Just a few weeks before the wedding of an old college roommate, my boyfriend of three years and I split up. His job had relocated him from New York City to London, and for a while we attempted long-distance, but quickly discovered it wasn’t for us. The bride—the first of my close friends to tie the knot—had planned a days-long fête at a resort on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast, culminating with a big bonfire party on the beach after the nuptials. For me, the weekend was a much-welcome distraction. There was just one problem: I was invited with my ex, and since we were no longer together, I found myself suddenly in need of a date.
So, I did the only logical thing I could think of to drum up ideas on how to land a last-minute plus one—I re-watched a bunch of romantic comedies. I could take out an online ad à la Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, or maybe scrounge up a friend to tag along like Eric Wareheim does in Master of None. Would hiring someone like Debra Messing did in The Wedding Date be too much?
Of course, there was always the option of not bringing a date, but this was a destination wedding, and I didn’t want to go alone. Instead, I decided to ask someone I knew to be a guaranteed good time: my mom.
There can be a lot of pressure when it comes to picking the perfect wedding date if you’re not in a serious relationship: Do you get a hotel room together? Do you slow dance? How do you introduce them to people? Does going together make things more serious?
Life hack: If you take your mom, you don’t have to worry about any of that.
After reading up on protocol for what to do if you’re invited to a wedding with a significant other but break up before the big day, I checked in with the bride about bringing my mom. She was totally into the idea. “Love that!” she texted me. “I’d love for her to be there.”
I wanted a carefree, fun weekend and that’s exactly what I got. Here’s why you should also consider your mom as your next next plus one.
Primping left us feeling Good As Hell
In our shared hotel room, my mom and I poured ourselves glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and cranked up Lizzo’s instant-classic, “Good As Hell.” We sang along at the top of our lungs as we stood in front of the mirror getting ready. “We look Good As Hell,” my mom affirmed. We did! And we felt like it, too.
No frills dancing
At the reception there was absolutely no pressure to find a partner for the slow songs, or to awkwardly join a dance circle. My mom and I took off our shoes, started our OWN dance circle, and stayed on the floor for the band’s entire 20 minute-long rendition of “Shout.”
Judgement-free Insta photographer
Forget Instagram husband, Instagram mom is so much better. No grumbling, no griping, no, “But you’ve already taken so many pics!” My mom was invested in taking my picture, and she snapped away until I was satisfied with an Insta-worthy image.
The perfect excuse to leave
Once my party feet started to go numb, I was ready to head out. A date might’ve wanted to stay at the wedding longer, but my mom had absolutely no qualms with ducking out early.
When I sustained a very serious injury (read: super minor cut on my elbow) on the way to a post-wedding brunch the following day, my mom immediately whipped out a bandaid from the mini first-aid kit she’d brought in her purse.
It’s the little things, I realized, that make a great wedding date.