How to Survive Peak Wedding Season as a Catholic Single

Starting in June and going all the way until September, it is prime time for couples to tie the knot. For couples in the United States, the warm and picturesque summer months are traditionally the peak time for weddings.

Maybe you’ve received the inevitable save-the-date in the mail recently. Perhaps you’re not necessarily thrilled at the prospect of attending someone’s wedding. The single years in particular can be a time when wedding attendance isn’t the most enjoyable thing in the world, to put it mildly.

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Worries about plus-ones, feelings of jealousy towards the happy couple, and the fear of it never being your turn can all make weddings feel like more of a nightmare than a joyous occasion.

If you’re struggling with the prospect of getting through a wedding (or maybe even several!) as a single Catholic man or woman, here are three ways to work on turning wedding attendance into a positive experience.

Remember that weddings are a celebration of friendship

One of the best ways to ease the unpleasantness of going to a wedding as a single Catholic man or woman is to take the stress of finding a date to be your plus one. Instead of viewing a wedding as an occasion that requires you to have a date, try to look at it as a time to celebrate with a friend instead.

If you want to bring someone with you to the wedding, consider asking a friend to come with you instead of a date. Bring someone you can have fun with and forget about awkward love life dilemmas for the night.

Or, if you don’t want to bring a friend as your plus one, then at least resolve to reconnect with people who you know at the wedding. Chances are, if the bride and groom invited you, there will be other people there that you’ll know, too.

Use the wedding a chance to catch up with people you may not see very often. If there is open seating at the reception, make a point of sitting at a table with someone you know. You might just rekindle old friendships that you’ve missed, and you might end up with some introductions to new people as well.

In the rare case that you actually don’t know anyone other than the bride and groom at the wedding, all is not lost.

Try to make some ice-breaking small talk with other guests and see if you have anything in common with them beyond your shared acquaintance with the happy couple. You just might end up making some new friends.

Balance temperance with celebration

Weddings are a time to celebrate, and most wedding receptions do feature alcohol of some kind.

While there’s nothing wrong with a drink (or two!) in celebration of the occasion, resolve to be temperate in your drinking for the evening.

It can be tempting to overindulge in alcohol when you’re feeling particularly vulnerable, out of place, or down. Don’t let that be you at a wedding reception.

There are a variety of poor outcomes possible to drinking too much at a wedding reception. Firstly, drunkenness is a sin and not something we should be doing on any occasion. Second, you might end up doing something you regret, or looking more foolish than you felt from just being single at a wedding.

A much better strategy for dealing with the awkward feelings of being out of place would be to stick to only a few drinks and to pray for help combatting insecurity.

Pray for the newly married couple

One important thing that you shouldn’t lose sight of whenever you attend someone’s wedding is that the couple is about to begin their vocation of marriage. It’s a vocation that comes with joys and challenges.

These days, the common view of weddings can get pretty skewed. The wedding becomes all about everything looking perfect, and the focus on the beginning of a marriage can be completely overshadowed.

Hopefully, the couple whose wedding you’re attending has some sense of the spiritual importance that their wedding holds. Hopefully, they know that they’re beginning a new vocation with their spouse for the rest of their lives.

But chances are that even if they are aware of these things and aren’t wrapped in the fairy-tale-ness of this one day, many of their guests will be oblivious to the sacramental significance of the day. It might turn out that you’re one of the few guests who know how much this couple is in need of prayers as they start their new vocation.

If the ceremony is a nuptial Mass, offer your prayers for the couple sincerely. If it isn’t a Mass or even a Catholic ceremony, offer your prayers all the more fervently for this couple.

Marriage is difficult, even between two holy people. The new couple will face many difficulties as they spend their lives together. Even if they are well-prepared for what lies ahead, they need all the prayers they can get.

It’s not that hard to grasp intellectually that someone else’s wedding is not about you. But that doesn’t mean you won’t feel the pressure of insecurity and even self-pity when you have to attend as a single Catholic man or woman.

But if you treat weddings as an opportunity to pray for a marrying couple, to help give them the spiritual help they need to truly live out their new vocation well, you can begin to triumph over these feelings and make the whole experience more worthwhile!

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