Why wedding bells mean hell for singletons
00:44 GMT, 27 August 2012
01:07 GMT, 27 August 2012
This summer it finally happened — I was put on the children’s table at a wedding. There had been a mix-up with the numbers and as the only singleton at the small affair, I was the natural casualty.
‘You don’t mind, do you’ asked the bride, half-concerned, but not really. ‘It’s just that you’re so good with children.’
That’s a lie, I’m not remotely good with children. But what could I say I smiled and said it was fine and settled in for an afternoon of trying to make small talk with an acne-ridden, 14-year-old, who wouldn’t take his eyes off his iPad (he was playing a game in which he was throwing swords at scantily clad girls — lovely) and the groom’s precocious 11-year-old niece, who was wearing a sparkly jumpsuit and was horrified I hadn’t heard of some boy band or other. I won’t put a brave face on it: it was humiliating. And boring.
Boring: Being solo at a wedding party is no walk in the park, says Marianne Power (posed by model)
There was no alternative but to make my way to the bottom of several glasses of wine. But hey ho! Such are the challenges of being single at a wedding.
As any Bridget or Brian Jones will tell you, being a solo wedding guest is no walk in the park. In fact, according to research by online matchmaker parship.co.uk, nearly half of singletons struggle with the wedding season.
Worst nightmare One of Marianne's 'new friends' was gripped by their iPad
The reasons are manifold. According to the poll, like me, nearly 47 per cent of singletons dread being plonked on the ‘leftovers’ table with only grannies, perennially single aunties and children for company, while two in five are annoyed at being unable to share the expense of a gift or hotel room with a partner. Tell me about it!
By the time you’ve paid for the hen do, the dress, matching shoes and bag, the hotel room (where the double bed seems designed to taunt) and the gift (no going halves), you are doing well if you get change out of 400. Finally, one in five solo wedding guests cringe at the matchmaking attempts made by the bride and groom, and the same number resent being forced to take part in the bouquet scrum.
Not surprising, then, that September is one of the busiest months for dating sites.
It seems that we’re all in a hurry to find, if not true love, then someone to take us along to next year’s weddings.