ashamed for getting caught up in the emotions of the day. As long as you don't make a scene, your tears will go unnoticed by the happy couple and their guests. So cry, reminisce on what could have been, then bring your attention back to the new Mr. and Mrs.!

What are your tips for holding it together at a wedding after a break-up? xo

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