Oh Beyoncé. Thank you (both sarcastically and genuinely) for coming out with “Single Ladies” just in time for me to start my bridesmaid experience.
You’ve made the whole experience, well, at least dance-worthy (and, provided a soundtrack for all the brides who tossed their bouquets). However, this song also makes all of us single bridesmaids feel a bit more awkward – especially in all those pink bridesmaid dresses I’ve had to wear – as those with husbands/fiancés proudly announce that their guys “liked it, so he put a ring on it.”
That’s alright- keep thinking you’re clever. I won’t point out that it isn’t the first time I’ve heard it.
But beyond the bouquet toss/ “Single Ladies” call out, there’s other issues with being a single bridesmaid, past the silly annoyances.
“My [86 year-old] great-uncle told me at my cousin’s wedding that he just so hopes that he lives to see one more family wedding and that he hopes it’s mine.”
You might luck out and none of the bridesmaids bring dates (even if they aren’t single). Or you might be super unlucky and be the only one who didn’t. I’ve been in two weddings now where none of the bridesmaids brought a date, and it was nice to just hang out as a group instead of watching them worry if their date is bored out of his mind sitting at another table (and therefore immediately abandoning everyone at the first possible moment). I’ve not seen a bridesmaid who came single have a bad time. I have seen bridesmaids who brought dates have a terrible time. I’ve also seen bridesmaids who brought dates have a great time.
Now, I get it. You’d rather bring a date if you can. I get the awkwardness. I’ve been at a wedding where there was an empty seat next to me at my table because I hadn’t brought a date. But keep in mind- you’re also not tied down and not feeling guilty about dragging along someone.
The other issue – dealing with the “older generations.” There’s nothing like going to a family wedding and having relatives (the more random, the better) asking when it’s going to be your turn in the white dress. My favorite? My great-uncle telling me at my cousin’s wedding that he just so hopes that he lives to see one more family wedding and that he hopes it’s mine. (He’ll be 86 in a month). My other favorite moment is RSVPing for the rehearsal dinner. I actually almost got into an ARGUMENT with a groom’s mother about the fact that I wasn’t bringing a date.
- “Hi, I’m the maid of honor in your son’s wedding. I’d like to RSVP for the rehearsal dinner.”
Groom’s Mom (GM):
- (after a moment of confusion) “Oh. Ok. What’s your date’s name?”
- “It will just be me.”
- “No, what’s your date’s name?”
- “I won’t be bringing a date.”
- “YOU’RE NOT BRINGING A DATE?!?!?”
Naturally, by this point in the conversation, I’ve got a few thoughts running through my head. 1) “Thanks, lady. I was really beginning to be ok with being single, and you’ve just made it awkward.” 2) “Why is it such a big deal that I’m not bringing a date?” 3) “Does she know that I am from out-of-town?”
I avoided this lady like the plague, and I’m not 100% convinced I was introduced to her when I was in town for the wedding. If I was, it didn’t go past, “Hi, I’m the Maid of Honor.”
My thought? Don’t go out of your way to bring a date to a wedding. Weddings are awkward enough. Don’t bring someone who you haven’t dated long to a wedding – it only multiplies the awkwardness. I’d rather deal with family members and grumpy family members of the bride or groom than put some random date through this.
This story submitted by “Bridesmaid Revisited” – a new blog! Check it out.