Bluefield Daily Telegraph
— PRINCETON —
It has been more than 20 years since a Lifestyle editor at the Daily Telegraph planned a wedding. Samantha Perry, now editor, was the first to get married in 1992. In November, I will become the second Lifestyle editor to walk down the aisle. Like most brides-to-be, I keep looking at my engagement ring, just to make sure it isn’t a dream.
Throughout my career, Samantha has been more than just a boss. The morning after my surprise engagement, I called her at home to explain why I would be late — we wanted to show my family the ring — but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. I made a lame excuse before I hung up the phone. I knew she would figure it out; females have an intuition about these types of things. She spotted the ring in seconds when I finally made it to work. We hugged and squealed — typical female reaction — in front of the crowd at the Chicory Square’s concert in Bluefield.
Now how to tell the rest of our friends and family members? There were a few I wanted to tell in person; I needed to see their reactions. By Saturday afternoon after a few phone calls, texts and conversations, my fiancé said it was time to drop the social media bomb. News travels fast on Facebook. We even let Samantha tweet about the big news and it appeared on the Daily Telegraph’s homepage last weekend. A few readers offered their congratulations.
Times have changed with weddings and engagements, Samantha said. In 1992, brides made a formal announcement in the local newspaper; there were no Facebook or Twitter accounts. And no text messages either. My formal announcement — to keep with tradition — will follow in a few weeks. It will be less of an announcement and more of a sentimental keepsake. As the Lifestyle editor, I have had the privilege of printing some of my closest friend’s weddings and engagement announcements. It is my favorite part of Lifestyles, couples smiling and brides glowing. I wish more would consider publishing their announcements in the paper. Social media is great and fast. However, you can’t clip it out of the Sunday paper. Plus, not everyone — like your grandma — is on Facebook. Paper memories never go out of style.
But what else has changed? Basically everything from the ring bearer tradition to the cost of the average wedding. A few quick searches online and one bridal magazine purchase later, I am overwhelmed by all the wedding options, most non-traditional. A couple can plan everything online and even download apps for their smartphones. Weddings are also more personal than ever; the standard “I do” event can be a carnival, a fair, a barbecue, a cruise or even a Halloween party. Wedding colors are different too, or so I thought. In 2012, I wrote a story about local bridal trends; chocolate brown, shades of purple and kelly green were popular colors for weddings. My colors — plum with a bit of bright pink as an accent color — is listed a top color choice for 2013 by a popular online bridal website. Imagine the surprise when I learned Samantha’s colors were also pink and purple. It proves that some wedding trends cycle back around again, 20 years later.
I have no idea what to expect or how to plan a wedding. As the Lifestyle editor, I can edit wedding and engagement announcements, but that’s all. I can write about weddings and put together a special section devoted to holy matrimony, but I am a wedding rookie, still glowing in the excitement of an engagement. I have been given great advice so far and a few bridezilla jokes from friends, family and newsroom coworkers. The next five months should be interesting, a bit stressful even. My wedding will be a mix of modern elements with old-fashioned traditional values, sort of like blending the society pages with social media, a job I do every day.
Jamie Parsell is the Lifestyle editor of the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BDTParsell.