Going to a wedding

by singlemomseeking on October 26, 2008

The last time I was invited to a wedding, I didn’t go.

No, I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself. (Although, believe me, I’ve been to more than one wedding in that state of mind!)

This was a friend’s kid-free wedding, eight hours away. I got overwhelmed by the hassle of finding childcare for the weekend. Also, in my book, a wedding is all about family and kids (even if I did understand that my friend’s kid-free policy was a financial decision.)

Have you been to a wedding as a single parent?

Did you have fun? Did you bring a date? Or, did you go alone?

One single dad I know was surprised about how he felt during a wedding he’d been invited to: hopeful.

RJ Jaramillo — the single dad of three kids, whom I also met through my site — made a video all about it.

He says that he was surprised he got through the ceremony without feeling cynical or sad.

“I watched the whole ceremony with hope,” RJ, founder of SingleDad.com, says. “There is hope.”

Instead of feeling distraught, RJ realized that “you fall down, you dust yourself off, and then you start all over again.”

You might know RJ already, since he’s a You Tube master!

You can watch RJ talk about the recent wedding here:

Have you ever gone to a wedding as a single parent? Let’s hear about it.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike T. October 28, 2008 at 8:07 pm

I went to my cousin’s wedding with my daughter. We had fun and have some great photos in formal attire. There was a vodka & caviar ice sculpture which was out of this world – the event was in New Jersey.

It’s nice to be at these events if you care about the people. It seems like only yesterday I went to her Bat Mitzvah.

I’d try to be in the right frame of mind; focus on the wedding couple rather than my own situation – hopefully you can feel the love…


SDMktg October 28, 2008 at 11:47 am

I’ve been to a few and declined a few for various reasons. My cousin got married 2 months after my separation. I should have skipped that one as I was happy for my cousin but miserable myself. (There are many odd stories from that wedding too)

I was away on business when my stepsister got married and I took my kids and a date to my sister’s wedding. It was fun but they were 4 and the sitter that was supposed to be at the reception cancelled at the last minute so I ended up watching them all night and my date got mad. I skipped my other stepsister’s wedding because I had to work and I don’t know her.

Most recently I went to a friend’s wedding with my girlfriend and it was a blast. I was really happy to see my friend and her new husband get married. I definitely believe that love is out there. It’s just a little bit more complicated now.

SDMktg´s last blog post…Sweet G’s Shot of the Week – Scooby Snacks


Christy October 28, 2008 at 7:17 am

I usually bring a girlfriend along with me to weddings, if I am not dating anyone at the time.

Christy´s last blog post…Over $500 mark


Melissa LaMunyon October 28, 2008 at 6:52 am

God, going to a wedding alone is the *worst*…

I’ve never been a single parent, but I took my baby to a wedding once by myself.

I felt incredibly dumb–but that’s just because the church was small and David crawled around the entire time.

And, Rachel –I hear you! Trying to find weekend childcare for a wedding eight hours away, plus the cost of gas…glad you’re staying in!

Melissa LaMunyon´s last blog post…Of babies, begging and chocolate cupcakes


Barb October 27, 2008 at 9:12 pm

I went to a wedding with my son a few years ago when Ex and I were on a trial separation. It was one of those sappy Valentine’s day weddings too! I think I would have been ok except that apparently some of my aunts had been gossiping about my dirty little secret so everyone there kept apologizing and feeling sorry for me and saying how proud they were of me for coming out in spite of my “situation.” You can only take so much of that before you start to feel a little blue…of course I was driving my son and my mom so I couldn’t even partake of a little liquid comfort.

I’ve been invited to a wedding this weekend for one of my son’s teachers. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going or if I’ll take a date or take the kids. If I go, I’ll probably leave the kids behind just to get a break but I feel a little strange taking a date at this point (middle of the divorce). I’ll probably wind up not going…never really cared for weddings anyway!

Barb´s last blog post…More progress…


NappyKitchen October 27, 2008 at 9:10 pm

No, I’ve never attended a wedding as a single parent. I think my reaction would be the same now as it was before kids — I would be a crying, laughing mess. I like weddings. Perhaps for the same reasons I like fairy tales.

NappyKitchen´s last blog post…I’m Catching Hell, Part I


Alicia October 27, 2008 at 6:39 pm

I love,love,love weddings. They are a great time: the food,open bar,music,dancing. Plus,it’s a time to actually be happy for someone else for 5 minutes,instead of feeling cynical or sorry for ourselves. It’s about the bride & groom, not about you (us)! And,as the single parent of a 7yr. old, I would absolutely not feel offended if it’s “no kids”. Why do parents, single or not often feel that their children are entitled to be included in everything? I would jump at the chance to be kid-free for a day/night and enjoy myself with other adults. Imagine the bride & groom trying to have their special “moment” with kids screaming in background? Not cool.


Cyndi October 27, 2008 at 5:07 pm

I was invited to the wedding of the sister of a friend of my X (did you follow that?) just after our divorce was finalized.

No way was I going. I emailed her to let her know that I thought it would be very awkward so I was declining.

She emailed me back saying thank you for thinking of HER and she was glad to know I wasn’t coming because she didn’t want tension on her day. WTF???

Cyndi´s last blog post…Proof that God is for real


singlemomseeking October 27, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Hmmm, who’s getting married RJ? A winter wedding in southern Cali?

Hip Mom: wow, we’re in sync! Here’s to catching the bouquet.

Avigail and LEM: Yes, you’re right, the bride and groom DO get to call the shots!


MichelleB October 27, 2008 at 3:47 pm

I did recently attend my BFF’s wedding and as a single mom it just reminded me of the bad divorce I recently had with my now ex-husband. After I went home that night I decided to the diamond engagement ring of that my ex-husband gave me to http://www.idownowidont.com and felt some much needed closure. So the wedding actually helped me heal!


RJ Jaramillo October 27, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Kids vs. No Kids?

The recent wedding I went to in this video was “kid friendly” and I could have taken my youngest.

My two teenagers would have declined unless it was a direct relative and I would have resorted to bribes and extortion.

Now that I am able to sit through and enjoy myself again, I will be fine with or without a date to my next wedding invitation…Hey Rachel, by the way… what are you doing over Christmas Break?


Avigail74 October 27, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I absolutely, totally, wholeheartedly AGREE with Legal Editor Mom. It is a day for the Bride and Groom—let them shine! And, more than that–they only get to shine for one day…


Legal Editor Mom October 27, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Oh no, not the kids or no kids dilemma again! I have a small child but still would not be offended and would not think it was rude if a wedding I was invited to was childless. (Depending on the situation, however, I may or may not be able to attend, but that’s MY issue, not theirs!) It’s that couple’s day and they have the right to do it up any way they please!


dadshouse October 27, 2008 at 11:32 am

I attended a wedding as a single dad, with my kids in tow, and I met a great woman and we started dating. Our relationship didn’t last, but the experience was a great reminder that weddings are super fun and fabulous ways to meet other singles!

And I’m with you, weddings should involved kids. You were fine to skip the one so far away that wouldn’t let you bring your daughter.

dadshouse´s last blog post…Wanna Wrestle? (This is Not a Dirty Text!)


HIp_MoM October 27, 2008 at 11:23 am

I’ve been to two weddings (solo) in the last few weeks. Blogged about it just last night. Too funny!

HIp_MoM´s last blog post…All About You


singlemomseeking October 27, 2008 at 10:53 am

Eathan: I hear you about having a commitment without the ceremony. But to decline a friend’s invitation — because you don’t believe in marriages — seems cynical. Don’t you think?

MC: That’s hilarious (in an odd way) that your dad wanted your casual date in the pics).

All of you have inspired me again: The next wedding I’m invited to, I’m going alone, to dance the night away!


mc October 27, 2008 at 10:28 am

Yes, only one, my father’s.

It was on a long holiday weekend when my ex had the kids anyway, otherwise I would have brought them.

I really didn’t want to show up alone, though, so I asked a guy I was dating (not so seriously, but hey) to come with me—it was in another city quite far away, and we had fun on the non-wedding events sightseeing etc.

It was weird, because my Dad though we were more serious and insisted on including him in the wedding pics as if we were living together or something. Oh well!

I would never attend a weekend-long wedding if I had to find childcare. I think people who expect that of single parents (or non-single parents for that matter) are simply, jerks. I’ll leave my family & small children if I “have” to (to take care of a sick parent, for a work trip that I can’t avoid), but just for someone’s princessey moment? No way.


Avigail74 October 27, 2008 at 8:55 am

When I got divorced, I was left to two options: get up and try again or live with bitterness. I chose to believe that marriages can work and am always happy when someone is excited to have a wedding. I’m even more happy when I get invited to witness a beautiful moment! I refuse to live in bitterness or with cynicism…


JimAKASydney&Hunter'sDad October 27, 2008 at 8:46 am

If Amy’s stat: 7 out of every 10 marriages end in divorce (I thought it was only 5 or 6 out of every 10) is correct, this only strengthens my already cynical and jaded view on marriage. After all if only 3 or 4 couples out of every 10 stay married… let’s be honest, how many of those 3 or 4 have a truly exceptional, supportive, loving, and passionate life long relationship? I personally believe (and perhaps there are some statistics to support this) that less than 5% of all marriages are really and truly successful (not just best friends co-existing and pretending to love each other). RJ, I am glad that you now have hope… perhaps a hope and a prayer will serve you well! I have not been to a wedding as a single parent yet, but I have no doubt that in spite of my cynicism, I would have a good time, even if I believe the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against the innocent, hopeful, and chemically altered lovers (especially if it is a second, third, fourth, or fifth, etc., etc., marriage)! Even if my crystal ball off by a few percentage points, divorce rates pushing 70% suggests that there is something seriously wrong with this institution and with relationships in general that warrants some serious work and soul searching. Lastly, in spite of my cynicism and jaded attitude, I am still a romantic and I still believe that the “real deal” 5% life long love is achievable and possible… but hope alone will not manifest it.


jenn3 October 27, 2008 at 8:06 am

The last wedding I went to was about 2 1/2 years ago and I was pregnant with my daughter. My marriage had just broken up and it was incredibly hard to sit there. I don’t think it would bother me now.

jenn3´s last blog post…Blog Blast For Education – 2008


Legal Editor Mom October 27, 2008 at 6:48 am

I haven’t had a wedding to go to since separating from my husband but I think if I did, I would go, and probably go alone. I’m in a good place now with my singlism, so I’d look at it as an opportunity to mingle and have a good time!

(I actually had a wedding to go to this past summer and I planned to go with my parents since it was a friend of the family, but it was canceled!!)


laurakim October 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm

I have only been to 2 weddings in the last 3 years!

One was my best friend – it was 6 hours away so my mom babysat. I did take a date with. It was fun but she married and IDIOT! When he stood up to make is speech it started “thank you mom and dad for making me the amazing man I am today…” and for what felt like eternity we listened to him talking about how wonderful HE is! He then when on to say that my friend is a wonderful person because of HIM!!!!!!!! So we all got drunk!

Then it was my brothers last year and the kids obviously did come with but left with my mom after dinner! It was the hugest party I have ever had!!!!

I LOVE weddings though! LOVE THEM! They are about love and hope and new beginnings!

laurakim´s last blog post…Conversations with my mom!


Mommy to the Monsters October 26, 2008 at 8:24 pm

I am the single mom of two very active toddler boys that I was blessed to adopt in 2007.

I have been to 4 weddings since I became a single parent last year in less than 11 months.

The first 2 weddings I was overly excited to attend because I was engaged myself and I wanted to get tips for my own wedding.

The 3rd wedding occurred less than 2 months after my ex-fiance decided he didn’t want me and my kids in his life anymore. I tried my best to be happy…I even wore a fake smile the whole time, but on the inside I was dying. At the bridal shower for the bride of this wedding (which occurred 3 weeks after the break up), I cried my eyes out. I tried not to ruin her special moment, but I just COULD NOT hold it together. All I could think about was that this was suppose to be ME in a few months and now I have lost my dream, my fiance and my former best friend of 7 years (a.k.a. the person who USED TO get me through the pain of life, was now the cause of my pain)

I went to a wedding on the 18th for my Godmom. This was her second marriage after being divorced for almost 30 years. She had pretty much given up on the possibility of finding love and was pretty much just living for her grand kids. That was until her husband came along. She was so happy!! I couldn’t help but cry (HAPPY TEARS) because she had all but given up and she is now married again….It gave me hope that there is also someone out there for me. It’s funny because I just blogged about my feelings toward her wedding the other day.

As far as taking my kids, the last wedding I went to was the only one I took them to. I did that primarily because I knew that there would be a lot of kids there and it was a daytime wedding. If it had been at night, I would have not taken them. They get REALLY cranky if they are not sleep by a certain time of night.

And besides it’s more fun when you don’t have to take toddlers to the bathroom every 5 min. and deal with their “terrible two” tantrums. You can just dance and mingle and have fun.

As far as a date, I have never taken one….


Avigail74 October 26, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Yes, Yes, Yes, I went to a wedding without my child, a single mum and without a date—boy did I have fun! I stayed up late, made so many new friends, danced the night away and didn’t even miss my daughter. Kids were invited–but I wanted to have my own fun without worrying about entertaining her. It’s nice to live a little without your constant companion.


jen October 26, 2008 at 6:05 pm

All the weddings I’ve been to lately are good friends’ weddings and there’s always a large group of friends there so going as a sole parent doesn’t bother me. One wedding was a few hours away and I had to get childcare for 2 days and a night but it’s good to have childfree time even though it’s a hassle.

I enjoy weddings (parties). I’ve never been married.

jen´s last blog post…It’s mostly about him really


Amy Nathan October 26, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I went to a wedding about 5 years ago and found myself very cynical, even surrounded by my family — all long-married folk. Being divorced, I don’t have a lot of good feelings about marriage in general. One of my friends married last year (2nd time for both of them) and since I do not see myself married, it didn’t bother me. Maybe it would if someone was marrying a man I wanted to be with. I have thought about it and if I did ever marry again, I wouldn’t want any children at my wedding except my own and my spouse’s if there were any, and my kids are 16 and 13 and that’s not happening in the foreseeable future. I think marriage is about family and kids and inclusion. A wedding is whatever you want it to be and not necessarily indicative of how people feel about kids if they don’t include them. I love kids!!

For a long time I didn’t go to any special even alone. I have friends who throw lavish parties. I imported dates for many years. No more. I go alone, I feel OK. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t alone at a fancy party, but sometimes it’s better than taking “a date.”

How’s that for a ramble?

I heard that now the statistics are that 7 out of 10 marriages end in divorce.

Amy Nathan´s last blog post…How many u’s are in you?


SingleParentDad October 26, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Nice timing. I was going to blog about this myself. I’ve been invited to another wedding this weekend, and have been to a few as a single parent. Unlike you I’m not a big fan of kids at weddings, and I’ve turned down Max’s invite for this one. It would have meant that neither of us would have had a good time.

When I get round to it I might be linking back here later!

SingleParentDad´s last blog post…Making The Most Of It


Phil October 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Sure, I went to a wedding in Portland this summer. I took my son as my “date”. He didn’t know anyone, but as soon as the music started, he was out on the dance floor and didn’t leave until the end of the night.


Bridal Swarovski October 26, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Some of my most uncomfortable moments have been as a single. I have not been as a parent though. Thanks for the great post.


Eathan October 26, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Strange enough, I feel like I’m so past going to weddings. I know I’ll go to my kids, but past that…I’m not interested in going. I’ve been to enough of them to last a lifetime. Maybe it’s a sign that I believe in commitment with out the ceremony.

Eathan´s last blog post…The Interracial Pick Up Artist


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