How NOT To Treat A Single Guest At Your Wedding

Brides writer Tanya de Grunwald shares her experience having been on the receiving end of each and every one of these 17 wedding-day howlers...

20 Nov 2018

The fact that you're reading this shows you care that everyone has fun at your wedding - but not all brides are as thoughtful towards their solo guests. I should know. I've experienced enough single-at-a-wedding-cringe moments to make the hardiest woman weep.

After one, I slept in a bath in a rental cottage because single-occupancy rates at the only nearby hotel were so steep. At another, I was asked to leave the dance floor during a ceilidh because I didn't have a male partner (yes, really). And let's not forget the wedding where I discovered the singles' table was in the middle of the room, so that the other guests could watch and place bets...

So, for all the singles out there - who really would rather enjoy your day than pretend to - here's what not to do...

Don’t force us to catch the bouquet
Sometimes, we’re so there. Other days, we’re not feeling it. Let us decide, please?

If we’re a ’maid, don’t give us a bad hair do
We don’t mind secretly hating the dress you’ve picked, but a good hairstyle is non-negotiable.

Don’t forget to talk us through the talent
Among 150 guests, the singles won’t automatically find each other. If there’s a guy you think that we’d like, tip us off.

Don’t fail to suggest a roommate
Hotels are pricey for the unattached, so we won’t be insulted if you propose a mate who’s up for sharing. (Preferably one who doesn’t snore – or bring a random waiter back at 3am.)

Don’t go too Mariah with your gift list
The cut-crystal decanter is way over a single girl’s budget. Add lots of small-but-lovely items – think vases, salad bowls and clocks. We don’t want to buy tea towels or egg cups.

Don’t enforce a dress code
Yes, this is your day. But we singles need to look good to avoid sad eyes and pity looks. If our dress is a smidge too bright, too revealing or a little on the low-cut side, forgive us?

Don’t neglect to find us a good seat during the ceremony
Because nothing crushes a single girl’s ego quite like being stationed behind a pillar – enlist your ushers to help.

Don't choose readings only couples will enjoy
Google 'Two are better than one'. Then do not include it in your service. It's just mean.

Don’t put us on the kids’ table – ever
Don’t, or you may never hear from us again.

Don’t go tight on the booze
Champagne, wine, spirits, glamorous cocktails – we need it all. No single person has ever remembered the food at a wedding.

Don’t exclude us from your photographs
Guaranteed, there will already have been at least five moments when we’ve felt a bit spare, so it’s nice to feel part of things.

Don’t choose any date-unfriendly food
Veto any ingredients that can get caught in our teeth (nobody tells us when this happens). Remember: parsley, spinach and poppy seeds are nobody’s friend.

Don’t buy smug or ‘couple-only’ favours
Single people don’t have gardens so no plant seeds. We’d rather have nothing.

Don't end the dancing with a smoochy ballad
Nothing kills a single girl's wedding mojo like the first few bars of Angels - or I Will Always Love You.

Don’t think you don’t need to edit the speeches
Please don’t refer to your single years as desperate, humiliating and stressful. Remember, we’re still there.

Don’t cut the plus ones
If your budget allows it, a plus one would be amazing. We’ll make sure that they don’t smell, swear or overdo it on the fizz. Promise!

Don’t leave off any wild cards
We know that your list includes randoms marked ‘maybe’. If they’re single, why not turn them into a ‘yes’? Perhaps we’ll like them a little more...