How to Not Be an Ass to Your Single Friends: A Guide for Brides
Help us help you.
Hello, friends, and welcome to the shit-show that is wedding season! Before we get started, I need to salute all you brides-to-be for even reading this. Clicking on this to link was a certifiable act of bravery! And for that I salute you!
Seriously, though: most articles I’ve come across on the subject of singles at weddings tend to involve a single woman telling brides they are terrifying, narcissistic bitch-trolls. And while I have enjoyed reading those articles immensely, that is not the plan today. Why? Because despite what we were taught in Bride Wars, it turns out that brides are not universally awful people! WHO KNEW?! In fact, I’ve found that the proportion of awful brides out there is almost exactly equal to the proportion of awful people.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, everyone with a cable connection has been lead to believe that inevitably, every bride eventually becomes Bridezilla. Well, I’m calling bullshit. Like the faultless men found in Nicholas Sparks novels, this bride character is very rarely found in real life. (True, psycho-brides are all over reality TV, but hello: that is their natural habitat!)
Bottom line: Every Bridezilla was a ‘Zilla first; and I’d bet my left tit that you aren’t one.
That said, weddings can still be tricky terrain for the single and dateless. I should know. Single is my perpetual state of being, so clearly, I’m somewhat of an authority on the issue. During my excellent adventures, I’ve learned that even the sweetest bride alive is capable of inadvertently wounding her single lady-friends. Occasionally physically. (I’ll get to that.)
While never done intentionally, these incidents usually happen because of the bizarre bridal privilege that leaves the betrothed blind to the realities of being a single woman. It’s not your fault you can’t see it! How could you? We are simply living different realities. Luckily, I’m here to save your loved-up asses. Here is my advice for the non-Bridezillas of the bunch (which is to say: 95% of you).
We HONESTLY Are Happy For You
Listen up: just because we (your single crew) are unloved spinsters does not mean we are anti-happiness. This is a myth, which, much like my Tinder profile, needs to lay down and die. We genuinely are happy for you. So stop changing the subject if we ask how wedding-ish things are going in the months and weeks beforehand. If we ask, it means we do want to know. And who knows? Perhaps we have a secret Pinterest page set up precisely for this occasion. So don’t dodge the wedding talk because you’re afraid of becoming a bore. Fun fact: if that happens, people will tell you.
I can’t believe I am actually admitting this in writing, but here it goes: I will totally ask to try on your engagement ring like a psycho. (This is why I write under a pseudonym, y’all.) Because while I may not be jealous of your wedding planning responsibilities, or your one-penis-forever plans, I sure as HELL am coveting that Supply & Demand custom piece you’re wearing.
So please, I beg of you, never tell a single friend that trying on your ring is bad luck. Why? Because fuck youuuu that’s why! If you really cannot bear for me touch it (due to nacho grease on my hands, etc.), well, then it’s your job to find a better lie. That is all.
The Odd One Out
I’m going to get right to the point with this one: If the number of groomsmen and the bridesmaids is uneven, meaning someone has to walk down the aisle alone, for the love of all that is holy, do NOT let the solo walker be the single woman. Just don’t. PICK. ANYONE. BUT. HER. This rule applies even if the aforementioned single bridesmaid says she’s cool with it. You have been warned.
We Came to Support You! Not To Criticize Your Centerpieces
Side note: what even are centerpieces?
Being in my mid-twenties is exhausting enough without keeping fake friends around. So you know what? I fucking don’t. That means if I’m coming to your wedding, it’s because I think you are rad as hell and I am excited to celebrate. Full stop. I do not come to weddings so I can sit in a corner and groan about how lame everything is. (I only do that at Bachelorette parties. Not because I am anti-love. I am simply anti-penis cake.)
So stop assuming your single guests are bringing a chip on their shoulder as their plus ones. That is just as unfair as your mother-in-law treating you like a disappointment before you’ve even had the chance to behave like one! Not cool.
When We Congratulate You, Don’t Make It Weird
Many brides assume that single guests are in need of some unsolicited encouragement. While intentions are good, the result usually isn’t. Let me give you an example from about a year ago, when I congratulated a friend on her new husband and baby.
Me: Congratulations! I’m so happy for you!
Her: Thank you! It’ll happen for you too one day, you’ll see!
Her: Really! It’ll happen! Don’t worry!
Her: I can feeeeel it!
Me: *Slowly backs away into the bushes Homer-Simpson-style. Spends rest of the evening pretending to be a plant.*
I have had identical conversations at several weddings since and it is consistently awkward. How do you know? Is your name Chris Harrison? Am I on The Bachelor? No??? THEN SILENCE! Also, please try to remember the following: just because you have personally won a prize does not mean that it is one I want. Ya dig?
On the flip side, occasionally people (a.k.a. psychopaths) respond to congratulations by pretending they are jealous of your life. This, perhaps, is even more offensive. A bride will say things like “Oh please. Our life is so boring! Tell me more about your dating life! I totally wish I was on Tinder! ” No. No, you do not. NOBODY DOES. Do not patronize me, woman!
In both situations, the intentions are good. Clearly, you are trying to make me feel better (which FYI, the bartender already has under control) but this is not the way. Instead of saying something uncomfortable when faced with well wishes, try one of these handy replies on for size:
- Thank you! I’m so glad you could make it!
- Thanks, we are really excited!
- Thanks! Also, your tits look outstanding in that dress!
- Let’s continue this chat by the bar!
The Bouquet Toss
Oh, the bouquet toss. Personally, I am happy to be a good sport about this one. But you know where I draw the line? Having that shit thrown DIRECTLY at my face. And, yes, I am speaking from experience. One bride wound up like an MLB pitcher, looked me dead in the eye, and proceeded to aim her bouquet directly between my eyeballs.
Again, intentions were well placed. But that did not change the fact I screamed and dropped my wine while reflexively blocking my face. The whole thing felt like a scene from a telenovela.
If you are a bride, save your fastball for the annual office baseball tournament.
Always Have A Word With Your DJ
Nothing sends a shiver through my spine like the words, “Now, let’s get all the couples join us on the dance floor!” The fact that this tends to be followed up by a Shania Twain ballad does not help matters. As a single person, the announcement of a couples-only dance means skulking off the dance floor to hide in the shadows with your tail between your legs. (Incidentally, this is also how my dog behaves after taking a poop on my rug.)
Even worse is what comes next. Nine times out of ten, the DJ will follow this up by calling all the single ladies to the dance floor. At which point, you guessed it, he drops ‘Single Ladies’ by Beyoncé. THIS IS NOT OKAY. Single Ladies is a legendary ass-shaker of a jam! Which makes any ‘singles only’ rule preventing a solid chunk of wedding guests from joining in borderline unconscionable. Beyoncé is for EVERYONE, you guys! Make sure your DJ gets the memo.
Happy Wedding Season!
xo Lindsay, Tinder in Brooklyn