GUEST WARS

Should all your sin­gle guests sit at the same ta­ble?

You and Your Wedding - - Contents -

“Later this year I’ll be brides­maid for one of my close friends. As I was asked to take on this hon­oured role, she turned to me, eyes full of sym­pa­thy, and said, ‘I know you’re not with any­one, so if num­bers are tight, you don’t need a plus-one, do you?’ I know what that means: I’m des­tined for the sin­gles’ ta­ble. Fly­ing solo at a wed­ding is ter­ri­ble. From the bou­quet toss to the sin­gle sup­ple­ment on the ho­tel room, every mo­ment is a stark re­minder of your date­less sta­tus. Noth­ing more so than the sin­gles’ ta­ble – the wed­ding equiv­a­lent of a leper colony. If a wed­ding was a zoo, the sin­gles’ ta­ble would be the prize ex­hibit, on dis­play for all the cou­ples to stare

at and re­mem­ber how grate­ful “IF A WED­DING

they are that they never WAS A ZOO, THE

have to date again. Don’t SIN­GLES’ TA­BLE let any­one trick you into think­ing it’s a real chance to WOULD BE THE

meet some­one. Among all the PRIZE EX­HIBIT,

plan­ning, no en­gaged cou­ple THERE FOR ALL

LV VFLHQWLÀFDOO\ SDLULQJ \RX WR THE COU­PLES sit next to your fu­ture ideal TO STARE AT” mate. It’ll likely be a boy­girl-boy-girl job, with noth­ing more than the fact you both like Game of Thrones in com­mon. Straight off the bat, there’s no mys­tery, no in­trigue, no coy JODQFHV DFURVV WKH GULQNV UHFHSWLRQ IXOO RI ÁLUW\ SURPLVH In­stead, you’re all sin­gle, at a wed­ding, and des­per­ate by de­fault. Ev­ery­one will be af­fa­ble enough, you’ll have some DZNZDUG EXW ÀQH FKLWFKDW DQG WKHQ \RX·OO SUREDEO\ GULQN too much, be­cause re­ally that’s all there is to do. Wed­dings are about the cou­ple, yes, but the en­joy­ment of your guests should be high on the pri­or­ity list. Us sin­gle­tons want to sit with our friends, not made to feel like a third wheel if we leave our des­ig­nated area to min­gle. Spread us around the room. The only thing more un­for­give­able than a sin­gles’ ta­ble is seat­ing us on the kids’ ta­ble. You’ve been warned!”

“Ilove sin­gles’ ta­bles, but not for the rea­son you might think. I may be sin­gle, but I have lots of cou­pledup friends. I love spend­ing time with them, and al­most never feel dif­fer­ent or un­com­fort­able, even if I’m the only sin­gle per­son on a night out. I say al­most never, be­cause there’s one ex­cep­tion: wed­dings. Maybe it’s be­cause a wed­ding is all about be­ing part of a cou­ple, but as a sin­gle guest, I’m sud­denly an ob­ject of pity. My mar­ried pals, who know that I’m more than happy with my sin­gle sta­tus, shoot glances at me dur­ing the cer­e­mony. At the drinks re­cep­tion, I’m asked prob­ing ques­tions about my dat­ing life, usu­ally ac­com­pa­nied by a sym­pa­thetic head tilt. And I can guar­an­tee that at some

“I SEE SIN­GLES’ point, a friend who’s sev­eral pros­ec­cos down will ut­ter that TA­BLES AS

AN ES­CAPE nau­sea-in­duc­ing phrase: ‘Don’t worry, it will be your turn one

HATCH. WE CAN day’. I know they’re try­ing to

TELL DAT­ING be nice, but I sim­ply can’t bear

WAR STO­RIES the as­sump­tion that I must be eaten up with jeal­ousy and WITH­OUT FEAR long­ing. I’m not – I just want

OF JUDG­MENT” to cel­e­brate with the happy cou­ple, tuck into some wine and food, and dance the night away. But if I try say­ing any of that, out comes the sym­pa­thetic head tilt again. And so, a wed­ding is the one oc­ca­sion where I’m grate­ful to have an ex­cuse to evade my mar­ried friends and spend time with my own kind. He­len sees sin­gles’ ta­bles as a trap; I see them as an es­cape hatch. At the sin­gles’ ta­ble, you don’t hear ‘I can’t un­der­stand why you’re still sin­gle’ or ‘I know your soul­mate’s out there some­where’. We can tell dat­ing war sto­ries with­out fear of judg­ment. And no one drones on about what they did dif­fer­ently at their own wed­ding. Want to keep your non-cou­pled-up guests happy? I say put us to­gether – not in the hope we’ll meet some­one, but just so we can be our hap­pi­est sin­gle selves.”

YES! HANNAH DAVIES, FEA­TURES EDI­TOR AT Y&YW, SAYS:

NO! HE­LEN PYE, SE­NIOR DIG­I­TAL WRITER AT HITCHED.CO.UK, SAYS:

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