New study: women happier to be single at a wedding than men

The UK is about to hit peak wedding season, so singles across the nation will be bracing themselves for the worst. Or will they? EliteSingles’ latest study of 1000 singles has revealed that the majority of singles are happy to attend a wedding alone – especially the women.
  • 56% of singles would rather not have a plus one with their wedding invitation
  • 72% of single women, 61% of single men would happily go solo to a wedding
  • 26% of single men not given the plus one option would ask if they could bring a date
  • Single men take a more romantic approach to weddings than single women

56% of UK singles don’t think that plus one invitations are a good idea

Wedding etiquette says that it’s kind to give all single guests a plus one option if you can. But a new study from premium dating site EliteSingles suggests differently. 56% of singles would rather not have the plus one option, as it puts too much pressure on them to pick a suitable date.

Interestingly, it appears that this attitude comes with maturity: just 46% of singles under 30 would be happy without a plus one, compared to 63% of those aged 30-45 and 64% of those aged 45-60.

Women are happier than men to be single at a wedding

In another stereotype-busting reveal, the survey showed that women are the gender that’s the most content to turn up to a wedding without a date. If not given the chance to bring someone, 72% of single women would happily attend solo, while for men the figure is 61%.

26% of single men not given the option of bringing a date would ask if they could do so

Men are also more likely than women to try and change their hosts’ minds about the guest list. If not given a plus one wedding invitation, more than a quarter of single men (26%) would ask if they could bring a date.18% of women would do the same.

Single men take a more romantic approach to weddings than single women

Additionally, men are the most likely to want to put a romantic spin on a wedding. 57% of single men see a wedding as the perfect occasion to meet someone special, compared with 42% of women.

And, if they did bring a date, women would keep things platonic, while men would want romance. For 49% of single women, the ideal wedding date is a platonic friend, with just 12% wanting to bring a crush or brand new beau. Meanwhile, only 23% of men would attend with a friend, while 25% would bring a crush or new flame. Furthermore, 4% of men would look online to find a date.

EliteSingles’ in-house relationship psychologist Zoe Coetzee says ‘’Women can view a wedding more as a communal celebration of love focused on the newly-married couple. Men can experience a wedding more as a competitive arena, raising the preference to bring a plus one.’’

She adds: ‘'Women may feel that taking a new date to a wedding can put too much pressure on a fledgling relationship. Men may see it as a romantic occasion to kick off a new relationship; a beneficial platform to display social capital and enjoy the positive effect of a celebratory atmosphere.'

You can find more on this study in our in-depth article, where we reveal the UK's favourite single-at-a-wedding tradition.

Press contact: Dan Hackett

EliteSingles Research Team

press@elitesingles.co.uk