We’re nearing peak wedding season, and if you’re dreading the singles table, there’s hope, because you never know if you’ll leave that wedding with more than just a tacky favor. It’s true: Tons of people actually meet their life partners at weddings.
To prove it, we spoke to six couples who did just that. Savor their stories and get amped to have fun at the next wedding you’re headed to.
Best man for life
“We walked down the aisle together as best man and maid of honor. I was living in New York and attended the wedding solo, but he brought his girlfriend from Illinois. I thought he was handsome and sweet and also admired how attentive and kind he was with his girlfriend. Four years later, I was traveling through Illinois for work and let him know I would be in town for one night. He’d broken up with his girlfriend by then and drove two hours to pick me up and bring me to Chicago — and then took me on the best date of my life. We talked on the phone every night in the following weeks. Instead of flying back to New York when my work travel was over, I returned to Chicago and stayed with him for a few days. Eight months later, he moved to New York and we got married shortly thereafter.” — Alena, 42, New York City; married 12 years
Smitten party animal
“I went to my brother’s wedding and met all his friends from work. They were all pretty crazy and single back then. In the receiving line, one of the friends said to my father, ‘I apologize in advance for our behavior today.’ I met him as I was coming out of the ladies’ room with my sister at the reception. He had incredible blue eyes with a twinkle in them. Nothing happened at the wedding, but later that summer, he invited me to a beach party. Still, nothing happened because he was dating someone at the time. A year later, he called me and invited me to another party. This time, we were both single, got together and dated for six years. We married in 1993 and have been happily together since.” — Debbie, 45, Philadelphia; married 23 years
“My best friend from high school was getting married and asked me to be a groomsman. I took it upon myself to meet the bridesmaids. ‘Where do you fit into this whole thing?!’ I casually asked one of them. “I’m the maid of honor, you idiot,” responded one, and she walked off. I shrugged it off, not giving it a second thought. Throughout the course of the wedding, she gradually warmed up to me.
“Towards the end of the evening, I thought I’d be suave and said, ‘I’d like to give you my number. This way, if you’re ever down in North Carolina, you can look me up and maybe we can go out.’ She looked at me and said, ‘When the hell am I ever going to be down in North Carolina?’ At the end of the night, I heard her and her mother talking about how to find the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I told them I was headed that way and they could follow me. She reluctantly agreed and ended up missing the turn. I pulled off to the shoulder, got out, and asked if everything was OK. She said it was, but that she wanted my number in case she missed the exit again. I gave her my number, drove back past the turnpike and waved goodbye.
“The following week, my phone rang. I had no idea who was calling me, but I recognized the area code. It was Lisa. From then on, we long-distance dated — and yes, she did come to North Carolina! — and got married two years later.” — Adam, 40, Frederick, Maryland; married 16 years
“I knew the bride and groom from church and met the groom’s childhood friend William there. He was single, living in Memphis, and I was living in New York at the time. We had an instant connection, but I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see him again. I asked for his number — something I’d never done before — because I wanted him to have it ‘just in case’ and we began talking on the phone right away. We had to determine pretty quickly if we wanted to pursue this since we were living in different cities, he was in grad school and long-distance relationships are expensive. We had a successful group date on neutral territory in Nashville, and the rest was history.” — Lauran, 28, Nashville; married two years
“I never thoroughly enjoyed weddings because I was always at the table filled with random friends of the bride and groom. But one wedding I was thankful to attend was when one of my college friends got married in Connecticut. Of course, I was put at the random friends table. My now-wife Amanda was sitting at the table, but she was there with a guy. At the time, I thought he was her boyfriend. They were super-friendly to me and we all had a really great time. Amanda was fun and nice, but at no point did I think she was interested in me, let alone women. It wasn’t until my friend and her husband were back from their honeymoon that she told me Amanda was really interested in me and asked for my number. We went out a couple days after that and wed two years later.” — Lex, 39, Stamford, Connecticut; married a year
An awkward dance
“My co-worker married his co-worker and my now-husband and I were both single guests at their wedding. Michael saw me across the ceremony room and, he says, was immediately drawn to me. During the cocktail hour after the ceremony, he had his boss approach me and introduce us. We chatted briefly a couple of times during the night, but every time he tried to ask me to dance, another guy would come up and ask me. Michael was getting so frustrated! The night went on and nothing happened with us. It wasn’t until a week later — after the couple returned from their honeymoon — that they set up a hangout with the four of us. We had a fabulous time that evening and have been together since.” — Britt, 37, Boynton Beach, Florida; married five years