A newly betrothed Business Insider writer has a bone to pick with Facebook: Getting engaged ruined the social network for her. “Just like that, everything changed,” she reports. “Facebook knew I was betrothed. And it didn’t waste any time clogging up my news feed with ads” related to weddings, weddings and also weddings.
A few relatively-relevant ads are hardly going to make my Newsfeed any junkier than it already is. (Spotify! So-and-so shared a link! So-and-so likes Sprint!) As a newly-engaged woman, however, I’ve found the deluge of Facebook ads is only part of the story. The Internet and its advertisers, it seems, are all conspiring to make me a cuckoo-crazy-crackers bridezilla.
Here’s a brief guide to what happens once you make it official:
First you change your Facebook status, and even as the congratulations roll in, so do the Facebook ads for places like the wedding dress brand Pronovias. (Also, the occasional gym ad? Let’s not even go there, Facebook.) You’re not ready to buy anything yet, but those ads are an insistent reminder that you’ve got about a year to plan this thing so you better get cracking, missy.
So you hop over to Pinterest, which suddenly becomes approximately one thousand times more interesting. There’s an entire browsing category devoted to weddings, and if you thought the community’s home decor pins were aspirational, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Spend a few hours on the platform and you’ll become convinced that an indie D.I.Y. wedding in a mossy forest glade where your bridesmaids carry baskets of apples and all the guests receive hand-painted umbrellas as party favors is a GREAT idea. And just think! Now brands can track all this.
Then it’s time to start really planning in earnest, which is when you graduate to The Knot, which looks a lot like Pinterest but contains real information about potential vendors. You begin calling venues and caterers and florists and perhaps keeping track of your options in a Google Doc (which is probably the only piece of technology you actually need during this process; everything else is an opportunity for up-selling).
You begin to receive near-constant email offers from The Knot’s many, many, oh so very many sponsors.
You realize most of the vendors on The Knot cost a small fortune, and so you disappear into the rabbit hole of boards like Weddingbee and Wedding Wire, searching variations on “affordable nice wedding.” You begin scouring Yelp. You spend a lot of time Google Image searching venues that sound suspicious affordable, on the lookout for decorations that look a little too Goodfellas.
In the meantime, there’s years worth of wedding shows you can mainline on Netflix. Possibly centuries. Say Yes to the Dress, Wedded to Perfection, Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Whose Wedding Is It Anyway, Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best. (Oh and of course now people can see what you’re watching on Netflix, so yeah, your groom-to-be is going to know about this new addiction.)
Let’s see what kind of targeted ads Googling “elope to Las Vegas cheap plane tickets” gets me.