They say weddings are a pressure-cooker experience for single women. Though I'm not exactly sure what a pressure cooker looks like, I feel certain I've had the opportunity to purchase one from friends' bridal registries over the past 10 years. But this is the season for weddings and I love attending them.
Are there moments when I see unrequited crushes or ex-boyfriends slow dancing with their dates and kind of want to stab myself in the spleen with a salad fork? Yeah, sure. But that's par for the course and where my imagination goes when I think of these people anyway. It has nothing to do with my penchant for a decadent and spectacular wedding. For a long time I was certain the vows I witnessed in a castle outside Dublin on Halloween would take the cake for "most awesome".
I suppose you could say I also attended the royal wedding – along with half my American friends who got up at 6am to make scones and critique hats – but that wedding was contained on a pixilated screen and thus not in the running to make me feel legitimately inferior.
But now, sorry as I am to usurp my dear Dublin friends, I must report there's a new contender for the prize: the wedding I attended on a former plantation in Virginia last weekend.
Though the groom is a very old friend, I had never been down to his home. I can now see why. It's one thing to drive for minutes up one's tree-lined driveway. It's another to find a second driveway and the last single-family-owned former plantation in America waiting for you at the end.
Obviously the mere sight of an actual former plantation in America is a complicated thing. No one can live guilt-free, casually raised on one, without being haunted by its history.
But watching my friends dance under a giant tent last weekend as the thunder and rain came down, it was impossible not to recognise that this wedding was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The ante was upped. And me? I think for once I even used my salad fork to eat salad.
Sloane Crosley is the author of 'How Did You Get This Number' (Portobello)Reuse content