Category Archives: Wedding

Great Tool for Bloggers, Emailers and People Building Pages on

After a frustrating day trying to get looooooong MapQuest URLs to work in’s web page builder interface, I discovered a great free service called TinyURL that shortens ridiculously long URLs.  If you you’ve ever tried to figure out how to email a really long URL without it getting cut off, this is your solution.

Enter a long URL to make tiny:

It made the difference in being able to create the page I really wanted to have, with all the information needed for our guests.   As I said, I can see TinyURL being great for emailing and blogging as well.

Doesn’t Matter How Many Silk Pillows There Are, A Tree Is A Bad Place To Sleep

Last week we spent a few hours going through the dozens (DOZENS!) of wedding-related magazines and catalogs we have accumulated.  They say that the wedding industry is a multi-billion dollar industry – apparently about half of that is from printing.

W04752_905lr_2 Anyway, while looking through one catalog in particular, Jean M., I saw a photo that I couldn’t help but make fun of.  Look here and here.

I hope you had the same reaction I did.  If you didn’t, you may want to calibrate your bizarre-o-Jmw06752_269lr meter, since a tree’s hollow seems like a really weird place to put some silk pillows. 

And I’m sure there’s been a few times that garters have ended up in trees, but not for reasons you would put in a wedding catalog.

My First Wedding Topic Blog

So I am in the middle of a planning a wedding with my fiancée.  We’re about two months into our engagement and we got off to a pretty quick start.  Within a month of being engaged, we picked a wedding date, reception site, church, minister, our wedding party, and the color.  Two months in and we are down to a choice between 2 DJs and we have a photographer, as well as picked out 90% of our dinner menu.  So we’re doing pretty good.

However, one thing that we noticed very quickly is how varied the customer service levels are among independent companies.  While nearly everyone (myself included) complains about customer service operators being outsourced to India and other places where someone named "Mary" (ha!) tries to help you with your inquiry, perhaps we should be glad that we’re at least getting a response. 

Nearly every business "guru" out there will tell you that the key strategic advantages for small, independent operators to differentiate themselves from the big, giant monster corporations is quality and service.  If that’s the case, the wedding industry is in deep trouble. 

Maybe its because it isn’t something you do very often (hopefully only once….) and they know they can drag you along, but so far, customer service and just general response has been pretty bad.  Our best experience has been with the Hard Rock Cafe (a big company), where we might have our rehearsal dinner.  Even our photographer, who we love, left us hanging for a few days after the Thanksgiving holiday, leaving us to wonder if we were really meeting with them last weekend or not.  Clearly the culture of "customer first" is far more alive in corporate America than in entrepreneurial ventures.

A perfect example happened today – from a bridal gown company.  Here is the exchange between my fiancée and whoever was answering this email (click to see the screen capture).  As you can see, clearly no one was actually READING the email.  So I called – you know, just for shits anMarys_emaild giggles – and spoke with a heavily accented woman who explained that customer service doesn’t read the emails… the OWNERS DO!  That’s just what you want to hear from a company that you’re looking to spend a couple of thousand dollars with on your wedding dress.   

I like supporting local merchants and have myself lamented the loss of local stores and chains.  My parents had a small bakery that eventually fell victim to supermarket bakeries, so I know the pain that comes with losing the local flavor.  While I know that we didn’t always provide perfect customer service, I’d like to think that we tried harder than a lot of people out there.

So that’s the first of what I am sure will be many other wedding observations in the coming year or so.   I won’t bore you with details – just try to entertain you with the silly and interesting stuff.