Confession of a 20-something: I’m tired of going to weddings

The summer after I graduated from college, I stopped counting the number of weddings I attend in a year.  It’s too big a number. And it pains me to think of the money I’ve spent on cookie sheets and spatulas and bathroom trashcans.  The number of weddings that I’ve been an attendant for is much smaller, as it well should be as I think being in a wedding demands a certain kind of intimacy in friendship, and it’s even more painful to think of the money I’ve spent on manicures, hair-dos, and dresses I’ll never wear again.  As I now sit firmly in my late-20s, this is my confession: I’m tired of going to weddings.

As I write this, I’m aware that it sounds like the sour lament of a girl who’s pushing 30 and is still single.  It’s not, I promise.  It’s true that I would like to be married one day and I’d prefer that day come sooner rather than later, but my every thought is not focused on my relationship status.  I’m single, but my life is full – of activity and of love.  I’m single, but I’m not alone. I’ve come to rest in this on the inevitable days when the sting of the loneliness of singleness is most intense.   But, while I’m content in my singleness, as I hope to one day be content in a marriage, I have to confess something else: I’m tired of going to weddings, and it’s because I’m single.

A wedding is the least safe place to be single, if you ask me.  It seems like when the ceremony’s over and the chicken has been served and the champagne is readily available, that everyone and their cousin  – and I mean that literally – feels like they have permission to ask the question that every single person hates to hear: “When’s it going to be your turn?” And then they feel like they have permission to comment on what I should be doing to meet someone.

Let me stop for minute and make a request. If you are one of those people who asks that question at a wedding, please for the love of all that is holy, stop doing it.  I think I can safely speak for all single people everywhere when I say that if we’ve met someone and we want to talk about it, we will. Otherwise, ask us about our jobs or our pets or the Indians.  Leave it to us to make the call on dialoguing about the most intimate details of the most important relationship we might ever form.

from “Lauren” (c) 2011 // via Wylio

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the bouquet toss, because there’s nothing safe about that.  Where did we get the idea that it’s okay to pelt our single girlfriends with a bunch of flowers? As if we didn’t feel badly enough, please – throw something at us.  In fact, launch it at us with gun-fire force and then encourage us to throw ‘bows to limp away holding the “prize,” which is your used and now broken clump of flowers that you spent too much money on and that will be brown in a week’s time.  Awesome.

You’d never guess so thus far but, the thing is that I actually really love weddings because I actually really believe in marriage.   I believe in the partnership that is created when people say, “I do.” I believe in the covenant that exists when people vow to be faithful and commit to loving each other, and I believe that marriage does give us a really cool image of Christ’s love for the Church.    I have loved every penny I’ve spent and every moment of every wedding I’ve been a bridesmaid in because I believe these things.  Because I believe these things, I don’t really want to be tired of going to weddings.   What I really want is to go to weddings, as a single person, and be hopeful – hopeful that marriage works, hopeful that not everyone who marries crumbles to divorce, and hopeful that one day it might just happen for me too.  I want to be at a wedding and celebrate with all the people gathered in the church and at the reception in the simplicity of loving the same two people, who are doing something important and awesome in joining their lives together.  I want to drink champagne because I’m toasting their life together.  I want to go to weddings knowing that they’re pictures of good in the face of bad, glimpses of restoration for broken people,  a little light in an often dark world.

I don’t want to be tired of going to weddings, but I am.  So, my question is, how do I keep from being exhausted?

*Note: Other 20-somethings are confessing things over at Ally Spotts‘ blog. Check it out here.

14 thoughts on “Confession of a 20-something: I’m tired of going to weddings

  1. Honestly, I love going to weddings but after nearly a decade of attending several weddings every summer I’m getting a little tired of it too. So here is what I think you should do for a while. Don’t attend any weddings. Only go if the thought of not going makes you sad (sad -not GUILTY). Otherwise, send the couple of very nice letter blessing their marriage and include a gift if you are fiscally able.

  2. “If you are one of those people who asks that question…please for the love of all that is holy, stop doing it.”

    LOVED this post, both for your candor and your beautiful comments about marriage.

    You are right. It IS exhausting, walking into a social situation, knowing you’ll be asked in some way, probably multiple times, but not knowing when the volleys will be served and whether you’ll be up to a satisfactory return.

    The way I see it you have 2 choices, the one mentioned above or scripting yourself some good responses and going armed with them. I recommend the second, only because the party would be less festive if you are not there.

      1. No, it’s pretty believable, how quick your wit is. 🙂
        I must have scripts because sarcasm is part of my native tongue and then I end up with a conversational hangover because of the absolutely fabulous sarcastic comment that came out of me.

  3. I have a love/hate thing going with weddings. I believe in marriage, but I do think we idolize it in the church. It’s as though we completely forget that single people can contribute… people like, oh, I don’t know, Mary and Martha… Paul… Jesus…

    The last wedding I attended, when the attendants walked into the reception as couples and were introduced on the PA system (ugh… how did that tradition ever get started?), the emcee made a point of announcing that one of the women was unattached, and encouraged single men to get her number. Wow, really?! I mean, why stop at just making the announcement? Why not take it to the next level and start calling out like an auctioneer?

  4. I love weddings.

    I think heaven will be one big wedding with celebratory dances spilling into the street. True story.

    I did go to my first wedding solo. It kind of sucked. Not because I didn’t have a hot boyfriend’s arm to balance on. But because I knew no one. It was like looking a party from outside the window. I could have flirted it up with the groomsmen and had some fun but I had accidentally pissed them off earlier when they had tried (darn jet-lag!).

    Enjoy it. Whoop it up. Mingle.

    1. “Whoop it up” is good advice, no doubt. And I’ve had a blast getting to know people at weddings over the last few years. I’ve laughed more with bridesmaids, women I didn’t know before the week of the wedding, than I’ve laughed with some of my dearest friends. However, connecting with groomsmen is much more difficult when they are married themselves! 🙂

  5. Oh, I feel you on this one. With each progressive year of invitations to bridal and baby showers and weddings, I’ve become pickier about what I’ll attend. I don’t begrudge anyone their joy- I’m honestly happy for them! But I’ve gone to too many weddings where the friendship promptly dropped off once the marriage began. Sad but true. So now I look honestly at the friendship and decide whether we’re close enough to warrant my attendance. There are other ways of having fun and being pelted by a bouquet is only OK if you’re one of my nearest and dearest. Now when I do go to something, I’m free to enjoy myself because it’s not just one more wedding in a line of many, it’s a celebration for dear friends. And when I’m asked those loathed questions, I reply with my patented blend of charm, sarcasm, and sass and then head to the dance floor.

  6. I remember last year when something clicked for me and I finally got it. I mean REALLY got it. It took 30 years, but I figured it out….it really would be ok if I never met the “one.” This came after a 10 month “something” (I won’t call it a relationship, he was too much of a boy to decide). It was only after that that the next wedding I went to, I was joyful. I mean joy-filled! I say that, not because I had suddenly “arrived” but because it was totally God’s grace. I had through some hard stuff, but it took me realizing that me and Jesus really was just ok. (Ironically enough, less then a year later I am now engaged—but I think that is just Dad laughing at me. 😉 )

  7. I find this interesting and definitely relate to and agree with you. In the past year and a bit I’ve been to five weddings, making it six next week. I’m 27 going on 28 and single. Been asked to participate by speaking at 3 of them. Sure I am happy for it, but do I sound jealous by saying “when is it my turn”? I’ve had my share of heartbreak and it prevents me from trying to persue other women. I dont see myself ever being married but I dream of the day still. I want it, the company, the commitment, the “one”. (if there is such a thing)

    A wedding least safe place to be single? oh HECK YES amen!!!

    1. James, I’m glad you shared your insight and your story. I’ll admit I’m finding some comfort that wedding can be as unsafe for the guys as it is for us girls. 🙂

      And honestly – I get the heartbreak and the hang-ups thing. It’s held me up from allowing myself to be pursued. But, I’m realizing that what I’m really doing is cheating myself out of the opportunity of dating, out of the fun that it should be, because I’m so stressed out about it being “something.” Well, I think I’m kind of all done with that now. If whatever date with whatever guy ends up being even boring conversation, well…I like coffee, so I’m no worse off, really, for opening myself up even a little bit. And really, what other choice do we have?

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