Dear Wanda and Wayne,
I'm single and have a bunch of weddings I have to go to this summer and fall. I hate going by myself. It's more fun and less awk-ward to go with someone, even if it isn't a romantic connection. But almost all of my friends are married or coupled up. Is it OK to add a plus one to my RSVP? And if I ask someone to go to a wedding with me, is that sending a message that I want to get romantically involved? What if I meet someone at the wedding who I want to hook up with? Can I send my date home alone? I hate weddings!
-- Matrimony Madness
I feel you, dog -- weddings are the worst! Ridiculously boring, ridiculously corny, ridiculously mushy. I can't imagine many more painful ways for a single man to waste a summer day. Unless ... you're looking to hook up!
Seriously. "Wedding Crashers" had it right. If you're single and looking for action, weddings are the perfect storm. Romance is in the air. Everyone is drinking and dancing. And there's always at least one man or woman looking for some action: whether they're inspired by love, bitterness or heavily frosted wedding cake.
Sure it's always a gamble to go into a situation like this solo. The singles might not be your type, but it could also work out magically -- a cute bridesmaid, red wine in hand, all by herself grooving to Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." Moments like these make being single awesome.
Of course, the fun and games go out the window if you bring a date.
Yes, you have to be respectful, whether he or she's your date or your "date." You have to get them home safely and happily, and you have to be upfront about your intentions or lack thereof -- especially if they catch the bouquet. Oh, and don't forget about explaining to every single person you talk to at the wedding that you aren't a couple. Too much hassle.
Don't risk the drama, confusion or stress. Go alone and take advantage of being single. Worst case scenario, you end up eating your weight in shrimp, drinking until they boot you from the open bar and getting dumped off at your place by good old Aunt Jennie.
Wayne's right: It's hard to go off course when soaring singularly through a wedding and reception. I've enjoyed my share of wonderful wedding flings -- fiery flirtations fueled by free-flowing champagne, festive spirits and rampant romanticism. While the coupled-up duos are solidly set for the night, you're a free-roaming rogue rocket with the power to blast through the open bar and hone in on your targeted hunk or honey. Plus there's free shrimp.
Not convinced? Confession: Neither am I entirely. Going stag has benefits, yes, but so does bringing someone special. Pause here -- before you extend an invite, ensure it's OK. Some weddings are small and intimate or tightly budgeted. If the invitation doesn't give you a spot to denote a guest, check with the bride or groom. Once you're cleared for takeoff, select your mate carefully. Weddings are fluid and social. Whether you're looking for a wingman or woman, a friend with benefits or a legit love interest, you don't want to bring someone who needs baby-sitting and hand-holding.
And here, Wayne and I disagree: Signing on a plus-one doesn't automatically mean you're adding drama. Bringing the right date can make for a crazy fun night. No matter how stunningly dull other guests at your table are, you've got guaranteed company, someone you know you can laugh with. When the "Electric Slide" ends and the dance floor empties of all but the couples, you've got a designated slow-dance partner.
In theory, your date will meet some of your friends and coworkers in a fast-paced setting where no conversation lasts too uncomfortably long. At the very least, the night should become a fun shared memory. Depending on your relationship, the bubbly beverages, super-close dancing and sugary cake could kick off or advance some sparks between you too.
Let's not forget how "Wedding Crashers ended": The wild playboy actually fell in love.
• Wanda is a wise woman who has loved, lusted and believes in retail therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're so inclined, weddings can be good place to hook up