Why does Solo-ish, a blog that’s all about unmarried life, publish stories about weddings?
For starters, single people spend a lot of time and money attending them. While the $3 billion wedding industry caters mostly to engaged couples and their families, I wanted to create a space specifically for the wedding guest. Where we could vent about the joys and woes of being a bridesmaid, answer pressing etiquette questions, and debate the decision to attend or RSVP “no, thanks.” One of our writers said it took her until age 40 to realize that she doesn’t have to go to a wedding ever again. As the intro text for our Wedding Guest Wednesday series says: It’s not all about the happy couple — it’s a big day for guests as well.
In the past three years, we’ve published essays about situations that could have been painfully awkward — such as going to a stranger’s wedding as a first date or attending your ex’s wedding — that actually ended up being fun and meaningful. We’ve published tips on how to enjoy a wedding even when you’re feeling left out; how to officiate a wedding or give a toast to the happy couple; how to plan a bachelorette party without annoying everyone around you or losing your sanity — or your savings. We’ve covered the sexual harassment that can happen, and can be too easily ignored or explained away, because it takes place in the middle of a celebration of love.
In editing and writing these stories, I’ve realized just how many assumptions hosts and guests make but rarely discuss with one another. No, you don’t have to “pay for your plate” as a guest by spending as much on a gift as you cost to the host. Yes, you can say no when someone asks you to be a bridesmaid. And no, just because someone doesn’t have a spouse doesn’t mean they don’t want to share in your special day.
I’ve realized just how much could be solved by simply talking to one another rather than bowing out or grudgingly going along with a celebration that’s beyond your financial, emotional, physical or social capabilities. Talking about it solves more than stewing about it. Which is also my main takeaway from writing about romantic relationships.
In three years, we’ve covered a lot of the delight, dilemmas and discomfort that arise at weddings. And we’re not done. If you’ve got a story to tell, tips to share or a wedding etiquette question you want answered, reach out. We’ll keep thinking about how people fall in love in mysterious ways.