How Taylor Swift’s Breakup Changed My Future Wedding

My first dance song doesn't quite hit the same anymore.

taylor swift and joe alywn Akintevs, zimmytws / Getty Images via Canva, Kathy Hutchins, Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock

I should start by saying I’m not engaged…yet. But as my boyfriend and I near our four-year anniversary, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about what our wedding would be like.

And while I’ve never been a girl who browses bridal magazines or makes extensive Pinterest boards, there is one aspect of a future wedding that I have already given considerable thought to the first dance.

As a woman in my mid-thirties, I’ve not only been to but been in, my fair share of weddings.


Often, I find the first dance to be a highlight. It offers a glimpse into a couple’s relationship and their story — even more personal and telling than vows in some instances.

I can still remember the first dance song of almost all the weddings I’ve attended this last decade — from watching my brother and his wife sway during Anthony Hamilton’s “The Point of It All,” to my college roommate and her husband joyfully frolicking to “Latch” by Disclosure, and practically weeping last year as my sister and her husband danced to “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur.

Simply put, first dances are my favorite.


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And that brings me to Taylor Swift and how her breakup has personally impacted my (hopefully) future wedding.

Invisible String” from 2020’s Folklore was at the very top of my list for my first dance songs.

It’s so beautiful, so poignant. I remember the first time I really listened to the lyrics and felt that rush of recognition and connection that happens when a song truly speaks to you.

I texted my mom about it — and actually bought her the album — likening this iteration of Taylor Swift to a modern-day Joni Mitchell.

One night last fall sitting on our balcony listening to music, I played it for my boyfriend — who is not a Taylor Swift fan — and started crying right in front of him.


Tom and I met when I was thirty. Several months prior, however, the ending of a different relationship had left me more broken than I knew possible.

Reflecting on that time and how utterly devastated and lost I was…well, it truly was “so pretty to think” that all along there was a string that pulled me out of the wrong relationship, forced me to confront my demons in therapy — and was tied to Tom on the other end — the person I had stopped believing I would ever find.

It’s just like Taylor said: “Hell was the journey but it brought me Heaven.”

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But now, when I listen to “Invisible String,” it’s not quite the same. I relate to the song so deeply, the thought that the relationship that inspired it ultimately didn’t work out… shocks and scares me.


And I’m not the only one.

Millions of Swifties have expressed their dismay after news of the breakup hit the media.

What's more, Taylor herself seems to be grappling with the song. It’s been reported that at the most recent stops of her The Eras Tour, “Invisible String” has been swapped for “The 1,” a song about lost love and what might have been.


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After reflecting for almost a full week, I still can’t make sense of how I feel about the song now.

It’s still beautiful. It still speaks to me and rings true in achingly meaningful ways. But there’s a sadness to it now that wasn’t there before and a vague superstition that the song may now be somehow cursed…as if Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn’s relationship status actually has any bearing on the success of someone else’s marriage.

Luckily, I suppose, I’m not getting married next week.


If Tom and I get engaged, we’ll decide together what our song will be. What song tells our story? What song do we want to share with our family and friends, to have them say “I always think of you when I hear it!”

I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

But for now, regardless of what happened with Taylor and Joe, it’s still very pretty to think that I went through all the pain of my twenties to learn the lessons that would ultimately lead me to Tom.

As Taylor suggests, the purple-pink skies of love almost always make the blues worth it. And knowing that, I’ll just remind myself, “It’s cool, baby, with me."

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Carolyn Linck is a corporate communications professional, aspiring fiction writer, and essayist. Her work has appeared in Rain Taxi Review, Adelaide Magazine, and Little Old Lady Comedy, among others.