I think weddings can be a beautiful occasion, but if I’m being honest, most of the time attending them always leaves me feeling bored at best and downright depressed at worst.
There’s so much pressure to have a good time.
I’ve come to realize that weddings are a lot like Christmas and New Year’s Eve in that there’s pressure to have fun—truckloads of pressure. It’s a celebration, sure, but that can make it feel like if you’re not having a ball, there’s something wrong with you.
Some traditions feel depressing.
There are some traditional aspects of weddings that make my mood plummet, like when the bride’s father has to “give her away” as though she’s an object being transferred from one man to another and when the vows include “obeying” one’s partner. Ugh.
I fear the seating arrangements.
I always feel like the odd one out at weddings, like Anna Kendrick’s character in the movie Table 19. I’ve been placed at the Oddball Table at a wedding before and it really sucked to realize just how little the bride (who was a good friend of mine at the time) really thought of me. Total bummer.
It’s like we’re awarding people for finding each other.
It’s great that the bride and groom found their soulmates. I’m honestly happy for them, but the pressure to buy them gifts always makes me feel like as the wedding guests, we’re rewarding a couple with material goods for finding each other. Marriage is not an achievement!
Weddings make me feel bad about being single.
I don’t like going to weddings alone. I always feel like an oddball. When you’re at an event that basically celebrates love and there are happy couples everywhere, it can totally mess with your head to choose to be single.
The pressure to get hitched is on.
Whenever I’ve attended weddings alone, it was only a matter of time before someone would say, “When is it your turn?” It’s as though all single women are forced to jump on the wedding bandwagon or else there’s something wrong with us. No wonder being the only single woman in the bridal party was enough to make me break out in hives.
There’s loss tied with joy.
Yes, weddings are happy occasions, but you can’t deny that there’s also some sadness. For example, as Psychology Today points out, some of the sadness is shown by the parents of the couple who want their children to get married and have their own lives but also battle to adjust to the change. Weddings are often major tearjerkers and who needs that? There’s enough to cry about in the world.
Weddings bring up things from the past.
Whenever I’m at a wedding, it turns into a game I play with myself that I like to call “Let’s Look At All The Ways I’ve Failed.” See, it doesn’t help that the bridal couple has hit an important milestone in life. It makes me question the milestones that I haven’t reached and that I worry I never will, like the fact that I almost got married but didn’t. When I was single, I usually felt like a failure because of that fact, which then led to fear that I would never find someone.
It’s not just about love.
Weddings haven’t only inspired fear in me that I’d never find someone but they also trigger anxiety about my life in general. When I see what the couple in front of me has achieved together, I feel like I hadn’t achieved enough in my life. What about my dreams and goals that are collecting dust on the shelf, the ones I don’t even need a partner for? Why haven’t I done more? Am I really living life the way I should be? Confronting these is enough to have me hightail it to the bar.
It becomes a day of comparison.
When thinking about all the ways I’ve failed and might fail in future, it’s only a matter of time before I compare my life to the bride’s. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that she has it all and is super-happy, without realizing that I’m just seeing a snapshot of her life. What about the happy snapshots of mine? It isn’t like those don’t matter. This is her day but I have many happy days ahead of me. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to remember these things when faced with a perfect bride who’s been smiling all day and looks like she’s going to do so for the rest of her life.
It feels uncomfortable.
Sometimes, weddings feel like people are showing off that they’re living a perfect life. The OTT weddings are like those perfect Facebook or Instagram profiles— we know they’re fake but we can’t help but feel jealous anyway. As Dr. Mariana Bockarova, PhD, a behavioral scientist, points out on Refinery29: not only do we have a fairytale idea of love that manifests itself into weddings, [but] these celebrations are also essentially a chance for people to show off what they have.” Yup, some weddings can be pretentious, all right!
Let’s not forget those couples who shouldn’t be getting married.
You know the kind: they’re getting married because their partnership makes sense like it’s a business deal or something. You can see they don’t even have feelings for each other, yet here they are walking down the aisle. Ugh. It’s enough to put one off marriage and weddings for good!
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