Wedding Websites Now Offer Curious Guests The Chance To Find Out Much More About Prenuptial Couples (Part 1)
No barbecues for me this summer. No beach blanket bingo. No picnics in the park. I’m booked. I’ve been invited to no fewer than five weddings. For weeks the invites to engagement parties, rehearsal dinners and hen nights have been pouring in. It’s not that I’m extraordinarily popular, or glamorous or even the life-of-the-party type. It seems that at 26 I have hit “that age” – that age when all my friends and family members in splendid synchronicity decide to pledge their lives to someone else. In public. On successive summer weekends.
But there is something different about hitting “that age” in the era of the internet. Prospective guests are a lucky bunch, for along with these invitations and save-the-date cards, come instructions to log on to various wedding websites – both homemade and corporate affiliated – to learn more about the prenuptial couple.
As a child of the information age, I dutifully enter the URL of each of the couples whose wedding I will be attending in June. A gleaming, beaming photo of the betrothed greets me. And, as expected, there are handy links to Selfridges, Williams Sonoma, Bloomingdales, (in one case, even Pet Loft) where the couple is registered. Can’t have a website without commercial sponsorship, right?
OK, this seems reasonable. It saves asking where they have the wedding hairstyles and must help some guests with their gift selections. There are also directions to wedding venues and lists of nearby hotels and sightseeing possibilities. No problem with that either.
Once opened, these websites can be hard to leave alone. It’s tempting to scroll through annotated baby pictures of the couples, photos of the couples’ extended families and members of the wedding parties. There’s usually an over-punctuated he said/she said account of how they met that resembles every Sandra Bullock movie you’ve ever seen.
That’s followed – sometimes after spellbinding tales of courtship – by the anti-climactic story of how he proposed. (Hint: he “got the answer he was hoping for”!) So much information. It’s almost a surprise not to find separate links discussing the couples’ birth control methods of choice.
I shut my browser, knowing at last the true meaning of information overload. I should not be privy to all this, I think. It’s their relationship, their life, their private details. It all seems so, well, personal.
Attending weddings has always been an acceptable form of voyeurism. Guests bear witness to two people, deeply in love, committing their lives to each other. It’s an intimate moment: crying, touching, kissing, all of that. (The Peeping-Tom effect becomes almost overwhelming when the couple has chosen to pen their own vows. Hands over ears; this is not for me to hear.)