The time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is the most popular season of the year to get engaged, according to Anja Winikka, editor of TheKnot.com. Wedding Web sites such as TheKnot.com and The Wedding Channel help engaged couples share information, as well as their relationship history, with friends and family. “We have a lot of brides who do the wedding Web sites,” said Alisha Fox, of Chattanooga-based Foxy Events. She said one benefit of a wedding Web site is that it can help save both money and paper by putting directions and hotel information online rather than in mailings. Some Web sites allow guests to RSVP online as well. Newlywed Lori Line feels that her Web site, created by her graphic-designer sister, helped friends feel more connected to the wedding. “People felt like they knew our story,” said Mrs. Line, who was married on Oct. 18.
Ever-growing social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, are virtual town criers. The engaged announce their pending nuptials, display blissful photos and provide links to wedding Web sites.
“A wedding is kind of a yearly activity. It’s a great way for people to keep people updated without bombarding them,” said Machell Espejo, associate wedding style editor for Brides Magazine.
With wedding Web sites often including links to registries, the happy couple’s want list is available long before the invites go out. Is it best to wait and send a gift with the RSVP, or sail the gravy boat their way not knowing whether you’re on the guest list?
“I think there’s nothing wrong with sending a gift to congratulate the couple,” said Ms. Espejo, “even if you think you’re not being invited. It shouldn’t deter a person from sending a gift.”
Experts say that receipt of a gift shouldn’t obligate an invitation.
“I think some brides might feel a little more obligated (if someone sends a gift), but that shouldn’t determine your guest list,” said Ms. Winikka. “The economy is hard enough (without) feeling obligated to invite more people when it’s per head.”
But the cold winter months are also prime time for seasonal affective disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic. Should a blushing bride-to-be worry about darkening a friend’s blue Christmas with links to her white wedding Web site? Is it even appropriate to announce engagements, post photos and paste “Our Special Day” URLs on a social networking site?
“I think you do have to draw the line and create a little bit of etiquette,” Ms. Winikka said. Pasting a wedding Web site on allaccess status, for example, would be inappropriate, especially if old friends or colleagues are in one’s online address book.
“I think it’s really important to think about how you frame things (when posting photos online, for example) — ‘my intimate garden party wedding.’ Just be tactful.”
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...