In these financially tumultuous times - where nobody's salary is increasing yet weddings seem to cost more and more of a fortune - you may find yourself being invited to a friend's big day without the option of bringing a guest.
Is this nerve-wracking? Yes. But can it still be fun? Absolutely. Do these five things and being alone at a wedding won't even be an issue.
1. Stay merrily tipsy - don't get plastered. It's one thing to drink your weight in bubbles when you've got someone there to prop you up and eventually steer you to a cab. It's another thing entirely to do it when you've got to sort out all that being civil and getting home stuff yourself. I got so pissed at a wedding once I had to call my mum - who was bloody miles away - and ask her to come pick me up. There's nothing like waking up in your childhood bed wearing a fascinator to make you seriously assess where your life's going.
2.Quiz the bride and groom about the men attending who will also be flying solo. This is crucial. Something about the romanticism of the wedding day will make you dreamily crave a relationship - even if it's just for that day. But unless you find out what's what about who's who, you could either spend the whole reception with a) a crashing bore or b) a total cretin. Once upon a time when I was at a wedding alone, I ended up sat next to a charming handsome young man. He made me laugh, kept my wine glass full and joined me for cigarettes in between courses. After such a charm offensive, it was no surprise when he asked for my number. Luckily, I knew he was having an affair with the bride (I KNOW!) and thus saved myself a world of trouble.
3. Do ask to be sat at the singles' table if there is one. It might feel like a cliche but it really is the most fun. Also, the alternative is sitting next to a bunch of couples and feeling like a sad third wheel in an excellent dress. You've probably spent loads on that dress. You most certainly look incredible. You and your dress deserve to be on a table where fun times happen, not sandwiched in between the bride's sister-in-law and the groom's elderly aunt.
4. Get your game face on. Especially if you don't know many people there. That could mean putting on a dash of red lipstick. Or having a full spray tan, eyelashes and your hair done. Whatever makes you feel good, do it. There's nothing better than walking into a wedding feeling confident and gorgeous. A few years ago, I pitched up to a friend's wedding by myself, hungover and in desperate need of the haircut. I felt so hideous, I made a run for it directly after the speeches.
5.Prepare yourself for "oh you poor single thing" jibes. However, don't become the wedding clown, doormat or let it go any further than a few patronising comments. After a wedding in a huge field, a friend of mine woke up in her tent to find a couple having sex next to her head, like she was literally invisible. It's at times like these - regardless of the fact you're at a wedding - you are absolutely within your rights to lose your effing mind.